PETALING JAYA: The visa-processing fee for Indonesian workers headed to Malaysia has seen a steep hike – from RM15 to RM250 – and angry employment agency operators have threatened to stop sending workers here.
Asosiasi Perusahaan Jasa Tenaga Kerja Indonesia (Apjati), which represents over 500 agencies, has written to the Indonesian Parliament and the country’s Human Resources and Foreign ministries, calling for an immediate halt to the sending of workers to Malaysia.
The steep increase of RM230 in the processing fee for the Entry Visa was imposed last month after the service was outsourced by Malaysian authorities to a private company
The processing of the Visa with Reference (VDR) or “calling visa” was also outsourced to a private company, using a system called the Foreign Workers Centralised Management System (FWCMS).
The process for Indonesian workers entering Malaysia begins with an application for the VDR, after which, the Entry Visa is issued.
“We strongly reject the increase in fees. It is an exploitation of our citizens. Such an increase must be done through an agreement between both governments.
“The complaints are not only from workers groups but also from agents sending students to Malaysia,” he said.
However, Zahrain felt the fees were fair as the company had its own costs to cover.
“The company conducts background checks on those applying for visas and sends the information to the Immigration Department which then approves the visa.
“Previously, we have had problems with false documents. This company is now taking care of this problem,” he said.
He added that other countries such as the United States had also raised their visa charges.