Process for companies to hire professional expats to be shortened to 20 days, says Rafizi

PUTRAJAYA: The process for companies seeking to hire professional expatriates will be shortened from about three months to about 20 days, says Rafizi Ramli.

The Economy Minister said this would be made possible through a "single window approach" to be implemented from June 15.

"The single window approach will be implemented in two weeks time and will be done in stages," he said at a press conference after chairing the Special Task Force To Facilitate Business (Pemudah) on Wednesday. (May 31).

He said system, to be known as the "Xpats Gateway", would be managed by TalentCorp Malaysia.

Currently, Razifi said that the application and approval process to hire professional expatriates could take as long as 80 days to complete depending on the sector involved.

"There are about 11 separate agencies handling applications for visas for professionals. This was one of the grouses raised by the industries as it was very confusing for them," he said.

Under the new system, he said that visa application and approval will be shortened to five days from the estimated 30 days.

Also shortened, he said, was the requirement for companies to first advertise job vacancies to locals from 30 days to 14 days.

He said the companies would be allowed to apply for foreign professional expatriates if the posts advertised were not taken up by locals.

He said the new system would be able to shorten the entire application process and approval process to about 22 days compared to the current 80 days.

Rafizi said the second phase of the single window approach would be expanded to cover visa applications and approvals managed by Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) and the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA).

He said both the agencies would migrate their current system to the new single window system by Aug 15.

At present, he said that about 5,000 applications for visas for professionals were made by the digital sector each month, not including applications from the other industries.

Meanwhile, Rafizi said that the government would also be introducing a pilot project in about a month's time involving contracts awarded to cleaning companies.

He said the new system would do away with the current approach which was based on 'head-count'.

He said the current system resulted in the dependence of foreign workers.

Under the new approach, cleaning companies would be hired based on their performance rather than the number of workers they had.

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