One-stop centre to handle visitor visas for Bangladeshis

PUTRAJAYA - From Oct 1, applications for visitor visas for Bangladeshis will be handled by a government-appointed one-stop centre (OSC) in the country's capital, Dhaka.

Immigration director-general Datuk Alias Ahmad said the move was to curb rampant cases of fake visas involving Bangladeshis seeking employment in Malaysia.

He said the OSC would be linked directly with all immigration entry points in Malaysia.

"This will enable us to verify whether the visas issued to the visitors are genuine or otherwise.

"The OSC will be responsible for ensuring that the applicants fulfil all the requirements, including having return air tickets, confirmed hotel reservations and RM2,000," he told newsmen here yesterday.

Alias said that currently, the applications were handled by several agencies in Bangladesh, which the Malaysian authorities found hard to monitor.

He added that between January and July, 6,136 visitors from Bangladesh were denied entry after they were found to have used fake visas and passports.

"That is an average of 876 persons per month, and our investigations showed that most of them wanted to stay longer, probably to seek employment.

"Some of them could also be genuine visitors, but became victims of visa forgery syndicates," he added.

Alias also said that applications for employment visas for Bangladesh citizens remained unchanged.