By Izzud deen Redzuan
GOMBAK, 21 September 2015: Foreign students in Malaysia had to face delays in renewal and extension of their visas at the Immigration Office, and the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) is no exception.
Some said their passports were withheld for months while others claimed the delay had caused them to stay here in campus even during Eid Fitr and the short semester break.
Foreign students also raised concerns regarding the poor services given by the Immigration Office in handling the visa, whereby only 60 requests will be entertained by the Office per day.
In fact, many foreign students started to crowd and queue in front of the Office the night before to get their visas renewed.
This September semester, there is a major decrease in terms of the intake of International students unlike the previous year, respectively 60 and 248 in 2014.
Human Sciences student, Awla for example, submitted his passport to the university in May and finally got it back this September.
“My passport went missing during the process but was later found in the department. I’m disappointed with the services provided by the Immigration Office. My suggestion is that the Office should extend the office hours a bit longer to entertain more students per day with a proper ticketing system.”
Another student who wanted to be known as Abdullah said: “I feel insecure without my passport for months, especially when I am outside of the campus.”
“I could be detained by the Malaysia’s Immigration Department for not having a legal document and even used my medical insurance when it’s required,” he added.
A 21-year old student, Bukhara said, “We are unable to travel without our passports. Imagine if any emergency were to happen to our family members and relatives back home.”
Yesterday, the Immigration Office has introduced a new system to smoothen the process, which was endorsed by The Office of the Deputy Rector (Internationalisation).***
Photos of Charaf Tam, Anisza Nazar, Baba Salam, & Reza Ranjar