Malaysia – New Regulations on Employment Pass Applications

What has changed

The Expatriate Services Division (ESD) Immigration Department in Malaysia has implemented new regulations effective August 1, 2016. These rules will impact Employment Pass (EP), Dependant Pass (DP), Professional Visit Pass (PVP), and Long Term Visit Social Pass (LTVSP) applications filed via the ESD online portal as outlined below.

Who is affected?

  • All clients submitting Malaysia work authorization applications via the ESD online portal

What to expect

The impact of the new regulations will vary based on the applicant’s nationality and overall assignment details as classified by the category of EP or PVP as listed below. The categories are not required to be indicated in the EP application.The authorities will issue the EP according to the applicable category at the time of the endorsement of the Pass.

  • EP I – 24 months and more duration and monthly salary RM 5000 and above
  • EP II – less than 24 months duration and monthly salary RM 5000 and above
  • EP III – 12 months duration and monthly salary between RM 2500-4999 and Prior approval from Ministry of Home Affairs required
  • PVP – Short Term Assignments (STA) up to maximum of 12 months with payroll remaining overseas

Summary of Changes

  1. The authorities now require applicants to remain outside the country (Malaysia) at the time of filing the application for the approval for the respective Pass (Stage 1 submission).
  2. The final relocation  date to Malaysia  is now subject to obtaining the EP/DP/PVP/LTSVP approval. Depending upon nationality, the applicant (including any family) must arrive in Malaysia with either a copy of the approval letter or a copy of the approval letter and a Reference Visa for the endorsement of the relevant pass in the passport (Stage 2). The Stage 2 EP/DP/PVP endorsement in the passport must be filed with the latest Malaysia entry stamp, dated after the Stage 1 approval date.
  3. Nationals from certain countries who fall under the EP III category within construction, manufacturing or mining sector must undergo an additional medical test upon arrival in Malaysia.
  4. There are now more stringent regulations in terms of salary computation. Employers will no longer be able to include allowances when calculating the monthly base salary in RM for EP (Category I, II and III) applications.

The recent changes will make the Malaysia immigration process more complex in terms of managing the assignee/family’s relocation and meeting the targeted start date. In addition, the enforcement of a Reference Visa for certain nationalities, which requires an additional consular step, will also impact the overall timeline and delay the overall process.

What you need to do
Planning ahead

  • Emigra Worldwide will advise on the optimal immigration strategy after reviewing the case specific background,  such as nationality and overall Malaysia assignment details.
  • 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.