SCIENTISTSSabah Immigration Procedures

Once you have completed your applications and have received permission from the SaBC (by email make sure you check your Spam folder in case it goes there) you can enter Malaysia and apply for your visa (Visit Pass Professional). Your research permit is not complete and fully granted until you get this visa sticker in your passport.

This process usually involves entering Malaysia on a three-month tourist visa (scientists of other nationalities need to check how long their tourist visas are valid for) before visiting each of the government organisations necessary. Make sure you also arrange a meeting with your local collaborator before starting your research.

If you are not from a Commonwealth country you will also require a ‘Journey Performed’ Visa. To acquire this you will need your local collaborator or the director of the institute they work for to write a letter on your behalf to the Malaysian Consulate informing them that you have been invited to work by their institute and requesting that you be given a ‘Journey Performed’ Visa. This will either cost RM520 or RM20.

After arrival in Sabah but before starting research: All of the visa processing is carried out in Kota Kinabalu. Collecting and filling immigration forms involves the following steps:

Step 1

Fill in form numbers 11, 12 and 63 (and 6 for some nationalities), which can all be collected from the Sabah Immigration Department in the Kompleks Persekutuan, Kota Kinabalu. This is along Jalan UMS Road between the Yayasan Sabah building and the entrance to Universiti Malaysia Sabah. Taxi drivers know where it is. Go to Floor No. 2 (first floor) of Immigration and ask at window number 1 or 2. These forms should be filled in as completely as possible, but you may need help from your local collaborator with Form 63 (which is in Malay and needs to be signed by your Local Collaborator) and Form 11 (which needs to be signed by your Local Collaborator). You will need to get two copies of your Local Collaborator’s ID card.

Step 2

Collect the Access License from SaBC. Once your Access Licence has been approved, SaBC will send a Statutory Declaration form to sign in the presence of a Session Court Judge, Magistrate, or Commissioner for Oaths in Sabah/Malaysia in the court building (makamah in Malay – taxi drivers should know). Once signed, hand over the form to SaBC to collect the Access Licence in person. SaBC is located on the 11th floor of the Wisma Innoprise building (opposite the Yayasan Sabah building).

Step 3

Pay stamp duty at the Income Tax Office. Once it has been filled in and signed, you need to take form number 11 to the Sabah Income Tax Department and pay a stamp duty of RM10.00. The Income Tax Department is in the Lembaga Hasil Building opposite Wisma KWSP and near the Karamunsing Complex. Collect a ticket from the front desk and wait for your number to be called. Just present the form, pay the cash, and the form will be stamped.

Step 4

Submit all forms, photocopies and photographs to Immigration and get a Visit Pass Professional. You need to submit the following documents to Immigration (photocopying and passport photographs can be done cheaply in town at photo shops):

– Your passport plus 2 photocopies (of the page with your photo and the pages with your entry visa stamp)
– 4 colour passport photographs
– Copy of research pass issued to you by SaBC
– Copy of approval from DVMC, MBMC or Forestry
– Support letter from your local collaborator
– Two photocopies of your local collaborator’s ID card
– Form numbers 11, 12 and 4 copies of 63 fully filled in (form 6 if required)
– Stamp duty paid on form number 11

Step 5

Go to floor 2 of Immigration, and collect a ticket from window number 1 or 2. Once your number has been called, hand in all your paperwork and keep hold of the receipt they give. Processing will take a minimum of 14 working days.

Step 6

After processing, go to pick up your visa at the immigration office. Collect a number from window number 1 or 2, wait to be called and then pay a cash only fee of RM90.00 per 3 months on visa (1 year visa= RM360, although always bring more as fees can vary) to the cashier. You then need to hand in your passport and your receipt to the next window you’re called to, and a visa sticker will be put into your passport. Double check the visa has the correct information before leaving.