• Some New Passport Holders Subject to Transfer Process Prior to Exit
  • February 9, 2015
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • Employment Pass, Professional Visit Pass and Dependent's Pass holders traveling out of Malaysia with a new passport must apply to transfer their endorsed work or dependent’s pass to the new passport prior to leaving Malaysia. The transfer process may take up to three weeks. Those who do not complete the transfer process may not be allowed to reenter Malaysia.

    Prior to this change in practice, foreign nationals could complete their transfer applications after reentry into Malaysia. The change is meant to ensure that foreign nationals enter with valid entry visas. The immigration authorities may use their discretion to allow reentry.

    This change has not yet been reported on the Malaysian immigration authority’s website.

    Consequences of Non-Compliance

    Foreign nationals who leave Malaysia without transferring their passes may be required to go through a process called Visa On Arrival (VOA) collection. During this process, authorities would ensure the foreign national has a valid entry visa. The process may take several hours at the airport, and it costs approximately MYR 500 (approximately USD 140). The immigration authorities may also require a representative from the local sponsoring company to be present during the VOA collection process.

    Following the VOA collection process, the foreign national would still be required to apply for transfer of their relevant pass.

    New Passports Issued Outside of Malaysia

    Visa nationals who obtain new passports abroad must also have a valid visa before re-entering Malaysia.

    Upon reentry, foreign nationals must still apply for transfer of their endorsed work or dependent’s pass to the new passport prior to leaving Malaysia, otherwise they may face penalties.

    Immigration authorities may use their discretion to allow reentry.

    What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

    Employment Pass, Professional Visit Pass and Dependent's Pass holders in Malaysia with new passports should apply as soon as possible to transfer their passes to the new passport, since the process could take up to three weeks.

    Those who fail to comply with the transfer requirement should be prepared for potential delays and fees upon entry into Malaysia.