Malaysia has a long-standing history of welcoming foreign workers. While the southeast Asian country has taken measures in recent years to limit foreign blue-collar employment and require more stringent employer justification of visa and employment pass applications, it continues to value global expertise as a crucial supportive element of its economy. As such, Malaysian companies are generally successful in their applications for executive, managerial, and technical roles.
In 2014, the Malaysian Immigration Department, which is responsible for both application processing and compliance enforcement, rolled out a streamlined online work permit application system. Managed by the Expatriate Services Division, the two-step process consists of a one-time company registration for certain industries, and submission of applications once registered. Overall, the Malaysian employment pass process is one of the most efficient and user-friendly work permit application systems in the world.
The below outlines key details and information regarding the Malaysia employment pass.
- Document collection
- Employment passes online application
- Reference visa (VDR) consular application (if applicable)
- Employment pass endorsement
Pre-Arrival: 2 to 4 weeks
Post- Arrival: 1 to 2 days
Primary Employee Documents
Primary Employer Documents
Each employment pass is issued with an initial validity of 2 to 5 years depending on category. Renewals are possible.
Work and residence permits must be formally canceled prior to the employee’s final departure from Malaysia.
Red Flags and Special Criteria
- Salary-based categories
- Client site work not permitted
- Once application is submitted, travel to Malaysia is not permitted until approval letter is issued
- Local contract required
- Processing delays to be expected in July/August due to Puasa
For additional information, please contact Aires Immigration.
Disclaimer: Any immigration advice contained herein is subject to change at any time. All immigration rules, processes, and decisions are made at the discretion of the relevant government authorities and are outside of Aires’ control.