Malaysia Introduces New System for Support Letters

Between June 15 and August 15, 2023, the Malaysian government will gradually introduce a new single window system called the Xpats Gateway for companies to apply for the Support Letter required for Employment Pass applications.

Currently, employers who are registering for the first time with the Expatriate Services Division (ESD) or who need to apply for Employment Passes must apply for prior approval in the form of Support Letters directly to the approving agencies or regulatory bodies relevant to the employer’s nature of business.

Once the new system is implemented, employers will instead be able to apply through the Xpats Gateway. This is intended to reduce processing times.

At first, only employers in sectors regulated by the following agencies will be able to use Xpats Gateway:

Sector Approving Agency
Manufacturing and Selected Services Sectors Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA)
Financial Services (Licensed Institutions, Payment Services Regulatees and Representative Offices) Central Bank of Malaysia (BNM)
Securities and Derivatives Markets Securities Commission Malaysia (SC)
Companies operating within East Coast East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC)
Healthcare (Field: Traditional and Complementary Medicine) Traditional and Complementary Medicine Division, Ministry of Health (MOH)
Tourism Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture (MOTAC)
Biotechnology and Bio-based Sector Malaysian Bioeconomy Development Corporation (Bioeconomy Corporation)
Aviation Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM)
Construction Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB)
Education Ministry of Education (MOE)
Mining, Quarrying and Mineral Processing Department of Mineral & Geoscience (JMG)

For sectors not listed above, employers may obtain their Support Letters directly from respective approving agencies or regulatory bodies as usual until the full implementation of Xpats Gateway on 15 August 2023.

For unregulated sectors that are not under the purview of approving agencies or regulatory bodies, employers may proceed to apply for Employment Passes directly to the ESD via ESD Online. However, the Expatriate Committee or the Immigration Department of Malaysia reserves the right to request additional information before a decision is made.

For Information Technology (IT) companies registered with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), the application process is unchanged for now, but integration within the Xpats Gateway system is planned.

Erickson Insights

With the introduction of the Xpats Gateway, Companies will no longer need to go to each specific Approving Agency / Regulatory Body but can instead apply directly through the Xpats Gateway. This appears to be an improvement to the process as it will remove some of hte current uncertainties companies have when determining the right department and required documents.

Erickson Immigration Group will continue to share updates as more news is available. If you have questions about anything we’re reporting or case-specific questions, please contact your employer or EIG attorney.