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The Long & Winding Road…To A Malaysian PR (Permanent Residence)

Posted by on 3 August 2010

Envelopes marked ‘Urusan Seri Paduka Baginda‘ always fill my heart with dread for some reason. That phrase, loosely translated to ‘Affairs of His Majesty’ [NB: Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy] marks envelopes containing official letters come from government agencies, like Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri (Bureau of Internal Revenue) and Imigresen Malaysia (Malaysian Immigration).

So when DH handed me such an envelope early Wednesday morning last week, I hastily opened the letter, my eyes scanning the letterhead — Imigresen Malaysia — and the first line of the first paragraph to see if it contained ‘dukacita‘, i.e. regretfully, which always means bad news, or ‘sukacita‘, i.e. with pleasure, which, of course, means good news.

The letter started with sukacita but it took a few minutes to for the implications of the letter to sink into my groggy consciousness.

Permohonan Permit Masuk bagi: (Application for Entry Permit For)
<my name>

Dengan hormatnya saya merujuk kepada perkara diatas dan sukacita dimaklumkan bahawa permohonan puan diluluskan. (With respect, I refer to the above matter and, with pleasure, I wish to inform you that your application for the same has been approved.)


I did it! Fourteen years of marriage and five children later, I finally get the long-awaited approval for my application for a Malaysian PR (permanent residence)! This marks the end of countless visits to Immigration office. To give you an idea of what I had to go through, I started with a 15-day visa, then 30-day visas (3 times, I think), followed by 3-month visas (3 times?), 6-month visas (2 or 3 times?), then yearly visas (5 of them), each time going there with my long-suffering husband in order to prove that the marriage does exist and that we are still together. I was only able to apply for PR after the 5th yearly visa, which was about 2 years ago. [NB: Malaysian men: If you're thinking of getting a foreign wife, better brace yourself for all this hassle!]

Of course, I have one more visit to make to the main office of Imigresen Malaysia in Putrajaya to submit a bank draft for RM120 (~USD38), a letter of oath signed by my husband and I certifying that we are still married and still together (‘perkahwinan masih kekal‘), my most recent passport-sized photographs, etc for the processing of my PR.

So what comes next? I checked with my cousin to find out. She is also married to a Malaysian and has been in Malaysia for about the same length of time as me. She told me that it took almost 2 years for her to get her red IC (Identity Card) after submission of the bank draft and documents. [NB: Malaysian citizens have blue ICs.] But — here is the big but — she told me that I will still hold a Philippine passport; the only difference is that I won’t have to go to Imigresen anymore to renew my visa every year. She added that she was told that it is possible to apply for citizenship but she’s quite unclear about the procedure.

I guess I’ll just have to take this one step at a time. It’s been a long and winding road but I am thankful to God that I am finally past the first hurdle.


Update 10th June 2012: I finally got my Entry Permit in late 2010 and my red IC (identity card) four months later. With my red IC, I now go through the Malaysian lane in the airport (and even got scolded the one time I queued up at the foreigners’ lane), get the same benefits and rates as Malaysian citizens in government clinics and hospitals, and generally get better treatment in banks and government offices, i.e. like a Malaysian citizen.

The Immigration Department has also introduced a new points system when applying for an Entry Permit: Points are calculated based on one’s age, relationship to a citizen/resident, investment in Malaysia, bank accounts (minimum: RM100,000!), job opportunities provided to Malaysians, Malay language proficiency, etc. The points calculator page also comes with a disclaimer: “Please take note that this assesment tool is only to show your possible points score. Should you wish to apply for an Entry Permit, it will not guarantee a successful application. Successful application depends on your complete application and supporting evidences submitted to the Immigration Department.” I can only foresee the procedures and system to change again in the years to come, as they always have over the years. Wives of Malaysian citizens have probably the best chances of getting a PR, especially once they have children (who will be Malaysian citizens, thanks to their father).


Update 9th September 2014: Apparently, it is possible for the wife of a Malaysian citizen to apply for citizenship after having been a Permanent Resident for two (2) years. Read the details in this post.

181 Responses to The Long & Winding Road…To A Malaysian PR (Permanent Residence)

  1. Maple Leave

    KS, how come you used to ask such funny and stupid questions? Without doubt, the required documents definitely must be submitted by hand rather than courier. Refer to the early input here, all the answers of your concerns can be found in this blog, but you kept asking again and again. You are really a country potato…

  2. Traveler

    KS It’s only logical that both husband and wife will have to be present!

  3. KS

    Maple Leave, you are a smart ass, rite? read Mimi’s approval appears as if immigration has requested for a bank draft etc to be submitted in person or post? Watch you mouth before commenting…I can say bigger and better things about you!

  4. ApplePie

    Hi All,

    I would like to know as whether Immigration sends PR approval letters via normal post or National Courier service(PosLaju)?


