International marriage generally gives us more headaches in terms of its legal preparation as compared to 'local' marriage. In case you are married to a Malaysian, there are quite a bit of legal paperwork need to be done post the Registration of Marriage (outside Malaysia) and there is no exact guide book on how to properly do this.
I am documenting a long legal topic entry now i.e. my experience in doing some paperwork pertaining to my marriage to my Malaysian husband. It was quite a complicated paperwork experience and the whole process took longer processing time than what my husband and I expected. The below states the processes of what-to-do after a foreigner registered her/his marriage to a Malaysian and to obtain long-term visit pass in order to qualify the Malaysian Permanent Resident (PR) status application, should eventually the foreign spouse intend to reside in Malaysia for good.
Different from Singapore, a foreigner can only start applying the Malaysia PR status only after he or she is legally married to a Malaysian for five (5) years and has long-term visa to stay in Malaysia for at least five (5) years. Only then, he or she can upgrade their long-term visitor status to a PR in Malaysia.
Due to some paperwork complications, my husband (Malaysian) and I (Indonesian and a Singapore PR holder) opted to register our marriage in Singapore. Some reasons of this decision can be found here. After we got our marriage certificate from Registry of Marriages in Singapore, there are few legal steps that have to be done as follows:
1. UPDATE THE MALAYSIAN HIGH COMMISSION (CONSULAR DEPARTMENT) IN SINGAPORE ON THE MARRIAGE
This update needs to be done within six (6) months after the exact date of the registration of marriage in Singapore. If a newly married couple forgets to do this within the said six (6) months, an amount of penalty fee (in RM) will be imposed.
Required documents and submission details: Can be found here.
Required working days: Three (3) days
Fee: S$ 10 cash
Result: Two (2) Marriage Register (Daftar Perkahwinan) documents issued by the Malaysian Government.
Challenge: Typo errors on the issued documents, so better double check everything after you receive the documents.
2. OBTAIN THE MARRIAGE LEGALIZATION DOCUMENT FROM THE INDONESIAN EMBASSY (CONSULAR SECTION) IN SINGAPORE
I tried to open the official website of the Indonesian Embassy in Singapore to get the information on the required documents for this purpose but the page appeared to be broken. Hence, I made direct contact to the Consular Department on this matter. This document will be important for us in the future, for instance it is a critical document to obtain our Indonesian Kartu Keluarga (Family Card), Child Birth Certificate, etc. There is no exact deadline on when you should settle this with the Indonesian Embassy, but the earlier the better.
Required documents and submission details: Original marriage certificate, ICs and Passports (both parties)
Required working days: One (1) day
Fee: S$ 32 cash
Result: A Marriage Legalization document issued by the Indonesian Government.
Challenge: The Embassy strictly requires proper outfit (shoes and no mini skirt/pants) to enter the embassy otherwise the security guard would impose S$1 forced fee to borrow their temporary 'long skirt'.
In case the foreign spouse plans to apply long-term visit pass in Malaysia, below is another step required to be done in Malaysia. This process takes about five (5) working days in total to complete since there are few documents have to be obtained from different offices.
3. APPLY THE LONG-TERM VISIT PASS FROM THE NEARBY WISMA PERSEKUTUAN (IMMIGRATION OFFICE) IN MALAYSIA
Since we cannot download the required forms online, we have to go to the Immigration Office in the city where your Malaysian spouse permanently resides in Malaysia and personally take a stack of forms to complete from there. The Immigration Office will also give us a list of the other documents to bring to obtain the long-term visit pass.
Required documents and submission details: As stated in the photo below.
List of documents needed for Extension of Visit Pass in Malaysia.
Required working days: One (1) day
Fee: RM 1,120 cash (inclusive the RM 500 Security Bond for Indonesian). The amount of the Security Bond varies for different nationalities. We can see the list for this in the Cashier's counter in the local Immigration Office or directly ask one of the Immigration officers about it.
Result: Multiple Visit Entry Pass sticker in the passport, valid for six (6) months and can be extended later on.
