Labor migration is when people move from one place to another to find work. It could be for a little while or for a longer time, and sometimes people go for specific seasons. When someone works in a country where they’re not originally from, they’re often called a “migrant worker.” In some places, they’re known as foreign workers or expatriates.
All persons have the right to freedom of movement. However, the right to travel abroad is usually tied to holding a valid passport. According to the Exit from Pakistan (control) ordinance, the Government may, by order, prohibit any person or class of persons from leaving Pakistan for a destination outside Pakistan, although such person owns the valid travel documents.
In most cases, migrants must apply for a visa to enter a different country. To get a visa, migrants must pass various checks (i.e., health) and must meet specific entry criteria depending on the category they belong.
Pakistani people look for work abroad for many reasons. Some want to earn more money, others to put their existing skills to use, or just to live in a different setting.
- Higher salary and remittances (it’s essential to be mindful of any additional expenses, such as living expenses);
- Job opportunities if you find it hard to get a job in Pakistan;
- Work experience gained in the workplace dynamics of a different country;
- Personal growth achieved from various difficulties you’ll encounter abroad;
- Expand your professional network;
- Remittances to provide financial security for your family left behind;
- Increased options for medical care or education for you and your family.
Living and working abroad also involves some costs and life changes. Here are some of the possible challenges that you’ll be faced with while away:
Expensive costs – going to work abroad implies not only recruitment fees but also costs related to passport, visa, Immigration clearance, Medical Examination, insurance;
Dealing with local laws and procedures
Losing or weakening the contact with your family, your friends, and your network. Due to distance, your current relations will most likely be affected and it can be challenging to make new friends;
The family left behind at home could be dependent on your remittances
Leaving behind familiar cultural norms, religious customs, and social support systems;
Potential health problems, including psychological problems such as depression and homesickness.
The illegal recruiter will contact you and offer you a secure and safe way to a job or a guaranteed way to work abroad quickly and avoiding the legal restrictions or barriers.
The following are only a few approaches the illegal recruiters may use:
Leaving the country as a tourist to work abroad – a quicker and cheaper way to obtain visa than a work visa and a work permit. Keep in mind that using tourist visas leaves you vulnerable to labor abuses! Be aware and never accept other forms of visa instead of working visa. This is a violation of the law, and it is a criminal offence in the destination country.
Camouflaged participation in attendance in conferences, religious events, sports competitions, educational tours, pilgrimage, and related events. Stay safe and do not accept any arrangements without a real job order or labor contract. Ask the agency to show the demand letter and power of attorney from the foreign employer.
Take into consideration that irregular immigration to a foreign country is an illegal act, posing severe penalties.
This is either a violation or a substitution of contract, both of which are not allowed and are punished with corresponding sanctions or penalties. If you are affected by any of these, you can immediately report to the authorities or file a complaint.
If the violations are gradual or done in bits or pieces, it is advised that you document these incidents either through your notes or through messages you send out to friends, family, or colleagues. If you report these to the employer or recruitment agencies, do not delete or destroy them. This documentation will substantiate or support your complaints and may serve as your evidence when you claim damages or payments.
Please note that even if the violation is done gradually or in bits or pieces, it does not exempt the culprit or violator from any liability or penalty.
To change employers, you must apply to amend the conditions of your work permit. What you need will depend on the labor market legislation applicable in the destination country.