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:
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:
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
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.
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.