Guidelines to apply and get employment pass in Malaysia

Malaysia is a land with immense possibilities and prosperities. Every year thousands of foreign expat visit this nation with a hope to set corporate ventures or get employed with existing companies. No matter whatever motive you got, as far as the aim is to work and earn money, you must manage an employment pass in Malaysia.

Wondering what is an employment pass? Basically it is a work permit which opens up doors for foreign individuals and expatriates who are interested to work under different Malaysian corporate sectors in this nation and earn money.

There are several processes to apply and get employment pass in Malaysia. If you are one of the expatriate willing to venture your way in Malaysia, this guidelines to apply and get employment pass in Malaysia will surely come in handy on your way.

Amid various other options available for foreign workers to enter into Malaysia, employment pass is one of the popular ways. There are other options too, for instance professional visa pass, which remain valid for only 6 months for any particular employee.

Employment Permit or EP on the other hand, has a validity period of up to 5 years. Most of this EP holders work for private limited companies in Malaysia and enjoy facilities to bring their dependents along with them with long term social visit pass.

Categories of Employment Pass in Malaysia

Any foreign individual other than an individual who possess Malaysia permanent residency, Malaysia my second home visa or Resident talent pass in Malaysia, goes under any one of the categories of Employment pass when residing and working in this country.  From 1st September 2o17, under the governance of MOHA and Malaysian immigration department, the classification in Employment Pass or EP has been reevaluation begun. According to that re evaluation following are the categories and eligibilities under respective EP categories:

  Employment pass (Category-1) Employment pass (Category-2) Employment pass (Category-3)
Duration of employment under contract 60 months 24 months 12 months
Salary range per month  RM10000 or more RM5,000 to RM9,999 RM3,000 to RM4,999
Dependence allowance status Yes yes No

Facilities for each EP category   

For Employment category-1

This category includes key post for a company such as CEOs, executives, managing, finance directors, project managers etc. Individual in this category can have following facilities:

  • The candidate in this category must have a salary of at least RM10000 per month.
  • A work contract of at least 5 years is mandatory
  • In this category a candidate is allowed to hire or recruit foreign domestic maid.
  • The employment pass can be renewed in this category.

For Employment category-2

This category includes professional or managerial positions in companies. Their position mainly comprises of marketing manager, investment manager, architects, directors etc. Individual in this category can have following facilities:

  • Salary range in this category must be in between RM5000 and RM9999.
  • A work contract of at least 2 years is mandatory
  • In this category a candidate is allowed to hire or recruit foreign domestic maid.
  • The employment pass can be renewed in this category.

For Employment category-3

This category occupies non-executive positions in Malaysian companies. Their position mainly comprises of workers who have practical skill and work experience. Such field includes craftsman, wood designers, fashion designers, glass artists etc: their facilities include:

  • Monthly salary range between RM3000 and RM4999.
  • A work contract of at least 2 years is mandatory.
  • In this category a candidate is allowed to hire or recruit foreign domestic maid.
  • The Employment pass (EP) however, cannot be renewed more than twice in this category.

Eligibility for getting the employment pass or work permit in Malaysia

Eligibility for getting the employment pass Malaysia or work permit in Malaysia

In order to get the Malaysian Employment pass, an individual applicant has to be eligible enough. Below are the eligibility criteria for a Malaysia work visa or Employment pass (EP): 

  • A candidate must have sufficient academic qualifications recommended in the job circular
  • If your education qualification is inadequate, you can still be eligible for the job amid you got more than three years of work experiences in the relevant field.
  • An Individual must meet the health and fitness requirements in case the job demands physical strength and efforts
  • The candidate must meet the recommended salary requirements.
  • An individual need to show the proof of academic, technical or other skill based certifications for a managerial, technical or executive position.
  • Diploma holders must have a minimum of five years of work experience in the relevant sector. 
  • In case for an individual with technical certification or equivalent must have at least 7 years of work experience in the relevant working sectors. 
  • Any restricted sectors are prohibited for employment opportunities for foreign expatriates.

