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MALAYSIA – Updated Salary Rules for MDeC MSC Employment Pass; and Enforcement of Transfer of Pass to New Passport

The Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) has advised of some amendments to the rules for Employment Pass (EP) applications with monthly basic salary below RM5000, for Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) status companies.

Also, the immigration authorities are enforcing an existing rule that a holder of an employment or other pass who has obtained a new passport must transfer their pass to the new passport before exiting or re-entering Malaysia.

New Rules for MSC Company Employment Pass Applications

Maximum Duration and Renewals

For Employment Pass (EP) applications with a monthly basic salary below RM5000, for Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) status companies, the permitted maximum duration that can be applied for is now two years, while the pass can only be renewed twice. The maximum stay in these cases is therefore now six years.

Previously, an application could be made for an EP with a duration of up to three years, and there was no limit on the number of renewals. This remains true for EP applications with a salary of more than RM5000 per month.

Dependant Pass Application Rules Amended

In our alert of 15 January, we advised that Employment Pass holders at MSC Status companies with a basic monthly salary of less than RM5000 are no longer eligible to apply for a Dependant Pass (DP) for the family. This restriction has now been extended to the Social Visit Passes for children aged 18 and above, parents, parents-in-law and common-law spouses.

MDeC has also advised a slight relaxation on the policy for MSC companies as follows:

  • For new applications, if the EP was approved or endorsed before 31 December 2014, an application for Dependant Pass (DP) or Social Visit Pass (SVP) can still be made. An EP application submitted and approved after 31 December 2014 will not be eligible to sponsor DP or SVP applications.
  • For Dependant Pass and Social Visit Pass renewals, if the DP or SVP was approved prior to 31 December 2014, the applicants can proceed to have the relevant pass renewed. However, a maximum of two renewals are now allowed, counting from this date.

Endorsement of Existing Passes in New Passports

The Malaysian authorities have clarified an existing rule that a holder of an existing Employment Pass (EP), Dependant Pass (DP) or Social Visit Pass (SVP) who obtains a new passport must have the relevant pass transferred to the new passport before exiting or re-entering Malaysia.

New Passport Obtained in Malaysia

Transfer of the relevant pass must be done immediately upon obtaining the new passport, and must be completed before any travel to avoid difficulties at the exit/entry points.

New Passport Obtained Outside Malaysia

  • EP/DP/SVP holders who are visa-required nationals are now required to obtain a valid visa from their home-country Malaysian consulate in order to re-enter Malaysia. Upon arrival in the country, the transfer of the relevant pass to the new passport must be made immediately.Previously they could re-enter the country with their old and new passports. The authorities at the entry point would normally stamp the new passport with a “Report to Immigration HQ” stamp, with a certain number of days stay to complete the transfer process.
  • EP/DP/SVP holders who are visa waiver nationals can still enter the country with old and new passports but may encounter difficulty at the entry points. Their passport may be stamped with a “Report to Immigration HQ” stamp with a certain number of days stay to complete the transfer process.The current processing time for the transfer of an Employment Pass or a Dependant Pass to a new passport is 3-5 weeks at the Expat Services Division (ESD) in Putrajaya and 3-5 working days at MDeC.

Background

The Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) is a Special Economic Zone in Malaysia designed to promote development of the Malaysian ICT industry. The Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) administers Employment Passes for MSC status Companies and other ICT companies. Other Employment Passes and expatriate services are managed by the Expatriate Services Division (ESD), which launched its online application services in 2014.

Action Items

  • Employers who wish to employ foreign nationals for more than six years, or with their families, should consider increasing their salaries above the RM5000 per month threshold.
  • Any EP, DP or SVP holder who obtains a new passport should initiate the transfer of their pass to the new passport as soon as possible, to avoid problems exiting or re-entering Malaysia.

This news alert was prepared using information provided by Rabin & Associates.

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.