  5. Savita

    Friends , any idea as how long immigration takes to process PR document upon submission of rm 120/- draft etc to putrajaya, for Indian Nationals? I’ve submitted the same some 5 weeks back and no news as yet?

  6. Kevin

    Hi ApplePie:

    As far as I know, Malaysian government agencies used to send letters or documents via normal post instead of Pos Laju. The envelop they use is exactly the same as the one Mimi posted in this blog.

    Hi Savita,

    For the nationals from Indian sub-continent (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Nepal), the processing time for Entry Permit is 3 – 4 months. Which applicable to those from ASEAN, Africa and South America. I know the person in charge – Rosli from Putrajaya, he told me that before. So, be patient…

    Hi KS,

    Have you already received an approval letter from the Immigration?

  7. Savita

    Kevin, wonder what takes them 3-4 months to process? Once approved it means , it has gone through all the due process and now its a matter of printing the sticker! Funny the way they work or rather fool people!

  8. Kevin

    Hi Savita,

    Take it easy… Actually I completely agree with you. But this is the real practice the Immigration is currently carrying out. They process Entry Permit (EP) by applicants’ nationality. For instance, I collected my EP on the same day I submitted a RM120.00 bank draft. By the way, EP is a piece of green paper (B5 size) which shows your personal particulars instead of a sticker. And they will stamp on your passport which identifies your are a Malaysian PR. Hopefully they could speed up the issurance of your EP. Good luck and be patient…

  9. ruby

    hi, i m married to a foreigner for almost 9 yrs now
    and he is living with me here since then, we went through
    all the imigration process and now they hv called us
    for the interview for PR. We r quite nervous to wat type
    of questions will they ask. Anyone out there can help?

  10. Kevin

    Hi Ruby,

    No worries… The Immigration officer will ask very simple questions to your husband. For Example:

    1) When and where did you meet each other?
    2) What does your husband do?
    3) How does your husband find it in Malaysia?
    4) Can your husband speak Malay? (If cannot, just tell them the truth. This won’t affect your PR application. Malay proficiency is NOT required for spouse category)

    The interview is just one of the steps for the PR application. Good luck…

  11. Traveler

    Hi guys, Just wanna find out, what happens once your Passport with PR Stamp expires/is lost/or is full ? Is it tedious and lengthy process to get the new passport stamped?

  12. Kevin

    Hi Traveler,

    No worries… When your passport is expired, just get a new one from your embassy/consulate. And show the Immigration officer in the HQ office (Putrajaya) both old and new passports, and the original copy of Entry Permit, they would place a new PR stamp in your passport within 2-3 hours. Please note that this procedure MUST be done in Malaysia, Malaysian diplomatic missions do not process such application.

  13. Mimi

    Kevin, thank you so much for taking the time to answer all these questions!

  14. Traveler

    Thanks Kevin for the earlier reply.

    I’m planning my first overseas trip since getting my PR, Any do’s & dont’s while traveling overseas and re-entering Malaysia?

  15. Savita

    Can PR holders freely travel to east Malaysia for holidays?

  16. Mimi

    PR holders are free to travel anywhere. For international travel, bring IC or permit masuk then queue at Malaysian lane.

  17. Andy Chin


    I’m decide to marry with my filipino girl friend soon, but i have a question here…did i need to apply any permit for her to staying with me in malaysia after we get married?? coz i just apply 3 months visa for her to enter malaysia to get married. what i need to do only she can stay together with me after 3 months visa?

  18. sweta

    I have been to malaysia for 37 years . Married and have 2 kids. I also studied here. Still up to now i did not i did not get my PR. WHAT must i do….

  19. Zaff

    Hi, kevin i have question , i have applied for pr since 5-2011 and already done immigration (same month)and police interview dec 2011, now it’s already one year plus and in may it will be 2 years, i still don’t receive any update from immigration may i know how long it will take time?. i cal imigration last year to find out any update they said they still don’t recieve any report from Bukit Aman police,, can u explain me out.. how long time take and what further step i have to followup.
    tq ur advise will be very precious to me.

  20. Kevin

    Hi Zaff, just got your post. Sorry to tell you actually there is NO standrad processing time for both Entry Permit and Police Clearance. The reason is lack of communicaton and coordination between the Immigration and Bukit Aman. Another reason is maddening bureaucracy. According to my experience, you may try to contact the State police officer who interviewed you. He/she can check in-house system and tell you whether your Police Clearance has been done if he/she’s willing to help you. I did find a way out by doing so. Good luck!

  21. sebastian

    My wife have apply for pr in 2003 and Dec 2012 I have made rayuan letter and new address and other matter and send to Putrajaya. Now they say letter send to police clearance. I just want to know who to contact and meet the office in Penang island. Can you please help me this. Waiting for your kind reply. We are married more than 20 years.

