Employment Pass Application in Malaysia

9 min read|Last Updated: March 17, 2023|
Home>Guides / FAQ>Employment Pass Application in Malaysia

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.

This article will run through the conditions to employ foreign workers, types of work passes in Malaysia, with a focus on the Malaysia employment pass.

Recruitment terms and conditions to employ foreign workers

There are several terms and conditions highlighted by the Ministry of Home Affairs – Immigration Department of Malaysia for employers to abide with:

1. The foreign workers are only allowed to work within these sectors:

  • Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Plantation
  • Agriculture
  • Services

2. Employers must first obtain the quota to hire foreign workers from the Ministry of Home Affairs, One Stop Centre (OSC)

3. Foreign workers must be the age of at least 18 years old above but below 45 years old at the time of the application is made

4. May retrieve the certified PASS for Immigration Security Clearance (ISC) at source country based on this list: https://www.imi.gov.my/portal2017/images/pdf/2017/isc/ISC-19may2017.pdf

5. The foreign workers must be deemed fit and healthy as approved by the medical centre in the source country based on this list: https://www.imi.gov.my/portal2017/images/pdf/Senarai_Pusat_Kesihatan_as_at_1Mei2015.pdf

6. The foreign workers must not be one of those listed foreign individuals who are prohibited from entering Malaysia under Section 8 (3) of Immigration Act 1959/1963

Types of Work Passes in Malaysia

There are 3 main types of work 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 employment pass – 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
    • Requirements to apply for TEP include:
      • Must work in the following sectors
        • Construction
        • Plantation
        • Agriculture
        • Services
        • Manufacturing
      • Must be from the following countries
        • Bangladesh – only allowed to work in plantation sector via government agencies
        • Cambodia
        • India – not allowed to work in manufacturing sector
        • Indonesia – male citizens allowed to only work in manufacturing sectors whilst females are allowed to work in all sectors
        • Kazakhstan
        • Laos
        • Myanmar
        • Nepal
        • Philippines – female citizens are not allowed to work in any sectors
        • Sri Lanka
        • Thailand
        • Turkmenistan
        • Uzbekistan
        • Vietnam
      • Must be 18 years old but below 45 years old during application time
      • Is deemed fit and healthy to work by the approved medical centre
      • Have undergone Immigration Security Clearance (ISC) verification
  • 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
    • Extendable for a period of 12 months – only possible if the foreign worker has served a cooling period or break of 3 months outside of this country after the initial 12 months
    • Usually applied for the following activities
      • Attending a training
      • Visiting or invited by lecturer or professor
      • As a research assistant
      • Attending a seminar or as a training speaker
      • Volunteer services
    • Requirements to apply for the PVP include:
      • Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree and above
      • Must have a number of years of working experience in the chosen industry or position applied
      • Should have a foreign company (home country) that employs the expatriate and the salary must be borne by the home company
      • Allowances, fringe benefits, or stipend may be given to the expat during the course of time, but it may be subjected to tax

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

Malaysia Incorporation Specialist Jacey

Requirements to Obtaining a Work Pass in Malaysia

Before securing 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. Dependants pass holders above 21 years old who followed their family into the country 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 Malaysia Employment Pass Application

To apply for your employment pass in Malaysia, the following documents are required:

  • 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

The company needs to apply for an “expatriate post” at one of the following government agencies:

  • Multimedia Development Corporation – for jobs in the technology sector

  • Malaysia Industrial Development Authority – for the manufacturing and services sector

  • Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation – for jobs in the biotechnology sector

  • Central Bank of Malaysia – for sectors in finance, banking, and insurance

  • Securities Commission – for the securities and futures market sectors

  • Expatriate Committee – for sectors that are not under the above

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 you intend to hire foreigners under a Malaysian company, 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 Malaysia employment pass application, companies must request a quota from the Immigration Department.

The steps for applying a Malaysia employment pass are as follows:

  • Company Profile 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, including the employment pass.

  • 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 the Malaysia 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.

Malaysia Corporate Secretary Ramu

What to Do After Employment Pass is Approved in Malaysia?

After getting your Malaysia employment pass approved by the authorities, you can enter the country to finalise the process. Some nationalities require a visa to initially enter the country.

Malaysia Corporate Secretary Ramu

Here are the generic steps to get your employment pass visa on your passport after entering the country.

  • Submit the following documents to the government portal you applied with:

    • Passport copy
    • Entry stamp
    • Flight tickets

    Note that more information and documents may be required – those will be indicated in the portal.

  • Make payment for your passport endorsement. This is for them to generate the employment pass sticker which will be pasted on your passport.

  • Make a booking with MYXpats Centre to head down for submission of passport. They will physically stick the visa on your passport. If you are unable to go down on your own, you can create an authorisation letter to grant the individual the rights to receive the employment pass on your behalf.

    NOTE: You will still have to submit your passport to the officer at MYXpats – this means that the person whom you grant the rights to assist with this process should be someone you trust.
    The appointment date should be more than 5 working days after you have made payment.

  • You complete your employment pass endorsement once you have received the sticker on your passport. Now, you are able to enter and exit Malaysia anytime until your visa expires.

Malaysia Corporate Secretary Ramu

From 1 March 2023 onwards, all foreign professionals holding the Employment Pass (Categories I, II, III) can now complete their endorsement at ESD Satellite Centre (ESC), Kuala Lumpur International Airport 1 (KLIA1). Applicants need to provide the Confirmation Letter for endorsement.

If unsuccessful, endorsement will be done over the counter at the service centres outside of KLIA1.


Get in touch with us virtually or come down to our office for employment pass assessment.


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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Join the discussions

  1. Jasson Aulakh November 14, 2021 at 1:45 am - Reply

    Hi ,
    How are you there ?

    My name is Gurmat Singh Aulakh .
    You can call me Jasson.( It’s My nick name…!)

    I’m from India.
    I have successfully done my Masters of Science (M.Sc) in Information Technology in December 2018.

    I’m looking for a company to provide me an employment pass in IT industry.

    I’m sending my Resume and other Educational Credentials along with this mail.
    Please find it thoroughly..

    Thank you.

    I would love to hear from you soon….

    Kind Regards
    Jasson Aulakh

    • Paul Hype Page November 15, 2021 at 11:31 am

      Hi Jason,

      Great to hear from you & congrats on completing your MSc in IT!

      We can assist in securing your Malaysia employment pass if you would like to incorporate your own company in Malaysia.

      However, if you are looking to work for a company in Malaysia, the EP application is done by the employer.

      Hope this clarifies! Should you require incorporation with EP application, or would like to discuss how to secure your EP application, you can WhatsApp us here:

      Best Regards,

  2. MOHAMMAD SYEDUL ISLAM November 8, 2021 at 4:51 am - Reply

    I am working in Bangladesh as a researcher of last 24 years. Now i wish to migrate to Malaysia to obtain a Employment Pass Catagory 1/2. Need your cooperation.

    • Paul Hype Page November 8, 2021 at 9:48 am

      Hi Mohammad Syedul,

      Do reach out to us on WhatsApp so we can help with your Malaysia EP application. Hear from you soon!

      Best Regards,

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