An American family has been ordered to leave Sabah immediately after authorities discovered that they had been living illegally in the state for nearly three years.
The three — a 38-year-old American man, and his two children, aged 14 and 16 — had initially entered Malaysia in 2017, landing first at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, before making their way to Sabah.
Their overstay in the state became apparent this week when they arrived at a Tawau immigration office asking for assistance as they had lost their passports, and had applied for new ones with the U.S. Embassy back in KL.
Embassy officials in the capital had told the three that they needed to contact local immigration authorities in Sabah, and when they did, investigations showed that they had in fact been residing in the country illegally.
“The investigation paper has been forwarded to the deputy public prosecutor of the Sabah Immigration Department, and [they have been] fined and told to return to their country of origin,” local authorities said.
Officials reminded tourists that when a passport is lost, they are required to report to local immigration authorities, who are then able to check on how long they have been in the country. Those who have been found to have overstayed their visas are subject to a fine and deportation.