Visa on arrival often misused: Minister

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Mon, April 13 2015, 11:15 PM

Manpower Minister Muhammad Hanif Dhakiri stressed on Monday the need to review the planned visa on arrival policy as it was often used to hire illegal foreign workers.

“There’s a tendency [for companies] to use the visa on arrival as an instrument to hire illegal foreign workers, which violates the procedure,” he said in a work meeting with House of Representatives’ Commission IX overseeing health and welfare.

He revealed that many foreign workers misused the visa on arrival to work illegally with companies that didn’t have the ministry’s expatriate employment permit (IMTA).

Hanif claimed that illegal foreign workers usually pretended to be tourists, then worked for companies. Even when the companies held an IMTA, sometimes the job and work location stated in the IMTA didn’t match with reality. 

Expats working in the maritime, mining and plantation sectors were the hardest to supervise as they work in remote areas and the ministry had insufficient finances to pursue them, Hanif said.

The government is currently preparing regulations to implement its recent decision to waive visa requirements for 30 countries, including Canada, Mexico, and the US, despite the stipulation in the immigration law that requires reciprocity from the other country in the case of such a policy.

From the IMTA data released by the Manpower Ministry, the number of employed expats in Indonesia in 2014 was 68,762, lower than the 68,957 workers in 2013 and even lower than in 2012 when 72,427 were recorded. 

Citizens from China, Japan, South Korea and India dominate the numbers of foreign workers.

Foreign workers in the trade and service sectors dominated with 36,732 employees, industry was second with 24,041 workers and agriculture followed up with 8,019.

Foreign professionals numbered 21,751 and worked as consultants, managers, directors, supervisors and commissioners. (fsu)(++++) 

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