With over 55% of households having labour migrants and over 25% of the GDP attributable to migrants’ remittance, migration plays an important role in economic development of Nepal but also in overall wellbeing of the Nepali households. While there have been considerable studies on the impact of migration both from social and economic perspectives, little is known about how migrants and their households make decisions to migrate. Moreover, there is limited research on how crisis in destination countries affect migration decision-making among migrants and their left-behind household members. Taking the example of the current COVID-19 crisis, this article discusses the context within which people are taking migration decisions and how the experiences of crisis affects decision-making about pursuing foreign employment for people who have previous migration experience. This article discusses the experience of migrants’ wives during the pandemic in relation to their husband’s migration, alternative livelihood experience of migrants (returnees, those on a holiday and aspiring migrants) in the home country, impacts of COVID-19 ban on aspiring migrants, and aspiring migrants and their wives’ perspectives towards future foreign employment. The article argues that given a high interest amongst the returnees and their spouses to work in Nepal, current employment programmes brought forward by the government should take the opportunity as a way of retaining the human resources in Nepal.
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