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Saturday, January 29, 2022

Questions over Qatar visa centre in Nepal and alleged illegal recruitment practice


Authorities are investigating an alleged Qatari Police Staff work visa that was illegally issued to a Nepali national. 

Concerns of the illegal recruitment of Nepali citizens into Qatar’s police staff have resurfaced after an electronic copy of a police staff work visa circulated online.

The visa was supposedly issued on January 19 for a Nepali national without proper permits and approval from the Nepali government, according to foreign employment officials.

Government officials have said they are trying to ascertain the authenticity of the visa, local Nepali media reported.

[Ministry of Interior Qatar via Kathmandu Times]
Director-general of the Department of Foreign Employment Kumar Prasad Dahal suspects the visa could be a ploy by recruitment agencies who may be misusing the name of Qatari police in order to attract job seekers.

“We have also heard that workers are reportedly being sent to work for Qatar police,” said Dahal to the Kathmandu Post.

In 2018, Qatar’s Ministry of Interior established a service meant to benefit and protect job seekers. The Qatar Visa Centre (QVC) was founded to make recruitment and deployment procedures more transparent for both prospective employees and employers in Qatar. The QVC operates through 20 service centres in 8 countries, including Nepal.

According to the International Labour Organisation, the QVC “allowed applicants in all sectors to digitally sign work contracts before travelling, enrol their biometric data and undergo mandatory medical testing before departure, without having to repeat the tests upon arrival in Qatar.”

This emphasis on transparency was also made to reduce contract deception at the recruitment phase.

These services are all free of charge for migrant workers as potential Qatari employers are expected to cover these expenses.

However, local Nepali media reported that job seekers have been made to pay a sum of over $6,000 for getting the police staff jobs. This could mean that recruitment agencies that have not been approved by the government could still be operating illegally.

There is also the possibility that malpractice could be at the hands of the Qatari staff misusing the procedures, or the recruitment company handling the visa centre.

Nepal has also suspended three recruitment companies that were found to be involved in recruitment without following the appropriate processes.

According to the Kathmandu Post, Nepal’s ambassador to Qatar Narad Nath Bharadwaj has been in contact with Dahal concerning the controversy surrounding the illicit work visa.

Doha News reached out to the Government Communications Office but has yet to receive a statement.

Read also: NHRC offers legal education for Nepalese community following labour law reforms

Nepal shares the spot with Bangladesh as being the second largest expat community in Qatar, with around 400,000 Nepalis residing in Qatar.

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