Stage 1 EP Processing

Hello Folks,

I've been living and working here in Malaysia for 8 years now. I was working for one company here for 7 years and with gods' grace i was given an opportunity to work in another company here. I just want to ask how long to obtain a stage 1 EP. My new employer submitted my application last Monday so wondering the whole procesa time. With my previous employer. Stage 1 will onlyvtake 1 week. Not sure if its the same for a new company.

Did your first company already shorten your current EP validity and give you the NOC or are you changing at the end of the contract period?

(Public holidays 31st Jan and 1 Feb)

Hello Gravitas, Yes- they cancelled my visa 31st Jan. My new company applied me for my special pass. So now just waiting for my stage 1 clearance. All docs has been submitted to them including the release letter from the previous company.

Just an update. My application was returned to my employer due to lack of e-mail or telephone number in my release letter. When I checked my release there was a phone number underneath.

So, will have to wait.

UPDATE: I received my approval letter from MDEC and now its for EP endorsement in Malaysia Immigration. So the whole experience upon submission of the application will take 5 working days assuming that there is no problem with the documents that they submitted. Which we have to commend MDEC as they live to their promise of ensuring that application will be reviewed within the time frame they stated.

Also, almost everyday I always check my application in MDEC in this site
This is not helpful as it is not updated nor they provide status. I still like the old site where you just have to put your passport number and immediately you will be able to see that status.

For the past week, I explored the expat website. Read some posts and comments regarding their visa. This site has tons of information from visa issue, relocation. I will recommend this to my fellow Filipino. I will surely visit this site and hopefully contribute base on my experience.

Thanks! Bless up!

Other MDEC applicants have not been so fortunate but seemingly changing jobs is easier than being recruited for the first one (and having the additional steps required for Indian citizens, amongst others).

Thanks for the feedback. So your passport is at immigration for endorsement of the new EP now?  Let us know how long it takes?

Surely, Gravitas - they are requiring me to submit the passport to them for EP endorsement. I will update this post once I have the info.

Dear Gravitas and respected Members,

I am from India and I am living in Malaysia from past two years and need to change my EP1 to another company within Malaysia. Please advise how much time it will take and do I need to exit from the Malaysia to get the new EP? and what document I need to take from my current employer so that new employer can easily transfer my EP.
Appreciate your help

3 months is a good amount of time to move  employer.

With my experience it took me a month to process my paper. Provided that I completed all the docs required by MDEC (e.g. tax declaration, NOC, etc. ) Your current employer should help you process all this and you only have to provide the required documents needed.

Thank you so much for your reply,

I was already working on EP1, My question is, In that case all the documents are already with MDEC, they just need to switch it to new company.
My second question is that what will be happen for my residence status in case
1.EP1 is easily switch from old to new employer
2.EP1 is not transfer and new company need to apply fresh one

Also am I need to out from Malaysia for each case? and renter with new EP?

2.EP1 is not transfer and new company need to apply fresh one

This is the situation. A new application needs to be made to MDEC by the new employer. This is because their staffing plan and paid-up capital in the company are the basis for the decision.  You will  need to provide all your documents again through this new company's application, plus proof you  are up to date with your income tax payments at LHDN. A NOC (no objection letter) is also required from the current company (which means they are releasing you from your contract).

As long as the application is submitted in good time to allow the process to be completed, you do not need to leave the country. The current company shortens the EP to the day before the new job commences. This can be done with future effect.

During my tenure in my current company, I paid tax in first 6 months. When I apply for fresh EP, do I have to pay it again in both cases (stay or leave the country)?

As long as there is continuity in your EPs then you can remain in the country (because you are here legally on an EP). Remembering that the endorsement of the new EP into your passport will take place once you join the new job.

You always pay tax - each month. But the rates change and are higher when not tax-resident (it is payable at a flat rate of 28%).

You continue as a  tax resident if you remain for 182 days per calendar year in Malaysia, provided you hold a long-term immigration pass (i.e. are not a tourist).

So you will continue to pay the progressive tax rates when you start with your new company

As mentioned above, you have to do a Leavers tax clearance from your current employer and any shortfall in tax deductions will be claimed from you at that time.

Thank you for your quick reply.

So even if I leave this job, leave Malaysia and join back in 40 days in another company on new EP, I will be eligible to pay progressive tax?

If you leave the country between jobs you will need a Visa with Reference (VDR) plus security check etc. to return to Malaysia because the EPs are NOT continuous.

This is a different scenario than you mentioned before. What happens is your current EP is shortened to match your flight ticket reservation.  The application for the new EP can begin with a deferred start date etc.

The tax question now gets more complicated. But even if you are charged 28% again, the difference between the flat rate and the progressive rates would be refunded in April 2019 when you do your tax return. You don't say how many tax years you have been in Malaysia so far and that makes it difficult to answer the question.

It is early in 2018 so you can still achieve 182 days in the calendar year.

Thanks Alot,

Just one last clarification, In case I want to take break between another job,(consume my surplus leave before leaving current organization) Can I go out and return back and then resign the job. In that case it should be fine and no discontinuity will be there.

Please correct if my understanding is correct.

Using your leave would be part of your current contract of employment so you can take your leave then give your notice on your return (except if I was the employer I would not be happy with that action)

It is never a good time to leave the country when changing jobs.

The best scenario is to talk to your employer about your intention to leave the company and that you  would like to use up your leave and then give notice. That way they can advertise the vacancy in good time.

The company and you can have an agreed departure date at the end of your notice period. That date can be stated in the NOC and in the Offer of Employment from the new company it would be consecutive.

As long as you serve your notice and join the new employer while still in the country there is technically from an immigration angle no issue.

Being outside Malaysia without an EP is the issue.

