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Who is eligible for Malaysia Employment Pass application?

7 min read|Last Updated: August 31, 2022|
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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.

Recruitment terms and conditions to employ foreign workers

There are several terms and conditions highlighted by the Ministry of Home Affairs – Immigration Department of Malaysia for employers to abide with:

1. The foreign workers are only allowed to work within these 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. Foreign workers must be the age of at least 18 years old above but below 45 years old at the time of the application is made

4. May retrieve the certified PASS for Immigration Security Clearance (ISC) at source country based on this list:

5. The foreign workers must be deemed fit and healthy as approved by the medical centre in the source country based on this list:

6. The foreign workers must not be one of those listed foreign individuals who are prohibited from entering Malaysia under Section 8 (3) of Immigration Act 1959/1963

What are the Requirements to apply for an Employment Pass

The Employment Pass (EP) is issued for an employment period between 1 year up to 5 years and is renewable, subject to approval of the Immigration Department. An employment pass holder is considered a tax resident in Malaysia under the statutory requirement.

The candidate eligible for this type of pass:

  • Have proper academic qualification suitable for the position offered
  • Have at least three (3) consecutive years of worth relevant work experiences for the position offered
  • Must work in managerial, executive or technical position which requires specific skills
  • Must meet the salary requirements as mentioned earlier

The one responsible to apply for this pass is the employing Company. They are responsible to do so on behalf of the foreign candidate they wish to hire.

1. Company is 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 sectors

  • Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation – for jobs in the biotechnology sector

  • Central Bank of Malaysia – for sectors of finance, banking, and insurance

  • Securities Commission – for the securities and futures market sectors

  • Expatriate Committee – for sectors that are not under the above

2. Once approved, then the hiring Company is able to proceed with the Employment Pass application to the Immigration Department of Malaysia. These documents are required:

  • Employment pass application form
  • Passport copy (preferably certified by notary republic)
  • Letter of approval from relevant authority
  • Employment contract (must clearly highlight the position, salary offered, employment duration and job scope)
  • CV and education certificate (preferably certified by notary republic)
  • Employing Company latest profile (business plan and Company profile – can be retrieve from Company Secretary)

What are the Requirements to apply for Temporary Employment Pass

The candidate eligible for this type of pass:

1. Must work in one of the following sectors:

  • Construction
  • Plantation
  • Agriculture
  • Services
  • Manufacturing

2. Must be from the following countries:

  • Bangladesh – only allowed to work in plantation sector through via government agreements
  • Cambodia
  • India – not allowed to work in manufacturing sector
  • Indonesia – Male citizens allowed to only work in manufacturing sectors whilst females are allowed to work in all sectors
  • Kazakhstan
  • Laos
  • Myanmar
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines – Female citizen are not allowed to work in any sectors
  • Sri Lanka
  • Thailand
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uzbekistan

  • Vietnam

3. Must be at least 18 years old but below 45 years old during the application time

4. Is deemed fit and healthy to work by the approved medical centre

5. Employer has obtained foreign worker quota from the Ministry of Home Affairs

6. Have undergone Immigration Security Clearance (ISC) verification

Once all the eligibility is checked, then the employing Company may proceed to put in the application:

1. Must apply visa approval letter from Immigration Department of Malaysia

2. Must submit VDR application form (using the e-service in Immigration Department official website)

3. Letter of quota approval from Ministry of Home Affairs

4. 12 and IM.38 visa application form (can be found in the official website as well)

5. Receipt of payment for levy

6. Security bond – insurance guarantees/bank guarantee

7. Passport copy (preferably certified by notary republic)

8. Passport sized photo of applicant

9. Medical certificate issued by the approved health centre from applicant home country (valid for 3 months)

10. Foreign Worker Compensation Scheme (insurance)

11. An insurance policy of Health Insurance Protection Scheme Foreign Workers (SPIKPA) (health insurance)

Once visa approval letter is approved, the foreign worker is able to apply the visa with reference (VDR) from Malaysia embassy (if needed). Then, they are to collect the Immigration Security Clearance (ISC) at their home country.

Lastly, the temporary employment pass will be then issued once the foreign worker has passed the Foreign Worker Medical Examination Monitoring Agency (FOMEMA) medical examination in Malaysia within 30 days of arrival.

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 (1 year). All along, the foreign worker remains employed by the 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.

How long is Malaysia Employment Pass processing time?

There is no specific timeframe given by the Ministry of Home Affairs when it comes to application of work visa for foreign workers. It may take around 6 months to 12 months, depending on the completeness of documents furnished by the employing Company.

Thinking of setting up a company or would like to work in Malaysia? Reach out to us for a free consultation to see how we can support your journey!

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What would happen if another Company offered me a job?2021-09-29T13:01:16+08:00

The new employing Company will need to apply for an employment pass before your current employer cancel or terminate your ongoing contract.

Can employment pass holder work in multiple Companies in Malaysia?2021-09-29T13:00:39+08:00

No, you are only allowed to work under contracted Company which the Employment Pass is bonded to.

Can employment pass holder purchase property in Malaysia?2021-09-29T13:00:08+08:00

Yes, foreign expat is allowed to purchase property in Malaysia as long as he abides to the eligibility criteria imposed by the government.

Can employment pass holder incorporate a Company in Malaysia?2021-09-29T12:59:45+08:00

According to Company Act 2016, a foreigner is allowed to incorporate a Private Limited Company (Sdn. Bhd.) and be the sole director and shareholder as long as he has a legitimate residential address in Malaysia. As an employment pass holder, you are allowed incorporate a Company as a foreigner (not as pass holder) and use your local residential address.

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