Foreign spouses can return

PETALING JAYA: Only foreign spouses holding the long-term social visit pass (LTSVP), also known as the “spouse visa”, can enter the country during the movement control order (MCO).

According to the Immigration Department, a marriage certificate alone would not suffice to secure entry for foreign spouses of Malaysian citizens during the MCO.

Department director-general Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud (pic) said foreign spouses must have a valid LTSVP and a marriage certificate to enter.

“Yes, foreign spouses of Malaysians and permanent residents are allowed to return to Malaysia but they need to present both their marriage certificate and spouse visa.

“The spouse visa is the one issued by the Immigration Department,” Khairul Dzaimee said yesterday.

The LTSVP is issued by the department to foreign nationals wanting to stay in Malaysia for a period longer than six months.

It is issued to foreign spouses of Malaysian citizens and family members of expatriates holding an Employment Pass in Category I and II, among other recipients.

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Foreign spouses of Malaysians can be given the LTSVP for a period of up to five years on condition they comply with all the requirements.

The DG’s clarification was in response to foreign spouses of Malaysians who were apparently told by airlines that they would be denied entry, despite a statement by the National Security Council on March 17 that they could enter.

The statement, in the form of frequently asked questions (FAQ), said that foreign spouses needed to only show proof of marriage which has been either registered with the Malaysian authorities or the original country.

“The couple will have to go through health screening and self-quarantine to reduce the possibility of being infected or infecting others,” the FAQ stated.

It did not mention the need to have the LTSVP. However, another FAQ published by the Home Ministry on March 20 stated that foreign spouses must have the LSTVP to enter.

The FAQ said that while all foreigners, including holders of student pass, Employment Pass (Expatriate Pass), Temporary Employment Visit Pass, Malaysia My Second Home social visit pass were barred from entering Malaysia, exceptions were only made for three categories:

> Husband or wife and children of Malaysian citizens are allowed to enter on condition they have the LTSVP (husband/wife) and a dependant pass, and endure self-quarantine for 14 days.

> Foreign diplomats working at embassies within the country are allowed to enter and must go through self-quarantine for 14 days. If their spouse or family members wish to enter Malaysia, they must have a dependant pass.

> Employment Pass holders (expatriates) who are involved in essential services (in certain cases) need to get permission from the Immigration director-general first and go through self-quarantine for 14 days (upon arrival). This approval must be obtained before travelling to Malaysia.

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