The Malaysian Immigration Department issues the Malaysia Special Pass to foreign nationals who have not renewed their current employment or student pass or not departed after it expired, if it is for a reason they deem acceptable.

In the past, the Malaysia Special Pass was issued for two reasons: “Making Arrangement to Leave the Country” and “Pending Approval of an Employment/Student Pass”.

However, as of 2016, the Department of Immigration stopped allowing expats to convert or extend their Pass while they are in Malaysia through a Special Pass. So, the Malaysia Special Pass is issued for a duration of 30 days, after which you must depart the country.

Who has to apply for a Malaysia Special Pass?

There is confusing and often contradicting information online regarding the instances when a Malaysia Special Pass can be issued. However, as of regulations which came into effect in 2016, it appears that you can only apply for a Malaysia Special Pass if for some reason you cannot depart the country by the date that’s stated on your current Pass (Visit Pass, Employment Pass, Student Pass etc).

This means you can no longer receive a Malaysia Special Pass if you have not applied for a Pass renewal in a timely manner or you want to convert your Student Pass to an Employment Pass, for example.

As such, the Malaysian government will only issue a Special Pass which states that you are currently in the midst of “Making Arrangement to Leave the Country”.

If you want to apply for a new Pass but have insufficient time on your current Pass, you may have to leave the country and reapply.

You must contact the Immigration Department of Malaysia to enquire whether you are eligible for a Special Pass.

Requirements for a Malaysia Special Pass

When applying for a Malaysia Special Pass, you will be required to have several supporting documents, such as:

  • Your original passport
  • Photocopies of all the pages on your passport
    • You may also be required to submit copies of previous passports (if any)
  • A copy of your current Pass
  • In cases of Dependents:
    • Photocopy of the primary Pass holder’s passport details page and their current immigration Pass
    • Marriage certificate (for spouses)
    • Birth certificate (for dependent child)
    • Birth certificate of main Pass holder (for dependent parent)
  • Reserved flight ticket within the next 30 days
  • Typed letter explaining the reason for requesting a Special Pass.

Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list of requirements and the Immigration Department of Malaysia reserves the right to request any documents they consider relevant.

Birth and marriage certificates have to be translated in English (if they are not already) and endorsed as Certified True Copy (CTC) by your country’s Embassy in Malaysia.

How to apply for a Malaysia Special Pass?

It is the Immigration Department of Malaysia who is in charge of processing Malaysian Special Passes. You must appear before them before your Pass has expired and you need to extend it and request to apply for a Malaysia Special Pass.

You must apply at least 7 days before your current Pass expires.

If you are an international student, your school can arrange the application for Special Pass on your behalf. However, all the costs related to the Special Pass have to be covered by you.

Similarly, if you are a foreign worker, speak to your employer to inquire who must apply for the Special Pass. In many cases, the employer obtains a Special Pass on behalf of the employee.

What happens if you overstay in Malaysia?

If you stay in Malaysia past the date of your Pass’ expiry date, you will have overstayed. Overstaying in Malaysia is considered a punishable offence and it is subject to detention as well as a fine. Your penalty is issued by the Immigration Department of Malaysia.

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