Malaysia: New sponsorship program for international students

Employers registered with the Expatriate Services Division (ESD) can now place eligible international students in certain short-term projects under a Social Visit Pass (SVP) through the SVP – International Students Mobility Program.

Qualifying Criteria

The SVP – International Students Mobility Program allows students pursuing a degree or equivalent certification from a recognized university or institution outside of Malaysia to participate in the following activities at a sponsoring company’s offices in Malaysia:

  • Student exchanges;
  • Industrial or practical training;
  • Internships;
  • Mentorships; and
  • Other similar programs.

The student must leave Malaysia no later than the expiry date of the SVP (which can be up to three months, depending on nationality) or upon completion of his or her activities, whichever is earlier.

Application Process

The SVP application process is as follows:

  • The sponsoring company submits an application through its ESD portal;
  • Within five to ten business days, if the application is approved, Talent Corporation Malaysia Berhad (TalentCorp) issues a support letter which serves as a reference for immigration officers at the point of entry to issue a SVP under the International Students Mobility Program if all visa and pass requirements are met; and
  • If the student requires a visa to enter Malaysia, once the application is approved, he or she can use the support letter as a reference to apply for an entry visa at a Malaysian consular post in their country of residence. 

Note that the support letter issued by TalentCorp cannot serve as approval notification.

What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

Employers that seek to place an international student to perform qualifying activities lasting no longer than the duration of the student’s SVP can now consider the SVP – International Students Mobility Program. If a longer stay is required, employers should consider a Professional Visit Pass as SVPs under the program are not extendable.

Stuart Beaty

Celsium, Birmingham, UK