MACS - Bad News

Old Jan 17th 2018, 10:51 am
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Default MACS - Bad News

For those of us living in Johor and working in Singapore, and anyone contemplating it, I have some bad news.
Somewhere, somewhen, the criteria for getting a MACS pass has changed.

I recently went to "Third Link" in Singapore (the first step backwards) to renew mine and was told that it may not be approved. I asked why as my circumstances were the same as when I'd got it before.... three times.

They told me that it was now a "social pass" (so I said OK, I'm going to see my mates in the office!!) and that if you lived in Malaysia (which they would see from the completed form) then it was necessary to have a long term visa.

As they only give one parent a Guardian Visa (I was told Mother preferred) that leaves me the option of shelling out a very large amount of money for an MMH2 or renewing my passport twice a year as it fills up with stamps.

I called two acquaintances in the same position as me - they both confirmed they applied and were denied.

One way around it would be to buy a house here... but for us that just isn't worth even thinking about.

So, if you're like many of us that chose to live here, mainly because of the excellent school(s) and cross the border, you'll need to think again. We are.
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Old Jan 31st 2018, 2:25 am
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Default Re: MACS - Bad News

Hi Geedee! My MACS pass expired three weeks ago. I shan't bother renewing it! Reason being that we've moved back to Singapore, thank goodness. Relieved to not have to go through that ridiculous Third Link office any more.
And absolutely FED UP with the border traffic.
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Old Jan 31st 2018, 1:05 pm
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Default Re: MACS - Bad News

Originally Posted by Froggybarnacle2000 View Post
Hi Geedee! My MACS pass expired three weeks ago. I shan't bother renewing it! Reason being that we've moved back to Singapore, thank goodness. Relieved to not have to go through that ridiculous Third Link office any more.
And absolutely FED UP with the border traffic.
Can't be 'aving it ourselves.

Used to love day trips over to JB and about 30 years ago used to do the return trip maybe on average 2.5 times a day.
Haven't been across for nearly a year now.
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Old Feb 1st 2018, 4:37 am
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Default Re: MACS - Bad News

Appalling.
So who is moving the goalposts here ? Singapore or Malaysia?
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Old Feb 3rd 2018, 8:52 am
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Default Re: MACS - Bad News

Hello bakedbean! Hope you are well!
In this case, it is Malaysia "moving the goalposts." Five years ago it was easy to get a MACS pass. Just as long as you were a Singapore citizen, or a Singapore PR/ EP/ DP/ WP holder or had bought property in the Iskandar residential enclaves you could get a MACS pass with no fuss. The MACS pass was good for me, as it saved my passport from getting filled up with the chops/ stamps as you cleared the border. I would sometimes take public transport to Sg and back to Johor, and the MACS lanes in the immigration halls on the Johor side were always free, thus avoiding the one-hour wait to clear immigration during rush hour in the mornings and evenings.
Ever since this Third Link company entered the picture, I noticed since late 2016 that Malaysia immigration got more stringent. We did not buy property in Johor, we were just renting a house, so I wondered if they finally decided to give the MACS pass just to property owners. If this is the case, this is not good at all as there are quite a number of Singaporean and expat families who are renting homes in the Iskandar region and commuting daily to Singapore for work. We moved to Johor in 2012 because of the lower cost of living and like geedee, "chose to live here mainly because of the excellent school(s)." If I was still living in Johor and I was denied a MACS pass this year, that would definitely make me move back to Singapore.
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Old Apr 23rd 2018, 3:03 pm
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Default Re: MACS - Bad News

Well, we're still here. School said they can help but need to apply, get refused and then appeal. What a croc.
We can't really move to S'pore as kids would have to commute.... what a cluster.
BTW, all Malaysia's fault by the looks of it. 3rd Link are a rip-off and wish they'd never come into the fray.
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Old Apr 25th 2018, 11:08 am
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Default Re: MACS - Bad News

That's awful. Yes you could change to mm2h at great expense and there's always the possibility of gov changing rules on that. And that is life on temporary visas. ((Sigh))
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