What is the change? The Malaysia Digital Economy Corp. (MDEC) and Malaysia Expatriate Talent Service Centre (MYXpats Centre) have begun accepting projections from companies on their 2017 needs for foreign knowledge workers. Additionally, companies registered with the Expatriate Services Division (ESD), including those with MSC and ICT status, must now also submit 2017 projections for professional visit passes.

What does the change mean? Companies in Malaysia should begin submitting their requests for foreign workers for 2017 to avoid delays in approvals of securing new projections.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Employment passes; professional visit passes.
  • Who is affected: Companies registered with MDEC (companies with MSC and ICT status) or ESD.
  • Impact on processing: Decisions on annual projections are made in 10 to 21 business days.
  • Business impact: Foreign-knowledge worker projections must be approved before applying for employment passes or professional visit passes.
  • Next steps: Companies should plan to submit their foreign-worker projections as early as possible to avoid the year-end holiday slowdown. Although there is no official deadline for filing, companies should submit projections before Dec. 31 if they want to submit new or renewal employment pass or professional visit pass applications by the beginning of January or February.

Background: MDEC began receiving the requests starting on Dec. 7. MYXpats Centre began receiving them from ESD-registered companies starting Dec. 5.

Additionally, MYXpats Centre has introduced a new requirement that ESD-registered companies request projections for the number of professional visit passes they plan to apply for in 2017.

BAL Analysis: Companies should submit their foreign-worker projections for 2017 as early as possible and well before the end of the year if they intend to apply for employment passes or professional visit passes by the beginning of 2017. Companies expecting to hire large numbers of foreign workers should also anticipate delays if they are asked to submit additional documentation to support their requests for foreign workers.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Malaysia. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

Copyright © 2016 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact