Malaysia – MDEC Introduces New Regulations

What has changed

The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation Sdn Bhd (MDEC), previously known as Multimedia Development Corporation Sdn Bhd, has announced new regulations effective September 1, 2016. In Malaysia, MDEC processes applications for companies with MultiMedia Super Corridor (MSC) status and Information Communications Technology (ICT) companies.

Who is affected?

  • The new regulations will impact all Employment Pass (EP), Dependant Pass (DP) and Long Term Visit Social Pass (LTVSP) applications processed via e-Xpats Service Centre, MDEC. The impact is particularly critical for those companies who have a higher proportion of employees under the EP III category.

What to expect

  • EP I – 24 months and above duration and monthly salary RM 5000 and above
  • EP II – less than 24 months duration and monthly salary RM 5000 and above
  • EP III – up to 12 months duration and monthly salary between RM 2500-4999

Summary of Changes

  1. Entry for EP/DP purposes with approval letter: All applicants must remain outside the country at the time of filing the Stage 1 EP/DP application. EP applicants, regardless of nationality and EP category (I,II or III), are to enter the country with the approval letter or approval letter and reference visa (depending on nationality and EP category). These requirements also extend to the applicant’s dependents. This requirement is similar to the one implemented by the Expatriate Services Devision (ESD), effective since August 1, 2016.
  2. Validity of passport: At the time of EP/DP endorsement, the passport must be valid for more than twelve (12) months. Given the overall timeline we would advise that the passport be valid for at least fourteen (14) to sixteen (16) months at the point of stage 1 EP/DP filing.
  3. Category III EP holders – Need to exit and re-enter Malaysia: Applicants currently holding work authorization under EP III category and intending to change employers are now required to exit and re-enter Malaysia with an approval letter and reference visa. Similar rules apply for changing from a Dependent Pass, Student Pass and Professional Visit Pass (PVP) status to work authorization under EP III category.
  4. Three (3) months cooling off period: Category III EP holders seeking to change employers and apply for a new Category III EP, must exit Malaysia and remain outside the country. The existing EP must be cancelled, the EP holder exits the country and completes three (3) months cooling period from the date of exit.
  5. Permission to Study: EP holders seeking to study in Malaysia must apply for permission to study through the e-Xpats Service Centre.
  6. Dependant Pass for Malaysia born children: For expatriates’ children born in Malaysia, the DP application for the child must be obtained within six (6) months from date of birth. If this timeline is not met, an additional step of Special Pass must first be obtained from the Enforcement Unit of Immigration Putrajaya before the DP can be obtained.
  7. Social Visit Passes – children above eighteen (18) years of age and Common-Law spouse:  For social visit passes for children over eighteen (18) years old or for common-law partner/spouse, new original confirmation letter from the applicant’s respective embassy in Malaysia must be obtained in support of the renewal application.

What you need to do
Planning ahead

  • Emigra Worldwide will advise you on the optimal immigration strategy for a given case after reviewing the case specific background,  such as nationality and overall Malaysia assignment details.
  • Companies who have a higher proportion of employees under the EP III category specifically should take note of these changes.
  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide attorney or representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your client.

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.