Can International Students Bring Family Members to Malaysia While They're Studying?

May 07, 2024


bring dependents to Malaysia

Are you planning to study in Malaysia and considering bringing your family with you? Before making a decision, it's crucial to understand the visa requirements and procedures.

One of the policies in the visa procedures allows you to bring your family members when you pursue further tertiary education in Malaysia. Therefore, it's essential to familiarize yourself with the necessary procedures.

Bringing your family along requires careful planning and strict adherence to specific regulations. Therefore, strategic thinking is required to bring your family to Malaysia on a student visa.

This article will guide you through all the necessary details for bringing your family to Malaysia on a student visa.

Are all levels of international students allowed to bring their family members to Malaysia?

Before you decide to bring your  families to Malaysia, you must consider whether your level of study permits it. 

It's important to understand that not all international students are eligible to bring their families to Malaysia. There are three essential requirements for those wishing to bring their family members. 

One of these requirements is that the student must enroll in full-time postgraduate studies lasting more than twelve (12) months at a Malaysian university.

When you plan to pursue higher education in Malaysia, you are aware that you need to apply for a Student Visa, right? Having a Student Visa not only confirms your intention to study in the country but is also a requirement for international students who want to bring their families. 

In other words, you need to first obtain a valid Student Pass. This allows the university to confirm your student status, enabling them to apply for a Dependent Pass on behalf of your family members. 

Now, let's clarify which family members you can bring to Malaysia while pursuing your higher education.

To answer that question, you can only bring immediate family members—such as parents, spouse, and children—who are permitted to accompany you to Malaysia during your study period. 

If your children are under 18 years old, they can stay and study in Malaysia by holding a Dependent Pass under their parents.

However, if they are 18 years old and above, you will need to submit a separate application for a Student Pass if they intend to study in Malaysia.

Also read: Studying Abroad Tips: What Should You Do Before Coming to Malaysia?

How to apply for a Dependent Pass in Malaysia? 

As mentioned earlier, the main requirement for international students who want to bring their family members to Malaysia is to obtain a valid Student Pass first. Once you have it, you can proceed with the application for a Dependent Pass.

Below are the steps to apply for a Dependent Pass in Malaysia:

1. Apply for a Dependent Pass

You can apply for a Dependent Pass through the university where you are enrolled. The university will handle the application on behalf of your family members. Each dependent requires a separate application.

2. Submit required documents 

The Dependent Pass application is made through the EMGS website. Therefore, you need to provide various documents to the university for verification by officers from the Malaysian Immigration Department.

If the immigration department requires additional information, they will notify you via email to submit the necessary documents.

3. Obtain approval from the Malaysian Immigration Department 

After your application is approved by the Malaysian Immigration Department, you will receive notification via email. The processing time for a Dependent Pass typically takes between 3 to 4 weeks

After that, the immigration authorities will issue your dependents a Long Term Social Visit Pass (LTSVP) valid for a maximum duration of 12 months. This pass allows your dependents to accompany you while you study in Malaysia.

However, please note that the LTSVP is only valid as long as you, the holder of the Student Pass, maintain a valid Student Pass.

What should you do after receiving approval from the Malaysian Immigration Department? 

After your family member's Dependent Pass application is approved, you will receive a new set of documents. Make sure the information in these documents is correct.

Then, update this information and inform the dependents who will accompany you to Malaysia at your International Students' Office.

Do you need to apply for a Visa Approval Letter (VAL) for dependents before coming to Malaysia? 

Malaysian Immigration only requires the selected countries to apply for a Visa Approval Letter (VAL) for dependents. For instance, recently, international students from Nigeria and Afghanistan have to apply for a Visa Approval Letter for their dependents. 

What legal documents are needed to apply for a dependent visa in Malaysia?

Below are the important documents required for the Dependent Visa application: 

  • All pages of the dependents’ passport
  • Two recent passport-size photos of dependents with a white background and the specified size (45 mm high x 35 mm wide)
  • A copy of the marriage certificate translated into English by an authorized translation company (if applicable)
  • Relationship letter (both spouse and children) from the Embassy
  • A copy of the children’s birth certificate translated into English by an authorized translation company (if applicable)
  • Letter of Oath stating whether the child is homeschooled or not attending school (applicable for children aged between 7 to 18 years old)
  • Application Form for Permission to Study for children attending school in Malaysia (applicable for children aged between 7 and 18 years old)

How much does it cost for the visa?

For the Dependent Pass application, there are several fees that you need to pay, such as: 

Type of fees Fee
Dependent Pass fee RM90 (USD 19)
Dependent Pass processing fee  RM250 (USD 53)
Journey Performed fee RM500 (USD 105)

Are family members of students allowed to work in Malaysia?

Family members holding a Malaysian Dependent Pass are not permitted to work in Malaysia. If they wish to work, they must apply for a work permit or Employment Pass upon securing employment with a Malaysian company. 

The application for the Employment Pass will be processed by the company on behalf of your family members who are eligible to work. This is necessary as the Employment Pass in Malaysia has three different categories, aimed at avoiding errors in visa applications.

Also read: Living Cost of Living in Malaysia for International Students

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