guide to malaysian spouse visa for foreign spouses of malaysian citizens to reside in malaysia

The Complete Guide To Malaysian Spouse Visas

In Malaysia, foreigners who legally marry citizens are eligible for a Malaysian Spouse Visa, allowing them to reside and freely work in Malaysia for up to five years, enough time for couples to start a life together.

malaysian couple baby after applying for malaysian spouse visa
Often literally.

This article provides a complete overview of Spouse Visas, permissions granted by them, and how to obtain one from the Malaysian Immigration Department’s Expatriates Services Division (ESD).

Here’s how we’ll break it down:

  1. We’ll provide an overview of Malaysian Spouse Visas with key details
  2. We’ll cover the process of applying for a Spouse Visa
  3. We’ll try to persuade you to get our help!

Note: Expatriates also use this pass for non-dependent family members, but this guide is specifically written for Malaysian citizens married to foreigners.

If that applies to you, let’s begin!

🔑 Key Takeaways

  • A Spouse Visa lets foreign spouses of Malaysian citizens reside here for six months to five years.

  • A Spouse Visa holder can work or start a business in Malaysia without an Employment Pass.

  • Instead, the spouse must get an Endorsement to Work, easily obtained and at no extra cost.

  • The length of a Spouse Visa is often shorter for first-time applicants and extends with subsequent renewals.

  • After five years, a foreign spouse is eligible to apply for permanent resident status.

  • Each Spouse Visa application costs RM450 and can take up to 14 working days to process, not including the time taken to prepare required documents for submission.

  • Save yourself the trouble and engage MISHU to help apply for your Spouse Visa today!

Overview of Malaysian Spouse Visas

The Malaysian Spouse Visa allows foreign spouses of Malaysian citizens to reside in the country for a minimum of six months up to a maximum of five years. 

Crucially, Spouse Visa holders can apply for a free Work Permit Endorsement which allows them to engage in any form of paid employment or set up a business without converting the Spouse Visa into an Employment Pass or Professional Visit Pass

In practice, first-time applicants are likely to be granted shorter visas, with longer allowances during each subsequent renewal. The good news is that after staying in Malaysia for five years, a foreign spouse is eligible to apply for permanent resident status!

Malaysian Spouse Visa application process

To begin with, you might find the following official links to marriage registration in Malaysia useful:

Assuming you’ve got that out of the way, applying for a Spouse Visa is a simple three-step process.

Step 1: Prepare required documents

Prepare both original and one set of copies of the following documents:

  • Form Imm.12  /  Imm. 55
  • Form Imm.38
  • Copy of marriage certificate
  • Copy of child’s birth certificate (if any)
  • Latest Affidavit acknowledging marriage exists and is still valid
  • ‘Security Bond’ form (stamped RM10.00)
  • Sponsor / spouse identity card
  • Proof of sponsor / spouse’s income (Minimum RM2,000 – RM2,500)
  • Trading License, ROC form OR Form J If sponsor / spouse is self-employed
  • Copy of sponsor / spouse’s passport
  • Wedding photos

Only complete applications are accepted, and additional evidence may be requested by the authorities at their discretion, so make sure you remember your spouse’s birthday.

Step 2: Submit the application

The Malaysian sponsor / spouse must submit the application at the Immigration Department Headquarters in Putrajaya or a state immigration office.

malaysian immigration department headquarters in putrajaya
Malaysian Immigration headquarters in Putrajaya..

The foreign spouse must also be present during the application, as well as the complete set of documents.

If all goes as well, the application should be processed with 14 – 21 working days, and will costs RM450, not including various other immigration and licensing fees.

Step 3: Apply for Endorsement of Work Permit (optional)

Applications for an endorsement to work must be submitted in the presence of the Malaysian citizen spouse and can be done at two locations:

Remember to include the following supporting documents:

  • Marriage Certificate / Marriage Certificate
  • Job Offer OR Business Registration

Applications are free of charge and can be made while waiting for the Spouse Visa to be approved or any time thereafter. 

