KOTA KINABALU: Illegal foreign workers in Sabah will have the opportunity to legalise their stay under the state’s rehiring programme starting today.
Sabah Immigration Department director Musa Sulaiman said the programme, which lasts six months, is part of the state’s initiative to overcome the worker shortage in the agricultural, construction, manufacturing and service sectors.
It’s only open to Filipino and Indonesian nationals without any criminal record, he added.
“The move will also enable the authorities to determine the number of illegal immigrants in the state,” he said in a statement yesterday.
The programme, he added, will be implemented in a controlled manner to prevent fraud and unscrupulous people from taking advantage of illegal immigrants.
“Strict conditions will be imposed on immigrants and employers in the rehiring programme,” said Musa.
Among the conditions, immigrants must have a proper record of early admission into the country.
Those whose visit pass for temporary employment has lapsed but are still working with the same or a new employer and those who have overstayed their social visit pass and are working with an employer qualify for the programme.
Sabah, which has autonomy over immigration matters, will carry out the programme in line with the federal authorities’ move to allow employers to register their illegal workers with an E-kad (enforcement card) from today until June 30.
The card will be valid until Feb 15, 2018.
The state government has appointed Syarikat Inti Padu Technology Sdn Bhd to carry out the registration programme for employment and resettlement of illegal immigrants in Sabah.
For details, contact the department’s Foreign Workers Division at 088-488 486/488 775 and Syarikat Inti Padu Technology at 088-201 418/201 419.