March 14, 2014

The Malaysian Immigration Department’s plan to register companies who sponsor foreign workers has begun with a rollout to certain industry sectors. In order to facilitate these efforts, the newly branded Expatriate Services Division (ESD) (formerly the Employment Pass Division) built a new online registration portal where companies will complete Employment Pass (EP) filings, as well as transfer current passes to an employee’s new passport, and schedule appointments with ESD officers.

Thus, effective as of March 12, 2014, companies within the following sectors will be required to register with the new online ESD portal before they are again eligible to file new or renewal EP applications:

1. Oil
2. Gas
3. Energy
4. Agriculture
5. Mining
6. Healthcare
7. Finance
8. Tourism
9. Sports

A single representative from each company in these sectors must complete the online registration formalities. Upon filing, the company may be asked to provide a presentation before the ESD and potentially submit to on-site inspections of their facilities. Once the authorities approve the ESD registration, they will give the company representative access to the online portal.

All EP-related applications for companies in the affected sectors must be filed through this new portal starting April 1, 2014.

While the aforementioned sectors are the only industries currently affected by this new requirement, the Malaysian authorities do plan to implement this ESD registration requirement for most, if not all, companies who hire foreign nationals. It remains unclear as to the Immigration Department’s timeline for additional rollouts. Pro-Link GLOBAL continues to monitor the situation closely and will provide updates on further implementation timelines as they are made available.

Finally, please note that while the ESD online portal is eventually expected to reduce processing times for Employment Pass applications, renewals, and other procedures, it remains a very new system. Sudden and unexpected delays should be anticipated during the implementation phases.