We wish you a smooth application!

Let MISHU handle your Spouse Visa application

Co sec Manager Fenny

MISHU’s Employment Pass team is here to help facilitate Malaysian Spouse Visa applications so couples can be at ease knowing the technical requirements will be taken care of.

11 thoughts on “The Complete Guide To Malaysian Spouse Visas

  1. After get spouse visa, immigration inform me that need to wait until 6 months if want to apply Endorsement of Work Permit. is that true? how if I get Job Offer before 6 months? please help to answer. thanks

    1. Hi Evi,

      Thank you for the question, we forwarded it to our Employment Pass expert, and here’s their reply:

      1. Unfortunately, there’s no workaround to the wait period and the six months is likely due to the number of applications being processed.

      If possible, we’d advise you to explain your situation to the hiring company and come to a mutually beneficial agreement. Otherwise, there’s not much else to be done without going against the terms of the visa.

      Wishing you a smooth resolution and let us know if you have any other questions!

      The MISHU Editorial Team

  2. Do my spouse (citizen) need to proof the income if self employed? And what document needed to proof the income.
    And also for the sponsor, who are eligible to become our sponsor?


    1. Hi Ferdianto,

      Thank you for getting in touch.

      1. Yes, your spouse/sponsor must demonstrate a minimum monthly income of RM2,000
      2. Pay slips if employed by others or bank statements & company forms if self-employed.
      3. Your wife is your sponsor!

      Hope this helps and wishing you a smooth application.

      The MISHU Editorial Team

  3. To clarify, if a Malaysian (boy) married with a Vietnamese (girl) – Both are currently stay in Malaysia.
    Does this situation require to apply spouse visa ?
    Looking forward to your promtp reply. Thank you very much!

    1. Hi JT,


      We wish all our enquiries were as straightforward as yours 😂

      Wishing you a smooth application!

      The MISHU Editorial Team

  4. Hi, I am a Filipino and my wife is Malaysian. We got married in Singapore 3 years ago in ROMM (Muslim marriage). I need to know if we still need to register our marriage in Malaysia before I can apply for the Spouse Visa?

    1. Hi Jason,

      Thank you for the question, we forwarded it to our Employment Pass expert, and here’s their reply:

      1. Only a spouse can be the sponsor, though relatives can be a guarantor for the sponsor (keep in mind the RM2,000 monthly income still applies).

      2. So yes, you can still apply for a spouse visa for your wife.

      Hope this answers your question and all the best with your application!

      The MISHU Editorial Team

  5. Hi, I am Malaysian and my wife is Vietnamese. We currently holding work visa and staying in Japan. Our marriage registration was completed in Japan. Can I apply Malaysia spouse for her in Malaysia Embassy Japan? Or I have to complete it in Putra Jaya, Malaysia?

    1. Hi Exwin,

      Thank you for the question, we forwarded it to our Employment Pass expert, and here’s their reply:

      1. You first need to return to Malaysia and register your marriage here.

      2. To answer your question, Putrajya 🙂

      Hope this answers your question and all the best with your application!

      The MISHU Editorial Team

  6. Hi,

    My wife and I are considering moving to Malaysia later this year. She is from Malaysia and I am from the UK.

    She is due to give birth in July and will continue to employed by her UK employer while she is on maternity for up to 1 year. We plan to move to Malaysia during this year.

    My question, will my wife’s maternity income from the UK of more than 2000RM be sufficient to pass this element of the application or does the income need to be from a Malaysian employer/business set up in Malaysia?

    Would I need to wait until I’m in Malaysia before completing the application or can I complete this at the Malaysian Embassy in London for example?

    I have noticed that in some instances it can take up to 6 months for applications to be approved. Therefore, if our intention is to move in September/October, should I submit the application as soon as possible?

    Many Thanks,


  7. Hello, I would like to know of how does a Malaysian military personal can help provide a spouse visa to their foreign partner. Could you provide the procedures ?

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