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  • Elaine Sim

Everything you need to know about visas in Sarawak (2024)

Updated: Apr 22

If you are not Sarawakian, you will require one of the following visas to live and/or work in Sarawak. This includes West Malaysians and Sabahans who wish to live and/or work in Sarawak. There are many reasons why people migrate to Sarawak. It may be for family reasons such as marriage, work or retirement.

 

Expatriates in Sarawak


If you are moving to Sarawak for work, the following passes are available for you to live and work in Sarawak.


  1. Professional Pass (for training) -- for persons on internship, training or apprenticeship without receiving a salary. The professional pass is issued for 6 - 12 months at a time. You may apply at the Visa, Pas and Permit division in Ibu Pejabat Jabatan Imigresen Sarawak, Simpang Tiga. The visa is non-renewable. This visa is also appropriate for seconded employees for qualifying industries to Sarawak. For extensions, you will have to make a new application each time. Processing time is approximately 30 days.

  2. Professional Pass (for employment) -- for persons on short term consultancy projects receiving a salary or consultation fees. The sponsoring entity must be a Sdn Bhd with minimum RM250,000 paid up capital. The professional pass is issued for 6 - 12 months at a time. An address in Sarawak is optional. You may apply at the Expatriate Services Division in Ibu Pejabat Imigresen Sarawak, Simpang Tiga. The visa is non-renewable. For extensions, you will have to make a new application each time. Processing time is approximately 30 days.

  3. Employment Pass 1 & 2 -- for skilled workers working for Sdn Bhd companies with a minimum of RM250,000 paid up capital in Sarawak. An address in Sarawak is compulsory. The minimum salary requirement for Employment Pass 2 holders is RM3,000 monthly, while the minimum salary requirement for Employment Pass 1 holders is RM5,000 monthly. The applicant must be at least 27 years old. These passes are issued by the Expatriate Services Division at Ibu Pejabat, Jabatan Imigresen Sarawak, Simpang Tiga. You may apply for a yearly permit or a two year permit. This visa is renewable for up to 10 years. You are also eligible to bring dependents and hire a domestic worker on the Employment Pass 1, but not the Employment Pass 2. Processing time is approximately 90 days.

Kindly note that if you are working for a West Malaysian or Sabahan company or any foreign company that does not have an office in Sarawak, you will not be granted a work permit in Sarawak.

 

Spouses of Sarawakians


If you are moving to Sarawak because you married a Sarawakian, the following visas may apply to you.


  1. Spouse Programme -- Non-Sarawakian spouses who intend to work in Sarawak may apply for the spouse programme with the Expatriate Services Division, at Ibu Pejabat, Jabatan Imigresen Sarawak, Simpang Tiga. The minimum salary requirement is RM3,000 monthly. The sponsoring company will need to be a company limited by shares (Sdn Bhd) with minimum RM250,000 paid up capital. This visa is renewable yearly with an accompanying letter and sworn statement by the Sarawakian spouse of the continuation of marriage. Processing time is approximately 30 days.

  2. Long Term Social Visit Pass (for residency only) -- Non-Sarawakian spouses who do not qualify for the Spouse Programme can apply for the Long Term Social Visit Pass (LTSVP) in Sarawak. Depending on the nationality of the spouse, the LTSVP may be issued for 6 months up to 5 years at a time. You may apply for this visa at the Visa, Pas and Permit division at Ibu Pejabat, Jabatan Imigresen Sarawak, Simpang Tiga. The visa is renewable with an accompanying letter and sworn statement by the Sarawakian spouse of the continuation of marriage. Kindly note that you must pay a security bond to the immigration department and the rates by country can be found here. Processing time is approximately 30 - 90 days depending on the nationality of the spouse.

  3. Certificate of Status -- Non-Sarawakian Malaysian wives (i.e. West Malaysian or Sabahan wives) are eligible for the Certificate of Status after 2 years of marriage to a Sarawakian spouse. The Certificate of Status will entitle non-Sarawakian Malaysian wives to live and work indefinitely in Sarawak without any renewal process. You may submit this application at the Visa, Pas and Permit division at Ibu Pejabat, Jabatan Imigresen Sarawak Simpang Tiga.

Kindly note that Sarawak is currently not issuing work endorsements on the Long Term Social Visit Pass. If you wish to work as a spouse applicant, the only options available at the moment (2023) are 1 and 3.

 

In Sarawak, you can also apply for the S-MM2H visa. This is a long-term visa for investors or retirees who want to live in Sarawak. Anyone aged 30 and above can apply for the S-MM2H programme, subject to meeting specific requirements for each age category. Under this visa, you will also be able to hire a domestic worker, own a home and send your children to school in Sarawak. You can apply for this visa with the Ministry of Tourism Malaysia. More information can be found here.

 

For companies who wish to hire general workers in Sarawak, you will have to apply for the Social Visit (Temporary Work) visa for your general worker through the labour quota (AP) and calling visa (VDR) process. Depending on the category of general workers you are hiring, different levy payments apply. You will first need an approved labour quota from the Labour Department to hire any non-Sarawakian general workers, including West Malaysians and Sabahans. More information on the labour quota approval process can be found here.


Our website and its contents are provided for general information purposes only and nothing on this website or in its contents is intended to provide professional advice. Please contact us at info@migratesafe.org or +6082-295175 for more information. To view a list of Sarawak Expat visa services we provide, visit our webpage here.

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