Who is Eligible for Employment Pass Application

With a steady economic growth, Malaysia certainly offers good employment opportunities. Foreign talents who wish to work and live here are required to apply for work passes to do so. The general procedure is that the work pass application is to be made before entering the country, and after a job is secured here.

Requirements for Work Passes

As Malaysia imposes stringent laws for foreigners who wish to apply for work pass, the government has set a few requirements to be eligible for the work passes. Prior to that, the foreign national coming to Malaysia should have a passport with a remaining validity of at least 18 months.

The relevant authority who issues the work passes are the Malaysian Immigration Department and there are several types of work passes issued depending on the type of employment. The process of getting a work pass can be quite extensive as there are different criteria for each type of work passes. It is highly recommended that you recognize the different passes and whether you are eligible to apply.

Employment Pass

The Employment Pass (EP) is issued for an employment period up to 3 years and is renewable up to 10 years, subject to approval of the Immigration Department. An employment pass holder is considered a tax resident in Malaysia under the statutory requirement. There are several requirements for a foreign individual in order to be eligible to hold the pass:

  • Salary qualification
  • Minimum of a bachelor’s degree and above
  • Possess several years of working experience (in the same industry or position applied)
  • Possess the right expertise or skillset that cannot be filled by a Malaysian candidate

The employment pass is divided into 3 categories:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Professional Visit Pass

The Professional Visit Pass (PVP) is issued to skilled foreign worker who intend to provide service to a company in Malaysia on behalf of a foreign company and is usually for short-term attachment or internships. As this pass is only issued on a temporary basis, the duration of stay is just one time, and must not exceed 12 months. All along, the foreign worker remains employed by their home company in their home country.

This pass is extendable for another year long period, but this is 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 period has expired. Each time an extension is requested, a new application must be submitted.

There are several possible courses of event or activities that require one to hold the Professional Visit Pass such as:

  • Attending a training
  • Visiting or invited by lecturer or professor
  • As a research assistant
  • For a seminar, course, or as a training speaker
  • Volunteer services

To apply for this pass, there are few criteria to be met:

  • A graduate with a minimum of bachelor’s degree and above
  • Must have number of years of working experience in the chosen industry or position applied. For internships, applicant must study in the related field.
  • Possess the right expertise or skillset that cannot be filled by a Malaysian candidate
  • There should be a foreign company (home country) that employs the expatriate and his or her salary must be continued to be borne by the home company.
  • Allowances, fringe benefits or stipend may be given to the expat during this course of time, but it may be subjected to tax.


Residence Pass-Talent

This pass is 10-year pass which is issued for highly qualified expats to continue residing and working in Malaysia. One of the major advantages of this pass is that it offers the expats the flexibility to change job/ employers during the validity of the pass. This pass is best suited for owner or investor type of founders. Below are the requirements to apply for this pass:

  • Have been continuously working in Malaysia for at least 3 years.
  • Possesses a total of 5 years work experiences.
  • Earning a gross taxable income of at least RM144,000 per annum.
  • Have been paying Malaysian Income Tax for a minimum of 2 years.
  • The application must be supported by current Malaysian employer by the issuance of No Objection Letter.