Top expat talent in Nepal angry over spouse visa ban

Top expat talent in Nepal angry over spouse visa ban

Top expat talent in Nepal angry over spouse visa ban

Skilled expats are shunning Nepal as an expat destination due to a ban on spouse visas.

A recent hitch in Nepal’s immigration laws is preventing the spouses of skilled expat professionals from entering the country, and is having a negative effect on foreign direct investment as a result. Nepal’s new Foreign Investment and Technology Transfer Act allows expats to bring their children, but there’s no provision for their wives. As a result, foreign talent is lodging complaints and requesting the simplification of spouse visa procedures.

Expat incomers working for a recently established multinational software development firm have been reporting the issue, with one anonymous company executive telling the media they’re having major difficulties with spousal visas. As a result, the company is considering closing its Nepalese base and relocating its investment elsewhere. Over the past year, the Nepalese government has brought in or amended a number of laws in order to attract international investment, including creating a Special Economic Zone and new public/private partnership and investment laws.

According to one official, the act itself must be amended in order to allow expats’ wives to enter Nepal along with their husbands. As the Nepalese parliament will be involved in giving permission for a new regulation, it’s likely to be some time before expat spouses are allowed to enter. As a result, it’s not just expat professionals who’re suffering, it’s also the long-awaited one-stop-service for potential international investors which will be put on hold as its much-publicised service is part of the original act.

It’s believed that $17.5 billion has already been pledged due to this year’s successful investment summit, with its realisation in terms of hard cash dependent on the provision of spouse visas for executives and other top managers.

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