When your company starts planning an expansion to Malaysia, the first thing you might focus on is hiring talented employees. Once you find the right team, however, you’ll need to ensure that every individual is legally allowed to work in the country, which includes obtaining Malaysia work visas. As the employer, you’ll typically obtain these permits on behalf of your employees.
Types of Work Visas in Malaysia
Malaysia has three overarching categories of work visas, also known as work passes:
- Employment pass: An employment pass is the most common visa for foreign nationals working for a Malaysian company in a highly skilled capacity. Employers have to get approval through the Expatriate Committee or another regulatory agency to hire an employee and obtain this visa. Typically, the employment pass lasts one to five years depending on the case or work duration, but it is renewable.
- Temporary employment pass: There are two categories of temporary employment passes — the foreign worker temporary employment pass and the foreign domestic helper (FDH) temporary employment pass. Both are typically issued for up to two years, and employees must meet certain qualifications to get one.
- Professional visit pass: Foreign nationals wanting to work in Malaysia for up to 12 months should apply for this visa. A foreign company typically employs these individuals, who will temporarily work in Malaysia.
What Are the Requirements to Obtain a Work Visa in Malaysia?
The requirements for a Malaysian work pass depend on the type of visa an employee needs. If your company incorporates in Malaysia, most of your employees will apply for an employment pass. To do so, they’ll need a diploma, a certificate, and relevant work experience. Their monthly salary starts at RM 3000 a month, depending on the work category.
Other common requirements include:
- A passport with at least 18 more months until it expires
- The applicant being 27 years old or older (except in the IT sector)
- A completed application form attached to the original employment contract
- Recent passport photos
- Letters from the employer confirming that you, the employer, will pay salaries and tax revenues
- Proof that your company complies with all industry regulations
- Income tax receipts proving payment
Steps for Getting a Malaysian Work Pass
Malaysia’s work pass application process is notoriously lengthy and difficult, so you should plan ahead for the best success. The Malaysian Immigration Department processes all work visas, but the procedure depends on the type of work pass. For example, you may need to get approval from a state body to bring a foreigner into the country for work after you prove you can’t fill the vital position locally. However, different state bodies are responsible for approving different roles across various sectors.
After the above step, the applicant should present all documents to the proper authorities for approval. Once the application gets approved, the individual will receive the employment pass. Keep in mind that certain fees are attached to all visa types, and they vary based on the job, the job’s location, and related factors. In addition to the main fees, the government also charges administrative costs that either you or the applicant can pay.
Other Important and Unique Considerations
Individuals with employment pass types I or II (employment pass type III does not allow dependants) can apply for their spouse, parents, and children under the age of 18 to also come to Malaysia. Each person will need a dependent pass, which is issued for either the same or less length than the main employment pass. Employees should work with you from the beginning so that you can both start the application process for dependents early.