As an increasing number of Sri Lankans are arriving in Malaysia under visit visas with the belief that these visas could be converted to working visas, Malaysian Immigration Authorities are taking stringent measures to scrutinize visit visa holders, the National Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force says.
According to the Task Force, approximately, 20 Sri Lankans per week, who have been denied entry by the local authorities, are reportedly being deported directly from the airport, back to Sri Lanka.
Many managed to get entry endorsed into Malaysia on a visit visa, have later found out that they have been duped by ‘job agents’ and will be forced to work in harsh inhumane conditions with little pay and no labour rights, and thus become victims of human trafficking, the Task Force said in a statement.
It was further reported that the amnesty period granted for illegal immigrants to exit from Malaysia ended on June 30, 2022. Malaysian law enforcement agencies are now engaged in continuous raids to apprehend foreigners without valid visas.
When apprehended, persons without valid visas will have to serve time in prison and upon being released they will be detained at a designated detention centre, until such time that the arrangements are made to deport them at their own cost.
Therefore, the National Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force of Sri Lanka has advised the Sri Lankan citizens that ‘visit visas to Malaysia cannot be converted into work visa upon arrival’ and urged Sri Lankans who are seeking employment abroad to do so via legitimate and authentic avenues.
The Task Force earnestly requested the general public to verify such opportunities received by them with the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) prior to proceeding ahead with those.
All prospective migrants are accordingly advised to use proper channels and register with the SLBFE before departing Sri Lanka. – ada derana