Malaysia: Sarawak offices to bar third-party filings

What is the change? Authorities in the state of Sarawak have announced that they will no longer accept submissions by third parties, such as immigration agents working on behalf of companies, beginning April 15.

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What does the change mean? Employers will be required to file applications with immigration authorities themselves and will not be able to use third parties. Employers will be allowed to send a representative from within their company to submit filings, but only if they are unable to do so themselves and provide a letter stating that the representative is acting on the company’s behalf.

  • Implementation time frame: April 15.
  • Visas/permits affected: All visas and permits.
  • Who is affected: Employers submitting applications to local immigration authorities.
  • Impact on processing times: There is no significant impact on processing times, but employers will need to make time in their schedules to submit immigration filings themselves.

Background: Authorities made the announcement last week and said the change is being made to hold employers more responsible for their filings. Immigration agents in Sarawak continue to seek information about the policy shift, but barring any reversal, third-party filings will not be accepted beginning April 15.

BAL Analysis: Companies should take note of the change and adjust their schedules accordingly. Immigration agents continue to engage with the officials for alternatives to a ban on third-party representation. BAL will update clients on any changes or developments from these discussions.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Malaysia. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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