Monday, 12 September 2016

Latest update on Spouse Pass

I had this information from a good friend recently; it sounds as if there may have been some changes to the spouse pass application process. This was for a renewal:

I recently renewed my Spouse Pass and there’s been a few changes to both policy and process. Firstly, it used to be something like 6-12  months pass was given for an initial application then 3-5 years for a renewal followed by 5-10 years for all subsequent passes.

But the new policy is dependent on whether the couple have children. So a 6-12 month initial pass is given then 1-2 years for all subsequent passes if the couple remain without children. The Immigration Officer told us the length of the initial pass depends on which Authorising Manager is working that day.

If the couple subsequently have children the applicants will be considered for longer passes of between 3-5 years. It seems there are no more 10 year passes available.

I asked if it was retroactive and if a couple without kids who had previously been given a 5 year pass would be moved down to rolling two year passes or if they would be allowed to stay on the old policy. Unfortunately the officer couldn’t tell me but bear in mind this may be the view of one officer only and another officer may have told us something different.

The other main change was in process. We got our renewal done all in one day, so the new process was:
1. Visit Commissioner of Oaths for signature and stamp on ground floor.
2. Go to 1st floor. Collect queue number from counter. Sit Down
3. Wait for number to be called (about 30 mins) to have documents inspected and hand in passport. Sit back down
4. Wait for number to be called (about 1 hour) to pay at cashier counter. Sit back down.
5. Wait for number to be called (about 1 hour) to collect passport with new pass. This number will be called amid a batch of other numbers collecting their passes so stay on your toes. Once collected, you can go.

Given it’s now a one day process, it is probably preferable to get there early in the morning. It may mean more queuing initially, but you should get done before lunch.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Updates on Long Term Social Visit Pass

There is a Facebook page dedicated to foreign spouses in Malaysia which has a lot of useful information – www.facebook.com/FSSGMY/

Today they have posted an update on their page regarding application processes and dates, as follows:


1) Renewal for LTVSP is being done only 3 days in advance in Klang Valley. This could be changed and could vary at the state immigration departments, we advise you to go three weeks earlier and collect the forms, checklists and check on the process and submission dates from the counter officials, they know best.


2) The verification by the Commissioner of Oaths should be done in the court premises and not elsewhere as previously.


3) There are forms for Endorsement to work for New Employer and Renewal of Employer - so if your contract is for one year, you get the endorsement to work only for one year.


4) Time Frame for Endorsement to work - New Employer 7 working days.

Their Facebook page is also a good place to raise any questions you may have over the process


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Monday, 30 May 2016

Driving in Malaysia - Do you need to ask JPJ to convert your driving licence / drivers license ?

It used to be the case for many non-Malaysian citizens that in order to legally drive in Malaysia for an extended period (over 3 months in my case as a UK citizen) that either:

1) Your non-Malaysian drivers licence was converted to a Malaysian licence, or
2) You obtained an International Driving Permit from the licencing authorities in your home country

There was added confusion, because some countries (Group A) could automatically have their licence converted without problem, whilst the remainder (Group B) had to go through a more complicated process

The good news is that JPJ (the Malaysian licencing authority) have amended their website to show that the nationals of many countries are now permitted to drive in Malaysia using their home licence, apparently without any restrictions. According to JPJ the only requirements are:

a) your licence remains valid in your home country, and
b) if it is in a language other than English you will need to have it translated into English or Malay

Further details can be found on the JPJ website:

http://www.jpj.gov.my/web/eng/acceptance-of-foreign-driving-license

The list of countries is not completely in alphabetical order (it appears that the Group A countries from the old system have been added to the bottom of the list of Group B countries). Also, some countries names are in Malay rather than English - so check the list carefully for your country!

I have had confirmation from the UK Foreign Office of these new rules, and these are reflected on their Malaysia travel advice website (scroll down to the section headed 'Road travel')

I now keep a printed copy of the JPJ website in my car in case I ever need to provide details to the police

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Friday, 10 April 2015

Guide to applying for a Long Term Social Visit Pass in Malaysia (Spouse Visa)




Step by step guide to apply for a Long Term Social Visit Pass in Malaysia 
(otherwise known as a Spouse Visa or Spouse Pass)

A foreign national living in Malaysia and married to a Malaysian can apply for a long term social visit pass (LTSVP) which is a multiple entry pass for up to 5 years.

There are varying reports on how long you will be granted on initial application; the immigration officer told us that the initial pass runs for a period of one year and that the renewal pass will be for a period of five years. However it seems that some people only receive 6 months on the initial application followed by a 1 year pass upon first renewal. I don't know if the differences are based upon nationality of the applicant or other factors.

