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Fewer flights, expensive tickets and Covid-19 restrictions hit migrant workers

The Kathmandu Post, Nepal, 8 July 2021 - Tens of thousands of Nepali youths at home and in labour destination countries continue to face numerous hurdles due to the ongoing second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

After Nepal and its labour-receiving countries once again imposed various measures for containing the spread of the coronavirus over the last couple of months, Nepali workers have encountered problems while pursuing overseas jobs and returning home.

During a virtual interaction on Wednesday, Nepali foreign mission officials in major destination countries—the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Malaysia—listed out the problems faced by Nepali migrant workers that are almost similar to the situation of the last year.

According to them, Nepali migrant workers at home have not been able to take up foreign jobs due to the recent movement restrictions in destination countries and those in destination countries are struggling to return home as there are not enough flights.

“As Covid-19 cases once again picked up in recent months and restrictions were enforced, Nepali workers’ residence permits have not been renewed. Anyone caught with an expired residence permit, locally known as iqama, can face jail,” said Jiwan Kumar Rai, labour counsellor at the Nepal Embassy in Saudi Arabia. “Then there is a problem with the exit visa for leaving the country, which is not being issued regularly. At our in



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