Malaysia Employment Pass (EP)

We bring solutions to make life easier for Employment Pass Application.

Malaysia Employment Pass2023-08-14T16:43:34+08:00

Foreign individuals intending to work in Malaysia, especially for jobs within professional or high-skilled capacity must obtain a work permit. To get such permit, there is a need to first secure employment with a Malaysian employer. The Employment Pass is among the various types of work permits issued by the Malaysian government. Prior to obtaining an Employment Pass, the employer must obtain approval from the Director General to hire the foreign individual, pursuant 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, ensuring that you stay well-informed on the evolving landscape of work visas in Malaysia.

What are the types of work Visas in Malaysia?

Choose from the 4 types of work visas in Malaysia based on your skills and duration of work.

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:

Category 1

This category is tailored for key leadership positions within a company, such as executives, CEOs, technical or managing directors, project managers, and more.

To be eligible for Category 1, you must have a minimum monthly salary of RM10,000 and a work contract for up to five years.

The EP can be renewed, and you have the option to hire a Foreign Domestic Helper.

Category 2

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

For this category, you need to earn a salary between RM5,000 and RM9,999 and hold a work contract for up to two years.

The EP can be renewed, and you have the option to hire a Foreign Domestic Helper.

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 must earn a monthly salary between RM3,000 and RM4,999 and have a work contract of up to two years.

However, the EP cannot be renewed more than two times, and hiring a Foreign Domestic Helper is not permitted.

Work Visa Holders & Dependent Pass

Work visa holders can bring their family members into Malaysia via a Dependent Pass. Eligible family members include:

  • Spouse
  • Parents
  • Children under 21 years old
  • Legally Adopted Children

We understand the importance of matching the right work permit to your professional role and aspirations. Feel free to explore our website for more detailed information on each category, including application procedures, required documents, and additional guidelines. Our team is here to provide expert guidance and support throughout your EP application process, ensuring a smooth and successful journey toward securing your desired employment in Malaysia.

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, possessing the required qualifications and experience, and meeting the salary threshold.

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, employment contract, and 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. This can be done electronically through the appropriate online portal. Before that, your employer will need to ensure the following requirements by the Ministry of Home Affairs – Immigration Department of Malaysia are satisfied:

The company then 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

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 intend to hire foreigners under a Malaysian company, they are required to prove to the authority why the chosen foreigners are important to the position and how can they contribute.

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. 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

6) Application processing

Await the processing of your EP application by the respective agency. If you are a new Applicant, you will need to stay outside of Malaysia, until your application is approved. The processing time can vary, but it typically takes 4 to 8 weeks to receive a decision, upon submission of full documents.

7) Entry visa

If you are outside of Malaysia, you will need to apply for an entry visa/ Visa with Reference at the Malaysian Embassy or Consulate in your home country before traveling 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.

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.

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.

The employment pass endorsement will be completed once you have received the sticker on your passport. After all these steps, you can enter and exit Malaysia anytime until your visa expires.

Advantages of Having a Malaysia Employment Pass

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!

Who can make the application for the Malaysia Employment Pass?2023-07-28T13:02:41+08:00

The Malaysia Employment Pass (EP) can only be applied by the hiring company and cannot be applied directly by the applicant.

Is there a quota for work visas in Malaysia?2023-07-28T13:01:51+08:00

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.

Can I apply for the visas while overseas?2023-07-28T13:00:53+08:00

Yes, you can apply for the Malaysia work visas while residing overseas. However, it is recommended that you have a local representative in Malaysia to liaise and talk to governmental officers if required.

How long does it take to process an Employment Pass application?2023-07-28T12:54:17+08:00

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. 

How long is the validity period of an Employment Pass?2023-07-28T12:53:33+08:00

The validity period of an EP depends on various factors, such as the EP category, employment contract, and other conditions set by the authorities. Generally, EPs can be issued for up to five years, but the initial validity period may be shorter. 

Can I switch jobs while holding an Employment Pass?2023-07-28T12:52:29+08:00

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. 

