Unmarried Spouse - Dependent Pass or Long Term Visit Pass

Hello

My question is whether my unmarried spouse could enter Malaysia on a dependent pass or would need to get a long term visit pass.

I'm an experienced Financial Services professional who is about to get a job offer from one of the Big4 accounting firms in Kuala Lumpur.  They would be fully supportive of my visa and employment pass applications.  My salary is good (over 500,000 MYR annual) to reflect the experience I can bring.

As well as myself, I would be bringing my unmarried partner and 2 small children to live with me. We would be leaving the UK, where myself and my family are UK citizens.   My children would be on Dependents Pass' and we are trying to work out whether my partner (mother to the children) would be under a dependents pass (with a letter from the British High Commission in KL saying we are spouses) or a Long Term Visit Pass.

Wording on the UK Government's website about the British High Commission's services is pretty clear - that they can issue a spousal letter in support of her getting a dependents pass.  I've checked with the British High Commission and they have said they can do this.

Wording for 'Issue a letter for Dependant Pass':
We can issue “Common Law letters” in support of unmarried partners or family members’ (of a British citizen, employed in Malaysia) application to live in Malaysia as a dependant. The partners or the family members can then make an application to Malaysian Immigration Department for Dependant Passes to be affixed in their respective passports.
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/notarial-an … #Dependant

However, my future employer has said that she could only come in on a Long Term Visit Pass.  They think it's the only option but I think they may be wrong.

My questions are:
1)  Assuming we get the spousal letter, do you think she would be eligible for a dependents pass?
2)  What are the chances of visa rejection for either a dependents pass or a long term visit pass?
3)  What are the advantages / disadvantages of dependent pass vs long term visit pass?

For the last question, she will not be working immediately.  However, she may want to work in the future (e.g. 6 months after arrival).

Your help with the questions is much appreciated!

Regards
A stressed future expat

They think it's the only option but I think they may be wrong.

They are 100% correct - the name of the Pass for unmarried partners is Social Visit Pass (Long Term). See Page 25 of the ESD guide below

Technically there is no difference from a DP - it's just the Malaysian Immigration only include married spouses and children on the DP.  Parents and CL spouses are given the SVP(LT)

https://esd.imi.gov.my/portal/pdf/TC-ES … r-2017.pdf

If she wishes to work she must compete in the job market on equal footing and under the same rules as for any foreigner wishing to work here plus change her SVP(LT) for an Employment Pass if offered a job.

Gravitas - thanks for replying here and again on my other post.

If I understand correctly, for a CL Spouse a Dependent Pass = LTVP ?  And hence my confusion? If so, do I still need the letter from the British High Commission?

Do you also have quick answers on how long would her pass be valid for - same duration as mine? And, granted that she will need to compete with local applicants for work (she is a UK primary school teacher) are there any restrictions for her working under her pass?

If you opened the guide it would become clear

All DP and SVP(LT) would be valid same period as your EP

There are jobs for your partner - as mentioned earlier, she would have to change her SVP(LT) for an EP

I've read the guide before and have to say some of it is clear and some not. Hence my need to ask for further advice on the forum.

Thanks for all your help on this, it's clarified things and I'll do some more reading now I've got my main question answered.

You have been given the correct information by employer and embassy - but for some reason you choose to doubt it. The Embassy Letter is needed for a CL wife to apply for the SVP(LT). It's listed in the required documents.

Thanks. (The confusion was because they called it different things)

(One said that we can give you a letter for A; and the other said I need to apply for B)

The Embassy was right in that they must give you a letter, but wrong in calling it for a DP application.

But the ESD guide is quite clear and specific.

You will hate Malaysia for a while, I fear - because it takes a lot of patience and flexibility to adapt to the environment.

Id like to know the outcome of this case. Malaysia, being so religious and traditional would be struggling with Common Law arrangements no matter what the circumstances.  I wish I could point to successes of others in gauging the chances in your EP application but I dont know any. The government says Common Law spouses "can be considered." What does that vague thing mean? My very personal opinion is that if they really want YOU, that would increase your chances. Does giving you the Pass help the country, is it a great thing for the country, would Malaysia be excited to have you here? Malaysia is always looking to be benefited as opposed to benefiting others so in my mind it comes down to that. In that case it would be much easier for the country to say, Ok we will accept your Common Law spouse too. I hope you succeed, and please keep us posted as it would help others to know.

