Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Noah Yii's Guide to making your foreign-born child a Malaysian citizen

This is Noah Yii taking over Daddy's blog again. Yeah I know, I am in Singapore with all my folks while poor Daddy is working hard alone in Bangkok. I miss him lots, but let's not go too deep into sentimental issues now, because this is Noah's personal guide to becoming a Malaysian citizen when born outside Malaysia.

Daddy spent 2 long months battling for my citizenship and travel documents. Without going into any tiring details, it will be useful to note that he literally acted as the coordinator between the HQ in Putrajaya (Kuala Lumpur) and the Malaysian High Commission in Bangkok before finally succeeding. He does not want anyone else to go through what he did, so here are some important pointers if any of you happen to deliver a baby outside Malaysia and are patriotic enough to make him/her Malaysian:

  1. If you got married outside Malaysia, please go to the Malaysia High Commission there to apply for the Malaysian marriage certificate, preferably right after marriage, because things get more complicated if you make the application after your baby is born.
  2. Be sure to obtain an official English translation of your baby's local birth certificate and get it endorsed by the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  3. Check if the Malaysian High Commission in the country has the ability to make the actual passport for your baby, if not you MUST proceed to apply for a document Borang W (Malaysian birth certificate for citizens born outside Malaysia) WITHIN SIX MONTHS after the birth of your child. This is absolutely crucial because if you miss the deadline, it will be an almost impossible task for you to make him/her a Malaysian in the future.
  4. At the same time, you should also apply for an Emergency Document which will allow your child to travel back to Malaysia once to apply for the actual passport. The Emergency Document has a validity of 3 months, so you can only apply for it when you have a concrete plan to visit Malaysia. Don't worry, it only takes 3 working days to process.
  5. The most important advice of all. FOLLOW UP! Do it until the passport in in your hands!
Emergency Document, erhemmmm, this was when I was a few days old and down with jaundice

On a side note, I simply do not understand why passport photos cannot look better. I guess all of you know by now, I am EXTREMELY photogenic.


See what I mean? This was simply a snapshot at a restaurant

However, I end up with horrific pictures on both my travel documents. What's with the boring blue background, serious look, exposed ears and hair not covering the eyes? My hair don't cover my eyes nor ears anyway.

Who can recognize me from this picture?? I am ruined!

I propose that all babies unite to start a movement which will allow us to use our favourite pictures as our passport photos. Since we grow so fast and passports last for years, the overworked Uncles and Aunties at the various customs checkpoints would not be able to recognise us from the baby pictures soon. Wouldn't it be better if the pictures can reflect not our full features (which change at lightning speed), but our actual style and personalities.

Here, I would like to show off my version of the perfect passport.

See? That's the real me!

The customs officers are miserable enough looking at thousands of serious adults daily, it's up to us babies to brighten their day with these cheerful pictures and a bright smile at the counter. If we make their day, I am sure everyone's experience at the airport will be a better one!

PS. The NEW Malaysian Passport photograph now requires the background to be white!

PPS. The above information and advice is accurate up till March 2015, Noah Yii will not be responsible for inaccuracy if there are any changes in the procedure in the future.




54 comments:

  1. Hi Im glad I found your blog. My child was also born outside Malaysia. I took him to the embassy before he turned one. It has been almost a year but still no news. Also the embassy staff told us that my child would receive a Malaysian identity card instead of passport which we need to do in Malaysia. Did u apply for the emergency document at the embassy and how long did it take?
    I would like my child to spend a few months in Malaysia with his grandparents. The prblem is his current passport (his dad is taiwanese) only allows 15 day visa free. I cannot find any info online how to go about extending his stay there. I took him home for new year for 3 weeks and he overstayed for 5 days. It caused quite a bit of prob at the immigration on our departure. Luckily the officer let us go but gave a warning. Do you know anything about the possibility of letting our foreign born child stay longer than his visa permits legally ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Anonymous

      Firstly, you need to apply specifically for the Borang W at your Malaysian Embassy and also the Emergency Document, which will allow him to travel back to Malaysia specifically to make his passport. I had to follow up very closely myself, meaning I even called Putrajaya personally and followed up on both sides every other day. It eventually took me 2 months to get it. Don't depend on them to follow up for you, you might have to do all the coordination by yourself.

      I do not know how to let him stay longer than his visa permits, I think you might have to call the Malaysian Immigration to enquire, but what I suggest is to work on getting the emergency document and passport settled as soon as possible.

