Malaysia Employment Pass Application

9 min read|Last Updated: May 29, 2024|

Malaysia’s burgeoning economy and attractive tax incentives have positioned it as a prime destination for investors and professionals alike. For those considering establishing a company or seeking employment opportunities in Malaysia, understanding the intricacies of Malaysia’s Employment Pass application system is paramount. This article serves as a comprehensive guide, offering insights into the various types of work passes available, along with a detailed overview of the employment pass services.

Requirements for Employers Hiring Foreign Workers

Before hiring foreign workers, employers will need to consider several terms and conditions highlighted by the Ministry of Home Affairs – Immigration Department of Malaysia:

  1. Foreign workers can only work in Malaysia within specific 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. The age of the foreign workers applying must be at least 18 years old, but not exceed 45 years old.
  4. The foreign worker must retrieve a certified PASS for Immigration Security Clearance (ISC) from a Malaysian embassy in their source country.
  5. Foreign workers must obtain health clearance from a Malaysian-endorsed medical center in their home country.
  6. The Immigration Act 1963, Section 8(3), prohibits entry to Malaysia for certain individuals. The foreign workers cannot be present in said list.

Eligibility Criteria for Employment Pass Applications for Expatriate(s) / Knowledge / Skilled Worker(s)

The minimum requirements to apply for an expatriate post are as follows:

  • Degree and above, with at least 3 years’ experience in the relevant field;
  • Diploma, with at least 5 years’ experience in the relevant field;
  • Technical Certificate or equivalent, with at least 7 years’ experience in the relevant field;
  • Applicant must work in a managerial, executive or technical position which requires specific skills;
  • Applicant must meet the required salary requirements; and
  • The Malaysian government restricts certain sectors for foreign workers. Thus, applicants cannot take up employment in these restricted sectors.

If the expatriate is only to act as a shareholder, these are the requirements:

  • Shareholder(s) must have a minimum of 30% equity in the company; and
  • Must be a SSM-registered Director of the company and/or holds a key position in the company.

Once the Expatriate Committee or another authorized agency has approved your employer’s application to hire you, your employer must apply for your Employment Pass.

Restricted Sectors

The Guidelines on Foreign Participation in the Distributive Trade Services Malaysia restricts the application of employment pass for the following sectors:

  • Supermarket / mini market (less than 3,000 square sales floor area)
  • Provision shop / general vendor
  • Convenience store (that opens for business for 24 hours)
  • News agent and miscellaneous goods store
  • Medical hall (inclined towards traditional alternative medicines plus general dry foodstuff)
  • Fuel station with convenience store
  • Fuel station without convenience store
  • Permanent wet market store
  • Permanent pavement store
  • National strategic interest
  • Textile, restaurant (non exclusive), bistro, jewellery shops
  • Others

Types of Work Passes in Malaysia

For more information about the types of work permit in Malaysia, check out our Comparative Guide to Malaysia Work Visas. Below is a summary of the three types of work visas:

malaysia employment pass categories

Malaysia Incorporation Specialist Jacey

Requirements for Applicants to become an employment pass holder

To embark on the process of applying for an Employment Pass in Malaysia, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with some key requirements. These include:

  • Your passport must have a validity period of at least 18 months
  • Must be 27 years old & above – for the 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

In Malaysia, the duration of work passes typically spans from six months to five years, contingent upon both the type of pass held by the employee and the duration of their employment. Additionally, dependents of work pass holders, aged 21 and above, must apply for their permits should they seek employment within Malaysia. Similarly, dependents pass holders who entered the country alongside their family and are above the age of 21 must also secure permits should they wish to engage in employment within Malaysian territory.

Qualifications Required for a Malaysia Work Pass

The eligibility criteria for a Malaysia Work Pass are:

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

You need to submit the following documents to apply for your employment pass in Malaysia:

  1. Copy of the company’s telephone bill
  2. Copy of the MyKad or passport belonging to the company director
  3. Tenancy or Sale and Purchase Agreement
  4. SSM Form 49 (certified true copy)
  5. SSM Form 24 (certified true copy)
  6. Copy of the e-SSM printout
  7. Copy of the Local Authorities License if applicable
  8. Other business licenses if applicable
  9. Copy of the latest financial report of the company
  10. Exemption letter from the minimum salary requirement (Category EPIII only)
  11. Additional documents which will request

Employment Pass Application Process in Malaysia

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

  1. Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) – for jobs in the technology sector
  2. Malaysia Industrial Development Authority – for the manufacturing and services sector
  3. Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation – for jobs in the biotechnology sector
  4. Central Bank of Malaysia – for sectors in finance, banking, and insurance
  5. Securities Commission – for the securities and futures market sectors
  6. Expatriate Committee – for sectors that are not under the above

This prior approval is a must as the Malaysian government currently has strict regulations impose 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.
  • Projection of expat recruitment
  • Submission of the Malaysia employment pass application
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.

Step 1: Submit the following documents to the government portal you applied with:

  • Passport copy
  • Entry stamp
  • Flight tickets

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

Step 2: Make payment for your passport endorsement.

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

Step 3: 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.

Step 4: 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

Commencing from 1st March 2023, foreign professionals holding the Employment Pass (Categories I, II, III) are eligible to complete their endorsement at the ESD Satellite Centre (ESC) situated within Kuala Lumpur International Airport 1 (KLIA1). Applicants are required to furnish the Confirmation Letter for endorsement purposes.

In the event of an unsuccessful endorsement, the procedure will be conducted over the counter at designated service centers located outside of KLIA1. This streamlined process aims to enhance efficiency and convenience for foreign professionals seeking endorsement for their Employment Passes in Malaysia.

Can I bring my family members to Malaysia with an Employment Pass?

On the whole, Malaysia Employment Pass holders typically have the privilege of bringing their dependents along when relocating to the country. There is, however, one crucial exception to be aware of. Category 3 EP holders, unfortunately, are not eligible for dependent passes.

Specifically, Malaysia Employment Pass holders falling under Categories 1 and 2 can apply for dependent visas for certain family members. These visas can be obtained through either a Dependent’s Pass or, in some cases, a Long Term Social Visit Pass.

  • Spouse
  • Children under 21 years of age

However, the Dependent’s Pass allows the holder to reunite with their family member in Malaysia. It’s important to note, though, that employment is not permitted under this pass. Should the dependent wish to work, they will need to convert their Dependent Pass to an Employment Pass.

Offering greater flexibility than a standard visit pass, the Long Term Social Visit Pass enables holders to visit family members in Malaysia for extended stays. This temporary visa can be valid for anywhere between six months and up to five years.

Malaysia Employment Pass holders (Category 3) are not allowed to bring their family members with them to Malaysia.


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?2024-05-08T16:34:44+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?2024-05-08T16:33:34+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?2024-05-08T16:37:01+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.

What is the maximum duration of an employment pass in Malaysia, and is it renewable?2024-05-08T16:33:25+08:00

Up to 60 months, and renewal is possible with approval from relevant authorities.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

More Business Insights

Undecided or got questions

Got other questions?

Drop us a message on WhatsApp or connect with us through our contact form.

Join the discussions

  1. Profile Picture For PHP
    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

    • Profile Picture For PHP
      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. Profile Picture For PHP
    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.

    • Profile Picture For PHP
      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,

Go to Top