Saturday, August 26, 2017

How to Get Permanent Residency (PR) in Malaysia: Part 4

Sometime around end of May, I received an interview invitation letter regarding my PR application with the local Jabatan Imigresen as I had previously shared here.

Fast forward to three months later, my husband and I had the interview with the Immigration Office Negri Sembilan earlier this week. Other than the required documents that we ought to bring (as per stated in the invitation letter), both my husband and I actually didn't really prepare much nor we were nervous for the interview with the Immigration officer. However, the night before we were scheduled to have the interview, I started feeling a little worried and decided not to be over-confident with the imminent interview by asking some thoughts or feedback from my Indonesian fellows who had gotten their Permanent Residency in Malaysia.

I received various answers or feedback from my Indonesian fellows here on the potential questions that the Jabatan Imigresen would likely ask us during the interview. My friends' feedback widely varied, in my opinion, because each Immigration office in Malaysia or the officer/interviewer has different questions or rules or standard for the PR interview. I would say, the general guidelines or tips to make a good impression for the PR interview are as follows:
  1. Wear polite attire during the interview
  2. Bring all the required documents
  3. Be punctual
  4. Memorize all the important dates in your marriage life (as in the marriage date, birthdays and such)
  5. Try to speak Bahasa Melayu during the interview
  6. Study some general knowledge about Malaysia 

Some friends of mine mentioned that I did not have to fret or worry about the interview because the officer would likely throw questions at our Malaysian spouse instead of us during the interview. As long as the couple are able to answer the interview questions in Bahasa Melayu, we'd be overall safe. However, some other friends shared that during their PR interview they were also questioned about their general knowledge on Malaysia (such as the number of states in Malaysia) or the state that we currently live in. There was even a friend who was asked to sing Malaysia's anthem, Negaraku, at the end of her interview session.

Hearing the last two, I became somewhat panic. The night before my scheduled PR interview, I gave myself a crash course on general information about Malaysia and Negri Sembilan (the state where I reside) with the help of my Malaysian friend and Wikipedia. I tried my best to memorize below information just in case questions along these themes would be raised during the interview:
  • The number and name of states and federal territories that Malaysia has
  • The neighboring states of Negri Sembilan
  • The name of Negri Sembilan's current Sultan
  • The name of Negri's Sembilan's current Menteri Besar
  • The name of current Agong
  • The lyrics of Negaraku (I have heard this over and over again since Naomi went to school three years ago but have yet to memorize the lyrics)
  • Rukun Negara (which I could not memorize overnight)

Then came the morning for the PR Interview with Jabatan Imigresen. Before we headed to the Immigration Office, my husband and I dropped Brennan at MIL's place so she could help us baby sit Brennan for a couple of hours. We arrived at the Immigration Office just in time but were asked to wait for about 15-20 minutes before being called to have the interview.

A very pretty young lady interviewed us (as expected, the interview was conducted all the way in Bahasa Melayu) in a small room dedicated for interview sessions (BTW, Milo and some other drinks put on the table were for sale!). The first thing she did before she commenced the interview was briefly checking my documents that were submitted last year in her folder. She asked for the copy of my new passport because she didn't have that yet.

Moving on, the interviewer began asking my husband's and my personal information e.g. our names, our parents' information, occupation, education level, monthly income, current address, number of siblings, our children's details, marriage date, how we met and our dating duration before getting hitched. After checking my educational background, she questioned me why I chose not to work at the moment given the fact that I hold double degrees in Business and Economy. Then, she posed more difficult and specific questions that we really had to think carefully before answering such as "When was the first time you were granted your spouse visa in Malaysia?" "How many times did you go back to your home country since you got married to your husband?" "When was your first time entering Malaysia after you got married?" The interviewer did cross check all my answers (the dates) with the immigration stamps on my passport records inside her folder.

Next, she wanted to know my reasons for applying Permanent Residency in Malaysia. At first, I responded her by saying that if I had PR then I would not need to renew my spouse visa every year or every few years. Eeek.. wrong answer. The interviewer was way more pleased and felt that I gave a more bonafide answer when I explained that I wanted to have my PR because I already have two children and the elder one is studying here, which are true.

Following this, the interviewer quizzed me, "Do you know the name of the current PM?" I answered yes and told her the name of Malaysia's current PM. "What about his Timbalan (Deputy)?" I just smiled at her and honestly confessed that I don't know. I only know that the current PM's latest deputy was appointed not long ago. "You sure know about Negaraku, right?", she continued. "Yes.. But I don't really remember the lyrics". THANK GOD, she didn't ask me to sing the anthem. 

