Reality Check

For a while now, Bhutan has witnessed an unprecedented migration as thousands of mainly young Bhutanese have been leaving for the foreign shores of Australia, Canada and UK on student visas to be able to earn a degree and earn money.

 The aim for many was to work for extended periods by studying in turns with a partner and for some it may even be to get permanent residency and settle there for good.

This was all possible in the post COVID period when the three countries desperately needed students for their education industry and cheap labour for their economy, and so they flung open their doors and relaxed many rules and restrictions. The students came from all over, including Bhutan.

However, the combination of the post COVID recovery in these countries, rising housing costs, cost of living and migration fears has now lead to a backlash in all three countries against the students.

Now the smiles have turned into frowns and all three foreign governments are working furiously to close the doors or at least make entry much more exclusive.

The changes in these three countries upends the dreams of many young and some middle-aged Bhutanese to work and perhaps even settle there.

However, this was expected as warned by this paper several times over the last one year that the party will not last forever.

This crisis comes just before the 116th National Day and should actually be viewed as an opportunity to develop Bhutan and make it attractive for Bhutanese migrants or students abroad.

As the above shows, there is no short cut to success and something too good to be true, usually is.

We have no option but to rapidly develop our economy by seeking big foreign investments and providing the right environment for investors.

Anything less will not do and it is only we who can help ourselves.

Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.
Albert Einstein

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