Government shortens foreign worker recruitment process to 15 months and 23 days

PUTRAJAYA, Jan 16: The government has decided to reduce the duration for application of foreign workers recruitment from 29 months and 13 days to 15 months and 23 days said Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail today.

Saifuddin said the decision was made during a meeting between the Home Ministry and Human Resources Ministry, aimed to draw up a more effective formula for managing foreign workers, today.

“It is a significant reduction of up to 46 percent. The reduction includes the payment period for payment of levy from 30 to 15 days because from our observation, 77 percent of employers pay the levy within 15 days, so why do we need the 30 days. Therefore, we shortened it to 15 days.

“The process of foreign workers recruitment goes through a number of stages, starting from approval, application for quota, interview by agencies until their arrival at the entry point of the country,” he said during a press conference after the meeting which was also attended by Human Resource minister Steven Sim.

However, the decision will only take effect after a new decision is made by the government on the new quota for recruitment of foreign workers which has been frozen since March 17, 2023.

Saifuddin said the meeting also agreed to revisit or review all Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with 15 source countries on the hiring and recruitment of foreign workers, including fees, cost, contract and health screening.

He said Bangladesh, Indonesia and Nepal are the three countries that provide the highest number of foreign workers to Malaysia and so far, the number of workers in the service, construction and manufacturing sectors are sufficient.

“There is only a deficit and high demand in the agriculture and plantation sectors,” he said.

Other source countries include Thailand, Cambodia, India, Myanmar and the Philippines. 

Saifuddin added that the meeting also agreed to resume the Recalibration Programme to send home foreign workers who have overstayed here to their respective countries of origin, subject to the approval of the cabinet.

“The move to introduce the recalibration programme again was following feedback received from embassies of source countries. They have suggested that those who have overstayed, be given an opportunity to be sent home by introducing the recalibration programme again,” he said.