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Key Points
  • Malaysia will start accepting projections for foreign knowledge workers in 2021 on November 3, 2020
  • Applications will be accepted through November 14, 2020
  • The announcement affects individuals with professional visit and employment passes
  • Companies should aim to submit applications by December 31, 2020
  • Foreign worker projections must be approved before applying for a pass

On November 3, 2020, the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) eXpats Service Centre will start accepting projections from companies on their needs for foreign knowledge workers in 2021. The projection submission window is open from November 3 through November 14, 2020.

Who is Affected?

The announcement affects individuals with professional visit passes and employment passes. It applies to companies that are currently registered with MDEC that have MSC or ICT status.

Foreign nationals whose applications cannot be submitted electronically, and those who prefer to apply in person, can still request an in-person appointment at the DGME via phone or email. The agency will start scheduling appointments after November 30, 2020 when it reopens following a COVID-19 shutdown.

What Should Employers and Applicants Know?

Foreign knowledge worker projections require approval before employees can apply for new or renewal employment passes. Companies with new or renewal EP projection requirements in the first quarter of 2021 should submit their projections first.

Employment pass processing times will range from 14-20 business days except for ESD processing, which will take one week to 10 days.

Employers must include certain supporting documents with their foreign worker projection requests, including:

  • Master service agreements (MSAs) with appendices; letter of award (LOA); scope of work (SOW); and purchase order invoices
  • List of all projects with total value and duration
  • Copy of the most recent audited account and current management account
  • Most recent EPF statement for 2020
  • Latest IRB CP39 form
Looking Ahead

There is no official filing deadline, but companies should aim for approval by December 31, 2020 to avoid issues and delays in submitting their renewal applications, including renewals for permits set to expire through the first quarter of 2021.

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