      Eddie

      Delete
  2. Hi Eddie thanks for your reply! Can he still go back to Malaysia to apply for the passport even though his Malaysian citizenship has not been approved yet? Is the passport valid for 5 years or just temporary for 1 year? I asked cos we applied for a temp TWN passport valid for 1 year in KOR (where we are based) so that he could qualify for the local health coverage. The local embassy also reminded me that my child should not hold dual citizenship. I thought he could do that until he is 21yro? Anyway, we just agreed to whatever she said to avoid unwanted suspicion later on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do not know about the dual citizenship but I believe most countries do not allow that, though they might not find out.

      Anyway, as far as I know, without the Borang W (to prove that he is a Malaysian born outside Malaysia), it will NOT be possible to obtain the passport even if he is back in Malaysia, so this document is the most crucial. If Malaysian citizenship is really important for you, then I am afraid you might have to start playing the role of the Malaysian Embassy if that is what's required to get things done (which I did).

      My son's passport is like a normal passport, valid for 5 years.

      Delete
    2. I called JPN and was given a reference no to enquire from Bhg Pendaftaran Negara dan Pertubuhan only to be told to check back next January cos they only received my application in jan this year and they are processing those received last year. I applied last Sept but they only received from the embassy 4 months later?!
      I am envious and amazed that you had yours done in two months! But I wonder if it's also to do with your being the father, which I understand is easier whereas those born to msian mothers are only entitled to tis in 2010 onwards. anyway, i really appreciate the al the info and advice you've given. :)

      Delete
    3. Hello... this really sounds ridiculous! They have already received your application (after 4 months) and are only going to process it next year?!

      Oh my goodness. Anyway, for me, I relentlessly pursued this matter and I encountered a very kind officer in Putra Jaya who helped me a lot on this issue, so thank goodness.

      Well, i don't know about the difference between Msian fathers and mothers, but I really hope you do not forget about this matter and be assertive when the time comes! Good luck.

      Delete
  3. Hi anonymous, am wondering what is the status of your application now? I am in a very similar situation as yours. My child was born in bangkok in sept 2012. We applied in nov and no news until now. We did follow up quite closely initially with the embassy and then putrajaya but was told by putrajaya that it will take at least two years. The embassy 'unofficially' told us that it is because the mother is malaysian which is why the process is taking so long. They can't say it officially of course. But they did say that most of the applicants whose father is the malaysian got their applications back really fast. A very disappointed fact but sadly this is what is happening.

    Thanks Eddie for having this post! Glad that I read it! Please do delete if you deem my comment as inappropriate! Oh and I forgot to mention that I am malaysian and my husband is Thai.

    Li Lian

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Li Lian

      Thanks for the comment. I personally went through a lot of trouble to get the passport done for my son and just cannot bear to see others waiting aimlessly for something to happen.

      I am equally appalled to hear of your troubles. It has almost been 2 years! But since they already told you it will take 2 years, maybe you should follow up now and then to ask for updates? I really hope this turns out well for you. If gender really counts, then I guess I am lucky then.

      All the best and don't stop following up

      Delete
  4. Yes will follow up in November since I applied in November 2012! But one thing good is putrajaya is pretty efficient though as I was able to get information from them quite fast through the customer service hotline and the lady even asked me to call her back directly after two years. Something unexpected. I hope more people will read this post so that we can share our experiences about this! But my daughter does have Thai citizenship so at least there is some assurance for us in one country. Just a bit disappointed on the policy or should we call it hidden policy in Malaysia.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Li Lian

      If you have any friends in the same situation as us, please share this post with them, I am sure it will help them in 1 way or another. Now I feel quite lucky I actually completed my one in 2 months, I was so pissed off when I was coordinating everything. Hope everyone's application has a positive result!

      Eddie

      Delete
    2. Hello Eddie!

      Just to give you an update on our citizenship application status. A few days ago, we got a letter from the Malaysian Government that the citizenship application for my daughter (she is almost three years old now) was not successful and no reason was given. We waited for this piece of letter for almost three years. So it is like an unwritten rule that if the mother is a Malaysian, your kids do not necessarily get the citizenship, unless your child was born in Malaysia. Even the form for the Malaysian mom and Malaysian dad is different.

