It’s important to ensure that the talent you hire in Malaysia is legally permitted to work in the country, which means sponsoring the employee and obtaining a Malaysian work visa on their behalf. If you’re thinking of hiring employees in Malaysia, you must familiarize yourself with the work visa and permit application process. We’ve put together a guide on the Malaysia work visa including the process for companies and requirements for employees.
Types of work visas in Malaysia
The Malaysian government generally issues three different types of work permits:
- Employment Pass (EP) – This is the most common visa for skilled foreign nationals working for a Malaysia company. In order to obtain this type of visa for the employee, you must apply for an Expatriate Post from the Expatriate Committee (EC) or other regulatory before submitting an application for the work visa. This Employment Pass lasts between one and five years, but it is renewable.
- Temporary Employment Pass – This visa type is issued to semi-skilled or unskilled workers in certain approved industries. It is generally issued to foreign workers in the sectors of agriculture, construction, plantation and services, and Foreign Domestic Helpers (FDH). Additionally, holders of this visa type must adhere to the age, nationality, and sex requirements based on the specific profession.
- Professional Visit Pass – For foreign nationals who come to Malaysia on a temporary basis to work (up to 12 months), but who are still employed by a foreign company may apply for a Professional Visit Pass.
Requirements to Obtain a Work Visa in Malaysia
The requirements to obtain a Work Visa in Malaysia vary depending on the type of visa required. In the case of companies incorporated in Malaysia, the most common visa type required by your employees will be an Employment Pass. This enables foreign nationals to work in a Malaysian company in highly skilled positions such as technical or managerial. In order to obtain the work visa, they foreign national must hold the relevant qualifications for the job, as well as relevant work experience. Their monthly salary must be between RM3,000 and RM10,000, depending on the field they work in.
Other requirements include:
- Completed visa application form
- Certified copies of educational certificates
- Copy of passport
- Recent passport sized photograph
Steps to Obtain a Malaysia Employment Pass
Step 1. Apply for Expatriate Post or Quota Approval
The first step in the process is for the employer to apply for an Expatriate Post or quota approval before applying for the Employment Pass.
Step 2. Apply for Malaysia Work Permit
The Immigration Department of Malaysia must first approve the work permit application before the employee can arrive in the country. Once, the application is approved, the Department will issue a visa approval letter, which allows the employee travel to Malaysia. If the employee is from a visa-required country, they must obtain a Malaysian entry visa (with reference) from their nearest Malaysian Representative Office (Embassy/Consulate).
Step 3. Obtain Malaysia Work Permit
Once the employee is in Malaysia, they must submit their passport to the Malaysia Immigration Department. The employee will be issued with a work permit in their passport and an Employment Pass card. Once this step has been completed, the employee may commence work.
Malaysia Business Visa
Malaysia does not issue business visas. Therefore, short-term business visitors can conduct business in Malaysia with a tourist visa. To apply for a business visa, the visitor must show that they possess sufficient funds for their stay and a valid return ticket.