We are often asked by our foreign clients how they can set up their business and bring their foreign employees with them to Malaysia. Confusion often arises on the difference between work permits and other work visas. A work permit is generally for labour workers only, whereas a work visa is for professional or managerial work. In this article, we analyse how to get a work permit in Malaysia.
If you are keen to set up a business in Malaysia, find out here how you can get a Malaysian Work Visa for Foreigners.
Table of Contents
Employment Pass Malaysia
An employment Pass (EP) can be obtained for a minimum period of 1 month and up to a maximum of 5 years. This however, is subject to approval and a minimum salary requirement.
- Employment Pass Category I (EPI) – for expatriate employees with a basic monthly salary of MYR10,000.00 and above.
- Employment Pass Category II (EPII) – for applicants with a basic monthly salary of MYR5,000.00 to MYR9,999.99.
Holders of both these Employment Pass (EP) categories are eligible to apply for Dependent Pass (DP). The Dependent Pass (DP) will be granted for the spouse and children (up to a maximum of 18 years old) of the Employment Pass (EP) holder.
- Employment Pass Category III (EPIII) – the employer will require prior approval from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA). This Employment Pass category is for skilled foreign workers earning between MYR3,000.00 to MYR4,999.99.
Employment Pass Category I and II are renewable provided all the necessary conditions are fulfilled. It is to be noted that the Employment Pass Category III (EPIII) is renewable up to a maximum of two times only.
Professional Visit Pass
A Professional Visit Pass (PVP) is a short term working pass valid up to a maximum of 12 months.
A PVP is required for all foreign talent and skilled workforce visiting Malaysia to provide consultancy or services whereby they will not be salaried in Malaysia.
It is important to note that under this Pass, the applicant’s salary cannot be paid in Malaysia. This Pass is also required for foreigners to be involved in providing training or internship opportunities in Malaysia.
Resident Pass Malaysia
Residence Pass – Talent (RP-T) is a 10-year multiple entry visa which is employer-independent, targeting top foreign talents in national key strategic sectors. If you are a high-achieving individual with the capacity to drive business results that contribute towards Malaysia’s economic transformation, you may apply for the RP-T.
Benefits of Residence Pass – Talent
- The holder will be allowed to stay and work in Malaysia for 10 years (with an option to renew).
- The holder’s spouse and children below 18 years old will also be given the Residence Pass.
- The spouse will also be able to work in Malaysia.
- The children under 18 are permitted to study in Malaysia.
- The RP-T is personal to the holder.
- Dependents over 18-years old, parents and parents-in-law would be eligible for a 5-year Social Visit Pass.
To qualify for a RP-T, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Have worked in Malaysia for 3 years with a total of 5 years working experience.
- Hold a valid Employment Pass at the time of application.
- Hold a PhD/Master’s/Degree or Diploma in any discipline from a recognised university or a professional/competency certificate from a recognised professional institute.
- Earn a basic monthly salary of RM15,000.
- Have an income tax file number in Malaysia and have paid income tax for at least 2 years.
Malaysia Tech Entrepreneur Program (MTEP)
The MTEP was introduced by MDEC alongside Malaysia Digital Hub (MDH) with the mission to smooth the country’s tech startup ecosystem. This is done by providing work visas for foreign tech entrepreneurs who want to establish businesses in the ASEAN market from Malaysia.
Types of work visas under MTEP
- Professional Visit Pass (PVP-MTE), valid for 1 year for new foreign entrepreneur, and
- Residence Pass (RP-MTE), valid for up to 5 years for established foreign entrepreneurs.
This program allows you to get a visa even before incorporating a company. Nevertheless, it is important to note that this program only applies to entrepreneurs who run tech businesses.
|New Foreign Entrepreneur||Established Foreign Entrepreneur|
Also read: Incorporating a Sdn Bhd Company in Malaysia as a Foreigner
FAQs on Malaysia Work Visa
- Yes. Under the Employment Pass or Resident Pass, your spouse and children below 18 will also be given the Dependent Pass or Residence Pass respectively.
- If you are a new entrepreneur, your Professional Visit Pass (PVP-MTE) will be valid for 1 year whereas if you are an established foreign entrepreneur, your Residence Pass (RP-MTE) will be valid for up to 5 years.
- You may apply for the Professional Visit Pass (PVP) which is valid up to a maximum of 12 months provided you are not salaried in Malaysia.
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