Challenge: The whole process to complete the list will require both husband and wife to go to some offices to get stamps, document, etc and all these can be quite frustrating. Nobody in the Immigration Office told us how to complete the documents in order, hence we wasted a lot of time to go to the Immigration Office (Visa, Pass and Work Permit Counter) few times to just inquire the officer in charge on how to obtain some required documents which without which you cannot submit the application.
Few other offices that we need to visit to complete the above list i.e.:
1. Commissioner of Oaths (Peguam Bela dan Peguam Cara) Office
For the Security Bond form, we needed to get a stamp from a local Commissioner of Oaths (Peguam Bela dan Peguam Cara). Since my husband is married to an Indonesian national, he needs to put RM 500 as a guarantee for default for this application. The imposed security bond amount varies to different nationalities and the amount information can be obtained from the related immigration officer.
Required working days: Almost immediate
Fee: RM 8 cash
Result: Authorization stamp and signature from Commissioner of Oaths in the Security Bond form
The blank space in the Security Bond form for the Commissioner of Oaths' signature.
Our Commissioner of Oaths.
As my husband and I didn't quite understand some questions in the form, this friendly Mister Commissioner of Oaths assisted us in translating some legal terms into simple English too.
2. Income Tax Office (Lembaga Bahagian Hasil Dalam Negeri)
Required working days: Almost immediate
Fee: RM 10 cash
Result: Duty Stamp on the Security Bond form
The Security Bond with the RM 10 Duty Stamp on.
The Extract of Marriage Register Document (Cabutan Daftar Perkahwinan) was one of the required documents in the list and we need to pay a visit to JPN Office in Putrajaya to obtain this document.
Required working days: Almost immediate or one (1) day
Fee: RM 5 cash
Result: Cabutan Daftar Perkahwinan (Bukan Islam) or Marriage Register Extract
Challenge: For the officer in JPN to produce this particular document, they would need the Malaysia High Commission (Consular Department) in Singapore to update the status of the marriage online in their system as well. Likely, the Singapore office has not updated the system after few weeks of your marriage updates to the High Commission Consular Department in Singapore. Then, the JPN officer would ask you to make international call to the officer in charge in Singapore and tell them to fax the forms that we filled in the Malaysia High Commission in Singapore. High chance, the officer in Singapore office is too busy to entertain us with this immediate request so few follow up calls are proven to be effective in chasing them to fax the forms to JPN office within one day, otherwise we will not get the Cabutan Daftar Perkahwinan (Bukan Islam) from JPN within one day.
After all these headaches, monetary costs and long processes; crossed fingers, the Immigration Office would place the Multiple Visit Entry sticker on your passport for six (6) months. You will have to renew this pass after six (6) months and if the second application is successful, the Malaysian government will grant one (1) year long-term entry visa for the next five (5) years. After this, foreign spouse can proceed with applying PR status and citizenship in Malaysia. Foreign spouse is qualified to apply the Citizenship in Malaysia in two (2) years after the PR status is granted. Long way to go to get your red colored Malaysian passport!
Thank God.......... I am temporarily done with this application for the next six months since the Immigration Office had granted my Multiple Entry Visa this evening.
One more very important thing here - You will need a very helpful Malaysian spouse to go through all these complex and long processes. My husband was incredibly patient and supportive in handling this. He helped me a lot in preparing all the documents needed, drove around the town and up to KL to get the required document, searched the correct person for stamp or signature and did almost all of the talking to all the officers we encountered!
I hope this real life case study post would help those clueless foreign spouses married to Malaysian nationals to process their legal documents after the registration of marriage outside Malaysia.
P/S: Thank you so much for reading this post and I do sincerely hope this post is helpful for settling the paper work processes (for marrying a Malaysian) you are currently going through. Apologies if I recently didn't answer any questions in the comment section below this post. It's due to the facts that all my knowledge about this matter are already stated in this post (some people ask questions that are clearly the contents of this post and they repeat the questions that have previously been answered in the comment section). Thus, if this post doesn't answer you, please read through the comments below this posts as you may find your answer there. Worse comes to worst, I would advise you to contact the immigration office in Malaysia directly. Anyway, I went through this process years ago and have kind of forgotten the details. Again, sorry if I can't help you much! Good luck!
** Please note that this information is based on my personal experience and subject to change in accordance with any amendments to the rules and regulations from the Malaysian Immigration Department.