Key Note

Foreign individuals intending to work in Malaysia, especially for professional or high-skilled capacity jobs must obtain a Malaysian Employment Pass (EP). To get such a permit, there is a need to first secure employment with a Malaysian employer.

The Malaysian government issues the Employment Pass among various types of work permits. Prior to obtaining an Employment Pass, the employer must obtain approval from the Director General to hire the foreign individual. As a matter of fact persuat to Section 60K of the Malaysian Employment Act 1955.

Explore our comprehensive guides on eligibility criteria, application documents, and processing timelines to understand the EP application process inside out. We also provide insights into the latest updates and changes in immigration policies. So as to ensure that you stay well-informed on the evolving landscape of work visas in Malaysia.

What criterias make you eligible for a Malaysia EP?

In order to be eligible and have a Malaysian EP, you must meet the following criteria.

  • You can increase your Malaysian Employment Pass approval rate by having stronger and more relevant academic qualifications. It should be noted, that no official minimum requirement is set.

  • You will require a minimum of 3 years’ experience in the applied position for your Malaysian Employment Pass. However, if your academic qualifications are weaker, expect a higher experience requirement.
  • Malaysia for the most part usually issues Employment Passes for positions that require specific skillsets and expertise. For example, positions that are managerial, executive, or technical.

  • The minimum and maximum salary for Malaysia Employment Pass can vary depending on the category for which you qualify. More information regarding the different EP categories in Malaysia and their specific requirements is provided below.
  • Certain sectors have limitations on Malaysian EP applications, thus it is important that you check with the relevant Malaysian authorities/agencies the current list of restricted sectors before applying.
  • Irregardless, you will first need approval from Malaysia’s Expatriate Committee (EC) in order to apply for an EP.

The Malaysia Employment Pass (EP)

There are three distinct categories of the EP in Malaysia to cater to different professional roles and skill levels within a company. Here is an overview of each category and its specific requirements:

Malaysia EP Category 1

Category 1 of the Malaysia Employment Pass (EP) targets key leadership positions. This includes executives, CEOs, technical or managing directors, project managers, and similar roles.

To qualify, you need a minimum monthly salary of RM10,000 and a five-year work contract.

You have the option to renew the EP, and you can also choose to hire a Foreign Domestic Helper.

Category 2 encompasses managerial and professional roles within an organization, including marketing or investment managers, lecturers, directors, architects, and others.

For this category, you must earn between RM5,000 to RM9,999 monthly, and hold a two-year work contract.

You have the option to renew the EP, and you can also choose to hire a Foreign Domestic Helper.

Malaysia EP Category 2

Malaysia EP Category 3

This category is for non-executive positions that need significant work experience and specific technical or practical skills. Such as designers (fashion, manufacturing, furniture), craftsmen, food technologists, and more.

To qualify, you’ll need a monthly salary between RM3,000 and RM4,999, and a work contract up to two years.

Be aware however, that the EP has a renewal limit of two times, and hiring a Foreign Domestic Helper is not allowed under this category.

Reach our Representatives

The best way for the foreigners who want to enter Malaysia’s market, is to engage a company incorporation service provider. That provides you one stop service, from registering a business all the way to post-incorporation.

Reach out our sale representative for register a company in Singapore

Steps to Apply for Employment Pass in Malaysia

To apply for an EP in Malaysia, these are the general steps:

1) Eligibility Determination

The Applicant must ensure he fulfills the eligibility criteria for the EP category that the Applicant intends to apply for. This includes having a job offer from a Malaysian company, meeting the qualifications, experience, and salary requirements.

2) Obtain a job offer

Secure a job offer from a Malaysian employer who will act as the Applicant’s sponsor throughout the EP application process. Similarly, the Applicant can also become his own sponsor of EP should he incorporate his own company in Malaysia.

3) Pre-application documentation

Prepare the necessary documents, which typically include your passport, educational certificates, resume/CV, and employment contract. Along with any other supporting documents requested by the authorities.

4) Employer’s application

Your Employer (sponsor) will submit the EP application on your behalf to the relevant government-approved agency based on the sector.
You can do this electronically through the appropriate online portal. But first, your employer has to ensure the requirements by the Ministry of Home Affairs – Immigration Department of Malaysia.

