PUTRAJAYA: Acknowledging that there has been a delay in the renewal of work permits for foreign workers (PLKS), the Immigration Department has pledged to clear the backlog that involves the issuance of some 200,000 permit stickers within three months.
Its director-general Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud said a task force has been set up to expedite the process.
He said that due to the movement control order, the limited number of staffers at the office resulted in the delay.
“Also, the number of employers allowed to come and collect the renewed permits at Immigration counters had to be restricted in compliance with the standard operating procedure.
“This is also one of the reasons why employers could not get the new stickers on time.
“There is a slight delay, but we are addressing the problem. We have around three months of backlog in renewal applications due to the MCO.
“The task force has started clearing the backlog and we expect the matter to be resolved by October,” he said when contacted.
Backlog cases are mostly in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Negri Sembilan.
These states are still under Phase One of the National Recovery Plan where movement is severely restricted.
Employers are claiming that they have yet to receive PLKS stickers despite having paid to renew their foreign workers’ permits.
They are also worried that the authorities would take action against them and their workers for expired work permits during enforcement checks.
Khairul Dzaimee said the task force needs around three months to clear the backlog as the number of staffers at Immigration offices is still limited.
“But they will be working during weekends to process and clear the applications,” he added.
He also said employers can apply for work permit renewals online via the e-PLKS system instead of submitting applications via the counters.
The processing and issuance of PLKS is also done by MyEG, which is the vendor appointed by the government.
Once Immigration approves the renewal applications, the company will send the permit stickers to employers.
On enforcement activities, Khairul Dzaimee said no action will be taken against employers who have applied for renewal of work permits for their foreign workers.
“When they apply for the renewal, a slip will be issued. This will be used as a verification document,” he added.