PUTRAJAYA – The Immigration Department has reopened the Visit Pass – Temporary Employment (PLKS) counters for foreign workers from today (Jan 23) for a ‘proof of concept’ (POC) period till Feb 28, said its director-general Datuk Mustafa Ibrahim.
During the period, the service would also be available online, he said.
For over the counter renewal of PLKS, employers or directors of companies are required to be present at the counter to submit the applications, not agents or or middlemen, he said.
“If the employers are not able to be present, they will have to apply for the renewal online, we do not want the counters to be swarmed by middlemen,” he told reporters at the Immigration headquarters here, today.
Mustafa said the POC period provides an opportunity for employers or directors of companies to familiarise themselves with the PLKS online process.
“We will review the situation after Feb 28. I hope all concerned will familiarise themselves with PLKS online service and if all goes well, we will decide to run renewal service online entirely,” he said.
It was reported that beginning Jan 5, employers would no longer be able to deal direct with the Immigration department to renew PLKS of foreign workers and renewal can only be made via MyEG’s online system.
The Home Ministry earlier in a statement said renewal of PLKS through MyEG online service would shorten application process to one or two days besides reducing congestion at the Immigration counters.
Mustafa said the PLKS online service was created following various problems faced by employers, which included parking difficulties at the Immigration office, having to take queue numbers as early as at 10 pm the night before, and failure to obtain service even after waiting from 7.30am to 5 pm.
“There were complaints of employers being cheated by agents who disappeared with money and passports of foreign workers. The decision to terminate PLKS renewal over the counter was also to avoid Immigration officers from being defamed,” he said.
He said for employers who do not have Internet access at the office or at home, the service providers would go to their premises to assist with PLKS online registration at no charge.
When asked about the fee of RM38 for each foreign worker, Mustafa said it was a reasonable rate as the service providers gather the documents, enter data and return the documents to the office or home of the employers.
However, he said, the online service introduced since Jan 5 was not well received by various parties who voiced their concerns to Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi at the Immigration department yesterday (Jan 22).
Mustafa said this time, for over the counter PLKS renewal, a biometric identification of employers would be taken to ensure the company was valid and application for the foreign worker was in accordance with regulations.
“Insurance Guarantee is compulsory for every foreign worker. The department will verify insurance purchase via online to speed up approval process,” he said.
In the meantime, Mustafa also announced that renewal of passport during weekend at the Immigration headquarters in Putrajaya will be terminated from Saturday (Jan 24).
“I hope this service termination will not be made an issue. Those who require services of the Immigration Department on Saturday and Sunday may visit the Urban Transformation Centre (UTC) in Pudu, Keramat Mall and Sentul,” he said.- BERNAMA