Indian nurses applying for work in 18 countries, specified by the Government of India, including Kuwait and other Gulf states, cannot travel abroad without emigration clearance as the ban on recruitment of nurses by private agencies took effect Saturday, May 30, 2015. On this issue, the Government of India has rejected a request by the southern State of Kerala to continue with the Emigration Check Not Required (ECNR) system until an alternative was found to recruit nurses to these 18 countries exclusively through government agencies.
Kerala Minister for Rural Development, Planning, Culture and Non-resident Keralites’ Organization (NORKA) K.C. Joseph had requested in a meeting of ministers for expatriates’ affairs that the existing system be continued for three more months or until the new recruitment regime was in place as talks with Kuwait regarding recruitment through government agencies remain inconclusive and the Indian missions in other countries remain slow in initiating discussions.
However, the proposal to continue with the ECNR system until an alternative was found has been rejected by Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj. According to her any delay will facilitate more exploitation by private agencies. Nonetheless, she said the government can take a case-by-case decision if the states bring issues to its notice, she added. KC Joseph later stated NORKA would put in place a system to help the nurses.
He said the Kerala government has not offered to employ nurses who have lost jobs abroad. All that the government offered was to try to find employment for them in association with private hospitals, he added. In the meantime, the minister also urged the government at the center to hold the government agencies responsible for the recruitment of domestic helpers to other countries. He also touched on the issue of Indians held in jails in other countries saying they are not getting humanitarian treatment. Indian missions abroad should offer legal help to expatriates, he added.
He called on the Central Government to make a survey to collect data of Indians working abroad and make an effort to control the steep rise in air fare during the holiday season. He also urged the Central Government to put in place a rehabilitation package for expatriates who are forced to return home due to civil wars and law reforms in the Gulf States and other countries.
Ministry of Interior has requested Ministry of Health to apply for ‘commercial visit visa’ instead of ‘entry visa’ for non-Kuwaiti doctors who are invited by the ministry to work temporarily in hospitals and specialized medical centers in Kuwait, reports Al-Anba daily quoting reliable sources.
They explained that Ministry of Health applies for three-month entry visa for non-Kuwaiti doctors whom they invite to work temporarily, and then keep renewing their visas until they get their Kuwait residency. However, this process is against the bylaws of Ministry of Interior. The sources affirmed that Ministry of Health has realized the mistake and will henceforth apply for ‘commercial visit visa’ as per the laws applied in this domain.