(Clearly, other than Negaraku, all the topics I hastily studied the night before the interview were not posed because the interviewer asked me something else. LOL).

Just before the interviewer ended the interview, she told us that she already had all the documents she needed. She didn't take the required documents as stated in the interview letter because she already had the copies from my previous document submission. Finally, she mentioned that we'd get the news on my PR application again by mail in 2-3 years' time because after the interview, she will have to submit my application documents to the Putrajaya office as there is one person there who is in charge of approving all the PR applications in the whole Malaysia. It will surely take a long time to get approval because there are so many PR applications to process or approve. She informed us as well that we can check my PR application status every 3 months or so by periodically visiting the local Immigration Office, not by phone or online.

This interview with Jabatan Imigresen only took about 15-20 minutes in total to complete... so I'd consider it was fast, at least faster yet definitely more stressful than the one with the Police.

Alas, the waiting game is still going strong (apparently) and will update again when there's more information to share.

** 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.


  1. I first applied in June 2014 - still "in process"

  2. Thank you so much to your post. Referenced to your very useful information, below are my prepared Q/A. I had the interview yesterday and it went smoothly.
    * Apa nama anda/suami anda/anak anda?
    Nama saya XXX/ nama suami saya XXX/ dan nama anak saya XXX.
    * Bila kamu/Suami kamu/Anak kamu lahir?
    Pada XXX
    * Berapa umur kamu/ Suami kamu/Anak kamu?
    XXX tahun
    * Di mana kamu/Suami kamu/ Anak kamu lahir?
    Di XXX
    * Maknanya kamu berasal dari Hai Phong, Vietnam?
    Ya, betul Puan
    * Adakah kamu besar (membesar) di Ho chi Minh?
    Ya, betul.
    * Suami anda/ anda pendidikan?
    Dia ada XXX / Saya ada Bachelor degree dalam Pelancongan dari Ho Chi Minh economics University.
    * Suami anda/anda pekerjaan: Dia XXX di XXX/ Saya suri rumah
    * Pendapatan bulanan: XXX RM
    * Alamat (tinggal di mana) – No. XXX
    * Anda mempunyai adik beradik berapa orang dan anak ke berapa? - saya anak kedua (anak bongsu), satu kakak saja.
    * Berapa orang anak anda? – 1 saja
    * Berapa umur anak anda? – 4 tahun
    * Bilakah tarikh berkawinan anda? Di mana berkahwin? - pada XXX di XXX.
    * Bilakah kali pertama anda masuk ke Malaysia? - pada XXX
    * Bilakah kali pertama anda diberikan visa pasangan anda di Malaysia? - pada XXX
    * Bilakah kali pertama anda masuk ke Malaysia selepas Berkahwin? - pada XXX
    * Bilakah baru sahaja anda masuk ke Malaysia - Pada XXX
    * Bilakah baru sahaja anda pulang ke negara asal - Pada XXX
    * Berapa kali anda pulang ke negara asal selepas berkahwin? - XXX kali
    * Berapa lama tinggal di Malaysia? - XXX tahun
    * Rekod Jenayah (crimial)? – tak ada
    * Kenapa (mengapa) anda memilih tidak berkerja? - Anak kami masih kecil, saya suri rumah lebih bagus untuk keluarga saya. Apabila dia masuk primary, mungkin saya akan cari kerja.
    * Bagaimana anda bertemu (berjumpa) dengan dia? – XXX
    * Sebab-sebab memohon PR di Malaysia? – Keluarga, Suami dan anak ada di sini. Saya suka tinggal di sini. Hospital, Transport, Sekolah dan Infrastructure semua bagus. Makanan juga banyak sedap. Orang Malaysia banyak mesra.

    Some useful sentences:

    ***Saya tidak ingat.
    ***Minta maaf Puan. Saya baru belajar bahasa melayu. Puan boleh cakap perlahan, terima kasih.
    ***Puan boleh ulang satu kaki lagi?

