PUTRAJAYA, March 8 — The federal government will now accept direct applications from employers seeking to hire Bangladeshi workers, ending the requirement for this to be handled by agents.

Applications for eVisa can be made directly through the Immigration Department’s portal and will be processed within two days, Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail announced today.

“The government has given active ID and user manuals to employers.

“This decision enables the government to evaluate the effectiveness of initiatives that have been implemented and accurately measure the need for foreign manpower in the country, before considering the need to open new quotas for the intake of foreign workers,” he said.

The home minister also said his ministry’s decision on two matters — cancelling active foreign worker quotas and making the last date for foreign workers in the formal sector to enter the country with visa with reference on May 31 this year — were made jointly with the Human Resources Ministry.

He said he hopes this decision can curb the reported exploitation of migrant workers.

As of now, levies for 412,011 migrant worker quotas have been paid marking only 58.1 per cent have been approved for visa with reference.

On March 1, the government cancelled the remaining active quota for foreign worker applications in the formal sector with no visa with reference publication, despite having paid the levy. The levy will be refunded.

On a different note, the Migrant Repatriation Programme that began on March 1 allows undocumented migrants to report to the Immigration Department to return to their home country.

Up to March 7, over 5,000 applications have been made under the Migrant Repatriation Programme and almost 2,000 have returned to their motherland.