Online system on cards to share data on foreigners

By Purushottam Khatri

Kathmandu, Sept. 6: Around 2,000 foreigners come to Nepal on student visa annually but the government does not keep tab on their status during their stay here.

According to the Department of Immigration (DoI), altogether 1,911 students came to Nepal under study visa last year.

Kedar Neupane, director general at the DoI, admitted that his office failed to keep the records of foreign students.

“We will soon collaborate with the hotels and colleges to develop an online system to share the data on the foreigners,” said Neupane.

He said that several factors, including human resource crunch, had obstructed the work of keeping track on them.

An official at the DoI on condition of anonymity said that students from Korea and Japan might have been engaged in unlawful activities such as spread of Christianity while some were working in restaurants in Thamel and other parts of Kathmandu.

“This might be the reason behind the increasing number of Korean and Japanese students here,” he claimed. About 400 foreigners are studying at Bishwo Bhasa Campus (the Campus of International Languages) and Kathmandu University (KU).

 “Foreign students can study only Nepali, Newari and Sanskrit languages,” Bhimnath Regmi, campus chief of Bishwo Bhasa Campus, told The Rising Nepal.

Of them, 90 are South Korean, 61 Japanese and 42 American students.  They have six semesters to complete in three years.

 “We have no system to record their addresses, contact numbers and email addresses to learn about their daily activities,” said Regmi. One foreign student pays US $ 800 a year to study the language of his/her choice.

“Only 75 per cent of students are regular while some take leave, citing several reasons,” Parshuram Poudel, head of the Nepali Language Department said.

Poudel said that it was up to the Home Ministry and Immigration Department to monitor their activities. The rate of dropout among foreign students is also high, making it problematic to record their activities here.

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