The government of Nepal has announced it will heighten vigilance over foreign nationals working in the Himalayan country without work permit, officials said.
To check the unnecessary flow of foreign nationals (except for tourists) in country's formal and informal sector, Nepal's Ministry of Labor and Employment and Department of Labor on Sunday asked all foreign nationals to receive a labor permit within 90 days.
According to the announcement, any foreigner approaching to get the work permit during the grace period of 90 days will be exempted of his/her dues including income tax, immigration fee and visa charge.
"After the end of the grace period, if any foreign national is found to be doing his/her job in Nepal without taking a work permit, the individual will be brought into the book and be penalized as per the law," Krishna Hari Puskar, director general at the Department of Labor told Xinhua on Sunday.
He said his department will examine all firms that have hired foreign nationals. "Any foreigners who are found to be violating the law will be fined in cash or imprisoned or both while they might also be chased away from Nepal."
The government move came amid an increasing trend of foreigners visiting Nepal with a tourist visa but staying and working the country illegally, which the Department of Labor estimated has caused a loss of around 4 billion Nepalese currency (40 million U. S. dollars) annually in taxes.
There are an estimated 50,000 foreigners working in Nepal illegally in different sectors such as NGOs, INGOs, diplomatic missions, hydropower, construction, banking, telecom, airlines, hospitality and educational institutions.
"However, only 9,920 foreigners so far have received work permit from the Department of Labor, of whom more than 80 percent are Chinese nationals," Barun Kumar Jha, director of the department, said.