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Foreign nationals intending to work in Malaysia must generally obtain one of three work visas: employment pass, temporary employment visit pass, or professional visit pass and Resident Pass.

  • An employment pass applies to investors, skilled workers, professionals, and senior management in companies. The minimum employment period required is two years.
  • A temporary employment visit pass is for unskilled and semi-skilled workers in the manufacturing, construction, and service fields. Foreign national under this category may typically work for up to three years, with extensions available on a year-to-year basis.
  • A professional visit pass is generally appropriate for technical experts, including experts in machinery installation, and technical trainees. Professional visit passes are typically issued on a short-term basis.

Employment Pass is applicable for long term work assignment of two years and above.  Conditions are imposed by the Immigration Department on the sponsoring company with regards to this type of work permit which include minimum paid up capital, minimum monthly salary together license from the relevant agency based on the nature of business of the company.  The process normally takes about two weeks to complete.

Dependent pass is granted to spouse and children of applicant once approval is granted on the permit.  The policy now allows the Dependent to work under the visa but should apply formally for approval to work where the same conditions imposed the company sponsoring the work permit.

Professional Visit Pass or Training Pass is applicable for short term assignment where the applicant is needed to provide technical support to their customers in Malaysia for a period of 1 month and not more than 12 month.; Similarly, a Training Pass is applicable for applicant to be in Malaysia to give training or to receive training such as internship program with a company located in Malaysia.

In both instances, a letter of invitation from the company in Malaysia and a letter of acceptance from a company overseas are required for the application process.  The process normally takes about 2 weeks to complete where once approval is granted, the endorsement of permit can take place at the Immigration Department.

Resident Pass is applicable to individuals who are professional in their job where their talent is sought after by the industry can apply to convert their employment pass to Residence Pass which if approved is given a 5-year work permit and can be extended to another 5 year on expiration.  The applicant should be currently working in Malaysia under the normal employment pass and has been continuously working for the past 3 years.

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