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Opinion

Friday, 12 January 2018 | MYT 12:00 AM

Long wait for permanent residence status

THE path to permanent residence (PR) status varies between countries but at least, in most cases, information is provided ahead of time so one can decide if it is worth applying for it.

Without going through the travails of what we have endured in Malaysia, I simply wish to point out that inefficiencies and bureaucratic inertia coupled with vague, inaccurate information plague the path to obtaining PR in Malaysia.

My friends who arrived in Malaysia a few years after I did, and who, having been dissuaded by many from applying for PR, took the MM2H (Malaysia My Second Home) route, and obtained their 10-year social visit pass with multiple entries within three months.

I am still stuck in the PR rigmarole despite being married to a Malaysian and being assured upon initial application that it would take about two years.

We have visited the Immi­gration Department several times in the last few years but have not been given any real information. Staff seemed to have been trained to dismiss enquiries, brush away requests for a time frame, not make eye contact and just be rude, especially to foreigners.

Nevertheless, an officer from another department recently told us that the Immigration Depart­ment is only now processing 2013/2014 applications. That means there are others like me who have been waiting five years, despite having been told that it would take 24 months.

Can we have some explanation from the authorities about the way permanent residence applications are handled? Surely, even the Immigration Depart­ment must have some KPIs to meet?

DISTRESSED

Shah Alam