An Indonesian domestic worker trying to return to her job in Singapore from home leave ran into trouble over her failure to carry an Indonesia-Singapore Worker Card, and was nearly prevented from boarding their flight.

The 38-year-old woman told Shin Min Daily News that she and about 10 others were initially told they could not fly back to Singapore because they lacked valid documents, particularly a Kartu Pekerja Indonesia Singapura (KPIS). She was eventually able to talk immigration authorities into letting her on the plane.

The report did not say whether the other returning workers were also able to make their flight. Many of the women were confused and called their employers in Singapore for assistance.

The woman said it was the first time she had encountered such a circumstance, given that she has been traveling between Singapore and Indonesia frequently for the past decade.

An announcement had been made by the Indonesian Embassy in Singapore as early as May, which was restated on December 6 on Twitter, warning Indonesian migrant workers that if they return to their homeland on leave, they must carry a KPIS, which should be issued prior to their trip.

Application for a KPIS would require four documents, namely the worker’s original work permit, a photocopy of the worker’s passport, a photocopy of the employer’s identity card, and a copy of the employment contract, endorsed by the embassy.

A S$70 (US$51) fee for a security bond would be charged by the Indonesian Embassy, which would usually issue the card with the same expiry date as the worker’s permit.

An employment agency manager from Advance Link International said the policy mandating that Indonesian workers carry a KPIS had been in place for years, but had been more strictly enforced only in recent years.