FINAL UPDATE: After I received my Stage 1 letter last Feb 8. My new company endorsed my passport to Immigration for stamping. I submitted my passport to them last Feb 13 and was endorsed Feb 14. I received my passport now with EP stamp last Feb 20.

So- transferring to a new company for an expat like me was a new journey for me. I recommend for expats that if you will be switching jobs. You must at all time coordinate to your HR and fulfill what MDEC and your new company requires from you. Tax paper, PCB, NOC, etc. Your company should provide this to you except for the tax acknowledgement where you can login to tax portal and print it from there.

Also, save up to 2-months. Be prepared. MDEC has a good turn-around same as for stamping (Immigration).

Tq Adamtauro - could you just confirm the date your resigned from old company and the date you joined the new one please - it will help put the process in perspective.

Tq again.

Hi Gravitas- Sure!

Last working date from previous company : 14th January 2018

NOC Released Date: 31st January 2018

Stage 1 Approved : 8th February 2018

Stage 2 Endorsement: 14th February

New company Start date: 19th February 2018

Hi Adamtauro,

Thanks for the update you have given :) Really help me to understand the whole process.

I’m now in process moving to the new company in Malaysia. My previous company didn’t provide me with the NOC letter hence I need to do the reference visa in my home country.

I am now in the application stage 1 process, my employer submitted the application at 23 March, and now is still at pending approval status.

How long is the average time to get the stage 1 approval? Upon the approval, MDEC should notify the employer right?

You need a NOC if you left your job before end of contract/end of visa. Former company also needs to cooperate by updating database to allow a new EP application.

Mdec is usually 2-3 weeks on average.

Your income tax needs to be in order as well or not possible to apply for a new EP

Hello Gravitas,

Yes Understand for that. Unfortunately my previous company didn’t provide me the letter, so I need to leave Malaysia and do the reference visa in my home country. But to do the reference visa, I will need the approval letter from stage 1 application.
Any same case with me here?

The only point to leaving Malaysia would be to wait for the expiry of the EP.

Thanks Gravitas,
I have done the tax clearance and cancel the EP 2 week ago. After I left Malaysia at 21 March, my employer submitted my application stage 1.

Hopefully within next week I will get the approval from MDEC.

Hello friends,

I am also in similar situation. Since my base location with the company is India. They said that they could not provide NOC here in Malaysia and I need to travel to India to perform the exit formalities and serve last working day in company.

My last working day with current company is 22nd June. Joining in new company in Malaysia is 25th June. I would be traveling to India on 1st June after tax clearance and visa cancellation. I understand that I need to apply fresh Stage 1 for new EP. I hope 20-25 days are enough to get Stage 1 visa and get it stamped.

Bungayoe, how much time Stage 1 took in your case ? Did they asked for NOC ?

Gravitas , Any suggestion for my situation ?

Hi Fazli,

May below information of my case useful for you:

- Last working date from previous company : 9th March 2018

- Tax clearance initiated: 12th March 2018

- EP Cancellation date: 21st March 2018

- Stage 1 Submitted: 22nd March 2018

- Stage 1 Approved : 6th April 2018

- Reference Visa application in home country submitted: 9th March 2018

- Reference Visa done: 11th March 2018, then only I can enter Malaysia and start working.

For my case, they didn't as for the NOC letter.

Thanks Bungayoe, Your provided timelines would help me to plan better. In my case I would get my Visa cancellation and tax clearance before my last working day.

If I get the NOC from my company, is it the only document which is required to process Stage 2 directly by my new employer ? or my employer still need to wait till my visa cancellation ?

I am not sure about the "change of employer" process. Appreciate if someone can help to clear my doubt.


u Recent passport photo
u Copy of passport (full booklet with cover)
u Copy of highest educational certificates
          •     PleaseincludecopyofProfessional certificate(ifapplicable)
u Latest comprehensive Resume
u Release letter from previous employer in Malaysia (for change of employer only)
u Copy of Employment Contract (duly stamped by Malaysia Inland Revenue Board)
u Supporting document from Approving Agency / Regulatory Body (if applicable)
u Detailed Job Description printed on company’s letterhead
u Latest 3 months salary slips (for Employment Pass renewal and change of position)
u Latest e-BE /e-M tax filing (for Employment Pass renewal or change of position or change of employer)
u Tax payment receipts (if any)
u Latest EA Form (for Employment Pass renewal or change of position or change of employer)
u Account statement from Malaysia Inland Revenue Board (Note: upon request)
u Other documents specified upon request
Attention : Please refer to Annex D for full description … r-2017.pdf

Thanks a lot Gravitas

Can I re-enter Malaysia even though my EP is still on processing period?

If you need a VDR (visa with reference) to enter Malaysia to work, you would need to get that single entry visa. It's only authorised when the Visa Approval Letter is issued at the end of Stage I processing period.

My application is on "Decision Stage" as stated in the status. Is it still on Stage I or Stage II ?

How about if I got return ticket when I re-enter Malaysia, will it be OK?

Its Stage I

1. Check with your employer about the VDR requirement in your case. 2. The rule is you should be outside Malaysia while Stage I is ongoing.

Stage II is after arrival when the passport is sent for endorsement of the EP

Will the immigration officer allow me to enter Malaysia, if I got return ticket in 2 weeks time? As social visit pass. (I'm currently in Indonesia)

Are you intending to remain in Malaysia and start working - if so that would not be advisable.

I think Filipino nationals have to enter on a VDR before they can get their EP endorsed (Stage II). But I suggested you check this with your employer.

If I'm required to exit before I start the work then I will do it.

The VDR would be collected from the Malaysian High Commission or Consulate in your current country. It's single entry.

I'm in Indonesia, so it would be from Indonesia? but I'm here for social visit pass only.

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