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Nepal – Employment Agencies’ forum calls for halt to visa processing fee increases

10 June 2014

The Progressive Forum of Foreign Employment Agencies (PFFEAN) in Nepal has urged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) to intervene and take diplomatic action to force visa processing company VLN Nepal to rescind its decision to increase its visa processing fee, reports myrepublica.com.

VLN Nepal is a company appointed by the Malaysian Embassy to conduct visa processing works for Malaysia-bound Nepali workers. Its recent decision to hike visa processing charges has drawn criticisms from manpower companies as well as the government authorities. 

Taking exception to VLN Nepal´s decision to increase visa processing charge to NPR 3,200 (USD 33.40) from NPR 700 (USD 7.30) PFFEAN has said the hike would put additional financial burden on the workers. 

Submitting an 11-point memorandum to Minister for Foreign Affairs Mahendra Bahadur Pandey, PFFEAN urged the Ministry to take the necessary steps through diplomatic channel to halt the planned fee increase. 

Tanka Bahadur Raut, Chairman of PFFEAN, commented: “Though VLN Nepal is charging NPR 3,200, it is giving receipt over NPR 700 only. This is not fair. Even if the decision is taken by the Malaysian government, the MoFA should take diplomatic initiative to roll back the hike.”

PFFEAN has also asked the Foreign Affairs Ministry to not approve the proposed biometric health test requirement for the workers. If approved by the Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE) and MoFA, the biometric health test requirement for Malaysia-bound workers will come into effect from 15 June 2014. 

PFFEAN, in a charter of demands submitted to the Foreign Affairs Minister, stated: “A syndicated system is being imposed on us in the pretext of biometric health test. This will only add financial burden on Nepali workers. Also our money will go out of the country. As there is no relation of biometric in health test, it shouldn´t be approved.”

If the biometric test requirement is enforced, the cost to visa applications will double.

Mr Raut added: “Apart from this, medical centres will have to pay USD 16 per worker to Malaysian IT firm Bestinet Sdn Bhd. This means an estimated USD 1,600 will go out of the country every day. If biometric test has to be enforced because of the Malaysian government´s security concerns, [the Malaysia government] should install the service on their own expenses rather than adding financial burden on the workers.”

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