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Immigration dept to maintain all entry protocols for Chinese and Indian tourists despite Visa Liberalisation Plan commencement

Publish date: Fri, 01 Dec 2023, 01:10 PM

SEPANG: The Immigration Department remains steadfast in upholding stringent entry procedures for foreign tourists from China and India, in strict adherence to the Visa Liberalisation Plan that commenced today.

Its director-general Datuk Ruslin Jusoh denied expectations that the visa liberalisation plan would make entry procedures easy, emphasising that all requirements and standard operating procedures (SOP) will be maintained.

"Many believe that the visa liberalisation plan would make entry procedures easy, however, the regulations at immigration remain unchanged.

"The check-in process is also important, by the airline operators, where they need to ensure that the tourists entering Malaysia have return ticket and hotel reservations throughout their stay in Malaysia.

"We will also require mandatory data entry under the Malaysia Digital Arrival Card (MDAC), and the system will also be integrated with the main immigration system," he said at a press conference following the immigration department's operation at Kuala Lumpur International Airport Terminal 1, here, today.

Ruslin said the special task force to monitor the departure of tourists from China and India consists of 25 officers from headquarters and state directors.

He said this is to guarantee that tourists are in Malaysia within the validity period of their visas.

"If the visa only allows 30 days, they must leave the country after that.

"The special task will also monitor the visitors on a monthly basis, no later than every 14 days to report how many of them have left the country.

"The Immigration Department will safeguard security by conducting patrolling activities at hotspot areas among foreigners - not only targeting foreign workers but also employers who employ or harbour illegal immigrants," he said.

He assured that by next year, enforcement efforts would double in line with immigration's role in enforcing entry control.

Meanwhile, he added that from Jan 1 to Nov 15, the entry of foreigners into Malaysia was up to 26,004,906.

"However, the immigration department expects an increase in tourists entry between 10 and 15 per cent starting next year," he said.

Singapore leads the list with 12,645,364 visitors, followed by Indonesia (3,166,295), Thailand (2,073,162), China (1,407,471), Brunei (904,841), and India (780,532).

On Monday, Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail announced that the implementation of the visa liberalisation plan from Dec 1 will be strengthened with integrated security and enforcement measures among the relevant agencies to curb the influx of foreigners and illegal immigrants.

He said the Immigration Department will establish a special task force to monitor the departure of tourists from China and India, to be conducted on the last date of the 30-day permissible stay period in Malaysia.

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