What is the change? Malaysian authorities are strictly enforcing policies that require foreigners to transfer their work or other passes into a new passport when their old passport has expired.

What does the change mean? Foreign employees have been prevented from leaving Malaysia if they have not completed the “transfer of endorsement” procedures.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: All permits and passes, including employment passes, dependent passes, professional visit passes, student passes, social visit passes (long-term).
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals who have recently obtained a new passport.
  • Impact on processing times: Processing times vary according to the agency. ESD (Putrajaya & MYXpats Centre) and MDEC (MSC & ICT) process transfer of endorsement requests in three to five working days; TalentCorp (RP-T) processes them in 14 to 20 working days.
  • Business impact: Failure to complete the transfer could result in travel disruption if expatriate workers are stopped at the airport and prevented from leaving. “Controlled nationals” who require an entry visa and whose new passport is issued in their home country must apply for either a social or business visa from a Malaysian embassy before traveling.
  • Next steps: Foreign employees should make sure they complete the transfer of their existing work permit into a new passport before making travel plans.

Background: Authorities have periodically stepped up enforcement of the transfer of endorsement rules, increasing scrutiny of the issue in February of this year and in January 2015.

BAL Analysis: Foreign nationals are reminded that according to the rules, they are required to file for a transfer of endorsement as soon as they update from an old passport to a new one.

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 © 2017 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