Ministry of Defence said the National Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force under the ministry has noted that 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.
Due to such arrivals, Malaysian Immigration Authorities are taking stringent measures to scrutinise visit visa holders.
About 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, the Ministry of Defence said in a media release.
Many persons that managed to get the entry endorsed into Malaysia on a visit visa, have later found out that they have been duped by ‘job agents’ and they will be forced to work in harsh inhumane conditions with little pay and no labour rights and thus become victims of human trafficking.
It was further reported that the amnesty period granted for illegal immigrants to exit from Malaysia ended on 30 June. 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 the 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 advises the citizens of Sri Lanka that ‘visit visas to Malaysia cannot be converted into work visa upon arrival’ and urges Sri Lankans who are seeking employment abroad to do so via legitimate and authentic avenues.
The Task Force earnestly requests you to please verify such opportunities received by you with the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) prior to proceeding ahead with those.
All prospective migrants are hereby advised to use proper channels and register with the SLBFE before departing Sri Lanka.