    Malaysia information (They didn't ask me about these things, but it was good to know)

    • Malaysia ada 3 bandar utama, Kuala Lumpur, Pulau Pinang dan Johor Bahru.
    • Malaysia ada 13 Negeri dan ibu negeri:
    1. Johor Darul Takzim ( Johor Bahru )
    2. Kedah Darul Aman ( Alor Setar )
    3. Kelantan Darul Naim ( Kota Bharu )
    4. Melaka City Historical ( Melaka City )
    5. Negeri Sembilan Darul Khusus ( Seremban )
    6. Pahang Darul Makmur ( Kuantan )
    7. Perak Darul Ridzuan ( Ipoh )
    8. Perlis Indera Kayangan ( Jayapura )
    9. Pulau Pinang Mutiara Island ( Georgetown )
    10. Sabah Under Bayu ( Kota Kinabalu )
    11. Sarawak Bumi Kenyalang ( Kuching )
    12. Selangor Darul Ehsan ( Shah Alam )
    13. Terengganu Darul Iman ( Kuala Terengganu )
    3 Wilayah persekutuan:
    1. Kuala Lumpur : Ibu negera, bandar terbesar
    2. Federal Territory of Labuan
    3. Federal Territory of Putrajaya: Pusat Pentadbiran

    • Nama Negeri (dan bandarnya) anda tinggal: XXX
    • Pulau Pinang negeri jiran: XXX
    • Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor): Abdul Rahman Abbas
    • Negri Ketua Menteri: Lim Guan Eng (DAP)
    • current Agong: Sultan Muhammad LIMA
    • Malaysia PM (Perdana Menteri): Sato Seri Najib Razak ( BN )
    • Malaysia Timbalan Perdana Menteri (Deputy)? Dato Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi ( BN )
    • Malaysia Kerajaan: Raja berperlembagaan elektif dan demokrasi berparlimen
    • Tarikh Hari Kebangsaan: 31 Ogos 1957
    • Cogan Kata Negara: Bersekutu Bertambah Mutu
    • Gunung Kinabalu dan Georgetown ialah UNESCO Heritage


    Tanah tumpahnya darahku,
    Rakyat hidup, Bersatu dan maju,
    Rahmat bahagia. Tuhan kurniakan, Raja kita, Selamat bertakhta,
    Rahmat bahagia,Tuhan kurniakan,Raja kita, Selamat bertakhta.

  3. The PR application is bullshit. I have been living in Malaysia since 1991 and I have applied countless of times. I have been married to a Malaysian since 2006 and we have two children (both Malaysians). BUT, ALL my applications have been turned down -- not even interviews. In my most recent rejection (earlier in 2018), they didn't give any reason why it was turned down. Then, when I went to the immigration to ask for a form, they said that I have to wait for another year before I could apply. I told them that the rejection letter says I can apply immediately; but the rude officers told me that I have to wait one year and it is a "internal policy." Like wtf? Why would you not tell applicants clearly? I AM JUST ASKING FOR A PR, NOT A CITIZENSHIP.

    Which brings me to my second point: why all the stupid questions? It is just a PERMANENT RESIDENCE, not a citizenship! Why would they want applicants to sing or know the Negaraku, and know all those details? I really don't understand why immigration is like this.

  4. HIl. did u get your PR ? after police interview how long it will take to get pr ? because i already finished police interview in november 2018. pls kindly share ?

    1. Hi, not yet. Status is still in process. Already 2 years++ since I first submitted my application.

    2. Hi can i know how the police interview what questions they ask? Please anyone tell me

  5. Well I married Malaysian Chinese ,.after 13 years. We tried to apply the PR. Upon submitting ,Abang from immigration approached me and handover my application to me and said , : you and your daughter go back your own country... I was so angry now I'm living in Australia with my family.

    1. Sorry to hear that.. But yeah, PR application is not easy here. Mine is not approved yet after all the long processes.

    2. Hi Christine,my wife will be attending police interviewing this week.Appreciate if you could share with us what kind of questions that will be asked by police.

  6. Hi Christine, have you get your PR?

    1. Hi, not yet.. Checked the status with the immigration officer in May but the officer said, Putrajaya is currently still in the midst of approving 2014's PR applications and mine was submitted in 2016.. so few more years' wait I guess.

  7. Hi Christine, After the police interview in 2017, you still yet to hear any news from the immigration? im waiting my husband's PR approval as well. it takes soooo long.

    1. It takes years for sure, don't wait. I checked the status of my application with the immigration officer in May but the officer said, Putrajaya is currently still in the midst of approving 2014's PR applications and mine was submitted in 2016.. so no need to wait but occasional follow ups are recommended.


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