      We are upset not only because of the rejection, but the amount of time we have waited just to get this piece of letter. Pardon my words but it is as if our application form was just lying somewhere in the Putrajaya office and no one was doing anything about it. I mean why would you need three years to verify if that person is eligible for citizenship? Our option now is to apply again (appealing apparently is out of the question because you can never reach anyone in the Putrajaya office that can give you a proper reason or answer on this). Will let you know our next course of action and the outcome (the outcome might take another two or three years! )

      Delete
    3. Can I just give u 2 words?

      "Oh sh*t!"

      Delete
  5. What was the Validity date for his Emergency Certificate? I mean, how many months did he have to fly from Thailand to Malaysia?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, sorry for the long delay in reply.

      However, I have really forgotten how long the validity was, I think probably around 3 months? But I am really not sure, I am sorry.

      Delete
    2. Hello Anonymous, I do not know whether this is still applicable, but I now know the answer to your question.

      The Emergency Certificate has a validity of 3 months, so you only have to do it when you have concrete plans on your trip to Malaysia.

      Delete
  6. Hi Eddie, I have an out of wedlock born child 1.5 month ago in Thailand, with Thai birth certificate with Malaysia father's passport name on it (Surname XXX XXX on actual passport, but in thai XXX XXX Surname, Surname. Does the double surname matter?). What should father do for child to obtain malaysia citizen?

    1) Should father go to JPN obtain single status certificate and get marry in thailand and register marry in Malaysia embassy, then do malaysia IC for son and do passport for the child?
    2) Or go do a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) (Form FS-240) will be issued to serve as proof of citizenship? Then follow by doing passport for child and bring child and girl friend to malaysia to obtain marry certificate malaysia?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Anonymous

      Firstly, thank you for your message. I am not the expert as our situation differs a lot, so maybe the best thing to do now is to discuss this with the Malaysia Embassy on the next steps. I believe when the father is the Malaysian, they might be more ready to help even though your case might be more complicated.

      I will suggest the following though, based on my knowledge:

      1. To be able to get a Malaysian passport, your child has to apply for the Borang W as well as an emergency travel certificate for him/her to fly back to Malaysia once to complete the passport application.

      2. For the Borang W application, a Malaysia marriage certificate is A MUST. Therefore, you will have to get a Thai wedding certificate here, and then go to the Malaysia Embassy with it to register it and obtain the Malaysia marriage certificate.

      3. From my understanding, if the marriage date is later than the date of birth of the child, they will not approve the application straight away. The case will be a special one and it needs more time for higher authority to consider, so if you meet with this issue, please follow up until they give you an answer.

      This is my interpretation of the situation, but I might not be right, so I suggest you contact the Embassy or even visit them to explain and see where they point you, Whichever the case, do follow up consistently if they ask you to wait.

      Hope this helps.

      Eddie

      Delete
    2. Thank so much for your input. That's helps.

      Delete
    3. You are welcome, I hope you succeed soon, and please update us on how you did it here. There will be a lot of people who need help and information on this matter. Good luck!

      Delete
    4. Hi Eddie,

      How do you resolve a Thailand born child's certificate stated Malaysian father's name as passport Surname Firstname but additional suffix Surname eg. Surname Firstname Surname. According to the Thai Registration of Birth, they said the father name must followed passport (Chinese surname is prefix eg Surname then follow by First name) and surname must appending suffix as Thai surname. But this will have problem when do for translate to english or any government application which father name is different from the passport.

      Delete
    5. Hello

      i do not exactly understand your issue, maybe need to see the documents more clearly before I can comment, even though it is unlikely I will be able to help much.

      You may email me anytime at strangerinbangkok@gmail.com if you would like my comments on your specific issue.

      Eddie

      Delete
  7. Hi Eddie.
    I'm Malaysian, my husband is Japanese and my son was born in Singapore. But he without any nationality. I applied my son birth cert in Embassy Malaysia but they said it takes 6months to process (pengesahan taraf). So now can I apply emergency travel document for my son to go back Malaysia.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Cleo

      Thank you for your comment. On my side in Thailand, my children need the Borang W before they can apply for the emergency document.

      If you ask me, frankly, I advise you to apply for his Japanese citizenship and passport ASAP if you would like to travel, because from what I heard, if only the mother is Malaysian, it might take much longer than 6 months to process.

