PETALING JAYA: The Immigration Department’s move to go fully electronic in the application for foreign worker visa and health status clearances has been hailed as a move in the right direction.
Malaysian National Association of Employment Agencies (Pikap) president Datuk Raja Zulkepley Dahalan said the Foreign Workers Centralised Management System (FWCMS) would greatly improve efficiency in visa application for foreign workers.
“Everything is being done online so there is no middlemen or hidden charges. The visa application will also be done faster.
“For example, it used to take between one and two months in the past but the process is much faster under the new system,” Raja Zulkepley said.
The full use of the FWCMS began on June 15.
Raja Zulkepley said health screenings done through FWCMS were transparent and prevented abuse.
“It can eliminate elements of fraud and ensure that foreign workers who come to Malaysia are not suffering from diseases.
“The FWCMS will greatly help the foreign worker recruitment industry,” he said, adding that faster and more efficient visa processes would increase Malaysia’s appeal to foreign workers.
However, Raja Zulkepley hoped that the rights of workers would be protected despite the use of the online system.
“The welfare of the workers should be a priority as well,” he said.
Raja Zulkepley said Pikap would organise a meeting for Bestinet Sdn Bhd, the company behind the FWCMS, to brief its members next week.
Overseas Assurance Corporation (Malaysia) Berhad chief distribution officer Kevin Choong said the FWCMS was a good system and convenient for all parties involved.
“The online system is transparent and makes it easier for everyone to use when it comes to dealing with foreign workers.
“It is convenient, especially for insurance companies,” said Choong, who is also the General Insurance Association of Malaysia (PIAM) deputy convenor.
Immigration Department director-general Datuk Mustafa Ibrahim said the FWCMS would rely on the capture of biometric data when the workers undergo health screenings.
Foreign workers will be required to go through health screenings at registered clinics equipped with the BioMedical system to weed out incidences of fraud.
Mustafa said with the implementation of the new system, Immigration counters would no longer accept manual applications.
“Manual counters will remain open during the transition period for 15 days before they are closed from July 1,” he said.
He said the use of eVDR (visa with reference) would be compulsory for foreign worker visa applications, including the purchase of insurance policies for them, adding that no additional service charges would be imposed under the new system.
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