The government hass made it mandatory that Nepali migrant workers have machine readable passport (MRP) to get final permit from tomorrow.

The  Department of Foreign Employment today said that it would not issue final work permit to migrant workers carrying hand-written passports. “MRP is a must to get final work permit irrespective of labour destination countrie,” it said in a press note. “For those, who already have been granted visa or in process of returning for employment after vacation, they will be issued work permit for ‘certain period’ based on the submission of certified receipt of application registered to acquire the MRP.”

The move might create temporary inconvenience for some, but it will be important for the migrant workers to have MRP to avoid inconvenience in future in foreign land, said director general of the department Krishna Hari Pushkar.

Nepalis employed in different countries can acquire MRP through the Nepali embassies, he said, adding that it will, however, take three to four months to get the MRP.

Individuals with hand-written passports that has valid visa may not have to go through the entire visa application process as their hand-written passports will be given back with MRP, he added. “The old passports will contain a remark ‘cancelled without prejudice’, meaning those individuals will only need to carry both passports.”

Mandatory MRP for Nepali migrant workers is also expected to discourage possible human trafficking and minimise cases of fake passports.

Some 1,5000 Nepali migrant workers leave for employment in Malaysia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait and South Korea – every day, according to latest data.

The government move is in line with International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) schedule to completely ban hand-written passports from November, 2015.

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