PUTRAJAYA: In about three weeks, the Immigration Department is ready for online applications from Malaysians who want to hire maids directly.
Immigration director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali said the system is ready to accept online applications beginning Jan 1 and prospective employers are assured that permits will be issued within 16 working days, provided they submit all the necessary documents along with the applications.
“We are anticipating high traffic because we believe that people are eager to use this system which makes the process easier,” he said after attending the department’s monthly gathering yesterday.
The Government announced that it would give employers the choice of hiring domestic helpers directly from nine source countries – Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Cambodia, Laos and India.
Mustafar said employers still have the option of going through agents to obtain maids on their behalf. However, they must be prepared to fork out more, adding that agencies charged between RM12,000 and RM18,000.
“If you do it on your own, it will be at a fraction of the cost, which can be about RM3,000 to RM4,000,” he added.
Mustafar said the department has also decided not to extend the re-hiring programme after Dec 31, and cautioned employers to use the remaining days left to register their workers so that valid work permits can be issued to them.
On another matter, Mustafar said his department is not disregarding the involvement of foreign criminals after it smashed a prostitution syndicate and seized RM13.5mil in cash in Kota Kinabalu.
In another case, Mustafar said several immigration officers at KL International Airport have been arrested as part of investigations into the smuggling of Bangladeshis into Malaysia by syndicates.