DT: An Indian minister yesterday vowed to tighten emigration rules on ‘visit visas’ for women.
He said that the existing regulations made it easy for many domestic workers to travel abroad without proper documents.
Legislations to limit visit visas to immediate family, especially for women travelling alone to Gulf countries, will be soon ensured, said Indian Overseas Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi.
“A law that allows officials, especially in cases of women travelling alone, to check visit visas and ensure proper sponsorship – husband, siblings or parents – will be incorporated soon,” Mr Ravi told DT.
He said the necessary directives would be given to the Director of Immigrations and Home Ministry officials in India at the earliest.
He said he hoped that foreign governments would also adopt strict rules on issuing visit visas to single women.
He said that he was ‘convinced’ that many manpower agents and private sector companies in India are resorting to this illegal way to fly housemaids to Gulf countries.
“These women bypass the set rules for domestic workers to travel abroad, which includes guarantee money and attestation of work visas at the respective embassies,” said Mr Ravi. “They fail to realise that these rules ensure that they don’t fall into traps of illegal agents. They instead are attracted to the false promises.”
Mr Ravi added that many women end up in jail once their visas expire and the ‘agents’ vanish.
The Indian minister said that police has been advised to be vigilant over illegal recruitment agents and added that some have been arrested in Mumbai following complaints raised from people in Bahrain during his last visit to the Kingdom.
“But it is unfortunate that these culprits easily get away, thanks to the support of the influential political leaders of our country and the complications of its democratic system,” he said.
Mr Ravi urged all those who are taking up a job abroad to follow stipulated rules, which he said ‘will save one from being mistreated and spare their families of anxiety and agony’.