Hey everyone! Sorry for the long absence. For the past 2 months, I have been busy settling down and adapting my new life in Kuala Lumpur (K.L), Malaysia. I promised I will be back with my regular posts from now on. If anyone of us wish to read about certain topic or issue, please drop me a comment or email. I will be very happy to research and write about it.
Okay, back to the post, as I have mentioned in one of my previous post, Marrying A Malaysia Part 1, I have legally registered my marriage to my Malaysian husband in K.L back in September. Currently, I am residing in K.L on a one year long term social visit pass (LTSVP), previously known as the spouse pass. Apart from that, another good news is I have also managed to secure a stable job in this entirely new city after having my work endorsement application granted by the Immigration Office.
As such, similar as before, I am documenting my experience in preparing all the necessary documents here for people who are in the same situation as me. Hopefully, I will be able to guide you through the whole complicated process in obtaining a LTSVP in order to reside and work permanently in Malaysia.
So why do you apply for a LTSVP, but not a permanent resident (PR)? This is due to the immigration laws of Malaysia. Different from Singapore or many other countries, a foreign spouse can only start applying for PR status after holding a LTSP for at least 5 years. Of course, he/she must remain be legally married to a Malaysia citizen in order to apply for a LTSVP.
Compared to those foreign spouses who married Malaysian many years ago, I must say I am a very lucky one. Thanks to the various changes made in the immigration laws in 2010, the application process has now be simplified and straightforward.
The LTSVP application must be submitted at any state immigration office, "Pass and Permit division". In my case, I did my application at the Jalan Duta office. The entire process will take a week to complete.
However, before you proceed to any state immigration office, I suggest having the documents listed below prepared to prevent a wasted trip.
1. Original and copy of Mykad of Malaysian spouse (all pages) - 2 copies
2. Original and copy of passport of foreign spouse (all pages) - 2 copies
3. 2 passport photo of Malaysian spouse
4. 2 passport photo of foreign spouse
5. 4R size wedding photo
You will need to paste your wedding photo in the center of a piece of A4 plain paper.
6. Original and copy of marriage certificate (Malaysia or foreign if married overseas)
If you have registered your marriage overseas, there are extra steps to complete before you could proceed for the LTSVP application.
7. Form Imm 12, Form Imm 55 & Form Imm 38 (2 copies each)
These forms cannot be downloaded online. Please Q up at the reception desk at the "Pass and Permit division" to get the forms from the immigration officer.
However, for me, Form Imm 55 is not required for me. This is for people who need to ask for a visa extension to remain in Malaysia while waiting for their LTSVP to be approved.
Once you have gotten the form from the officer at the reception desk, please fill them up accordingly. The forms are in Bahasa Malayu. For LTSVP application, I will really recommend for the Malaysian spouse to tag along during the whole process.
After you filled up the forms, please proceed to the Commissioner of Oaths office. There is one located at the ground floor in the Jalan Duta Office. Pass them the forms for them to do some stamping. This will cost you RM10. In the case where you do not know how to fill in some parts of the form, please do not worry. The officers at the Commissioner of Oaths office will be able to help you to complete them at a fee. If I did not remember wrongly, it cost another RM10.
After having everything above completed, please proceed back to the "Pass and Permit division". Get a number ticket from the reception desk. Submit all the documents to the immigration officer once your number is called. You will be given a receipt and ask to go back again a week later.
You are required to pay an amount as security bond before collecting your LTSP. The amount varies depending on your country of origin. You could refer here for the rate.
Normally, the initial LTSVP will run from 6 months to a year depending which country you are from. In the case for Singaporean, I am granted with a initial LTSVP of a year.
For foreign spouses who wish to work or who has already found a job, please prepare the following documents listed below for your work endorsement application. The application itself should be simple and fast. In addition, it is free of charge.
1. Passport of foreign spouse (original & copy)
2. IC of Malaysian spouse (original & copy)
4. Job offer letter
5. Stamped employment contract (Stamp Duty 10RM)
Please get your employment contract stamped at the Income Tax Office. The stamping will cost you RM 10. However, I paid RM 30 to the officer at the Commissioner of Oath office to have them bring the document to the Income Tax office for me.
6.Company forms 9, 24 & 49
To be provided by your employer
7. Company License
For certain industry only. I am not sure which industry required this. Please check.
8. Letter of application
Get this from the officer from the reception desk at the "Pass and Permit division".
9. Letter from husband if Malaysian citizen is male to allow female spouse to work
I simply typed a letter out and got my husband to sign on it.
The work endorsement application can be submitted together with your LTSVP application if ou have already found a job or after your LTSVP application has been approved. The whole process will take you only 3 working days.
So far, working in Malaysia is not bad thing for me. However, for foreign spouses who wish to be employed, there are a few things to note:
1. Paper qualifications are quite important and crucial in securing a well paying job. However, it is not as important as compared to Singapore.
2. For those who managed to get employed, please be prepared that 26% of your monthly income will be taxed. According to the taxation laws in Malaysia, foreigners will only become a tax resident after he/she has continously reside in the country for more than 183 days.
Having live in Singapore, which I believe has one of the lowest tax rate in the world for all my life, this came as a big surprise for me. However, I could only silently accept this and pray that time will pass faster.
3. You might face a lot of problems while looking for a job due to visa issues. As most of the employers are still unfamilar with the LTSVP, they might be reluctant to even offer you a chance for an interview. My only advice is not to give up on hope and keep applying for as many jobs as possible. Explain to the employers if they asked about the LTSVP and convince them that you have no problems in getting employed.
This post is solely based on my experience. The approval of your LTSVP is subjected to the immigration office. If you have any questions, please feel free to drop a comment here. I will try my best to help you.
For foreign spouse who plans to marry and reside in Malaysia on a long term basis, you may wish to learn more about the following topics too. If you are interested to know how to:
1. Register your marriage in Malaysia: Marrying A Malaysia Part 1
2. Extend your LTSVP and work endorsement: Marrying A Malaysian Part 3: How To Extend Long Term Social Visit Pass (Spouse Pass)
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