Malaysia – MDEC Announces New Requirements for Foreign Nationals and Dependents (UPDATE)

What has changed

As a follow up to our eAlert from January 16, 2015, we are providing further clarification on the issue of requirements for foreign nationals and dependents of employees working for companies with Multimedia Super Corridor Status (MSC).  This includes instructions on transitional arrangements for employees already in Malaysia,

New moves to Malaysia

As advised earlier, an Employment Pass (EP) applicant/ holder with a monthly basic salary of less than 5000 Malaysian Ringgit (US$1400) will not be eligible to apply for a Dependent Pass (DP) for their family. This also extends to not being able to support Social Visit Pass (SVP) applications for children over eighteen (18), parents, parents-in-law and Common-Law Spouses.

Additionally, for those EP applicants/ holders without family, they may receive an initial two (2) year Employment Pass and a further two (2) renewals of two (2) years each only.

Also, where the Employment Pass was approved prior to 31 December 2014, DP and SVP applications for dependents may still be made.

Employees already in Malaysia with family with salaries below 5000 Malaysian Ringgit

Renewal is permitted for existing EP holders and their family a further two (2) times if their initial DP/ SVP was approved prior to 31 December 2014.

Once a salary is increased to over 5000 Ringgit per month the restrictions do not apply.

Malaysia – Employment, Dependent and Professional Visit Pass Holders Must Transfer Passes into New Passports Prior to Departing Malaysia (UPDATE)

As a follow up to our eAlert from January 23, 2015, which detailed stricter requirements to transfer Malaysian Employment (EP), Dependent (DP) or other passes from old passports to new passports when a new passport is required, please note the following updates under the two (2) possible scenarios below.

If a new passport is obtained while in Malaysia

The transfer of the relevant pass must be done immediately upon obtaining a new passport and must be completed before any travel as outlined in our earlier eAlert referenced above.

If a new passport is obtained outside of Malaysia (at country of origin)

The EP/DP/SVP holders who require a visa to enter Malaysia for any purpose are required to apply for a valid visa from the Embassy, Consulate or High Commission of Malaysia/e prior to entering the country. Upon arrival in the country, the transfer of the relevant pass to the new passport must be made immediately. Previously people in this situation could enter the country with the old and new passports together and be referred to Immigration Headquarters for purposes of stamping. This change now establishes the need to secure a new entry visa for visa-required nationals.

EP/DP/SVP holders who are visa waiver nationals can enter the country with their old and new passports together but may encounter difficulties at entry points. Their passport may be stamped with a “Report to Immigration HQ” stamp and be allowed a certain number of days stay to complete the transfer process.

It is therefore recommended that wherever possible transfers be done into new passports before departure from Malaysia.

The current processing time for transfer of EP and DP to a new passport is three (3) to five (5) weeks at the Expatriate Services Division in Kuala Lumpur, but is shorter for foreigners eligible to file through other approval authorities.

What you need to do
Planning ahead

  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide attorney or representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your clients.

The information above was provided by Emigra Worldwide, our global network partners, and relevant government authorities. The information herein is for general purposes only and not intended as advice for a particular matter. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work.