Malaysia Dependant Pass: Requirements, Process & Starting a Business

6 min read|Last Updated: February 7, 2024|

Malaysia has always been a top destination for expats and foreign workers given its quality of life, vast employment opportunities, and an attractive destination for company incorporation. If you are a work visa holder and looking to relocate your family to Malaysia, they are required to apply for the Malaysia Dependant Pass (DP).

When you’re living in Malaysia as a dependant pass, you are still eligible to establish a Malaysian-registered Company if, you register as a foreigner instead of a pass holder.

However, it is a different story when you wish to establish a Malaysian-registered Company or work in Malaysia as a dependant pass holder. According to the Immigration Department of Malaysia, a dependant pass holder in Malaysia is not allowed to be employed unless the employer has attained an Employment Pass (EP) for the employee.

For those who holds a Professional Work Permit (DP10) visa instead of an Employment Pass visa, you are also allowed to work. However, the company that you are employed with must be approved by either the Immigration Department or approving agencies like MDEC and MIDA.

Once your job has been approved, you do not need to change your Dependant Pass with an Employment Pass visa, as this will be done by the hiring company. Companies must file applications via the Malaysian Expatriate Services Division (ESD) website. This is available via the Immigration Department of Malaysia’s website.

What is a Dependent Pass in Malaysia & who can you bring with you?

As most people are aware of, an Employment Pass (EP) holder in category 1 or category 2 is eligible to apply for Dependant Pass (DP) in order to bring in some of their family members into Malaysia. This DP is normally used for:

  • Spouse
  • Children (under 18 years old)
  • Legally adopted children (under 18 years old)
  • Parents of EP holder

For EP category 3, temporary employment pass, or professional visit pass holders, there is no option for applying for the Malaysia Dependant Pass.

Another group of individuals who are eligible to apply for dependant pass in Malaysia are Malaysia Student Pass holders. These are individuals who are currently taking their Master or PHD in Malaysia.

Malaysia Corporate Secretary Liyana

Requirements to apply for Dependant Pass in Malaysia

In order to apply for the Dependant Pass in Malaysia, the applicant will need to fulfil the following requirements and criteria:

  • All pages of passports, including cover

  • Recent passport photos

  • Proof of family relationship such as:

    • Marriage certificates for legal spouses
    • Birth certificate for children or parents
    • Custody letter for the child (if applicable)
    • Adoption papers for the child (if applicable)
  • Copy of Employment Pass or Student Pass

  • Copy of the Form IMM.12 and IMM.38 for Malaysia visa application

  • Personal bond (for student pass holders)

  • Letter of confirmation from the educational institution (for student pass holders)

Malaysia Corporate Secretary Liyana

All documents above must be presented in English and must be endorsed as a Certified True Copy (CTC) by the embassy or consulate of your family members’ respective country in Malaysia or the Malaysian Embassy/Consulate in your family members’ country.

As such, the work visa application is subject to the requirements and conditions imposed by the Immigration Department of Malaysia.

How to Apply for Dependant Pass in Malaysia?

There are two ways where you can apply for a Malaysia dependant pass.

  1. Apply during your EP application
  2. Apply after your EP is approved and you are physically in Malaysia

For both ways, your employer will need to apply on your behalf.

Student pass holders can only apply for dependant passes after the pass is issued. Similar to EP holders, the sponsor will apply the dependant pass for your family via the EMGS website.

Steps to apply for Dependant Pass in Malaysia

Step 1: Apply through the educational institution. A valid student pass is required for this.

Step 2:  Application is reviewed by the Immigration Department and Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS).

Step 3: You will be informed by your institution’s international students’ office if the application has been approved or disapproved.

Step 4: If the application is approved, the Long Term Social Visit Pass (LTSVP) will be issued from EMGS to your institution.

What is a Malaysia Employment Visa

The Malaysia Employment Visa (also known as the Malaysia Work Permit Visa) is given to qualified foreign nationals who are hired by a Malaysian company for technical or managerial positions. It takes approximately 7-14 working days to be processed it can be valid for up to 60 months.

How Much Does a Malaysia Dependent Pass Cost?

The costs to apply for a dependant pass in Malaysia will include:

  • Annual cost of dependant pass

  • Processing fee

  • Any other adhoc fees

Can Dependent Pass holder work in Malaysia?

A dependant pass (DP) holder is not allowed to work in Malaysia unless the employing Company apply for suitable work visa such as Employment Pass before hiring them.

As such, the work visa application is subject to the requirements and conditions imposed by the Immigration Department of Malaysia.

Can Dependent Pass start a business in Malaysia?

According to Company Act 2016, a foreigner is allowed to incorporate a Company and become a sole owner as long as they have legitimate local residential address. Some of the business structures available are:

  • Private Limited Company (Sdn. Bhd.) – Most preferred
  • Public Limited Company (Berhad)
  • Subsidiary
  • Branch

Being a dependant pass holder in Malaysia gives you the advantage of:

  • Having local residential address
  • Being physically present in Malaysia
  • Having local contact number
  • Having the knowledge on who to approach for advice

  • Having the knowledge on how business is run in Malaysia

However, the business establishment will be based on having you as a foreign director instead of a dependant pass holder. Once you have established the business in Malaysia, you may appoint a third-party Human Resource (HR) provider or hire your in-house HR to apply for the employment pass on your behalf.

Once the Company has attained an EP for you, you may now legitimately be hired by the Company as a foreign employee.

Key Points to Note About Being a Dependent Pass Holder

It is important to note that consent in writing must be given by the Immigration Department before employment can commence. The process of converting a Dependant Pass to an Employment Pass may have varying timelines. This could be due to several factors, including more time needed for the verification of official documents. You must also obtain an endorsement on your passport from the Immigration Department before you can start working.


Come down to our office or connect with us virtually for a work visa assessment and find out more about our corporate services today.


Are Foreigners allowed to set up a Sdn Bhd Company in Malaysia?2024-03-14T13:03:45+08:00

Malaysia’s company laws allow people of any nationality to set up a Sdn Bhd company there. Conversely, foreigners may not start a sole proprietorship or partnership in Malaysia.

Is it possible to dissolve a Sdn Bhd Company2024-03-14T13:04:34+08:00

Although a Sdn Bhd has everlasting business continuity, it may nevertheless be dissolved. Of course, all the steps of company dissolution must be completed before such may take place.

Must Every Sdn Bhd Company have shareholders?2024-03-14T13:05:03+08:00

All Sdn Bhd companies are required to have shareholders before they many conduct business operations. It is illegal for such a company to operate if it does not have any shareholders.

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  1. Profile Picture For PHP
    Kim August 4, 2022 at 9:25 pm - Reply

    If i am holding a dependent pass and a company tried to apply an employment pass for me but unfortunately got rejected. Will it jeopardize or forfeit my dependent pass or it will still be retained?

    • Profile Picture For PHP
      Tiwi August 12, 2022 at 1:07 pm

      Hi Kim,

      Not to worry, your dependent pass will still be retained unless you initiate a cancellation process.

      Hope this helps!

  2. Profile Picture For PHP
    Fadzlin Shafie November 10, 2020 at 4:08 pm - Reply

    what happen to dependant visa of expat after they divorce?

    • Profile Picture For PHP
      Tiwi November 13, 2020 at 3:44 pm

      Hi, you can cancel the dependent pass after they divorce.

      Please contact us via Paul Hype Page to discuss further.

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