Over 11.7 million Pakistanis working in more than 50 countries

Karachi, August 03, 2022: More than 11.7 million Pakistanis have proceeded abroad for employment to over 50 countries through official procedures as of December 2021, contributing in the development of economy of Pakistan by sending remittances, which is the second largest source of foreign exchange after the exports.

The migration of Pakistani workers is mostly concentrated to Gulf Cooperation Council countries (96 percent) with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates hosting the majority.

During 2021, Bureau of Emigration & Overseas Employment (BE&OE) has registered 286,648 workers for overseas employment, showing an increase of 27.6 percent as compared to the last year.

Saudi Arabia (54 percent), Oman (13.4 percent) and Qatar (13.2 percent) are the main destinations for unskilled migrant workers from Pakistan in 2021. Overall increasing trend was observed in terms of emigrants registered in 2021 as compared to 2020.

During 2021, the highest number of workers went abroad were156, 877 from Punjab, followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 76,213.

Ministry of Overseas Pakistani & Human Resource Development (M/o OP&HRD) has taken the following steps to boost the manpower export and to ensure regular emigration:

1.      Draft “National Emigration and Welfare Policy for Overseas Pakistanis” has been developed and is at final stages of approval.

2.      M/o OP&HRD has signed bilateral agreements/MoUs with destination countries. In this regard, a bilateral Agreement/MoU on manpower export was signed with Saudi Arabia in 2021. BE&OE is actively pursuing the matter of signing the bilateral MoUs on manpower export with other potential countries too.

3.      BE&OE prepared Country Specific Strategies on Saudi Arabia, UAE & Malaysia, suggesting the responsibilities of each relevant stakeholder in boosting Manpower Export to these countries.


1.      BE&OE developed a comprehensive reintegration strategy for returned migrant workers to accommodate them in local and international markets.

2.      BE&OE is actively working to explore job opportunities for Pakistani workers in nontraditional countries. In this regard, a comprehensive diversification strategy has been developed for top five priority countries i.e. Saudi Arabia, UAE, Malaysia, Qatar & Oman along with other five potential/non-traditional countries such as Kuwait, South Korea, Japan, Germany and China to promote the export of manpower to these countries.

3.      The Cooperation Agreement between OEC and the Ministry of Health, Kuwait for supply of medical professionals, initially signed in 2020 for the one year has been renewed till 3rd July, 2023. Total of 1,943 medical professionals have so far proceeded to Kuwait for employment since October, 2020. Further recruitment is under process.

4.      Ministry of Health Saudi Arabia has resumed its operation for taking manpower in the medical field from Pakistan after the pandemic. Two delegations have visited Pakistan in November- December 2021 for recruitment of medical professionals (Doctors, Nurses) in different specialties. Selection of 105 doctors and 103 Nurses has been received from M/o Health Saudi Arabia.

5.      The workers were demanded by M/s. Fiki-Bal, a construction company in Nigeria.

6.      In order to empower the Pakistani skilled workers to obtain jobs in Japan, OEC is going to start Japanese language classes for the potential candidates from Feb 2022. Two Japanese language instructors have been hired for the purpose.

7.      OEC convenes Korean language training for those persons who are interested to go to Korea for employment purpose and 799 persons have obtained Korean language training.

8.      Total of 1632 persons have proceeded abroad for employment purpose through OEC during 2021. Regional Comparison of Manpower Export The COVID-19 pandemic hampered the manpower export not only from Pakistan but other regional countries as well. A total of 286,648 emigrants were registered for overseas employment from Pakistan in 2021 as compared to 224,705 registered in 2020 which shows an increase of 61,943 emigrants. Similarly, India and Bangladesh witnessed an increase of 38,528 and 399,540, respectively, in terms of emigrants registered for overseas employment during 2021 as compared to 2020 upon normalization of post COVID-19 situation in 2021.

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