The number of Nepalis returning home from abroad has increased of late, largely because of the festive season.
According to the Online Immigration Database maintained by the immigration office of the Tribhuvan International Airport, 34,690 Nepalis returned home from various countries between September 17 and September 23, while 24,175 have left the country during the same period.
“The number of people returning home usually goes up during the festive season,” said Prakash Neupane, a senior immigration official at the TIA. “Nepalis living abroad, a majority of migrant workers, return home for Dashain and Tihar festivals. This is a normal trend for almost every year,” said Neupane.
The 10-day Dashain festival started on Thursday while Tihar will be celebrated after three weeks. From Thursday to Saturday alone a total of 15,626 Nepalis landed at the TIA. On Thursday, which marked the first day of Dashain, 4,921 Nepalis returned home. Likewise, 5,432 and 5,282 Nepalis passed through the TIA immigration on Friday and Saturday respectively.
Majority of these returnees are migrant workers in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab of Emirates and Malaysia. The number of migrant workers leaving the country, however, has plummeted significantly--also because of the festivals.
The number of applications between September 17 and September 24 was 13,295, according to the Department of Foreign Employment. In the last seven days, 3,687 migrant workers applied for work permits in Qatar followed by the UAE (2,979), Malaysia (2,759), Saudi Arabia (2,352) and Kuwait (629). “This drop during this time of the year is normal.
The number will go up once the festival is over,” said DoFE spokesperson Adhikari.