Centre Cautions Foreign Job Seekers
NEW DELHI: The government cautioned foreign job aspirants to use the services of registered Recruiting Agents (RAs) to avoid falling victim to scams. The advisory comes in response to a significant increase in overseas job seekers being deceived by unregistered agents, who provide fake job offers and overcharge applicants by amounts ranging from Rs 2-5 lakh.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that unregistered or illegal agents operate without the necessary licence from the ministry, a mandatory requirement for recruiting workers for employment abroad. These unauthorised agents often operate through platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, and text messages, making it challenging to verify their location and authenticity. They also entice workers to accept jobs in challenging and life-threatening conditions.
The MEA highlighted that registered RAs display a prominently issued licence number in their office premises and advertisements, providing a means for prospective emigrants to verify their legitimacy on the government website www.emigrate.gov.in under the 'List of active RA' link. Legitimate job offers are accompanied by an Employment Contract signed by the foreign employer, recruitment agent, and the emigrant worker, outlining job terms, conditions, salary, and other benefits. Valid job offers should allow emigration based on an employment or work visa, excluding tourist visas, which should be reserved for tourism purposes only.
The ministry warned unregistered agencies against engaging in overseas recruitment activities, emphasising that such actions violate the Emigration Act of 1983 and amount to human trafficking, a punishable criminal offence. Emigrant workers were advised to familiarise themselves with local conditions in the destination country, obtain information from Pre-Departure Orientation Training (PDOT) Centers, or consult the Community Welfare Wing of the relevant Indian Embassy.
The government also mandated registered recruitment agents to purchase Pravasi Bharatiya Bima Yojana (PBBY) for migrant workers, providing benefits such as Rs 10 lakh sum assured in cases of death or work-related injury, along with medical expense coverage. Additionally, the Emigration Act of 1983 stipulates that recruiting agents cannot charge prospective emigrants more than Rs 30,000 + GST (18%) for their services and must issue a receipt for the amount collected.
The MEA concluded by cautioning against alternative recruitment channels, emphasising the serious risks involved, including the potential loss of money, failure to secure promised jobs, and challenging living conditions abroad.