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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.)

Imigresen_letter

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: http://eis.imi.gov.my/entry_permit_calc/proses.php. 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.

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

  1. aysha

    Hi kevin.. i have a question.. actually my husband is from pakistan.. and we aldry been married for 5 years.. and we r planning to apply for his PR.. but at the same time his passport is getting expired soon plus his visa is expired. So he have no choice except than travel back to pakistan in order to get his new passport. And the officer said that in order to get PR he need to hv a long term spouse visa for 5 years without travelling… otherwise he need to be wait for another 5 years!!! Oh my god i dont get it. What do u think he can get PR or not? Pleasr do advise.. thx waiting for ur soonest reply.

  2. Sherly

    Mind to share how you type your cover letter to apply red ic? Thanks in advance

  3. sunil

    Any one can help me to guide about the complete procedure about the entry permit
    I already have submitted the application in Jalan duta immigration , and already went through the immigration interview . it is almost a month . I was told there will be police inquiry . so my question here is what is the next step will be after police inquiry ??

    Regards
    Sunil

  4. Zerg

    Boleh kita berbincang melalui e-mail ?

  5. Amor

    Hi Mimi! Filipina din po ako married with chinese malaysian for 11yrs. Mag aaply pa po ako ng PR, can u please help me po kung yong surat iringan po ba from me or from my husband. Please help me po procedures and correct requirements. Salamat po…

  6. Rodman

    Can anyone assist me on this matter. I have applied the PR for my foreign wife at Duta Immigration since Dec 2014. And they said police will call me for interview first. But now is almost 2 years no calls. So when I ask again they direct me to JPK KL (Pudu Police, near Hang Tuah station) and ask them. So I went there and a lady there assisted to check and said they did call. But to my knowledge NO. So she ask me again to wait for their call. Somebody did advice us to apply/check at Putrajaya. So how now ?

  7. Mimi

    Rodman, so sorry to hear about your ordeal. That’s the thing, you see — the policies seem to keep changing and/or there is insufficient info out there. You just have to be politely persistent. I’ve had mixed luck with phone calls and find it best to actually go and talk to an officer. Avoid going at peak hours to lower the likelihood of the officer feeling stressed. Good luck!

  8. Christine

    If you renewal your current passport(not Malaysian)
    Where do you transfering your current entry stamp to your new passport? At the airport when you are leaving KL? Please kindly advise.thank you.

  9. Mimi

    Hi Christine! After you renew your passport, you need to go to the Immigration office where you normally have your visa processed and request them to put a new stamp in your new passport (but expiry will be the same as old passport).

  10. Nam

    Hi, I just submitted the document for PR application, and the interview will b in March of next year. Is any test / examine such as sing the national song, Malaysia history, communication with Malaysia language and so on?
    Awaiting ur feedback. To very much.

  11. Qaisar khan

    Pakistan

  12. Qaisar khan

    KH4110861

  13. Qaisar khan

    KH4110862

  14. LOO POH HUA

    hi , can anyone give my some tips what kind of question will police ask (my wife and i) when police interview. im Malaysian.

  15. Mimi

    Christine: After you’ve received your new passport, bring both old and new passports to Immigration Dept for a new visa stamp.

  16. LOO POH HUA

    can anyone give me some tips, please

  17. Mimi

    Hi Nam. No such thing lah :) Just normal Q&A. Good luck!

  18. yana

    Hi just want to asked after interview by the police how long we can get our PR cos i just finish my interview by today at seremban :)

  19. Jen

    Hi… When you did the interview to get your pr, did you have to speak malay only? Did they expect you to know fluent malay?

  20. Mimi

    Hi Yana. Sadly, that is one question that you can never get a firm answer to huhu.

  21. Mimi

    Hi Jen. There was no specific instruction to do so. But, eager as I was to impress my interviewers, I loudly ‘whispered’ a few Malay sentences to my husband, just so they’d know I can speak Malay hehe.

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