PUTRAJAYA: The immigration department has never appointed any agent or middleman to arrange for the temporary card application process or Enforcement Card (E-Card) for illegal immigrants.
Immigration director-general Mustafar Ali said employers should apply for the card for their employees. The card can be applied for free starting from tomorrow (Feb 15) until June 30.
He said that registration could be done at all immigration offices in Peninsular Malaysia only.
“Employers should take their employees for the biometric registration process to ensure that the illegal immigrants registered have no criminal records, have passed health checks and are from permitted source countries .
“This offer is only valid until the prescribed period and it is hoped the employer applies as early as possible and not at the last minute, because the immigration department will not extend the period of application after the expiry date on June 30,” he said at a press conference at his office here yesterday.
According to Mustafar, the department will not hesitate to expel illegal immigrants and take legal action against employers who have failed to register them, including the freezing of assets and accounts.
Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on Jan 17 was reported to have said the Home Ministry had obtained the consent of the attorney-general to issue temporary cards to illegal immigrants who are employed.
“After the announcement was made, there are unscrupulous people taking advantage by charging illegal immigrants up to RM7,000 to get a card,” said Mustafar.
Subsequently, Mustafar said police recently detained three individuals suspected of being involved in producing fake cards and taking money from illegal immigrants for an E-card application process.
He said that the E-Card issued by the immigration department has security features such as biometrics, the registration number and the company name, the bar code and signature of the director-general of immigration and that of the inspector-general of police.
To a question, he said that E-Cards are only valid until Feb 15 next year and in that period, immigrants and employers must obtain a passport and travel documents from their respective embassies.
“We are targeting about one million immigrants to register under this programme which is open only to those who have employers belonging to the construction, agriculture, services, manufacturing and farming sectors,” he said.
For illegal immigrants who overstay, Mustafar said employers and foreign employees could register for the E-Card programme but would be fined a minimum of RM500 for employer and RM300 for each worker.
Employers found employing illegal immigrants not registered would be fined not less than RM10,000 and not more than RM50,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 12 months or both under Section 55 (B) of the Immigration Act 1959/63, he added. FMT