Can I apply for permanent residency in Malaysia with an Employment Pass?2023-07-28T12:51:11+08:00

The EP does not automatically grant permanent residency in Malaysia. However, EP holders who have resided and worked in Malaysia for a certain period may be eligible to apply for permanent residency through the appropriate channels. 

Can I apply for an Employment Pass while I am in Malaysia on a tourist visa?2023-07-28T12:50:10+08:00

No, you cannot convert a tourist visa into an Employment Pass while in Malaysia. The EP application must be made from outside Malaysia, and you will need to follow the prescribed application process. 

Which Malaysian agency should I submit my EP application to?2023-07-28T12:48:36+08:00

To ensure a smooth process of hiring expatriate professionals, it is important for your employer to submit the necessary applications to the appropriate government-approved agencies based on your profession. These agencies play a crucial role in facilitating the employment of expatriates in Malaysia. Here are the authorized agencies depending on the respective sectors: 

  • Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (MIDA): For the manufacturing and services sectors. 
  • Multimedia Development Corporation (MDEC): Specifically for the technology sector. 
  • Central Bank of Malaysia (BNM): Pertaining to the finance, insurance, and banking sectors. 
  • Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation (BiotechCorp – BC): Focused on the biotechnology sector. 
  • Securities Commission (SC): Regulating the securities and futures market sector. 
  • Expatriate Committee (EC): Responsible for sectors not covered by the aforementioned agencies. The Expatriate Committee operates under the Immigration Department of Malaysia. 

Once your employer’s application for Foreign Knowledge Worker (FKW) Quota has been approved by the respective agency or the Expatriate Committee, they will proceed with applying for your EP. This step is essential to facilitate your legal employment in Malaysia as an expatriate professional. 

What are the advantages of getting an Employment Pass in Malaysia?2021-09-15T17:24:34+08:00

Aside from being able to live and work in Malaysia after securing your employment pass, some of the advantages include, among others:

  1. Opening of a bank account
  2. Doorway to Permanent Residency
  3. Employee Provident Fund contribution

You can find out more about the advantages in our article here!

How can I do an appeal for my rejected Employment Pass application?2021-09-15T17:23:30+08:00

Appeals must be made through the immigration department, similar to the application process.

Can anyone from any country receive an Employment Pass?2021-09-15T17:22:48+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.

Can Employment Pass Holders Bring Their Dependants to Malaysia?2020-09-09T16:37:26+08:00

EP holders can bring their spouses, children under 18-years, legally adopted children under 18-years and parents to Malaysia. They will fall under the Dependant Pass holder category. Applications can be made via the ESD website. The duration of the Dependant Pass will be the same as the principal EP holder.

Can Employment Pass Applications Get Rejected?2021-02-08T15:59:44+08:00

Yes, your EP application can be rejected if there are certain requirements which aren’t met. Reasons for rejection can include a full quota (so there is no real reason to hire foreigners), incomplete application forms, records not being kept up to date, and failure to provide certified true copies of documents. If your salary does not meet the requirements, your application could be rejected too. If your skills may be locally sourced, your application could be rejected. Your employer also needs to submit a strong letter of justification indicating why they need to hire you. 

Your employer can submit an appeal if your application is rejected. The processing time for this appeal would depend on the circumstances and reason for the appeal.  

To minimise instances of rejection, it is highly recommended that you seek out experts like Paul Hype Page to help you with your application process. Employers should also provide a strong letter of justification emphasising why this foreign talent is needed.  

Why are different Employment Pass Categories Required?2021-02-09T09:26:51+08:00

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 foreigners.

Expert Guides on Malaysia Employment Pass

Access in-depth guides on all-things work visas to make your move to Malaysia a seamless and stress-free one with our articles, written from our years of experience.

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. Whether you are an employer seeking to sponsor foreign talent or an individual looking to secure an EP, we provide personalized guidance and support tailored to your needs. We understand the complexities involved and our goal is to simplify it for you, offering clarity and peace of mind.

Trusted by many of our clients globally, these qualities are assured by us:

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.

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