Sunday, 22 May 2011

MM2H Application Clarifications

Once back in KL over 16 to 20 May I decided to get the MM2H application in and sorted. These few snippets should be read in conjunction with the MM2H post of Thursday 7 April as I was able to clarify some queries with the very helpful Noor Zaliza while I was there. The MM2H processing office is situated on the 23rd floor at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) which is about 10-15 minutes in a taxi from the KLCC area at a cost of about RM 15 in an ‘Executive’ (blue) cab. The taxi drivers all know the building so you just need to ask for PWTC. You will need your passport or some other form of ID as there is a police control point in the PWTC entrance from where you will need to collect a visitor pass. The hours of operation of the MM2H office can be found on their very helpful website and at the time of writing are 07:30 - 17:30 with lunch between 1pm -2pm on Monday to Thursday but 12:15 - 14:45 on Fridays.

Key things I got clarified on the visit to MM2H

1. The checklist that forms part of the bundle MUST be submitted with the application. You should tick off the boxes as you attach the items and they will use that form to cross check it all AND endorse that all is in order once they get your application.

2. Covering Letter: It is good to explain the reasons as to why you want to join the programme and what appeals about Malaysia etc. In addition, I was applying under the criteria of having a pension of in excess of RM 10,000 each month (wherein you do NOT then need to leave an FD of RM 150,000). Noor advised that I inserted the following at the end of my letter:

“If my application is successful I would wish to utilise “offshore finance” as my financial criteria”

Otherwise they will assume you plan to open an account with an FD and may issue the visa on that basis. It thus seems a good idea to clarify in your covering letter precisely which criteria you are applying under - 'Fixed Deposit' or 'Government Approved Pension Fund'.

3. The Letter of Good Conduct LGC can be up to 12 months old at the time of submission. It DOES NOT need to be (and has NEVER needed to be) under 21 days old as has been suggested elsewhere, possibly because of a third party (agent) applying their own criteria. One of those areas where it is clearly advisable to check with the organ grinder and not the monkey. I should have checked this out earlier as, had I done so, I could have confirmed that this was a completely bogus requirement and applied for my LGC earlier, allowing me to take it to Malaysia and hand in all the papers together, instead of having to forward it on separately. Internet forums can be useful but lesson learned in this case, not all the information posted, regardless of how well intentioned, can be relied upon to be accurate, especially when there seems to be no audit trail as to where the info comes from and/or it is not coming from those who call the shots (MM2H / Mo Tour in this case)!!! Lesson learned!!!! For UK citizens this will be in the form of a police subject access certificate (costing £10) and you MUST submit the original. For UK applicants I would STRONGLY suggest that you apply for your LGC AT LEAST 2 months before the date you intend to submit/use it, for other applicants your turn round times for the LGC maybe longer (or shorter if you are lucky) and this needs to be taken into consideration.

4. The actual application form needs to be witnessed. This can be any person from any country but if a non-Malay national does it they need to put their passport number on the form. If it is a Malay national (I grabbed the Head of Security at the hotel) they only need to put their Malaysian ID card number.

5. Within the downloadable document bundle there is a Social Visit Pass application form (IM.12). This is a little confusing as you may not be quite sure what boxes to tick at the bottom of the form. At the top it’s quite easy, type of pass is “Social” and for new applicants it’s ‘New for application type. What was made clear though is that the boxes at ‘Section D’ DO apply to the MM2H visa. Those using agents may well find they tick these boxes on your behalf BUT if doing a direct application, where the form says “Visa Requirement” (Question 14) you tick ‘YES’ and also you also tick the box “Type of Visa” (Question 15) for “Multiple Entry”. Some have been of the view that Section D applies to different types of visa. IT DOES NOT. While it also does not stipulate this in the pack, three of your 4 photographs should be attached to the 1 + 2 copies of the IM.12, the other being attached (glued) to your application form.

6. The download pack contains a Financial Authority form (for MM2H to check with your bank re financial criteria should they feel the need). This form has a coloured crest on and contains details of the legislation under which the form is created. This is THE WRONG form and should not be used. A simpler and fully black/white (e.g. no crest) version is available from the MM2H office and one would hope their online pack will be updated soon.

One of the requirements is to submit certified copies of several documents such as pay slips, passport details page and bank statements (unless in the case of statements you are submitting originals). You can get this done in your own country but as I was in Kuala Lumpur to visit the MM2H offices I decided to get it done there. I did a quick Google for “Commissioner of Oaths near PWTC” and came up with the following company:

Rajah, Daryl and Loh
18th Floor
Wisma Sime Darby
Jalan Raja Laut
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 2694 9999

Having given them a quick call explaining what I needed they told me to just call in, again, they close for lunch between 1-2pm. Their COO is a very nice guy called Mr Ideraju and he did all my documents (6) in about 10 minutes at a charge of RM4 per document. Very reasonable I thought. The beauty of using this firm is that the building is VERY well known to taxi drivers, is easy to get to and is only a few minutes from PWTC.

If you need any photocopying doing you can also walk out of the Sime Darby building main or side entrance, turn left and there is a row of shops on the main road, near the 7/11 with several printers/copiers who charged me about RM3 for about 20 copies. It’s literally a 2 minute walk.

Many people I know have used agents to assist with the application process and that is clearly a personal choice. The problem for me is that, whether you use an agent or not, you will need to put together ALL the papers yourself anyway and once you’ve done that you will just pay the agent to submit it for you. Some will also praise the hand-holding service agents offer Malaysia but again I think it depends I think on how resourceful and/or confident you may be. For me, grabbing a cab and saying “Sime Darby, Jalan Raja Laut please” and then “PWTC please” didn’t seem too taxing and cost about RM25. The taxi even waited (I paid the first fair and he switched the meter back to flag fall charge rather than me paying waiting time) outside Sime Darby until I was done. Whole, thing, start to finish, 2 hours, done and that included printing off statements and a letter at the hotel Business Centre. Having clarified some of the issues with MM2H I would be just as happy to submit the papers by post AND to return and get the other issues sorted upon collecting the visa (e.g. medical).

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