Malaysian Insight: Application process for foreign workers reduced by 46%

HOME Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail today announced that the government has decided to reduce the duration for the application of foreign workers recruitment from 29 months and 13 days to 15 months and 23 days.

This decision was reached during a meeting between the Home Ministry and Human Resources Ministry, aimed at devising a more effective formula for managing foreign workers.

“It is a significant reduction of up to 46%. The reduction includes the payment period for payment of levy from 30 to 15 days because, from our observation, 77% of employers pay the levy within 15 days, so why do we need the 30 days? Therefore, we shortened it to 15 days.

“The process of foreign workers recruitment goes through several stages, starting from approval, application for quota, interview by agencies until they arrive at the entry point of the country,” he said during a press conference after the meeting which was also attended by Human Resource Minister Steven Sim.

However, it will only take effect after a new decision is made by the government on the new quota for recruitment of foreign workers which has been frozen since March 17, 2023.

Saifuddin mentioned that the meeting also agreed to revisit or review all memoranda of understanding with 15 source countries regarding the hiring and recruitment of foreign workers. This includes considerations for fees, costs, contracts, and health screening.

He said that Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Nepal are the top three countries providing the highest number of foreign workers to Malaysia. Currently, the number of workers in the service, construction, and manufacturing sectors is deemed sufficient.

“There is only a deficit and high demand in the agriculture and plantation sectors,” he said.

Other source countries include Thailand, Cambodia, India, Myanmar and the Philippines.

Saifuddin added that the meeting also agreed to resume the recalibration programme to send home foreign workers who have overstayed here to their respective countries of origin, subject to the approval of the cabinet.

“The move to introduce the recalibration programme again was following feedback received from embassies of source countries. They have suggested that those who have overstayed, be allowed to be sent home by introducing the recalibration programme again,” he said.– Bernama, January 16, 2024.

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