What is the change? Malaysia has recently begun enforcing an existing rule that foreigners holding new passports take steps to transfer their employment passes and other passes to their new passports.

What does the change mean? Foreign nationals who obtain a new passport should observe “transfer of endorsement” rules to avoid delays while entering or exiting.

  • Implementation timeframe: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: All types of passes.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals who have acquired a new passport.
  • Impact on processing times: Enforcement of the rules does not impact processing times, but noncompliance may cause foreign nationals to face delays at immigration exit or entry points.
  • Business impact: This will have minimal business impact beyond possible travel complications.

Background: Foreigners who obtain a new passport typically travel with both their new passport and their old passport containing their employment pass, dependent pass or other type of pass. However, holders of these passes are required to complete the transfer endorsement of them to the new passport based on immigration guidelines. Malaysian authorities are enforcing these rules because once an old passport is canceled, the pass in the old passport is assumed to be invalid. Authorities are requiring holders of employment passes and dependent passes to process the transfer of endorsement as soon as a new passport is issued.

Foreigners returning to Malaysia with old and new passports can expect immigration authorities at checkpoints to stamp their new passport with a “Report to Immigration” stamp instructing them to complete the transfer of endorsement process by a given deadline. If they fail to complete the process, they are likely to be held up at exit or entry points and stopped from traveling into or out of the country.

BAL Analysis: Foreigners should be aware of the recent enforcement measures of this rule and be sure to transfer their employment passes and dependent passes to a new passport as soon as it is issued.

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