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MALAYSIA – Changes to Employment Pass Categories and Conditions and to Residence Pass Applications

The Malaysian Immigration Department Headquarters (IDHQ) has announced that, effective 1 November 2011, Employment Passes will be divided into two categories :Employment Pass 1 and Employment Pass 2. In addition, effective immediately, all applications for Employment Passes are required to list the job position applied for in accordance with the Malaysian Standard Classification of Occupations (MASCO) 2008. Security checks for certain nationals applying for Employment Passes via the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) have been simplified. Finally, a change in application documents required for Residence Pass applications has been announced.

New Employment Pass Categories

The Employment Pass has been divided into two categories, as follows:

  • Employment Pass 1: For employment periods of duration 24-60 months.
  • Employment Pass 2: For employment periods of duration from 3-23 months. This replaces the Visit Pass Temporary Employment category.It is important to note the following:
  • Employment Passes will not be issued for employment periods of less than three months.
  • The Professional Visit Pass category (for assignments of up to 12 months, where the employee remains on home contract and payroll) is unchanged.
  • Application materials and application fees for the new Employment Pass categories will be slightly amended and should be re-verified on a case by case basis.

Malaysian Standard Classification of Occupations (MASCO)

The Malaysian Immigration Department also announced that, effective immediately, applications (including renewal applications) must designate positions according to the Malaysian Standard Classification of Occupations (MASCO) 2008 issued by the Malaysian Ministry of Human Resources (MOHR). The listing is available here. A hard copy can be obtained for no charge from the MOHR.

Security Checks Simplified for MSC Companies

Security checks for Chinese, Iranian and Iraqi national Employment Pass applicants have also been simplified, for companies with Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) status. Effective immediately, the first stage of such applications can now be granted even if the security checks are still ongoing, shaving off two to four weeks from processing time.

Residence Pass Document Requirements

Finally, it has been announced that applications for the new Residence Pass category (this Pass was introduced in April 2011 for qualifying highly skilled professionals, and comes with certain advantages – for example, the right to change employer, and work permission rights for accompanying spouses) need no longer be accompanied by a Certificate of Good Conduct (COGC) from the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). All other conditions remain the same as before.

Action Items

  • Note the new Employment Pass categories and the discontinuation of the Temporary Visit Employment Pass; particularly as this means an end to Employment Passes for assignments of under 3 months
  • Note that Employment Pass applications must designate the position according to MASCO and plan accordingly
  • Note that Residence Pass applications no longer require good conduct certificates

This news alert was prepared using information provided by Santa Fe Relocation.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2017 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.