Ministry of Home Affairs to monitor foreigners
The Ministry of Home Affairs has endorsed Foreign Citizens Monitoring Guideline with a view to enforcing strict monitoring of foreigners in Nepal.
One of the major objectives of the guideline is to ensure that foreigners visiting Nepal abide by visa rules and do not indulge in illegal activities. The government’s new directives come amidst reports that foreigners on the tourist visa have taken up jobs in I//NGOs and have even opened their own businesses.
Another objective is to regulate and control entry of foreigners.
The guideline proposes to set up mechanisms at different levels to monitor activities of foreigners in the country. It states that if anybody obstructs the government’s monitoring, the government can arrest that person and take action against him/her. It adds that foreigners will be monitored keeping in mind national security, peace and security, good governance, protection of boundary and the rule of law.
Foreigners will be monitored by three tiers of monitoring committees — district monitoring committees, the Central Monitoring Directives Committee and the Monitoring and Implementation Committee.
The Central Monitoring Directives Committee led by home secretary issues instructions to Crime Control Information System and information sharing mechanism.
The Central Monitoring Directives Committee will comprise joint secretaries from the ministries of home, foreign affairs, tourism, labour and employment, deputy inspector general of Nepal Police, IGP of Armed Police Force, deputy director of National Investigation Department and director general of Immigration Department.
The Monitoring and Implementation Committee will be formed under this committee. It will be led by director general of Immigration Department and its members will include immigration officer from Tribhuvan International Airport, chief executive officer of Tourism Board and section officers from several departments.
The committee will identify areas where foreigners can hide, besides illegal entry points.
An immigration security officer told THT that detailed information of foreigners will be gathered by the Crime Control Information Mechanism. It will keep the record of foreigners’ places of visit in Nepal, length of their stay and their activities.
According to the security officer, foreigners could not be monitored properly earlier due to lack of appropriate directives and mechanisms.
According to him, from now on individuals, hotels and resorts that provide hospitality to foreigners will have to provide information to the CCIM about foreigners’ stay.
Immigration officers can raid any place if they suspect illegal activity.
As per the guideline, foreigners who are staying illegally in Nepal, who have misused their visa and who have overstayed, will be arrested and handed over to the Department of Immigration.
The guideline also proposes to form district monitoring committees under chief district officers. Representatives of Nepal Police, Armed Police Force, National Investigation Department and labour, tourism and immigration offices will be included in the committee.
- Hotels and resorts that provide hospitality to foreigners will have to provide information to the Crime Control Information Mechanism about the foreigners’ stay
- Immigration officers can raid any place if they suspect illegal activity
- Foreigners who are staying illegally in Nepal, who have misused their visa and who have overstayed will be arrested and handed over to the Department of Immigration
NEWS FROM THE HIMALAYAN TIMES