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Asean Centre of Entrepreneurship

Services

Visa Application

Overview

Foreign citizens who wish to start a business or to be employed in Malaysia, they need to apply for work visa.

Broadly, there are 3 types of work-related passes in Malaysia that an individual could apply for.

Namely, the passes are:

  • Employment Pass
  • Professional Visit Pass
  • Residence Pass (recommended by his/her employer)

All application of pass(es) must be sponsored by a Malaysian company (with the exception to Residence Pass). In order to do so, the Malaysian company must be registered with the relevant Immigration Department. Registration of the company may take up to one (1) month depending on the approving authority and completion of documents/ information required.

Service Providers

Qualification

In order to support/sponsor an expatriate, the Malaysian company must fulfill the basic requirements outlined by the authority.

  1. Paid-up capitalTo support the application of Employment Pass, a company must meet the minimum paid-up capital according to its shareholding structure:
    • 100% Bumiputra – RM250,000
    • Local + Foreign – RM350,000
    • 100% Foreign – RM500,000
  2. Business licensingCertain principal/ business activities requires a company to obtain relevant licensing or written recommendation letters prior. Some example below:
    • Education – Ministry of Education
    • Medical/ Health – Ministry of Health
    • Aviation – Department of Civil Aviation
    • Tourism – Ministry of Tourism
    • Wholesale, marketing, direct selling – Ministry of Domestic Trade Cooperative and Consumerism
    • Biotechnology – Biotechnology Corporation of Malaysia
  3. Company FinancialCompany which recorded negative cashflow or is operating at a loss, may not be eligible.
  4. Position offeredThe position must require a set of expert skills that a local talent may not be able to fulfill.

Types of Passes

  1. Employment PassThis is a pass issued for the purpose of employment for a period of 1 to 3 years and is extendable to 10 years. Under statutory requirement, an Employment Pass holder is a tax resident in Malaysia.Below are the requirements for a foreign individual to be eligible to apply for an Employment Pass (EP):
    1. Min. monthly salary must be RM5,000 and above.
    2. A graduate with a min. of a Bachelor’s degree and above.
    3. Possesses a number of years of working experience in the same industry or position applied.
    4. Possesses the right skillset or expertise that cannot be filled by a Malaysian candidate.

    Submission of Employment Pass application must be completed by the sponsoring Malaysian company for the expatriate. Generally, processing time upon submission is 14 working days.

  2. Professional Visit PassThis is a pass issued for the purpose of engaging in short-term attachments, secondments, internship etc. Duration of stay at any one time, cannot exceed 12 months. Other activities/ capacities that require one to hold a valid Professional Visit Pass are:
    • Attending training
    • Invited or visiting lecturer
    • Invited or visiting professor
    • Research assistant
    • Seminar, course or training speaker
    • Volunterring, etc.

    Below are the requirement to be eligible to apply for a Professional Visit Pass:

    1. There must be a foreign (Home) company that employs the expatriate i.e. salary must continue to be borne by the Home company.
    2. Allowances, stipend and benefits-in-kind may be given to the expatriate during this period. However, it may be subjected to tax.
    3. A graduate with a min. of a Bachelor’s degree and above.
    4. Possesses a number of years of working experience in the same industry or position applied. For internship, the applicant must study in the relevant field.
    5. Possesses the right skillset or expertise that cannot be filled by a Malaysian candidate.

    Submission of Professional Visit Pass application must be completed by the sponsoring Malaysian company for the expatriate. Generally, processing time upon submission is between 14 -30 working days.

  3. Residence Pass-TalentThe Residence Pass-Talent is a 10-year pass for highly qualified expatriates to continue to reside and work in Malaysia. A plus point of the Residence Pass-Talent is it offers expatriates the flexibility to change employers/employment during the validity of the pass. Best suited for investor-owner type of Founders.Below are the requirements to be eligible to apply for a Residence Pass-Talent:
    1. Must hold a valid Employment Pass at the point of application.
    2. Have been working in Malaysia continuously for at least 3 years.
    3. Possess 5 years of total work experience.
    4. Earns a a gross taxable income of RM144,000.00 per annum.
    5. Paid Malaysian Income Tax for at least 2 years.
    6. Current Malaysian employer must be willing to support the application by issuing a No Objection Letter.

    Submission of Residence Pass-Talent application can be completed by the sponsoring Malaysian company for the expatriate or the expatriate in person. Generally, processing time upon submission is approximately 21 working days.