What is the change? Malaysia’s Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) has announced updates to processing that will impact dependents, long-term social visit pass holders and Philippine nationals.

What does the change mean? Dependent passes will only be issued to applicants 18 years and younger; long-term visit pass holders cannot study, work or perform political activities; a requirement has been removed for certain foreign knowledge workers holding Philippine passports.

  • Implementation timeframe: Nov. 10.
  • Visas/permits affected: Long-term visit pass, dependent pass, Philippine Overseas Employment Authorization certificate.
  • Who is affected: Companies and foreign nationals applying through MDeC.
  • Business impact: The policy restricts business activities for those on long-term social visit passes.

Background: According to the announcement issued Nov. 3, MDeC will only grant dependent passes to dependents 18 years old and younger. Dependents older than 18 will be granted long-term social visit passes. Long-term social visit pass holders are not allowed to study, work, start a business, or be involved in political speeches, lectures, talks or any political activities. The announcement also confirms a policy we reported last week that MDeC has stopped issuing work authorization (consent to work) to foreign workers’ spouses holding dependent passes. Spouses who wish to work must obtain an independent Employment Pass.

Under another rule change, foreign knowledge workers holding Philippine passports who enter Malaysia without obtaining a reference visa will no longer be required to show a Philippine Overseas Employment Administration certificate when they apply at the Immigration Department.

BAL Analysis: Foreign nationals visiting Malaysia or bringing dependent family members should be aware of these updated changes.

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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