The LTSVP also allows the foreign national to work in Malaysia without having to convert their visa to a working visa. To do this first apply for the LTSVP itself then apply for a LTSVP work endorsement. 

LTSVP Application Process 

In theory the process is straightforward, but with lots of conflicting information online (including different versions of the forms on the Immigration website to those that the Immigration office hand out) it can be confusing, so I decided to write this guide to help other people going through the process!

When attending the immigration department clothing rules may be enforced e.g. no shorts/t-shirts/slippers/short skirts. You may be turned away if you are not dressed appropriately.

Step by Step guide: 

1) Go to Immigration to collect the checklist and forms. If you live in KL or Selangor, the Immigration Office is located near Publika / Solaris Dutamas on Jalan Duta at 69 Jalan Sri Hartamas 1. The building sign says "Kementerian Dalam Negeri" and there is free (but busy) parking. Opening hours are 730am to 5pm Monday to Friday. Some people report that at busy times applications have not been accepted in the afternoon, so you are best to go in the morning. Lunchtime is from 1pm to 2pm (Friday 1215pm to 245pm).  To find the office that deals with LTSVP applications enter though the main entrance, take the escalator up to Level 1 and go to the office at the rear of the building. Go to counter 24 (“Nombor Giliran”) to obtain the forms that you need to complete. Alternatively, I have scanned the forms we were given by Immigration, so you can download the forms here. Note that some of these differ from versions that you may find on the Immigration website, but these are the ones we were asked to use.

2) Both the applicant and the Malaysian spouse should complete the Statutory Declaration and the Bond Form and then sign them in front of a Commissioner for Oaths (there is one on the ground floor at the Jalan Duta centre). The amount of the bond varies depending on the country of applicant. Details of the current bond amounts can be found on the Immigration website.

3) Both the applicant and the Malaysian spouse go to LHDN (a short drive from Publika at Blok 9, Kompleks Bangunan Kerajaan, Jalan Duta, Kuala Lumpur. We parked on the road). Find the Stamp Duty office on the ground floor and go to the counter on your right and ask for form PDS1 (I have scanned the form so you can download it from here). There are examples on their wall to show you how to fill out the form. Once completed take a ticket from the counter. When your number is called you pay RM10 stamp duty and have the Bond Form stamped. Opening hours are 745am to 345pm Monday to Friday. (They are closed for lunch. Friday lunch is 1215pm to 245pm). There is also a branch at UTC Pudu Sentral (above Puduraya bus station) which will stamp documents up until 5pm.

4) Complete all of the other forms (including Form Imm.55 which although is an extension request is also required for a first application). Gather together the remaining documents and supporting information requested on the checklist. Although the checklist only asks for 1 copy of Form Imm.12 we were asked to fill out 2 copies!

5) Both the applicant and the Malaysian spouse go to Immigration with all of the requested documents. Take a ticket (from counter 24 again) and await your turn. When your number is called the officer will check your forms and ask you to wait. After about 1 hour we were called back to the desk by the officer and given a confirmation print out and asked to return after a certain date (2 weeks later in our case).

6) The applicant returns to Immigration (the Malaysian spouse doesn’t need to go) to pay the bond.  Don’t forget to bring your passport, the confirmation print out plus funds in cash. Funds required in my case were RM1,500 for the bond (UK national) plus RM90 for 1 year pass – total RM1,590. The bond amounts for other nationalities can be found on the Immigration website. *I have had feedback in the comments section below that as from 2016 the yearly charges have been increased and that there is also an additional RM510 processing fee - please check with immigration when you first visit to find out the current charges* Go to counter 24 to collect a ticket. Your number will be called and you will hand your confirmation form and passport to the officer. You will then wait again for your number to be called to go to the payment counter (be aware that tickets for the payment counter are not called in order). Pay the bond and fee (cash only - there is a Bank Islam ATM on the ground floor if you need it). You will be given a receipt for the bond and a receipt for the fee. You then have to go to the ground floor to have a photocopy taken of the bond receipt (no copy of the fee receipt is needed). Go back upstairs and once your number is called again you will hand over the photocopy of the bond receipt and be given your passport with the pass entered in it.  Check the correct pass and period has been given.

The bond is apparently refundable when you leave Malaysia for good; make sure you keep the original receipt safely. 