Having said that, regardless of what steps you are required to take, or what the government site says about passes and Common Law, nobody can give a clear answer because the government does what it likes for each case. A person can follow all the steps precisely and still fail. This isnt the first world here and personally I have found that the LEAST 100% TRUE information is contained on any government website or form or what you are straight told at an office counter. What is the truth? What is the tally of success in an application? Apply and see what comes out of the other side of the pipe. You might succeed where the last guy (or next guy) fails. Everything here is a dice roll! So what are your chances? Absolutely 50/50! Harder still is that if you walk into the Immigration office and ask about your chances, they will tell you the same thing, "try first and see how."

Here is a question, if your Common Law spouse failed to get the pass, would you still take the job? You begin to see why there is so much bribery and corruption in this part of the world involving people trying to solve problems and get what they need. Personally I wont go that direction but I see its value.

Sorry I cant be more helpful right now. Maybe I'll think of something else more positive.

I too would be interested in how this works out, technically you're running against Islamic law, cohabitating without being legal married. Currently Malaysia doesn't enforce Islamic family law, which this falls under, for non-Muslims. But I could see some issues with getting a CL marriage recognized by immigration. Keep in mind that 90% or more of the immigration officers with high enough rank to make such decisions are going to be Malay (and Muslim), and as such will not approve morally of your situation. This will make getting approval difficult.

It works the same way as Case Law - it's been done before so it can be repeated. The obvervation to CL only started to appear in EP literature about 2 years ago. There are only certain nationalities eligible because of their laws.

Posting an update - we successfully got the Social Visit Pass (Long Term - 1 Year) for my unmarried partner. The truth is that it was pretty painless although please be aware of two things:

1) We have children together and offered proof of this
2) We obtained the spousal letter from the UK High Commission

I would guess that it was the first of these that was the most powerful. The research I did before applying showed that some people were getting rejected and others weren’t, but it seemed to be the couples with children together who got approved.

The hardest part of the process for us was in the UK and relating to our children. We didn’t know this previously but UK birth certificates are not legal documents (!!!) and are required to be ‘Legalised’ by the Legalisation Office in Milton Keynes first. After doing this, there is an over the counter service at the Malaysian Embassy in London to get the birth certificates recognised by Malaysia (drop-off in the morning and pick-up at lunchtime).

We took a week’s holiday in KL on a Tourist Visa, during which time we went to the UK High Commission. They checked our documents and produced the letter which basically says that myself, my unmarried spouse and our children were looking to relocate to Malaysia. I was even allowed to check the letter and make minor amendments.

After this, my employer did the application for myself which came back successfully after a week. Next they did the applications for my unmarried spouse and children which also took around a week and came back successful.

Now we are happily settled in Malaysia!

Gravitas :

They think it's the only option but I think they may be wrong.

They are 100% correct - the name of the Pass for unmarried partners is Social Visit Pass (Long Term). See Page 25 of the ESD guide below

Technically there is no difference from a DP - it's just the Malaysian Immigration only include married spouses and children on the DP.  Parents and CL spouses are given the SVP(LT)

https://esd.imi.gov.my/portal/pdf/TC-ES … r-2017.pdf

Hi Gravitas, since you mention technically there is no difference between DP & SVP(LT). means SVP(LT) also has multiple entry ? because normal SVP is single entry.


rhinola :

We didn’t know this previously but UK birth certificates are not legal documents (!!!) and are required to be ‘Legalised’ by the Legalisation Office in Milton Keynes first.

It's need to legalised to make sure that certificate is valid. there are ton of fake documents nowadays.

fachru - yes, the "LT" is the key really.

Just a "SVP" is basically an on arrival tourist entry or a prearranged visa. Each having a defined short horizon (or a series of short entries if a multiple entry visa)

There has since been a development. The latest announcement about visa fees shows the SVP (LT) now is called a LTSVP-EP

https://esd.imi.gov.my/portal/latest-ne … _new_fees/

The terminology for a married partner's pass remains a DP

The new designation also distinguishes it from the "spouse visa" issued to Malaysian citizen's marriage partners.

The Quick Guide from ESD website has not been updated.

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