The immigration department confirmed yesterday that all foreigners with expired social visit passes would need to leave the country before or on April 21.
Referring to news reports about the matter, immigration director-general Khairul Dzaimee Daud said enforcement action would be taken against those who fail to do so.
He added that those who face difficulties returning to their country of origin can request for a special pass to extend their stay in the country but said this would need to be supported by their embassies.
“Documentation proving their financial means and residential address while in the country must be attached,” he said in a statement.
According to news reports, foreigners from several countries had received emails from their embassies in Malaysia informing them that they have until April 21 to leave the country failing which they could face fines or be detained.
The reports said the date was based on the deferment period provided by the government for foreigners possessing expired social visit passes last year after they were stranded due to the movement control order.
Referring to the report, Khairul said the department understood that foreigners would face difficulties returning to their own countries because of the lack of flights and the Covid-19 pandemic situation.
But he said the department had discovered several cases during enforcement operations in which passes were abused by foreigners, including by working in entertainment outlets, massage centres and being involved in prostitution, scams and other violations of the law.
As of last year, 291 enforcement operations had been conducted targeting entertainment premises and massage centres with 1,281 foreigners and 83 employers detained, he said.
“Foreigners who have been allowed to stay in the country based on social visit passes must comply with the rules and regulations set under the Immigration Act,” he added.