  22. zaff

    hi kevin again i have question similar question as ApplePie asked from u, as you mention immigration send approval letter by normal post, normally how many days it takes to receive or how many weeks huh?.

  23. Tracy

    Hi Mimi,

    I am asking this on behalf of my friend who married a Filipino girl.
    Is it possible for the wife to work in Singapore ? She has just got her visa about months ago?

  24. Yana

    Hi Mimi im fililpino also just want to asked how to apply for green card as for me they are given only visa that stating percubaan? Married 2010 then applying permit entry 2011 may.

  25. Mimi

    Hi Yana. The thing with Immigration is: the policies keep changing and they will only give you information on a need-to-know basis. I suggest that you ask the officer politely on the next step the next time you renew your visa. Good luck!

  26. Yana

    Hi Mimi really appreciated, Thank you so much for your guide.

  27. olivia


    I’m in the midst of filling up and gathering docs for my husband’s PR application tomorrow. Can Mimi or anyone who has done it tell me how a surat iringan (covering letter by spouse) is suppose to be and what should i write about ? Any sample or guidance?

    Secondly, I wasnt given a Borang Permit Masuk (IM4). May i know what is this form please? i manage to find and download it online, but my husband’s been here since 2005. Do i still need to fill up this form?

    Lastly, the last question is on lain lain dokumen yang berkaitan. Anyone can advise on what other documents will be required that’s not on the checklist they’d need for us to bring along?

    All above are based on some of the 17 items needed on the PR checklist.

    Thank you very much in advance.

  28. alice


    I’m planning to apply PR and I took the form IM4 from the immigration department in the afternoon.

    Can someone teach me how to fill the “Borang Permit Masuk (IM4)”?

    One of the question is :
    “Saya layak masuk atas alasan-alasan yang berikut:”

    What the reasons I should write?

    Page 3 & 4 is written my information or my husband’s info.?




  30. Mimi

    Congratulations, Sally! What a relief to have the wait FINALLY over! :D

  31. irene

    hi kevin, my name is irene
    i’ve apply for the entry permit since december last year and until now i haven’t received any call from the police department for the clearance… how long will it usually takes?
    my worries is that ever since i submitted my document for the entry permit, i went to my hometown to take care of my sick grandma for half a year… will it be possible that the police clearance call wasn’t able to reach me? if i missed it, what should i do?

    oh god i’m so depressed now… please help me.


  32. Kevin

    Hi Irene,

    Just take it easy… Normally the police will contact the applicant for interview 6 – 8 months after application submission. But start from this January, the Selangor State Police informs the applicant for interview via phone calls instead of post. One of my friends just received a phone call for interview from them 3 weeks ago. I don’t know which state your are living in. Maybe you can try to call the State Police and tell them your application reference number (No Rujukan: EP/W1/12/……). See whether they have received your documents from the Immigration and when you can go for interview. Good luck!

  33. tau kaan

    people are getting PR within 3-4 months after arriving here. because they have lots of money to spend. i hope u understand…….

  34. Arwinn

    Salam kak Mimi, I’m a Malaysian boy that going to marry a Filipino girl next year 2014. Like your blog. Give me the route to get my future wife Malaysian PR

  35. Mimi

    Arwinn, (1) get married with the proper documentation — if done overseas, best to check with Malaysian embassy and (2) once u r both in Malaysia after marriage, quickly go to Immigration to “buka file” for her. Good luck!

  36. shirley

    Anyone has any ideas what needs to be included in the covering letter for PR application? Thanks.

  37. au

    Congratz, can i know how long is the expiry period once the PR APPLICATION IS APPROVED?

    My wife now back to china, and i just get a call from 0388801373 jabatan immigration malaysia.

  38. Rose

    Hi, Kevin/ Mimi. Glad to know that you have gotten your PR. I still have long way to go. :(
    I have submitted my PR application on oct 2012. But until today I haven’t got any letter or call for police interview. I have called to the state immigration, but they kept asking me to wait. Should I call to state police department or bukit aman to check for the status? Very clueless. Thx

  39. Kelvin

    Hi there
    just want to ask how is the process of the police interview
    and what are the questions they do ask

  40. Kristofer

    Funny thing is that I read often is that with “PR” one gets one to line up at the Malaysian lane at immigration. I have no PR and have been doing precisely that since 2009 and am yet to be stopped. Thankfully now the social visit pass can be endorsed to allow for employment. Now that’s a benefit. meanwhile I am still enjoying the benefits of visiting when I choose and staying how long I choose. Liked a comment one responder made “only foreigner in own family” LOL!!!! how true… Cheers!

