Obtaining Work Permit in Nepal: Immigration Lawyer in Nepal

28 April 2020

This questionnaire explains the procedures of obtaining work permit by foreign nationals in Nepal.

1) What are the main laws governing the work permit in Nepal?

The main laws governing work permit in Nepal are:

a. Labor Act, 2017 (2074) (“Labor Act”)

b. Labor Rules, 2018 (2075) (“Labor Rules”)

c. Foreign Citizen Labor Permission Directive, 2019 (2075)

2) What is the competent authority governing work permits for foreign nationals in Nepal?

The governing authorities responsible for the work permits for foreign nationals are as mentioned:

3) Can foreign nationals work in Nepal without any approval?

No, foreign national cannot work in Nepal without obtaining work permit.

4) What are the grounds of providing the work permit in Nepal?

Pursuant to Labor Act and Labor Rules DOL provides the work permit on following two grounds:

4.1. Obtaining the work permit through the general procedure:

Pursuant to Section 22 of the Labor Act, a foreign national may be engaged in work in Nepal if the local skilled human resource is unavailable. The employer engaging a foreign national should demonstrate that the local skill is not available in Nepal. The employer is required to advertise the vacant positions at the national level daily newspaper and apply for receiving the work permit before DOL.

The details of the general procedure of obtaining the work permit is explained in paragraph 5 of this article.

4.2. Work permit based on recording:

On work permits based on recording employer need not demonstrate the unavailability of local skilled human resource in Nepal.  Work permit is granted simply on recording at DOL. Special facility is provided to (a) entities with foreign investment or operated in foreign aid and (b) foreign nationals engaged in technical casual work by providing work permits based on recording.

Work Permit for entities with foreign investment or operated in foreign aid: Pursuant to Rule Number 13 of Labor Rules entities with foreign investment or operated in foreign aid have flexibility in hiring foreign national up to three (3) numbers based on recording. Such entities are exempted from the general procedure to demonstrate the unavailability of local skilled human resources. DOL provides work permit up to 3 numbers to foreign nationals simply by recoding the detail.

Work Permit for foreign nationals engaged in Technical Casual Work: Pursuant to Section 24 of Labor Act, technicians engaged in installing or repairing any new technology or machinery for a period not exceeding three (3) months or engaged in similar casual work are granted work permit only upon recording the details with the Department.

5) What is the general procedure to obtain a work permit for foreign nationals?

The general procedures to obtain the work permit are as mentioned:

5.1. Documents required to be submitted for the receiving the work permit through the general procedure are mentioned below:

  • Application in the prescribed format,
  • Evidence of advertisement’s published in a national daily newspaper and the online portal established as prescribed by DOL,
  • Passport of employee (with minimum 6 months validity period remaining)
  • Personal details of the foreign national,
  • Tax clearance certificate of the employer,
  • Qualification details of the candidate if any application is submitted by Nepalese citizens,
  • Company Certificate, MOA/AOA of the employer,
  • No objection letter from the Ministry of Home Affairs of Nepal Government and
  • Plan of replacing the foreign national with local human resources.

5.2.   Timeline for Approval: It will take 30 to 45 days to receive the work permit through the general procedure.

6) What is the time period for the validity of work permit?

Generally, a work permit is granted for a period of one year at a time and has to be renewed annually. Work permit time period can be extended up to the following mentioned time depending on the nature of labor.

Please note, the employer must submit an application before DOL for renewal at least 30 days before the expiry of validation of work permit.

7) What is the government fee required to obtain work permit for foreign national?

The government fee to obtain work permit is;

  • For employment of up to 6 months: NPR 15,000
  • For employment of more than 6 months: NPR 20,000

8) What is the maximum number of foreign employees that a company can hire?

If there is any special agreement made between employer and government of Nepal then the number of foreign employees will be in accordance as per the agreement.

In the absence of any such agreement, the employer can hire employees less than or within five percent of the total number employee of an employer.

9) Are there any exceptions where the work permit is not required for foreign nationals?

Pursuant to section 23(2) of Labor Act on following condition one is exempted from receiving work permit;

  • People availed with diplomatic immunity or
  • If the work permit requirement is exempted under the treaties or agreements concluded with the Government of Nepal and employer.

10) Is the work permit sufficient to work in Nepal?

No work permit is not sufficient to work in Nepal. Based on the work permit foreign national should receive non-tourist visa from the Department of Immigration upon the recommendation of the Department of Industry of Government of Nepal.

Imperial Law Associates consist of well-experienced lawyer advising on the immigration law of Nepal.

Disclaimer: This questionnaire is for informational purposes only and shall not be construed as legal advice, advertisement, personal communication, solicitation or inducement of any sort from the firm or any of its members. The firm shall not be liable for any consequence arising out of actions undertaken by any person relying on the information provided herein.

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