Work Permits For Malaysia

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Getting a work permit for Malaysia


Malaysia is an exceptional place to work in, but the country sure does has strict laws that prohibit working without a valid and authentic work permit. So for Expatriates who wish to work in Malaysia, they must obtain a work permit. However, Acquiring this does not come with any promise of been easy. It involves a complex and lengthy process.

Presently, a lot of restrictions have been tagged with the maximum number of foreign employees a Malaysian company can hire. To do this, the company has to convince the government that the job is of vital importance and it cannot be handled by a local. Depending on the nature of the job and the industry the foreigner wish to embark on,  his application will have to go through different regulatory authorities that will work hand in hand with the Immigration Department to get endorsed. The company can only begin to process the application of the work permit of the foreigner after the government has endorsed it.

Depending on the nature of the visa the foreigner has and the time frame of the work contract, the validity period of this work permit usually fall between 6 months to 5 years. The application for a work permit for Malaysia are made within the country, and the applications forms are mainly in Bahasa Malaysia.

Visitors seeking to enter Malaysia with the intention of doing business or just staying must have a sponsor in the country. During the Malaysia’s visa application process, the applicant will be issued a reference number which enables one to follow up the application progress on the official website of the Immigration Department of Malaysia.

Types of work permits in Malaysia

There are generally three different types of work permits issued by the Malaysian government. These are:

1. The employment pass work permit

This applies to applicants who possess unique skills, especially in managerial and technical positions, who wish to work in Malaysia. The time validity of this permit usually lasts for 2 years.In acquiring this, the employment of the expatriate has to be endorsed by the Expatriate Committee or any other regulatory agency concerned with this.

2. Temporary employment pass work permit

This applies to semi-skilled workers or new and unskilled employees in the areas of services fields, agriculture, manufacturing, and construction.  This permit is usually valid for 3 years. However, it can be extended yearly. A quota approval has to be obtained from the Local Centre of Approval, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, before this work permit can be offered to the applicant.

3. Professional visit pass work permit

A professional visit pass is one issued to applicants employed by a foreign company that works with a Malaysia’s company. This permit usually applies to technical trainees and experts, along with volunteers and is not valid for an extended period. It normally has a validity period within 6 months and a year.

Requirements for obtaining a work permit in Malaysia.

  1. Recent passport photos
  2. The employer’s letter of appointment and a Work permit application letter from the applicant.
  3. Employment contract or letter of offer of acceptance
  4. A letter of endorsement from the Ministry of Home Affairs
  5. A valid medical report from the applicant’s home country this has been approved by the Malaysian Ministry of Health.
  6. Receipts of payment of application (original copy)
  7. Copies of the applicant’s qualifications and CV
  8. Copy of the applicant’s passport
  9. Appropriate visa applicant forms.


*These regulations can change at short notice. Expatriates should always keep in touch with their consulate or embassy for newest updates.



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