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Thursday, 9 April 2015

Guide to Renewal of Long Term Social Visit Pass in Malaysia (Spouse Visa)


Step by step guide to renewing Long Term Social Visit Pass in Malaysia 
(otherwise known as a Spouse Visa or Spouse Pass)

You can renew your LTSVP for up to 5 years, depending on your passport expiry date. Some have reported that if you were only granted a 6 month initial pass that you will only be given a 1 year pass upon first renewal. I decided to write this guide to help other people seeking information on the process!

I renewed my pass a little over one month before the expiry of my current pass. The unexpired month was added to my new pass.

One person has reported that immigration would only deal with their renewal within the last 2 weeks of their initial pass - that person had a 6 month initial pass, so whether that has a bearing on it (as opposed to my 1 year initial pass) I do not know. To be on the safe side (and to avoid a wasted trip) you are probably best to time your renewal so that you visit Immigration in the last 2 weeks of your initial pass.

I went through the renewal process at the Jalan Duta Centre in KL - the process may be slightly different if you are using another state office.

When attending the immigration department clothing rules may be enforced e.g. no shorts/t-shirts/slippers/short skirts. You may be turned away if you are not dressed appropriately.

For the renewal the following forms need to be completed:

1) Statutory Declaration that the marriage is still subsisting (to be signed in front of a Commissioner for Oaths) (1 copy) with 1 photo each of the applicant & Malaysian spouse affixed to it

2) Form Imm.38 (1 copy)

3) Form Imm.55 (1 copy) 

You can get the forms from Immigration. Alternatively, I have scanned the forms we were given so you can download them from here

Also bring the following:
Photocopy of applicant’s Passport
Photocopy of current pass
Photocopy of Malaysian spouse’s Identification Card (both sides)
Photocopy of Marriage Certificate
Also bring the originals in case Immigration wants to see them. 

If you are requesting a renewal of the work endorsement, bring a copy of your employment contract in case it is asked for. Ensure your employment contract has the "Stamp Duty" stamp on it.

Step by Step guide: 

1) Complete all the forms. Both the applicant and the Malaysian spouse should complete the Statutory Declaration and then sign it in front of a Commissioner for Oaths (we used the one downstairs at the Jalan Duta centre which costs RM4)

2) Both the applicant and the Malaysian spouse go to Immigration with all of the requested documents. Go to the counter called “Nombor Gilirang” (counter 24) and obtain a number. Await your turn (we waited around an hour). When your number is called the officer will check your forms and supporting documents. We were then given a confirmation print out and asked to return after 3 working days. We found that a good time to arrive at Immigration is 11am as we avoided the morning rush and then the officers hurry to get through the other numbers before lunch. From arriving to leaving took us around 1 and a half hours. Some people report that at busy times applications have not been accepted in the afternoon, so you are best to go in the morning.

3) The applicant returns to Immigration (the Malaysian spouse doesn’t need to go) to pay the fee.  Bring your passport, the confirmation print out plus funds in cash. Funds required are RM90 per year of the pass granted, but you should check what the current charges are with the Immigration office, in case the amount has changed. Go to counter 24 to collect a ticket. Your number will be called and you will hand your confirmation form and passport to the officer. You will then wait again for your number to be called to go to the payment counter (be aware that tickets for the payment counter are not called in order). Pay the fee (cash only - there is a Bank Islam ATM on the ground floor if you need it). You will be given a receipt for the fee; wait for your number to be called again at which point you will be given your passport with the pass entered in it. Check the correct pass and period has been given. I went to Immigration around 1130 am and the entire process took around 1 and a half hours.

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Friday, 3 April 2015

Guide to Long Term Social Visit Pass Malaysia (Spouse Visa) work endorsement



Guide to Long Term Social Visit Pass Malaysia (Spouse Visa) work endorsement

The LTSVP allows the foreign national to work in Malaysia without having to convert their visa to a working visa. To do this first apply for the LTSVP itself then apply for a LTSVP work endorsement. I decided to write this guide to help others applying for a work endorsement!

Once you have your LTSVP you can apply for a work endorsement which will be valid until the expiry of your pass (If you already have an employment offer when applying for your LTSVP you may be able to get the endorsement at the same time).

Obtain an application form and check list from Immigration; I have scanned the form we were given so you can download it from here. Documents required include employment offer letter, your work contract (which must be stamped), company registration forms and a permission letter to work from your spouse!

Once you have all of the documents needed and have completed the application form both the applicant and Malaysian spouse must attend Immigration together to make the submission.

When attending the immigration department clothing rules may be enforced e.g. no shorts/t-shirts/slippers/short skirts. You may be turned away if you are not dressed appropriately.

If you have found this information useful, please consider buying me a coffee to say thanks by clicking on this link:

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