Sunday, July 31, 2011

Friendster blog deleted (>_<)

I just found out that friendster was deleting all blog posts, comments, photos and etc after 31st May! Did they even send out emails or notifications to users about this? Or I was too busy hugging the toilet bowls to take note? Damn. I am 2 months too late to save my blog on friendster. No more Part I : Single and Living Life. Perhaps it's meant to be - for me to forget my single and be stuck in a married one.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

It's Dear Hubby's 41st birthday!

This is what I'm getting for him this year.

Don't mind the LOOKS and FEELS but Dear Hubby sure ACTS like eight!

Friday, July 29, 2011

A day out - Clarins Indulgence Day 2011

The last time I spent more than 2k in a day was years ago when I was still actively contributing to the job market. It wasn't intentional but I needed some kind of pampering, some retail therapy to reduce my frustration today - my ungrateful maid has decided to go back Indonesia for good because she couldn't adapt herself here. After all the money spent and time used for her tedious visa application, it only took her 38 days to decide she can't work for us in Malaysia. 

Anyway, I started off my morning with a mug of piping hot coffee - caffeine is bad for the baby but I did topped up half the mug with low fat milk so to ease my conscience. Then, I booked myself in at Clarins Indulgence Day for its members - express manicure, hands massage, head and shoulders massage, makeover, door gifts and caricature, all complimentary with no purchase required. But obviously I ended up buying something from the counter and got additional 20 bucks voucher to spend in Parkson so I bought Pumpkin Patch for Meagan with it.

Very nice door gifts and caricature by a talented artist named Ambo
(although Dear Hubby thought I looked like some Malay chick in the drawing)

Feeling good already, I took a stroll around the mall and decided to stop by my usual beauty salon to book for an appointment somewhere next week. I haven't gone for facials in a year or so but the salon manager still recognizes me from afar. I swear that when I walked into the salon, all I wanted was just ONE appointment for next week but I ended up paying in advance for a year's services in less than 15 minutes!

Still feeling generous (with a tinge of guilt for using Dear Hubby's money like some free tap water), I walked over to the next shopping mall and got myself a luxurious hair and scalp treatment, complete with a neat trim by a professional hair stylist. As I was going down the escalator, I dropped by Crabtree & Evelyn, Dorothy Perkins and Jaya Grocers and got myself a box of lavender soap, a Bohemian dress and some groceries before heading home to be greeted by my ungrateful maid again.

Monday, July 25, 2011

How to apply for a maid's JP Visa / Work Permit by yourself?

I have been running like a chicken without head to our government immigration department for our maid's JP Visa application. It's not funny when 2 immigration officers tell you different things and you end up making endless trips to the immigration department because they keep telling you dokumen tak lengkap (incomplete documents). You can also forget about calling them for inquiries unless you have a secretary to do it for you or otherwise risk spiking your blood pressure.

If you are trying to save some valuable bucks on agency fees, here are some useful guidelines from my own experience.

#1: Get your maid into Malaysia through social visit pass (Reference Visa / Visa Dengan Rujukan is not required as at to date - but please check with immigration department again).
Note: There is a freeze in JP visa application recently until further notice by immigration. (updated on 4th May 2012)

#2: Get the forms ready.
You can either download the forms by clicking on the forms below or head to the nearest immigration department to get it for free. You'll need 1 copy of each unless stated otherwise. Please fill up the forms completely. Immigration will not entertain partially filled forms and you'll be asked to re-submit the forms once you complete them.

Note: If the links above are broken, download the forms from immigration website (under the tab 'Dokumen yang diperlukan Permohonan PRA').

*Stamp duty can be obtained / done at Inland Revenues (LHDN) offices. Click here to view the list.

#3: Get ALL the required supporting documents ready.
  • Maid's original passport + photocopy of the passport's first page and entry stamp page
  • 2 passport sized photo your maid (1 for immigration, 1 for Fomema)
  • A copy of your latest EPF / KWSP statement + a copy of your latest payslip (for 3 months), OR your latest e-BE income tax statement with payment receipt.
  • Surat rayuan ( Letter of appeal) - a formal letter stating the reason you need a maid urgently.
You may apply for a maid under 1 of the 2 reasons stated below:
1. To care for your children below age 15, or
2. To care for your sick parents.

