PETALING JAYA (Jan 9, 2014): Some 2.3 million foreign workers in the country will have to obtain an i-KAD from the Immigration Department by year’s end as part of a government move to monitor migrant workers. Employers can also apply for the RM110 i-KAD on behalf of prospective workers they intend to recruit. However, no middlemen or agencies will be allowed to apply for the card on behalf of workers or employers. Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the move was to ensure that all foreign workers have a document, like an identification card, to help the authorities verify their personal information, including the company they are working for. With the i-KAD, workers will not have to carry their passports with them, he told a press conference after launching the document here yesterday. “The i-KAD will be issued once a foreign worker renews his working permit with the Immigration Department. “The card’s validity is the same as the date stated on their permit,” he said, adding that it would be issued in stages according to sectors and colour codes. The card will have high-technology security features such as biometric fingerprints, Nexcode and contactless chip. Percetakan Nasional Malaysia Berhad has been appointed to supply the card. Meanwhile, the ministry will launch a massive operation nationwide against illegal immigrants on Jan 21. The exercise will involve the Immigration Department, People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) and the police. Ahmad Zahid said the cost of deporting illegal immigrants to their home countries would be borne by the immigrants, their employers or embassies representing their country. “Not one sen will be borne by the rakyat or the government in deporting them. We have discussed this procedure with the respective embassies prior to this,” he said.