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Work Permit in Malaysia

Why is Work Permit Needed?

A work permit is a crucial document that acts as your official permission to stay and work in a particular country. Malaysia, an otherwise popular tourist destination, is also abundant in terms of work opportunities for those with a valid Malaysia work permit. If you are wondering how I can get a work permit in Malaysia, there are three main kinds of permits based on duration and nature of work.

About The Malaysia Job Market

Expatriates who wish to work in Malaysia should have more details about the Malaysian job market or the kind of industries that are booming there.

Work Permit in Malaysia

Number of Expats:


Expats Job Websites:

Popular Industries for Expats:

IT, Engineering, Banking and Finance, Teaching, Marketing and Tourism.

Types of Malaysia Work Permit Available

Working in Malaysia without work permit is not possible as the country has special work passes and schemes called an Employment pass. These passes differ depending on the nature and length of employment.

Employment Pass:

This is the most common type of Malaysian work permit for foreign workers. It enables them to take up employment under a contract in a Malaysian company. 
To employ foreign workers, the employers need to get approval through the Expatriate Committee to hire an employee and obtain their visa. You need to have a specific skill set to fit into technical or managerial level jobs. 
It is divided into three categories, based on monthly salary and duration of the work contracts:
Category I: Those with a monthly salary of at least RM10,000 and a 5-year work contract. 
Category II: Those with a monthly base salary of above RM5,000 and a work contract of up to 2 years. 
Category III: Those with a monthly salary between RM 3,000 and RM 5,000 and a work contract of up to a year or less.

Temporary Employment Pass: 

This pass is given to semi-skilled workers in specific sectors. Employees need to meet certain qualifications to get this Malaysian work permit. 
It is further divided into two categories- Foreign worker temporary employment pass and Foreign domestic helpers (FDH) temporary employment pass.

Professional Visit Pass: 

This pass is granted to qualified foreign workers allowing them to work in Malaysia on a temporary basis for up to 12 months. 
So if you want to work in the country on a temporary basis, the professional visit pass is your answer to how can I get work permit in Malaysia.

Requirement for Malaysia Work Permit by Malaysian Employers

Since it is not possible to be working in Malaysia without work permit, it is the employer’s responsibility to issue the Employment Pass on behalf of their foreign employee. So there are certain requirements that employers have to fulfil.

  • The employer has to submit an application for foreign worker quota approval. 
  • During the application, the employer has to justify why a foreigner would be apt for the position, also stating the benefits to the company. 
  • After the quota approval, the employee can issue a limited supply of Employment Passes to foreign employees. 
  • Your company should be operating in manufacturing, construction, agriculture, plantation and services industries in order to avail this opportunity. 
  • After submitting the application, an employer has to qualify for an interview with a representative from the Ministry for the company’s specified sector. 

Employer has to submit these documents during the work permit sponsorship process:

  • Application form for foreign workers quota
  • Particulars of applicant company
  • Details of employment structure
  • Copy of employment contract with original stamp
  • Job description for the position
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association
  • Additional documents related to sector/ Copy of approval from Malaysian agencies 


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Requirement for Malaysia Work Permit by Employees

Once the employer offers an Employment Pass, the employee has to submit the following documents required to get a work permit in Malaysia:   

  • Valid passport
  • Being above 27 years of age (except IT sector)
  • Duly filled application form
  • Original employment contract
  • 3 recent passport-size photos
  • Confirmation letter from the employer about salary and tax revenues

Malaysia Work Permit Application Process

Malaysia Employment Pass is the common form of work permit requested by employers. Here’s how the Malaysian work visa application process goes:

  • As an employer, you need to apply to get approval for hiring foreign employees from official government agencies related to your sector.
  • After the approval for the expatriate employee, the employer has to submit the Employment Pass application to the Immigration Department of Malaysia.
  • The letter of approval is attached to the application for Employment Pass submitted to the employee.
  • The employee can then apply for their visa depending on the field of work and the type of position held.
  • Submit the necessary documents including qualifications, photos, passport, and work contract.
  • Pay the visa fee. The Malaysia work permit visa fees for Indians may differ from the Malaysia work permit visa fees for Pakistani. So check for the fees carefully and make the payment. 
  • You will be notified when your work permit is approved. You can track the status of your Malaysia work permit visa online by providing the passport number on the website.

Timeframe for Work Permit Application

The processing time for a Malaysian work permit is usually up to 5 days. Depending on the number of applications at the embassy, processing times could vary. However, all applications are processed within 7 days. The initial letter of approval from your hiring company may take more time.

How Does Multiplier Help With Work Permit?

With the many permissions and approvals to employ a foreign worker, getting a work permit in Malaysia does seem tedious. But Multiplier, a global employer of record services solution, can make it easier. With local entities over 100 countries we enable you to employ people from all around the world. Our suite of HR solutions and in-house experts can readily assist you to employ foreign workers. Make a request for a Malaysia work permit through our SaaS-based EOR solution. Our in-house experts are trained to deliver as per your expectations. Our end-end solutions will smoothly guide you through your queries on how to apply work permit for foreign worker in Malaysia.

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Frequently Asked Questions

An application for renewal of work permit Malaysia can be submitted online to your respective companies registered with the Expatriate Service Division of Immigration Department of Malaysia. The applications must include latest payslips of 3 months, income tax file number and latest tax filing submission.

Application to cancel Malaysia work permit should be done by the employer upon the termination of the employee’s work contract. The cancellation process is done via the official immigration website. It must be done at least three working days before or within one month of the intended departure.

You can check Malaysia work permit visa online using your passport number. On  the Expatriate Service Division locate tab on the homepage that reads ‘Check Application Status’. Enter your passport number along with Company registration number. Enter the Captcha code. You can now see the status of your work permit.

Malaysia Employment Pass holders (Category I and II) can bring their spouse and children through a Dependent’s Pass or a Long Stay Social Visit Pass. Those with Category III pass cannot bring their families.

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