I wrote previously about getting the long term social visit pass (or spouse visa) in Malaysia and it proved to be a popular post. In the same spirit, I have recently been successful in getting the Immigration Department to endorse me to work here.
This post, then, is about my experience of applying for ‘kebenaran kerja’, or a work permit endorsement on my spouse visa. As before, I have to impose many caveats on this – it is purely about my application and what happened with it, not a definitive and objective process for gaining permission to work in Malaysia. It is definitely not legal advice of any type.
We went to the WPKL office again. This is in Hartamas, and is commonly known as the Jalan Duta office. I have recycled my picture from the earlier post! We went in November 2018. In case you didn’t read the last blog, I’m British and my wife is Malaysian. We married in Singapore in May 2018, registered in Malaysia in the same month, then successfully applied for the spouse visa in July 2018; it runs until January 2019.
This time, we didn’t use any outside assistance (well, sort of… see item 6 below). I went in advance to the office and picked up a checklist of what we needed to supply. Here it is:
On the back of the checklist is an application letter of sorts:
Then the third page is the application form itself:
These last two are fairly straightforward, so I don’t intend to focus on them. Just complete them with your details. I will go through the checklist item by item, though. For clarity, I will refer to the organisation which will employ me as ‘work’.
1, Offer letter. This is simple. I asked work to put their official stamp on, just in case.
2. Employment contract. This was a little more complicated. It has to have the position and salary, the company stamp, and then work duration and contract duration. I actually couldn’t find what they meant as the difference between these, so work put the start and end dates, the length of the contract, and the daily hours on! This also has to be registered and have an official duty stamp from Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negara (Inland Revenue Board) to the value of RM10. I did this in advance close to our flat; I understand there is a branch about 10 minutes’ drive away from Jalan Duta if you need it.
3. Company registration forms 9, 24 and 49. These are financial recording documents, I understand. My work isn’t a company which has to register so I didn’t have to supply these. If yours is, then you should presumably ask the HR department or the company secretary to give you certified copies of these forms.
4. Application form. This is the one attached to the checklist.
5. Copy of passport. I copied every non-blank page of my passport again, but on arrival the desk sergeant removed most of them, saying I only needed to have the personal details page and the page with the spouse visa sticker on. You also need to have the real thing with you (because that is what they stamp if you pass muster).
6. Permission letter from spouse to work. This is the oddest requirement, given it’s the 21st century, but you have to get a letter from your spouse which formally gives you permission to work. Not only that, but the letter I drafted for my wife to sign wasn’t good enough, and we had to rush down to the Commissioner of Oaths’ office where we got them to prepare a letter for my wife on a standard template for RM15. Anyway, check the very end of this post for the wording, which might save you that cash.
7. Compulsory for husband and wife to be present. Not really an item to bring, but make sure your spouse is with you. He or she will need their IC too.
8. Copy of resignation letter. If you are changing company, you need to bring this. Not the case for me, so I can’t advise on format etc.
9. Eligibility of application is for long term pass of at least 12 months. Another non-item, this is however the scariest thing the checklist says. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem to be strict. The desk sergeant said to me that they will stamp for the duration of validity of my current visa, and then I would have to get my extended visa stamped again in future. The officer in charge of my application said I could do this on the same day when I come back in January. Phew.
10. Photos of work premises. I had a picture of the sign and the lobby of the building, as my work doesn’t allow pictures. The officer accepted this.
We also brought our marriage certificate just in case; it turned out we didn’t need it. We then waited around for the processing to happen, including going off to get some food, and then using the lunch break to buy a Christmas tree at the adjacent mall! On returning, we had to wait roughly 45 minutes until we got my passport back with this:
Update: thanks to commenter Deeno, I have just noticed that the immigration officer actually deletes the nasty wording on the LTSVP and directs the reader to the endorsement!
The whole process took about five hours, but that wasn’t helped by a 150 minute lunch break. Friday was a bad day to pick for that, but the queue was non-existent when we arrived, as opposed to out of the door on some other visits, so there is probably a tradeoff to make. They kept all of the documents I supplied, so make sure you have a copy of those you need to keep. Next visit will be for a joint extension/endorsement in January.
Again, this is a long post so thank you for reading and well done for your patience! Feel free to comment if you’d like; I’d be very happy to clarify any of the above, or to hear your experience with this process.
Wording for permission letter (for information only):
Jabatan Imigresen Malaysia
Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Aras G, 1, 2 and 5 Kompleks KDN
No 69 Jalan Sri Hartamas 1
50480 Kuala Lumpur [insert your immigration office address here if different]
SURAT KEBENARAN BEKERJA
1. Dengan segala hormatnya perkara di atas saya [insert Malaysian spouse name here], no. kad pengenalan [insert IC number here], isteri/suami [wife/husband – delete as necessary] kepada [INSERT FOREIGN SPOUSE FULL NAME HERE IN BOLD BLOCK CAPITALS] no. passport [insert passport number here in bold] seorang warganegara [insert nationality here] dan mengizinkan suami/isteri [husband/wife – delete as necessary] saya untuk bekerja di Malaysia.
2. Untuk makluman pihak tuan, suami/isteri [husband/wife – delete as necessary] saya telah mendapat tawaran bekerja sebagai [insert job title here in bold] di [insert employer here].
3. Dengan ini saya memohon jasa baik tuan untuk meluluskan “work visa” untuk suami/isteri [husband/wife – delete as necessary] saya dan mengucapkan ribuan terima kasih.
[INSERT NAME OF MALAYSIAN SPOUSE HERE IN BLOCK CAPITALS]
No Kad Pengenalan [insert IC number here]