Labuan Offshore Company work permit renewal

It’s been some time since I wrote an update about how it has been going having a Labuan Offshore Company.  The first one was my How to article for incorporating a Labuan Offshore Company.  And I wrote one about Why you should have a Labuan Offshore Company.

I’ve reached the end of my first two years of my work permit and it was time to renew.  This is the work permit visa that is pasted into my passport and the dependent passes that are pasted into the passports of my wife and children.  And here’s what happened.  

Things I learned

I still highly recommend the awesome people at Law and Commerce Trust Limited.  They provide great service and communicate over email in a timely manner.  I got some bad information and they cleared it up for me quickly and professionally.

Have more than a year left in all passports

The wrong information I was given was that I was told that I could get new visas in our passports, and if there were less than two years, it would take some paperwork but it could be corrected afterwards, when the passport was renewed.  This is not the case.  The Labuan immigration office will not put a visa in a passport with less than a year left before it expires.  One of my children had 8 months to go on her passport.

We packed up the whole family to do another mid-week trip to KL to renew our passport at the US Embassy.  Why the whole family?  Because for a minor child renewing an American passport, both parents and the child have to be at the Consular Services window to apply for the renewal.  If you can time it right, the Consular office does make periodic trips to Penang to do passport renewals.  Unfortunately, because of our circumstances, their visit was two weeks to late.  Americans, register with the US Embassy to get updates about when they will be coming to Penang.

Here’s another plug for the Law and Commerce folks.  I asked them to save me a trip to KL and send one of their KL based agents to the US Embassy to do the pickup of the new passport.  They were wary but willing, and it worked without a hitch.  You need to provide them with the cancelled passport being renewed and the claim ticket, which you get when you’ve applied for the new passport.

You don’t need to go to Labuan for a renewal

While you do need to go to Labuan if you want to get your first Labuan visa, that is not the case for renewals.  Paperwork can be done electronically, and signed papers can be sent to Law and Commerce Trust Limited by PosLaju (a service at the Pos Malaysia offices).

Passports should not be sent PosLaju

Nothing happened to us, but the Law and Commerce folks warned us that they have had problems in the past.  They recommend DHL.  There are three DHL offices conveniently located in Penang, Pulau Tikus, Bayan Lepas and Prai.  They provide you a tracking number so you can watch online as your passports move.  Law and Commerce also sent me, by email, the tracking numbers for my passports when they sent them from KL to Labuan, and from Labuan to Penang.

I’m available for Labuan Offshore consulting

People have been contacting me to help consult about Labuan offshore incorporation and Living in Penang in general.  I’ve done some logistics for arrivals and that kind of thing as well.  If this is something you are interested in, please contact me at daniel @ livinginpenang.com or on Facebook facebook.com/livinginpenang or Twitter @livinginpenang.