Below you’ll find answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Expat Work Permits and Visit Passes in Malaysia.

How to apply for a work permit in Malaysia?

As a general rule, Malaysian work permits for Expat “Knowledge Workers” are obtained by the employer. The Work Permit application is often a long and complex process. Omissions or mistakes should be avoided because they can cause serious delays. For these reasons most Malaysian employers outsource their Work Permit applications to specialized agencies.

Requirements for Malaysian Expat Work Permits
– Your passport should have a remaining validity of at least 18 months.
– The job should be qualified as a “skilled” position, like a technician or manager.
Expat work permits are generally issued for a duration between 6 months and 5 years. They can be extended in most cases.

What are the types of Expatriate Work Permits in Malaysia?

The Malaysia work Visa types that the Malaysian government can issue to foreign “Knowledge Workers” are:

1) Employment Pass
An Employment Pass is issued to foreigners who have found a job in a Malaysian company. The job should be qualified as a “skilled” position, like a technician or manager.
Before you can receive an Employment Pass, your employer in Malaysia has to register with the Expatriate Services Division and get approval from the Expatriate Committee.
Malaysian Employment Passes can be issued for 1-5 years, depending on your qualifications, skill level and minimum salary. In most cases the permits are renewable.

2) Professional Visit Pass
A Malaysia Professional Visit Pass is issued to foreign nationals who are temporarily needed to work in Malaysia (up to 12 months), but who are still studying in or employed in their home country.

3) Residence Pass-Talent (RP-T)
The Residence Pass-Talent (RP-T) offers skilled expatriates the ability to work and live in Malaysia.
It is a 10-year renewable pass for highly qualified expatriates to continue residing and working in Malaysia

What Processing Times should I expect for these Visa?

1) For an Employment Pass or a Professional Visit Pass, one should count on 8-10 weeks. If the employer is already registered with the ESD, the average processing time is 3-4 weeks.

2) For a Resident Pass-Talent, processing time is around 4 weeks, after all relevant documents have been submitted.
The Passport endorsement process generally takes another 2 weeks.