Simplify calling visa procedures

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National papers recently covered the impending changes at the Immigration Department to make it efficient and customer-friendly towards both employers and workers alike.

I greatly welcome that move, as at the moment there is a lot of unnecessary bureaucracy which adds no value to the process and increases the cost for both government and employers alike.

As an illustration, take the process of applying for permission to hire foreign professional staff. It is divided into two distinct but similar processes which are superfluous and wasteful. Firstly, one has to submit an application to one department by filling up all sorts of forms, copies of resumes and numerous corporate documents ( for each and every application).

Once the approval has been obtained, the same process needs to be repeated for another department to obtain what is called a 'calling visa' which will enable the foreign professional staff to go to the Malaysian embassy or high commission in their respective country to get approval.

Once these foreigners have entered Malaysia, their passports have to be taken again to the department to be stamped.

I suggest the following to the Immigration Department to simplify and reduce the inefficiency.

After the application for the foreign professional staff has been approved by the first department, the same applications forms are passed over to the department approving the 'calling visa'.

And when the foreign staff enters Malaysia via KLIA or any other major entry point, their passport is immediately stamped with required stamp so that another trip to the department is no longer needed.

Additionally, the processing and checking can be done at the Malaysian embassy or high commission at country of origin. Other more advanced countries already practice this, why can't we?

Lastly, kindly do away with the need to repeatedly file company corporate documents for each and every professional foreign staff visa application. Surely once submitted, the acknowledgement given can be used, for say a period of one year?

To better serve, duplication, waste, inefficiency, superfluous procedures and red tape at the Immigration Department must be drastically reduced. They do not help in anyway and crucially affect the otherwise smooth running of businesses.

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