For reason no. 1, you'll need:
  • Marriage certificate
  • Child / children birth certificates
  • Original and photocopy of your I.C
  • Photocopy of your spouse's I.C
  • 2 passport sized photo of yourself
  • 1 passport sized photo of your spouse

For reason no. 2, you'll need:
  • A doctor's letter confirming health of your parents
  • Original and photocopy of your I.C
  • Photocopy of both your parents' I.C
  • 2 passport sized photo of yourself
    #4: Submit the forms and supporting documents to immigration department.
    From my experience, I suggest Putrajaya although it's a bit far but the officers there are friendlier and easier to deal with. The one we dealt with in Shah Alam gave us a set of forms to fill in but when we return for submission, another officer told us that the forms are outdated and requested us to fill up a new set. She wasn't helpful at all when we asked her what supporting documents the immigration requires and we were referred from counter to counter like fools.

    Once your submission of forms is accepted, you'll be given an acknowledgement letter (surat akuan penerimaan). You'll be told to call the phone numbers stated in the letter after 7 days for the result of your application. If you happened to be like me, no one at the immigration picks up your calls (I swear I tried calling at different hours from early morning till late evening but to no avail), then call the general line and ask for 'Unit Pembantu Rumah'. Once your application has been approved, there is a payment of RM960 (Amount has been increased to RM1,031- see point #5 in red). Also, you need to do registration at Fomema which cost another RM190.

    #5: Buy bank drafts.
    Go to any banks and buy 3 separate bank drafts. The 3rd bank draft is optional (you can purchase it later).

    • 1st bank draft is payable to Ketua Pengarah Imigresen Malaysia (RM 515).
    • 2nd bank draft is payable to FOMEMA Sdn Bhd (RM 190).
    • 3rd bank draft is also payable to Ketua Pengarah Imigresen Malaysia (RM 445) (Amount has been increased to RM516.) - Payment to be made if your maid passes her medical screening with Fomema.

    #6: Go to the Immigration Department where you submitted all your forms to pay the 1st bank draft. You'll be issued an official receipt and a letter of approval.

    #7: Get all the required documents ready before you proceed to Fomema for registration. See here for required documents and list of Fomema branches. In addition to that, you also need a photocopy of the official receipt (RM515) from immigration. It is also helpful to know which clinic you intend to bring your maid for her medical checkup. See list of panel clinics here.

    Note: Medical report from country of origin is not required. Registration form can also be obtained from the information counter on the day of registration itself.

    #8: Bring your maid for her medical checkup and x-ray.
    Please be reminded to bring her original passport and the 3-ply forms with you. The x-ray center is usually located nearby the clinic. Results are usually out by 3 to 4 working days. You can check the results online through Fomema's website. To be on the safe side, go to immigration department the next day (1 day after the release of medical screening results) because Fomema transmits the medical result to immigration via online and sometimes unforeseen circumstances (e.g. system is down) may occur.

    #9: If your maid passes her medical screening, proceed to the same immigration department with the 3rd bank draft in hand (RM 516). Bring along your maid's original passport!
    If your maid fails her medical screening, you need to send your maid back to her home country.

    #10: Congratulations! You have a legal maid working for you and now you'll have to deal with other potential problems that your maid might be giving you.
    Oh wait!.... You need to open a bank account for your maid too. Make sure you bank in her monthly salary on time and keep the proof of bank-in and withdrawals (if any). This will facilitate her visa renewal in 9 months time (that's because you need to start renewing her visa 3 months before the expiry date).


    Read more on 'What to expect if you choose to hire illegals'

    Thursday, July 21, 2011

    I am back!

    I can't believe my last blog was more than 3 months ago. I stopped twitting, facebooking and blogging. Basically I was (almost) disconnected from the cyber world, occasionally using only my blackberry to go online. During the so called blackout period of 3 months, I was mostly hibernating and praying hard that my severe morning sickness would miraculously go away. But no, it didn't happen till I hit the 18th week of my pregnancy. 

    Finally, on the 18th week of my pregnancy, when the food started to smell better, my blood test result shows my unborn baby is at high risk of down syndrome. After consulting 3 gynaes, I agreed to go for amniocentesis where a long needle is poke through my abdomen, right into the womb to withdraw some amniotic fluid for testing. Sounds scary? It is! And not to mention it cost RM2k for a half an hour procedure without any anesthetic. Anyway, thank God my test result came out normal.

    After the unpleasant experience of having to do an amnio, came another problem; maid's work visa application. Since Dear Hubby and I decided not to use maids agency to do the paperwork (save us RM5.8k), I have to run numerous trips to immigration department, bank, Fomema and clinics to get my maid's work visa approved. To add on to that, unclear guidelines and tedious paperwork required by our government are hell of a nightmare.You bet my next blog is going to be 'How to apply for maid's JP visa yourself while maintaining your sanity'.

    By the way, I've moved back to Malaysia while Dear Hubby is working in Singapore. Time to change my profile, blog's header and perhaps the design, eh?