With all the issues and new regulations on Indonesian maids, more and more employers are hiring maids from other countries, especially Philippines. For those who are considering Filipino maids, here's something for you to ponder.
From my experience, Filipinos maids are smarter but sometimes they are too smart to be bossed around. Most of them knows how to read and write. Like the one I recently hired, she has a thick story book in her room which she reads before bed time. And she also knows her rights, i.e. telling off the construction workers at my condo building because it was past 6 p.m and the renovation works were still going on.
In addition, our immigration requires Filipino maids to have a valid visa before coming over to Malaysia for work. Many of them came in through social visit pass, then they will keep on extending the social visit pass to a maximum of 3 times (with one month for each extension) until they find an employer here who is willing to pay for their work permit. That's when employer risks getting agents who are not so honest.
To hire a Filipino who is already here on social visit pass, you need an agent. Employers are not allowed to apply for a Filipino maid's work visa on his own, unlike Indonesian. And not every agent is willing to do it because it is not legal. The legal way is for the maid to apply for her work visa in her home country before coming over and the waiting time is about 3 months. The agent in Malaysia who is willing to do it for you will charge RM6,500 nett, or at least that's what they will say to you. In most cases (like mine) the RM6,500 does not include immigration levy which cost RM516, the extension of special pass which is RM350 for the first time and RM550 for the second time, although immigration only charges RM100 for each extension. Also, please note that the not-so-honest agents will purposely delay submission of documents so to earn more money from you via the extension fees.
In the end, if you calculate the total cost of applying for a maid via the not-so-legal way is about RM7,916 which is almost the same as the legal way. An application through the legal way is RM12,000 (RM8,000 for the agent's fee and RM4,000 as maid's salary for the first 4 months). If you're not urgently in need of a maid, it's better to go through the legal way with a waiting period of 3 months. At least you don't have to worry about the agent running away with your money or the maid's passport, or even not picking up your calls when you need to ask for application status. Moreover, since you are applying for a work permit through a so called not-so-legal way, the agent does not provide a good service, e.g. you may have to meet the agent at his convenience and not yours, especially after you have made the payments to him! Plus, you have to chase really hard for the receipts of your payments and most likely you'll get a shabby looking kedai runcit a.k.a mini mart type of receipts with some weird company name on it.