Labour Ministry to allow workers with calling visa to fly out to Malaysia

The Ministry for Labour, Employment and Social Security has made arrangements for allowing Nepali migrant workers, who had completed their visa procedure, to fly out to Malaysia before the government suspended labour migration to the southeast Asian country last year.

The labour departures to Malaysia has remained suspended since May last year when the government launched a massive crackdown on various agencies that levied hefty charges on various topics on Malaysia-bound workers.

The Labour Ministry has finally come forward in allowing those workers with calling visa to reach their labour destination country.

Workers with calling visa have completed all the procedures required for jobs in Malaysia and are only left to get the final stamping from the Malaysian Embassy in Nepal and receive the labour permit from the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE).

Workers with calling visa will be allowed to join their jobs in Malaysia in the next few days, a ministry official told the Post, requesting anonymity as he was not allowed to speak on this matter.

“The labour ministry has geared up to provide labour permits to these workers soon. The exact date is not fixed yet, but it is going to happen in the next few days,” said the official.

The workers with calling visa had expected to reach Malaysia soon after Nepal and Malaysia had signed the labour agreement in October last year. However, it could not happen as both countries had to finalise other mechanisms, including the new standard for medical examination of migrant workers aspiring to work in the Southeast Asian country.

The prospect of opening of Malaysian jobs and departure of those with calling visa looked possible last week when the Malaysian side finally sent the migrant workers’ medical examination standard—a necessary document for full implementation of a landmark labour deal.

“We have received the health test standard, the official said. “Soon, we will allow registration of health institutions interested in conducting medical tests and issuing the fitness certificates. Once the registration is completed and such medical centres are selected, departures to Malaysia will be opened for the workers.”

In January this year, a batch of 20 Nepali workers succeeded in reaching Malaysia after they had directly approached the Malaysian embassy for work visa. This was the first group of Nepali workers to reach Malaysia since the Nepal government suspended the labour migration to Malaysia 10 months ago.

Following the long delay and concerns over thousands of workers not being able to reach Malaysia even after completing the process, the Department of Foreign Employment had asked the Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies’ (NAFEA) to submit the details of workers with calling visa.

According to NAFEA, nearly 7,000 Nepali workers with calling visa are still waiting their turn to reach Malaysia.

“These workers have already paid for visa processing and yet could not fly out to Malaysia. NAFEA and the ministry had decided to coordinate in sending these workers to Malaysia at the earliest,” NAFEA President Rohan Gurung told the Post.

As per the understanding, NAFEA–the umbrella organisation of recruiting agencies in Nepal–will facilitate the workers in securing the final visa approval from the Malaysian embassy, and the ministry will issue the labour permit, according to Gurung.

Ministry officials and NAFEA representatives have already held two meetings on the matter.

“Both NAFEA and the Labour Ministry had agreed to work together to facilitate these workers in the spirit of the labour deal between Nepal and Malaysia. The final decision regarding departure of these workers is likely come on Sunday,” added Gurung.

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