Malaysia’s growing economy and tax incentives have drawn many investors who have decided to set up a company in Malaysia. Whether you are a business owner or a professional who is seeking employment in Malaysia, it is important to understand the types of work passes available and the process for employment pass application.

Types of Work Passes in Malaysia

There are 3 main types of employment passes in Malaysia, issued by the Immigration Department of Malaysia that a foreigner can apply for, which include:

  • Employment Pass

    • For individuals who possess specific skill set in a technical or managerial position
    • Minimum validity period of 2 years
    • Divided into 3 categories – Category I, II, and III
  • Temporary Employment Pass (TEP)

    • For individuals with a monthly drawn salary of less than RM5,000
    • Applicable for employees with an employment period of less than 2 years
  • Professional Visit Pass (PVP)

    • For skilled foreign worker who intend to provide service to a company in Malaysia on behalf of a foreign company
    • Usually for a short-term attachment
    • Issued for a minimum of 6 months
    • Must not exceed 12 months

If you’d like to know more about the differences between these 3 work passes, you can check out our Malaysia working visa guide!

NOTE: The type of work pass you are eligible to apply for is dependent on your job type and skills.

Requirements to Obtaining a Work Pass in Malaysia

Before getting employment in Malaysia, there are some requirements that you should take note of, which include:

  • Your passport must have a validity period of at least 18 months
  • Must be 27 years old & above – for IT sector, you must be 23 years old & above
  • All your family members must have a valid passport
  • Should be fluent in English/ Bahasa Malaysia

Work passes in Malaysia in general last between six months and five years. This depends on the type of pass the employee has and the duration of the work. Dependants of the work pass holder, who are above 21 years, have to apply for their permits if they would like to work in Malaysia.

Eligibility Criteria for a Malaysia Work Pass

The eligibility criteria for a Malaysia Work Pass are listed below:

Skilled Workers

  • Qualifications – bachelor’s degree or higher

  • Minimum of three years of work experience in the relevant field
  • Diploma holders must have at least five years of work experience in the relevant field

  • Technical certification or equivalent holders must have at least seven years of work experience in the relevant field

Shareholders and Directors

  • Minimum of 30% equity in the company
  • Status as an SSM-registered director

  • Shareholders must meet both requirements stated

Documents Required for Employment Pass Application

To apply for your work visa in Malaysia, the following documents are required:

  • Copy of the company’s profile
  • Copy of the company’s telephone bill
  • Copy of the MyKad or passport belonging to the company director
  • Tenancy or Sale and Purchase Agreement
  • SSM Form 49 (certified true copy)
  • SSM Form 9 (certified true copy)
  • SSM Form 24 (certified true copy)
  • Copy of the e-SSM printout
  • Copy of the Local Authorities License if applicable
  • Other business licenses if applicable
  • Copy of the latest financial report of the company
  • Exemption letter from the minimum salary requirement (Category EPIII only)
  • Other documents which may be requested
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Employment Pass Application Process in Malaysia

Before you can hold the Employment Pass in Malaysia, the Expatriate Committee (EC) or other relevant authority must grant approval. The pass will only be issued if you are able to fill your required position.

This prior approval is needed as the Malaysian government has currently has strict regulations imposed on the number of foreign workers that a Malaysian-based company can employ. If these companies intend to hire foreigners, they are required to prove to the authority on why the chosen foreigners are important to the position and how can they contribute.

The companies will also need to state reasons on why a local is unable to fill the position. Before proceeding with the work pass application, companies must request a quota from the Immigration Department.

The steps for employment pass application are as follows:

  • Registration
    Companies are required to submit all expat-related information required by the authority online via the Expatriate Services Division (ESD) website. It is important that companies receive approval before hiring foreign workers.

    The Letter of Understanding must be completed and printed out before you make an appointment with ESA to complete the registration process. Once the registration is successful, you can then submit all expatriate application.

  • Projection of expat recruitment
    The hiring company has to submit a projection of its expat talent requirements to the ESD as a step to ensure the company’s planning and estimation for the number of foreign talents is realistic.

  • Submission of employment pass application
    Foreign workers are not allowed to apply for work passes themselves – this must be done by the hiring company. Once all relevant documents are received along with the application, the authority will review the application and issue the employment pass if all documents are approved.

NOTE: The applications will be assessed on an individual basis and is subjected to approval based on the merits of the application.

If you are looking to start your company in Malaysia or applying for an employment pass, let us help! Contact us for a free consultation today.

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What are the 3 categories of the employment pass?2021-09-17T00:15:43+08:00

The 3 categories of employment pass are as follows:

Category I (EPI) – for applicants who earn a fixed monthly salary of at least RM10,000 and a valid employment contract for a minimum of 5 years.

Category II (EPII) – for applicants who earn a fixed monthly salary of at least RM5,000 up to RM9,999 and a valid employment contract of 2 years.

Category III (EPIII) – for applicants who earn a fixed monthly salary of between RM3,000 to 4,999 and a valid employment contract period not exceeding 12 months.

If my employment pass application is rejected, am I allowed to appeal the decision?2021-09-17T00:14:50+08:00

Yes, an appeal can be lodged 14 days after receiving notice of the decision for your initial application.

Can anyone from any country receive an Employment Pass?2021-09-17T00:14:08+08:00

The current regulations regarding the Employment Pass do not bar anyone from receiving one on the basis of nationality. Anyone who meets all of the relevant criteria may receive it. Therefore, any eligible person from any country may receive an Employment Pass.

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