‘Work Permit A Must For Foreigners To Be Hired’

KUCHING: Foreigners entering Sarawak on social visit passes are not allowed to be employed or perform work, says Sarawak Immigration Department director Ken Leben.

They can only be hired if they have obtained work permit before entering the state, he clarified.

Ken made this clarification in view of the practice of local employers hiring foreigners on social visit pass to see if they could perform work before applying for work permits for them.

When the employers bring in their workers who are not locals, they will be given a social visit pass. But some employers they just want to ‘test these workers’ to see how they fare in doing their job.

By right, for working permits, they have to apply when they are still in their own country. No foreign workers can come in first, then apply for working permits. When they are issued with social visit pass, it is not a licence for them to work, that’s why many arrests are made during operations conducted by the Immigration Department, he said.

He was commenting on the operations conducted by Department of Labour recently on food outlets in the city, where many foreign workers were found to have only the social visit pass issued by the Immigration Department but not work permit issued by the Labour Department.

Ken was met after officiating at the Hari Raya Aidiladha event organised by Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) in Petra Jaya and the Immigration Department yesterday.

Among those attending the event were Sarawak Immigration Department deputy director Hamfatullah Syawal Hamdan and Petra Jaya Bomba deputy chief Wan Umar Wan Alek.

Commenting further, Ken said the Immigration Department conducted operations on a daily basis covering all sectors throughout the state.

We are very mindful and vigilant on that now (on working permits and abuse of social visit passes). To the public, be a whistleblower to us so that we know the whereabouts of the illegal workers in the state, he said.

He added the Immigration Department and Department of Labour are two separate entities with their own roles to play.

There is a committee that decides on bringing the foreign workers coming to work in Sarawak. Usually, for foreign workers, when they arrive at any of the entry points, the immigration officers will issue them with a social visit pass for the duration of 30 days.

Some of their employers or the foreign workers have the perception that while waiting for the Department of Labour’s approval of their working permit application, they think it is ‘ok’ to start work using the social visit passthat is not right and that is abusing the social visit pass.

We usually ask the employers or the foreign workers (when they apply for social visit passes at the Immigration Department), if they have submitted their application to the Department of Labour, when we know that they are going to work here. They would say ‘yes and yet to be approved’. While we don’t want them to overstay, we issue them with the temporary pass first. Any abuse of the pass is subjected to law and order of the state or country, explained Ken.

He added that foreigners coming in to this country must be issued with a social visit pass and if they intend to work in Sarawak they must have the work permit.

That is the prerequisite for foreigners coming to Sarawak and the work permits are to be arranged by employers with the Department of Labour Sarawak, he said.

Meanwhile, on illegal immigrants, he said they had made 1,112 arrests this year from various sectors throughout the state.

Four most common offences committed are abusing the social visit pass, the pass has expired, supposed to work in a designated place but working elsewhere, and totally no pass at all, he said.

Source: SARAWAK GOVERNMENT

‘Work Permit A Must For Foreigners To Be Hired’

KUCHING: Foreigners entering Sarawak on social visit passes are not allowed to be employed or perform work, says Sarawak Immigration Department director Ken Leben.

They can only be hired if they have obtained work permit before entering the state, he clarified.

Ken made this clarification in view of the practice of local employers hiring foreigners on social visit pass to see if they could perform work before applying for work permits for them.

When the employers bring in their workers who are not locals, they will be given a social visit pass. But some employers they just want to ‘test these workers’ to see how they fare in doing their job.

By right, for working permits, they have to apply when they are still in their own country. No foreign workers can come in first, then apply for working permits. When they are issued with social visit pass, it is not a licence for them to work, that’s why many arrests are made during operations conducted by the Immigration Department, he said.

He was commenting on the operations conducted by Department of Labour recently on food outlets in the city, where many foreign workers were found to have only the social visit pass issued by the Immigration Department but not work permit issued by the Labour Department.

Ken was met after officiating at the Hari Raya Aidiladha event organised by Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) in Petra Jaya and the Immigration Department yesterday.

Among those attending the event were Sarawak Immigration Department deputy director Hamfatullah Syawal Hamdan and Petra Jaya Bomba deputy chief Wan Umar Wan Alek.

Commenting further, Ken said the Immigration Department conducted operations on a daily basis covering all sectors throughout the state.

We are very mindful and vigilant on that now (on working permits and abuse of social visit passes). To the public, be a whistleblower to us so that we know the whereabouts of the illegal workers in the state, he said.

He added the Immigration Department and Department of Labour are two separate entities with their own roles to play.

There is a committee that decides on bringing the foreign workers coming to work in Sarawak. Usually, for foreign workers, when they arrive at any of the entry points, the immigration officers will issue them with a social visit pass for the duration of 30 days.

Some of their employers or the foreign workers have the perception that while waiting for the Department of Labour’s approval of their working permit application, they think it is ‘ok’ to start work using the social visit passthat is not right and that is abusing the social visit pass.

We usually ask the employers or the foreign workers (when they apply for social visit passes at the Immigration Department), if they have submitted their application to the Department of Labour, when we know that they are going to work here. They would say ‘yes and yet to be approved’. While we don’t want them to overstay, we issue them with the temporary pass first. Any abuse of the pass is subjected to law and order of the state or country, explained Ken.

He added that foreigners coming in to this country must be issued with a social visit pass and if they intend to work in Sarawak they must have the work permit.

That is the prerequisite for foreigners coming to Sarawak and the work permits are to be arranged by employers with the Department of Labour Sarawak, he said.

Meanwhile, on illegal immigrants, he said they had made 1,112 arrests this year from various sectors throughout the state.

Four most common offences committed are abusing the social visit pass, the pass has expired, supposed to work in a designated place but working elsewhere, and totally no pass at all, he said.

Source: SARAWAK GOVERNMENT