karat wrote:I'm curious to know as had read somewhere that expats ( EP holders) are only allowed to live in M'sia for maximum of 10 years?? So means we only get to renew our visa 5 times for 2 years visa then they will tell us to get lost?
Then we have to pack our bags, relocate our furnitures and start all over again somewhere else with growing kids in tow. Can someone tell me this is not true?
Yes its true and your post sizes it up well, sorry to say. I think im the person another poster was talking about, im here 13 years in a company. But your post is correct, its 5 times and byebye. Well, technically speaking.
This happened to my friend who was a univ teacher from Canada, he didnt get renewed after 10 years and had to leave. I think the rule is that after 5 (or 10) years outside you can come back but its not confirmed.
So why am i here more than 10 years? Because at this time i have no visa, im a tourist and company director. I think the lack of current visa puts me off the radar or rules. But even so im on borrowed time, i could easily be denied entry back into malaysia following a holiday. How it works is that you might be outright denied entry or given a 3-day visa to pack your bags.
(In fact, strangely that happened to me during my very first trip. After three months i went to Singapore on the train and when i tried to come back i was denied entry. I went and had coffee in the train station to consider my options and when i tried again with another staff, i sailed through.)
Under this administration im not aware of any changes to this rule. The rule was for employment, not tourists because the thinking is that after 10 years a local should have been trained to do your work. Under Najib and spoken about since 2008 election, the goal is to get ALL white-collar foreigners out, especially those holding visas in which their job is management level or above. This means one can own a company but not be employed in it.
In the future, the goal is to have all locals in all jobs so the door is closing for incoming foreigners of all types. Also, the capital requirements for foreigners starting companies is ever increasing as a deterrent, now basically impossible for small companies. So it means that Toyota would be welcome because they are high-rollers but their jobs must go to locals, period.
Now, that all said, a rule is one thing and enforcement is another. As a tourist, you can come and go as you like, the limitation being 90 days each stint (depends which country youre from) and basically youre undisturbed. But holding a 2-year workpass, you have all kinds of people scrutinizing the applications and thats how you get caught in the net. But would you be caught? Malaysia is not efficient in many ways and the applications and records become obscured and dumped after 12 months. Its possible that you could be renewed many times and nobody catches it, they didnt look back in old records because the records are not kept well. Even at borders they rely on passport stamps more than computerized records so there is some confusion about how long one has been here because the records may differ. Sometimes im asked questions but so far look at me im still alive and kicking. However, with new, forced fingerprinting of foreigners at the borders its also possible that new systems can quickly track your time and whereabouts (for example, 11 years in XYZ Company).
What should one do? Personally, id say live lightly, never fully unpack, have a contingency plan if you are approaching 10 years. In a way, worse yet, Malaysia is not under obligation to host anyone, they CAN kick you anytime they like and why do they even owe you a reason? Its their country, not ours. On the other hand, why suffer in agonizing thoughts? Just dig in and live fully. Buy a house, car, schools for kids, act like you belong here in your home permanently and deal with crap if and when it ever occurs. These two schools of thought can keep people debating ad nauseum.
There was a time none of this was true. I have a friend who runs a language school, he is from USA and here since 1977. No visa, no workpass, no tourist, no nothing. Just plain HERE. But those grandfathered days are long, long gone as Malaysia struggles towards the days of full reliance on locals.
So what am i doing, then? I straddle both schools of thought. On my 10th anniversary i did two things, i packed my bags and celebrated by buying a new motorcycle. Im packed but living normally. Do i like it? Of course not but i wont wait to be blocked or rely on faulty computer systems, im of the strong mind to leave voluntarily this year because im looking for a better way, life and opportunity.
To answer a question you didnt ask but its in your tone, yes it sucks that one would come here, pay taxes, contribute to production and growth and then be cavalierly scrapped like rubbish. Yes it sucks very much and i wish Malaysia would give some leeway about this to those who came and helped grow the country in large and small ways. But they dont and thats a good reason to consider other countries and to ask hard questions about "10 year rules" before committing. Its very possible that other local countries are more appreciative but it needs to be checked out carefully beforehand.
People have to understand that Malaysia is not a free-for-all place and humanic rules of fairness dont apply. Its only using resources of the world to build up itself and then its byebye to you. Its also clearly not a place like USA which allowed emigration and the making of new lives. It uses foreigners for gain only to the point it no longer needs them and foreigners should consider the stay here temporary in the best of circumstances.
Everyone is here under different circumstances and this post doesnt apply to all, just having a job with 2-year renewable visas. In my case i gave up my visa because i needed to stay here longer. And amazingly, so its double clear, qualifications have tightened so much that even disregarding the 10-year rule i no longer qualify to acheive the workpass i had all along because a Managing Director level job with my skill set and decades of experience should have been acheivable by a local already. Get the picture now?
A suggestion is to talk to a consultant like the one i used before, Masson Group in KL, who may be able to give happier advice based on the most current rules and patterns. One interesting or confirming aspect of all this is that when i joined Allo in 2004 there were tons of expats. Now look, Allo is quiet and dead, many have pulled out and were not replaced. Exactly.