      Eddie

      Delete
  8. Hi Eddie,
    We can't apply Japanese Citizenship for him. Because the Japan Embassy need my husband' family tree, since my husband stay in Singapore more than 10 years. So he can't get any family tree in Japan and he do not have any relatives or friends for help us get the family tree from there. So we let the baby to follow my citizenship. They need to take 6 months to process for approval. Very headache.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If they give u in 6 months it will be fine, please continue to follow up! I followed up like crazy to get mine done.

      Delete
  9. Hi, Eddie
    I think I got the same situation with you. I'm Malaysian, wife is Thai. We already get the Malaysia married certificate in Singapore before my baby born in Thailand. Next month I will bring my baby to Malaysia embassy at Bangkok to register my baby birth certificate. I'm plan to bring my baby back to Malaysia during next year Chinese New Year. Can I apply my baby passport at the embassy, or should I take Thai passport 1st? Cos I'm worry if I take Thai passport 1st, it will very hard to apply Malaysian passport for my baby. Or I just need to apply on the temporary passport for my baby come to Singapore and travel back to Malaysia, then apply passport at Malaysia??
    Hope to heard from your past experience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello David

      Thank you for your email. You will not get a Malaysia passport at the embassy here, only an emergency travel document, that will allow your baby to go back to Malaysia once to make the actual passport there.

      I don't think taking the Thai passport affects anything on the Malaysia passport side, but I guess if I were you I will get the emergency travel document and travel into Malaysia with it during the passport-making trip. I think the emergency travel document only allows you to go to Malaysia.

      Eddie

      Delete
    2. Eddie,

      Can apply the birth certificate and emergency travel document at the same time?? The document cannot travel to Singapore?

      Delete
    3. Hello David

      I believe you can apply for the BC (they call it the Borang W) and travel document at the same time. You have to determine this with the embassy but I am quite sure the document is for 1-time entry into Malaysia only.

      Eddie

      Delete
    4. Oh. So means I need to go to senai airport and do the passport at JB.
      Thanks!
      Next time in bkk, coffee on me.

      Delete
    5. David. Please confirm your plans with the embassy too! And thanks for coffee!

      Delete
  10. Actually planed to come on 5th November. But last Sunday I'm fell down and broken my left leg. Now still in hospitalized, maybe Monday then operation cos now it still swollen.
    So don't think I can come so soon. But my daughter born on August, within 6 month means on February right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a horrible news to read that you broke your leg. Please rest well and recover asap! I think you have till Jan/Feb but as I say it's better to confirm the latest rules with the embassy because I will not be updated if there are any changes done recently.

      Delete
  11. I called them on yesterday, still the same, within 6 months. Will come and get it done ASAP when I can walk with crutch. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Eddie
    Am Malaysian in On Nut and expecting a baby on Feb 2017 in Bkk and really appreciated with all the information i can get here. Big Likes on your Blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Tony, thank you man. This blogpost has really become a treasure trove of information for people in the same boat especially including all the kind sharing by all the readers in their different situations.

      I had a really frustrating time myself so I just hope to make things more straightforward for anyone who manages to find this post.

      I hope you have an easy time when applying for yours too Tony.

      Cheers.

      Delete
  13. Eddie,

    Sorry for I'm still owing you a mug of coffee...
    I'm got my baby birth certificate and her passport already. Thanks for your info.
    On 18th November morning I reached bkk and direct go to Malaysia embassy apply my baby birth certificate and emergency certificate. My wife prepared 2 sets of the required document photocopy, but the officer need 4 sets of it. Cos birth certificate need 2sets, emergency certificate need 2sets. So passport size photo also need 4pcs. Luckily I got prepare more with me, so I no need to go out find place for photocopy.
    After filled 2 sets of forms, submit to counter and pay 824B. Birth certificate 312B, emergency certificate 512B.
    Receive a receipt can collect on 23rd afternoon 1pm to 3pm.
    Actually can apply the emergency certificate travel to Singapore, they will write it in the emergency certificate.
    I bring my baby come back to Singapore on 24th and go to Malaysia embassy at Singapore on 25th do her passport and got it at the same day. The officer at Singapore very good, they do it for me within 1hrs, they said no need a handicap come back to collect on other day. Haha...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello David

      All Malaysia passports are processed immediately these days, so that's pretty standard i guess.

      And you can actually do the emergency travel document to Singapore! That's news!

      Don't worry about the coffee man, just would love to be able to say hi if you happen to be in Bangkok.

      I hope your leg is much better now?

