Work Visas

How to apply for a work permit in Malaysia

Work permits in Malaysia are usually obtained by the employer. If you own a company and want to hire a foreign national, be prepared for a long and exhausting process.

Employees and their families coming to Malaysia, who have not obtained work permits before arrival, are allowed to enter the country on social passes and to obtain the work permit afterwards. As Malaysia imposes stringent laws for illegal workers, it is highly recommended not to start working before the working permit is issued.

Dependents of work permit holders have to apply for own working permits if they wish to work in Malaysia.

Requirements for work permits

In order to obtain a work permit, the passport should have a remaining validity of at least 18 months. The foreign national coming to Malaysia to work must be 27 years and above (exception in IT sector, where required minimum age is 23). The work permits are usually issued for periods between 6 months and 5 years.

As for employers, any information regarding the visa process, requirements or the necessary forms, can be viewed on the official website of the Malaysian Immigration Department .

Work passes

Depending on the type of job and skills, different working passes are issued when obtaining a work permit.

  • Employment Pass: This pass is issued to employees with specific skills, usually for technical or manegerial jobs. The minimum period is usually 2 years.
  • Temporary Employment Pass: Issued for employment for less then 2 years or for jobs with a monthly salary less than RM 5000.
  • Professional Visit Pass: Issued to foreign nationals who remain employed by the company in the home country but are required by a Malaysian company to provide certain services for a period up to 6 months.

Further reading

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