Chandan Kumar Mandal, The Kathmandu Post, 24 Nov 2017
Nepal is among the eight countries selected by Qatar for setting up service centres for easing out residential procedures for migrant workers.
The Qatari Ministry of Interiors recently signed an agreement with a Singapore-based firm to provide services aimed at simplifying the residency procedures of migrant workers coming to Qatar, Qatari media reported.
As per the agreement, such service centres will be established in eight countries—India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines and Tunisia—which accounts for 80 percent of Qatar’s total work force.
One such centre will be in Nepal, which has supplied nearly 400,000 migrant workers to the gas-rich Gulf state, which is gearing up to host the Fifa World Cup in 2022. Seven of such centres will be established in India, four in Pakistan, three each in Bangladesh and Indonesia, two in the Philippines and one each in Sri Lanka and Tunisia.
In the first phase, services such as the biometric data record, fingerprint, medical check-up and work contract signing would be processed through such centres in workers’ home country before their departure to Qatar.
The project will be piloted in Sri Lanka within four months, followed by the opening of such centres in the other seven countries, Qatari media reported, quoting officials at the Qatari Ministery of Interiors.
Once the procedures are completed in their home country, the migrant workers need not undergo any further visa procedures on their entry to Qatar. The processes, it was announced would be linked electronically to the departments concerned to avoid mismanagement and could be verified on their arrival. The medical checkup will be approved electronically by the E-governance service, according to the Qatari authority.
The system would be in place once the mechanism for the visa issuance for a Qatar-bound worker from any of the above destinations starts.
The agreement was intended to facilitate the services for easing the residence procedures for the expatriates coming to work in Qatar, Director General of the General Directorate of Passports Brig Muhammad Ahmad al-Ateeq told The Qatar Tribune, a local English daily. The new system is expected to assist the migrant workers since the issuance of visa to arrival in Qatar.
Nepali authorities are also hopeful that the Qatari initiative would of great help to Nepali migrant workers.
“This is a good move by Qatar which aims to support migrant workers. Getting required services at one centre will definitely save time and make the overall process easier for these workers,” said Mohan Adhikari, spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE).
“There have been many instances when Nepali workers had to return back to country after failing in medical test in Qatar. Now, such problem will not occur as the final report of the medical-check will be produced here,” added Adhikari.