Don’t fall prey to fake employment offers: MEA to job seekers abroad

New Delhi:  The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday called upon Indians seeking employment abroad to not fall prey to fake job offers and urged them to use safe and legal services of registered recruiting agents.

In an advisory, the MEA also warned all unregistered agencies promising jobs abroad not to involve in overseas recruitment saying such activities are in violation of Emigration Act 1983 and amount to human trafficking, which is a punishable criminal offence.

It has been noticed that there has been a huge rise in the number of overseas job seekers being cheated by unregistered recruitment agents by fake job offers and also overcharging to the tune of Rs 2 to 5 lakh, it said.

The MEA said these unregistered and illegal agents operate without obtaining a licence from the ministry which is mandatory for any recruitment abroad.

“It is reported that many illegal agents operate through Facebook, WhatsApp, text message and other such mediums. These agencies provide little or no details of their whereabouts and contacts,” it said.

“They usually communicate only through WhatsApp, making it difficult to ascertain the location and identity of the caller and genuineness of the job offer,” it added in the advisory.

The MEA also cautioned that such agents lure workers to work in difficult and life threatening conditions and that such cases are being reported for recruitment to work in several East European countries, some of the Gulf countries, Central Asian countries, Israel, Canada, Myanmar and Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

A valid job offer comes along with an employment contract duly signed by foreign employer, recruitment agent and the emigrant worker, the MEA said.

It said the employment contract must mention terms and conditions of the job being offered and the salary and other emoluments, adding valid job offers must allow the workers to emigrate on strength of employment or work visa or other similar visa except tourist visa.

Normally, reputed foreign employers provide for the cost of airfare, boarding and lodging and insurance cover, it mentioned.

The MEA urged people seeking jobs abroad to use the safe and legal services of registered recruiting agents (RA) only.

“All registered RAs are issued a license number which is prominently displayed in their office premises and in their advertisements, including newspapers and social media,” it said.

The MEA said prospective emigrants should cross check the genuineness of the RA by visiting the government website and click the link “List of active RA”.

According to the Emigration Act 1983, no recruiting agent shall collect from the prospective emigrant the service charges more than Rs 30,000 plus GST (18%), and the recruiting agent shall issue a receipt to the emigrant for the amount collected by it in this regard.

“Going abroad through any other channel of recruitment involves serious risk of being defrauded of money, not landing in the promised job and difficult living conditions abroad,” the MEA said in the advisory.

“All unregistered agencies are being warned not to involve in overseas recruitment activities. Such activities are in violation of Emigration Act 1983 and amount to human trafficking, which is a punishable criminal offence,” it said.