Immigration services at Malaysia’s entry points will be back to their pre-pandemic strength in anticipation of large crowds of travellers as the country reopens its borders on April 1.
Aside from having to handle travellers entering and leaving the country, the Immigration Department is also gearing up for the expected influx of applications for foreign workers.
Its director-general Khairul Dzaimee Daud said that counters at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, KLIA2, and the Causeway and Second Link in Johor, will operate on a 24-hour basis beginning April 1.
“While we will see to it that all immigration protocols are adhered to by travellers, we also want to ensure the process of entering Malaysia is smooth and efficient,” he said when contacted.
Khairul Dzaimee said that with all auto gates operational at KLIA, KLIA2, the Causeway and Second Link, counters will be at 50% capacity, which he said would be sufficient to handle the numbers.
Travellers from countries requiring a visa to enter Malaysia would have to present the document upon arrival, their return ticket, pre-booked accommodations as well as proof of sufficient funds to finance their stay here.
“We are working closely with the Health Ministry to ensure health protocols are followed. Their system is linked to our MyImms and we will know if those entering Malaysia have been fully vaccinated or otherwise,” he added.
Khairul Dzaimee said that between March 1 and 28, a total of 84,915 international passports were issued, showing a strong indication that Malaysians are eager to travel after being unable to do so since the start of the pandemic in 2020.
“We expect the number of passport applications to increase after Hari Raya Aidilfitri when many more countries open their borders,” he added.
On the possible influx of foreign workers, Khairul Dzaimee said his department would have no problem coping with a surge in applications for work permits as all transactions, including levy payments, would be done online.
“Long queues at immigration offices are a thing of the past. Employers only need to be present to collect work permits,” he said.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said the police force is also ready for the reopening of borders.
“As with other agencies, we have made ample preparations especially at the northern and southern borders in Peninsular Malaysia as well as Sabah and Sarawak,” he told reporters at the Defence Services Asia and National Security Asia 2022 exhibitions on March 29.
THE STAR (MALAYSIA)/ASIA NEWS NETWORK