“Our team has a good understanding of government policies and procedures coupled with strong and reliable relationships.”

Immigration Compliance

The Malaysian immigration landscape is an interesting one with the existence of different regulations and processes in different cities within the same country. Even in the capital of Malaysia i.e. Kuala Lumpur, there are differences in policies and processes from different Authorities to achieve the same objective of getting the necessary permit with work rights for an expatriate.

In order to obtain the necessary work rights in Malaysia for expatriate employees, it is the responsibility of the Malaysian employer / host company to ensure that the work permit is in place before the individual commences employment or assignment.

A general overview of the main work permits available in Malaysia are:

A) Professional Visit Pass 

  1. Issued to foreigners for purposes of attending training, providing training, installation or commissioning of machine, any form of hands-on work at production floors, project sites, technical work, consultancy on a short-term basis, internship etc other activities as specified under the ambit of the Professional Visit Pass (PVP)
  2. Salary of applicant must be administered and borne by the overseas home company.
  3. The validity of a PVP can vary but must not exceed twelve (12) months.
  4. The application must be made under legally incorporated companies with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM).
  5. The processing period at the Authorities averages between 14 to 30 working days depending on where the assignee is located, duration of the assignment and nationality of the assignee.
  6. The foreigner must be outside Malaysia during submission of application.
  7. For nationals who are not visa-exempt, once the PVP application is approved, the applicant must apply for the necessary Single Entry Visa (SEV) – with reference for purposes of entering Malaysia.
  8. The endorsement of the PVP can only be done in Malaysia.
  9. Legal dependents of PVP holders are not eligible for any form of dependent permits.
  10. This work permit option is also available in East Malaysia with differing documentation requirements, processing timeline / requirement and validity period.


B) Employment Pass

There are three (3) categories under an Employment Pass in West Malaysia:

EP Category Duration Minimum Salary Requirement
EP Category I 24 months and above MYR5,000 (approx. USD1,250)
EP Category II 23 months and above MYR5,000 (approx. USD1,250)
EP Category III 12 months and above Between MYR2,500 – MYR4,999 (approx. USD625 – USD1,250) (prior approval from Ministry of Home Affairs required)


  1. Issued to foreigners for the purpose of employment
  2. The application must be made under legally incorporated companies with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM).
  3. Among the prerequisites before an Employment Pass (EP) can be applied are as follows (but not limited to):
  • Paid-up capital of the local company. The minimum requirement will depend on the shareholding composition of the company.
  • Principal activities of the local company. The Authorities have the discretion to refer the local company to any other related monitoring agencies for a written recommendation or registration based on the nature of the company’s activities as lodged with the CCM, e.g. retail companies with foreign participation may be referred by the Authorities to the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism before the company can be registered with the Expatriate Services Division (ESD) and thereafter the submission of a work permit application.
  • Availability of ESD quota projection approval.
  • Academic background and work experience
  • Minimum salary requirement is based on EP category of applicant.
  1. Dependants of EP holders are eligible for dependant permits including parents or parents-in-law except for EP Category III.
  2. The processing period is between 14 to 30 working days.
  3. For restricted country nationals, once the EP application is approved, the applicant must collect Single Entry Visa (SEV) – with reference for purposes of entering Malaysia.
  4. The endorsement of the EP can only be done in Malaysia.
  5. The EP will be granted with a Multiple Entry Visa (MEV).
  6. The EP is also a work permit type available in Sarawak and Labuan in East Malaysia with differing documentation requirements, processing timeline / requirement and validity period.
  7. For Sabah in East Malaysia, the EP equivalent is known as the Work Pass with differing documentation requirements, processing timeline / requirement and validity period.


C) Residence Pass -Talent (RP-T) 

  1. Introduced by TalentCorp with the objective to attract and retain top foreign talent in the country.
  2. Eligibility includes:
    • Have worked in West Malaysia for a minimum 3 years
    • Holds a valid Employment Pass at time of application
    • Holds a PhD/Masters/Degree/Diploma in any discipline from recognized university
    • At least 5 years of work experience
    • Gross taxable income of MYR144,000 (est. USD40,000) p.a.
    • Have paid income tax in Malaysia for at least 2 years
  3. The processing period is about 20 to 30 working days.
  4. Flexibility to change employers without having to apply for a new RP-T.
  5. Able to live and work in Malaysia for up to ten (10) years. Dependants of RP-T holders are eligible for dependant permits.
  6. Spouse of RP-T holders are allowed to seek local employment without having to apply for a separate work permit.
  7. RP-Ts issued allows the holder to work in East Malaysia without additional work rights issued separately.


D) Permission to Work 

  1. Issued to foreign spouses of Malaysian nationals holding the Long-term Social Visit Pass (LTSVP).
  2. The duration of the Permission to Work (PTW) granted by the Authorities varies but will not be longer than the validity of the current LTSVP.
  3. The PTW application may be submitted simultaneously with the LTSVP application, subject to discretion of relevant Authorities.
  4. The eligibility for the PTW application includes:
  • must be legally married to the Malaysian national for more than six (6) months, any exceptions would be at the sole discretion of the Authorities;
  • the foreign spouse must have a valid permanent job offer from a local company as self-employment does not qualify;
  • employment with certain sectors may require pre-approval or written recommendation / support from the related regulatory body. For example, a lecturer will require prior approval or a support letter from the Ministry of Education.

5.  The processing period is about 7 – 14 working days depending on the relevant Authority.

6.   The PTW option is available throughout Malaysia and is applied for at the state Immigration Department.

Outbound Immigration

We can assist with immigration outbound services whether for a Malaysian national or a foreigner. Our scope includes Entry / Business Visas to countries outside Malaysia for example Z-Visas and M-Visas to China, Employment Visa (E-Visa) and Dependant Visa (X-Visa) for India, Certificate of Good Conduct / non-criminal record etc.

Work Permit Compliance In Emerging Markets

We are able to support with work permit applications in Myanmar, Brunei, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Cambodia via our trusted and reliable partners on the ground. We will be your focal contact point throughout the entire process.

Our Immigration Service Cycle

  • Visa assessment – we help you review and assess if the assignee is suitable to apply for a work permit in that country
  • Provide detailed checklist – we guide and advise the assignee, Host Company and Home Company of all the documents or info that we need to prepare the work permit application
  • Guidance & Advise – we manage the expectations and explain the process to the assignee and company
  • Application paperwork – we prepare all the relevant application paperwork for the assignee and Host Company to sign and affix company chop (including any documents in local language)
  • Application submission – we will submit the application to the respective Authorities on your behalf, where allowable
  • Follow-up – we will liaise and follow-up with the relevant Authorities until the outcome of the application is known
  • Approval  – we will advise the assignee and other stakeholder(s) of any next steps to follow after approval is obtained, where applicable.
  • Tracking – we will record the expiry dates of the work permits and any dependant permits and will track them for renewal. At the appropriate time prior to expiry, a expiry notification will be provided for further instructions.
  • Updates & Alerts – we will notify clients of any changes in immigration regulations, process or procedures and provide the necessary action applicable to manage these changes accordingly.
DISCLAIMER : Please note that the summary is designed to provide basic information and general guidelines. Malaysia’s immigration laws may change without any prior notice. We advise that you contact us for specific guidance and advise.