Special counters open at KLIA to facilitate exit of illegal immigrants

Exit strategy: Special counters at KLIA in Sepang are open 24 hours to enable illegal immigrants to leave Malaysia under the repatriation recalibration programme. — Bernama

SEPANG: Special counters are now available at KLIA so that illegal immigrants wanting to leave the country under the repatriation recalibration programme can complete their exit process quickly.

With a swab test result that is valid for 72 hours, a one-way ticket back to their home country, as well as a valid travel document, an illegal immigrant can get the exit process sorted out at these counters at least six hours before they are to leave the country.

They need not schedule an appointment to seek services at the counter, where they need to pay a compound of RM500.

Immigration director-general Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud said this was a new initiative by the department to facilitate those who are taking the option to return to their homeland.

“The counter service is available 24 hours and is a game changer to boost the department’s efficiency in implementing the programme.

“We believe that with the government’s decision to extend the programme until Dec 31 and having such a facility in place, more undocumented foreigners will take the opportunity to leave the country,” he said after accompanying Deputy Home Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Mohamed Said, who visited the facility yesterday.

On June 23, the Cabinet agreed to extend the repatriation and labour recalibration programmes until Dec 31.

The plan is for a similar service to be expanded to include KLIA2 and other exit points.

Since December last year, 248,083 illegal immigrants had participated in the programmes, of which 98,194 undocumented foreigners had signed up to return home.

To date, immigration authorities have registered 149,889 illegal immigrants involving 6,822 employers for the labour recalibration programme.

“We have initially set a target of 250,000 illegal immigrants to take part in the two programmes, but now, we believe the number can be up to 30,000 more now that the initiative has been extended to the end of the year,” said Khairul Dzaimee.

Last November, the government announced the labour recalibration plan to allow employers in the construction, manufacturing, plantation and agriculture sectors to legally employ undocumented foreigners.

The facility was later extended to employers in the sub-sectors of the service industry – restaurants, cargo, wholesale and retail, and cleaning services.

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