  41. Asdar Ali Rizvi

    Hi I am a pakistani male married with a malay wife my wife is a doctor working for govt hospital kajang I was married in 2002 but I did not apply for social pass (pass lawatan) until 2006 because I was shy to ask help from my wife and I had my professional visa so I was still legal in malaysian lazy to change my permit status too because I hated to que in immigration for hours … in 2006 I already had 2 kids one boy one girl and I went to immigration to renew my professional pass I paid Rm4500 tax and processing fee altogether almost Rm6000 when I was submitting my file on the counter my daughter was in my lap so the immgration officer a lady on the counter asked me are you married to a Malaysian and I replied yes and I have 2 malaysian kids and my wife is pregnant for 3rd time so the immigration officer look at me as if I am weirdo and asked then why do you spend 6000Rm to renew your permit if you have social pass you can renew it in Rm90 every year if you have social pass based on marriage and after 5 years you will be entitled for permit masuk PR too I said to her that I don’t want to trouble my wife and she answered so you want tò trouble your kids?? The money you spend here Rm6000 you could save it for your kids … what an answer it was like a slap on my face … from that point I changed my mind in 2007 I went to perak immigration ipoh and submitted my application for social pass February 2007 I got it and exactly february 2012 I also applied for my PR january 2013 they called me for the interview in balai polis perak tangah after interview in 2013 I never heared any thing from them I never asked also but in february 2014 I got a shock of my life actually my permit masuk was already approved on 15th july 2013 letter of approval arrived at my father in law house in ipoh he is a simple village guy he didn’t know what was that he didn’t even open the letter he put it some where with the bills and thought to inform us later and then 7 months later he suddenly remember while my wife was chit chatting with him on the phone he shouted oh I remember 7 months earlier one letter arrived under our name but he forgot to inform us so my wife said never mind just post it to us here in kajang 3 days later on 20th february we received the letter opened it and it was approval of PR dated 15th july 2013 when we kept reading until the end we found out that the validity of letter was 6 months and it was expired I shaked my head and wanted to forget it but my wife said she will call immigration perak now I said no use it’s expired but any how she called , and told the whole story to the immigration officer he said never mind just type a letter surat rayuan sign it and go to immigration putajaya tomorrow morning so next morning 21st of February 2014 we went to immigration putrajaya with our expired letter and surat rayuan explaination letter why we are late to submit it the officer on counter didn’t talk much he just said go down stairs and make surat sumpah so we followed after a while we came back with surat sumpah and submitted it to the officer but he took only the photocopy of my approval letter with surat sumpah and asked us to go back because he said he didn’t know wether we can still proceed or not they will inform later so I thought it’s over now next I recive will be the rejection letter but today 17th of march I checked my post box and there was a letter again I opened it , it was the same letter of approval issued on 7th march 2014 with a new expiery date of 6 months lucky enough they sent it to our kajang adress this time , tomorrow I am going to immigration putrajaya again let’s see what happen next

  42. Holy

    I want to ask anybody who know about the PR process . I am Vietnamese. I been staying here in 6 years. I got 2 kids . Last year 2013 I applied for my application EP and we interviewed by polis on Dec 2013. So on March i called to polis station to ask how my result . He said my EP approved already. And now waiting for the letter to confirm. So I want to ask How long I can receive that letter from KDP. ? And what the next process ?
    Hope to see any response. Thanks much

  43. ebs

    well, i finished my polis interview in june 2013 but still no letter from immigration, how long i hve to wait?

  44. Rose

    Congrats, Mr Asdar Ali Rizvi

    I’m happy for you. I’m not as lucky as you. I have submitted my application on Oct 2012, Police Check on Dec 2013. Until now, I have not received letter from immigration :(

  45. Asdar Ali Rizvi

    Add me in facebook look for Ali Asdar in fb i will tell u more about it thanx

  46. maggie

    Hi Zaff , i have a same problem as you, my husband applying for PR on november 2012 , we did a polis interview on july 2013, almost one year , last week i call immigration and check the status and they told me they didn’t received the clearance form bukit aman and can’t process to putrajaya, so he was telling me to check with the polis that interview us and find out the date he submit the clearance , so that that he can check with bukit aman, i call him he said going to check and get back to me but still didn’t get any answers from him yet, the polis doesn’t have any record of that? i am afraid they may lost the file?

    So Zaff, how did you manage in your case? how do you it? hope you can help me out with this , so stressful with the matter above, did they find your files for the clearance?tq


  47. Andy Ng

    Hi Madam,
    What sort of questions the police normally will ask?

  48. Rajesh Verma

    Hi kevin
    I am an indian citizen and marry with a malaysian citizen just want to know after apply for PR how long does it takes to approved… and do malaysian PR can apply for malaysian passport?

  49. cindy

    hi, i just want to ask how long should Letter send after police interview, i was interviewed last 2012 until now i still waiting… any idea where can i ask for update? i have 3 kids and married to a malaysian Chinese .

  50. cindy

    if the police interview me how long should the letter will come, it’s already 2 years since the interview! i also pilipina :)

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