Specific Sectors of work

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

  • Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Plantation
  • Agriculture
  • Services

Foreign Worker Eligibility

The foreign workers must be:

  • At least 18 years old or above but below 45 years old at the time the application is made.
  • Deemed fit and healthy as approved by the medical center in the source country.
  • Not one of the listed foreign individuals who are prohibited from entering Malaysia under Section 8(3) of the Immigration Act 1963.

PASS for Immigration Security Clearance

Employers must get the PASS Immigration Security Clearance (ISC) result at the ISC centre in the source countries.


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

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

  • Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) – 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

Prior approval is needed as the Malaysian government currently has strict regulations imposed on the number of foreign workers that a Malaysian-based company can employ.

If you wish to hire foreigners under a Malaysian company, you must prove why they’re important to the position to the authorities. As well as how the chosen foreigners can contribute to the position.

The companies will also need to state reasons 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.

5) Supporting documents

Ensure that all required supporting documents, such as company registration documents, business profiles, and financial statements, are submitted along with the application. Where you will need the following documents to apply for your employment pass in Malaysia.

6) Application processing

You must await the processing of your EP application by the respective agency. New applicants must stay outside of Malaysia until approval. The processing time varies, but it’ll typically take 4 to 8 weeks to receive a decision upon submitting all documents.

7) Entry visa

If you’re outside Malaysia, you will need to apply for an entry visa/Visa with Reference first. You can do this at the Malaysian Embassy or Consulate in your home country before your travel to Malaysia.

8) EP endorsement

Upon arrival in Malaysia, the Applicant’s Employer will assist the Applicant in obtaining the EP endorsement on his passport from the Immigration Department. This step formalises the Applicant’s legal status as an EP holder. These are a few of the steps needed to be taken:

  • 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.

Advantages of Having a Malaysia Employment Pass

Work Visa Holders & Dependent Pass

Good news! Most Employment Pass holders (Category 1 & 2) can relocate with family.

Parents, spouses and children under 21 (including those legally adopted) can join you. With either a Dependent Pass or a Long-Term Social Visit Pass (valid for up to 5 years). However, those with a Category 3 Malaysian EP are ineligible for Dependent Passes or Long-Term Social Visit Passes.

What are the other types of work Visas in Malaysia?

There are 4 other types of work visas in Malaysia. You can choose your work visa in Malaysia based on your skills and duration of work.

Your Questions, Answered

Moving to Malaysia can be daunting if you’re not familiar with the visa processes – here are the top questions regarding work visa and Employmeny Pass applications that will clear your doubts!

Yes, there is a quota for work visas in Malaysia. Employing companies should check to see if they are eligible to apply for an Employment Pass for a foreign professional they are looking to hire.
Foreigners of all walks of life, qualifications, and trades have plans to enter Malaysia for work purposes. Therefore, these differences necessitate different Employment Pass categories so that the government and employers can better cater to these foreigner.

Foreigners of all walks of life, qualifications, and trades have plans to enter Malaysia for work purposes. Therefore, these differences necessitate different Employment Pass categories so that the government and employers can better cater to these foreigner.

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.
EP holders can switch jobs in Malaysia, but they need to obtain a new EP with the new employer. The new employer must apply for the EP on your behalf, and the EP approval is subject to meeting the relevant criteria.
The processing time for an EP application can vary, depending on the complexity of the case and the workload of the authorities. Generally, it takes several weeks to receive a decision on the EP application.

Expert Guides on Malaysia Employment Pass

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Our Malaysia Employment Pass Services

Our dedicated team of professionals is here to make the process smooth and hassle-free for both employers and employees. We offer personalized guidance and support tailored to your needs for Malaysia EP application.  No matter if you’re an employer seeking to sponsor foreign talent, or an individual looking to secure work in Malaysia. We understand the complexities involved and our goal is to simplify it for you, offering clarity and peace of mind.

Dedicated support for both employers and employees throughout the EP application journey.

Comprehensive resources and services for a seamless application process.

Regular updates on immigration policies to stay informed on work visa regulations.