      Eddie

      Delete
    2. Actually at Singapore need 2 working days then can collect. If do at jb, it can ollect t the same day. From bkk and Singapore Malaysia embassy I found if you submit on Friday, it will need extra 1 more day for collection and afternoon break time is from 11.30am.
      Because now are not convenience to walk, so never text you during my time at bkk.
      My leg will have another surgery on next month, got 1 screw need to take out. I think until Chinese new year still can't walk normally...
      :(

      Delete
    3. Good info man, maybe only in Malaysia then they make the passport immediately for you.

      Don't worry man, coffee can wait, just make sure you can move around freely first!

      Delete
  14. Hi Eddie! With the Borang W, child Malaysian passport must be done in Putrajaya? Or it can be done at any state immigration office?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello! I think it can be done at any office but it's better to make sure before you go to the office by calling them.

      Delete
    2. Thanks Eddie!

      Delete
  15. I did for my baby with borang W at Singapore Malaysia embassy.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Eddie, I have an out of wedlock born child in United States. The baby is US citizen and holding a US passport. The birth certificate of baby only has my name as father. No mother name in the birth certificate.
    I am thinking to bring him back to Malaysia. I am wondering whether I can apply visa for him to stay in Malaysia until 21 years old? I don’t have any intention to apply Malaysian citizen for him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Anonymous, I really cannot answer your questions because of my lack of knowledge, but I do not see a problem especially if he is going to be staying there as your dependent. Are you still Malaysian citizen then?

      Delete
    2. Yeah, I am still Malaysian citizen

      Delete
    3. hi, Anonymous.

      You can get the Malaysia birth certificate at Malaysia Embassy at United State within 6 month baby born. So baby will have 2 citizenship until 21 years old and choose one.

      Hope it's help.

      Delete
    4. Hi David,

      I thought malaysia birth certicate must include mother name, is that true?
      thanks advise.

      Delete
    5. Bro,
      I'm not sure about that... But your kids state birth certificate got your name?? Cos if don't have, it's hard to prove your are dad of kid.

      Delete
    6. hi David,

      Yes . the birth certificate got my name only. the mother name is left to blank.

      Delete
  17. Hi all,

    I'm Malaysian married to a Thai wife and we have both Thai and Malaysian marriage certificate. I'm now residing in Bangkok and have both a work permit as well as Thai PR. We are expecting our newborn in early Oct and I intend to get both Malaysian and Thai passport for our child as I understand it is possible up to 18. Despite reading through comments here as well as other sites, I do have a lot of questions and hence wondering if anyone can assist me on this.

    1. Is it necessary to get the emergency travel document to register for BC and passport in Malaysia? One thought would be to travel in and out of KL using a Thai passport and to apply for a Malaysian passport when back in KL
    2. If we were to get the emergency document and re-enter Thailand with the Malaysian passport, I am assuming we would then need to apply for a dependent visa for the baby to allow entry and residence in Thailand
    3. Given intent to hold both Malaysian and Thai passports, what would be the best way to manage both? As advised in other sites, use Thai passport when leaving and entering TH and do the same for Malaysia. As for other countries, we can choose which to use depending on visa requirements if any. Given that both Thai and Malaysian passports now have automate access with no stamps, are there any foreseeable issues?
    4. Anyone has experience with the emergency documents? Would it be stamped on exit from TH as well as entry into Malaysia? Would we need to show this when applying for a Malaysian passport given that child was born abroad?

    Any advise on this would be much appreciated!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello

      I feel that you do not need to get the emergency document, but you MUST go to the Malaysian embassy to get the Borang W so that you can go back to Malaysia to apply for a Malaysian passport as and when you want.

      This is what I feel, it will be good that you confirm this with the Malaysian Embassy and if you don't mind update here so that everyone will know.

      Thank you!

      Eddie

      Delete
    2. hi…
      Congratulation to you to join fatherhood club!
      Last time I'm also think same like you, want to get both passport for my baby. But after think again, better to get Malaysia passport before get Thai passport, due to Malaysia always got those funny funny rules…. I'm work and stay at Singapore, so I apply borang w and emergency travel document for my baby come to Singapore to apply Malaysia passport. The emergency travel document only allow to use one time for your baby to exit Thailand. When apply Malaysia Passport, they will need to see borang w and the passport.
      Actually the challenging part is to take nice baby's passport photo…
      P/s: don't go Malaysia Embassy on Friday to apply anything, it will take one extra day. At the end is same like you apply it on Monday….

      Delete

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