Brief EP application steps and paperwork requirements

In this part of the article, we will briefly list out the whole process of Employment Pass or work visa application in Malaysia. Along with that we will also have a glance on document requirements for employment pass application:

Documents needed for EP Application 

In order to apply for an EP or work permit in Malaysia, and applicant need to come up with the following documents: 

  • SSM Form 24.
  • SSM Form 49.
  •  SSM Form 9. 
  • Printout of the e-SSM.
  • Any other business licenses if asked.
  •  A copy of company director’s passport.
  • Copy of  tenancy Agreement certificate.
  •  Exemption letter in case of EP Category III.
  • A printed copy of the company’s prospectus.
  • Printed copy of the recent financial statement of the company.
  • A printed copy of the company’s utility bill, preferably phone bill.

The simplified application process for employment pass Malaysia

  • Registration: At the very beginning the registration process need to be conducted. The aim of this step is to submit the application and relevant paperwork as recommended in relevant field and get the full access to ESD website. Once you are in, you are recommended to submit your expatriate application via ESD online. After this your employment company will notify you regarding every update of the procedures.  
  • ESD verification: Here employment company will notify and send the list of all the applicants who are under the consideration of the company recruitments. ESD will take 5 working days to process the submitted data. Following that all applicants and expatriates will be individually assessed and interviewed on the basis of their merit and skill qualifications. All certifications and academic recognitions will be verified in this step of EP application.
  • EP application submission: If passes the interview session, the expatriate are now permitted to move forward. The applicant however doesn’t have to do anything from now on. The company itself will publish an application to the EP website once the ESD registration is completed. After that ESD will take all the paperwork and document of the candidate and take 5 more days to process EP for that particular applicant. Once done, the Employment Pass will be issued for its rightful owner.

Malaysia Employment Pass FAQs

How long does it take to get an employment pass in Malaysia?

Once all the formalities are cleared, and all the papers are submitted as recommended, it takes around three working days to process and handover the EP in Malaysia.

Can a foreigner work in Malaysia?

Yes, the expatriate can work in Malaysia, but for that the individual must have either employment pass (EP) also called Malaysia work permit visa or professional visa pass. Once you have one of these, you can work under any Malaysian company in this nation.

What is EP Visa Malaysia?

EP or Employment Pass is the other name for a work permit or work visa in Malaysia. This pass makes the bearer eligible to work for Malaysian company under one of the three employee categories; EP category-I, II or III.

What is the difference between employment pass and work permit in Malaysia?

Both employment pass or EP and work permit or work visa is the same thing. When you have successfully got an EP, this means you got the work permit and can stay in Malaysia for a 2 to up to 5 years, working under a Malaysian company without any legal objections from the embassy.

Is it easy to get a job in Malaysia?

Yes, as long as a company in Malaysia already shown their interest to hire you. In this case, the company will process all the required paperwork on behalf of you and will prepare your Employment pass, which is the gateway for you to move into Malaysia and join your designated position in the company.

Is it easy to get a work permit in Malaysia?

If the procedure to arrive in Malaysia is legal, than the whole getting work permit is easy. All you need to do is pack your bag and get yourself in Malaysia with all your legal passport, visa and recommended paperwork. Submit your passport and pay for the EP to the immigration department. They will do the rest of the work such as processing your paperwork, putting approval stickers, and process work permit or Employment pass card.

How do I get a temporary employment pass in Malaysia?

You can get a temporary employment pass in Malaysia only after getting a FOMEMA medical examination results. Your employer must sign a security bond and pay for the temporary employment pass for you when it needs to be issued.

How much does it cost for a work permit in Malaysia?

All in all, it takes a cost in between the range of RM595 – RM2, 035; depending upon the EP categories of the employee. All this cost has to be provided by the employer to the Immigration Department for Foreign Workers in Malaysia.

Can social visit pass holder work in Malaysia?

Social visit pass holder of a Malaysian citizen is only eligible to work in Malaysia without changing their social pass status. However, that individual needs proper endorsement before getting employed here.

Related Articles:

Eligibility for getting a work permit in Malaysia

Employment related:

Employment Laws in Malaysia – Employment Act

All about Employment Insurance Scheme – EIS in Malaysia

In Malay language: Semua tentang Skim Insurans Pekerjaan – EIS di Malaysia

Employment Fund related

Employees Provident Fund Malaysia – EPF Malaysia

Human resource development fund – HRDF in Malaysia

Employee Security related


Know about Social security organization

Guideline for SOCSO account registration in Malaysia


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