What is the change? The Malaysian Immigration Department is rolling out registration for access to services through the Expatriate Services Division (ESD) online portal to six more industries: agriculture, finance, medicine, mining, sports and tourism.

What does the change mean? Companies in these sectors must register in the new system to be able to file online applications for employment passes.

  • Implementation timeframe: March 12.
  • Visas/permits affected: Employment passes.
  • Who is affected: Companies in the agricultural, financial, medical, mining, sports and tourism sectors.
  • Impact on processing times: The program is designed to improve processing times. However, there may be delays during the initial rollout period.
  • Business impact: Companies in the targeted sectors will be subject to new procedures and possibly stronger monitoring.
  • Next steps: Contact your BAL attorney to prepare for registration.

Background: The Malaysian Immigration Department is beginning Phase Two of the launch of its new online portal. Phase One launched the portal for oil, gas and energy sector companies earlier this month. Phase Two will extend use of the portal to employers in the agriculture, financial, medical, mining, sports and tourism sectors. There is no information yet on which industries may be included in Phase Three.

As BAL reported during the Phase 1 launch, the rollout of the portal requires each employer to undergo a process of registration. Phase Two companies may begin the registration process at any time from March 12 onward. Registered employers can use the portal to apply for and renew employment passes, transfer employment passes to new passports, and obtain other employment pass-related services, as well as book appointments with ESD representatives.

The Malaysian Immigration Department will eventually require all companies to submit employment pass applications online through the ESD portal. The Immigration Department recently released a notice that employers in the Phase One and Phase Two industries are required to use the ESD portal to submit filings from April 1. However, given previous delays in the implementation of the ESD program, that date may be subject to change.

BAL Analysis: Once fully implemented, the ESD system may significantly speed up processing times for employment pass-related services. The initial registration process, which may include site inspections, increases the Immigration Department’s oversight of employers. Contact your BAL attorney for updates and assistance in preparing for employer registration.

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.

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