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Work Permits

Malaysia - Work Permits

If you are an expatriate and intend to apply for Malaysia’s MM2H scheme for a ten year visa, you will be allowed to set up a business or work part time whilst you are there. If you are travelling to Malaysia for a business trip and you are a citizen of the United States of America or the United Kingdom, then you will not need a visa as long as the trip lasts less than 90 days. If you wish to work full time in a Malaysian company, or will be visiting the country on a business matter which will last more than 90 days, then you must apply for a work permit.

There are two main types of work permit in Malaysia:

- Professional Visit Pass (PVP)
- Employment Pass

Professional Visit Pass

A Professional Visit Pass (PVP) can be issued to a skilled foreign worker who will provide a service to a company in Malaysia on behalf of a foreign company. This is for work which is on a temporary basis only, usually lasting less than 12 months. The foreign worker remains employed by their home company in their home country. It is possible to renew this type of visa for another year long period, but this can only be achieved after the individual has spent a break of three months outside of Malaysia after the first 12-month period has expired. A new application must be made each time an extension is requested.

How to apply

An application for a PVP must be made to the Malaysian Immigration Department by the Malaysian company that is acting as a host for the foreign worker. The foreign worker must not enter Malaysia until the process has been completed and the visa has been approved. Processing will usually take less than 2 weeks.

The following link will take you to the Malaysian Embassy’s information page about the exact eligibility for this visa. www.jimlondon.net/visa_employ_pass.html

Employment Pass for Expatriates

It is perfectly possible for foreigners to be granted the right to live and work in Malaysia via the expatriate programme. In Malaysia they class an expatriate as a foreigner qualified to fill the following type of positions:
1. A top managerial position in a foreign owned company based in Malaysia
2. A professional or mid-level managerial post
3. A highly skilled non-executive post.

In order to gain these types of work permits, the expatriate applying must hold a job offer in Malaysia from a sponsoring company. Automatic approval can be given to individuals who meet any of the above criteria and who are going to be paid a monthly salary or wage above a certain threshold. The job offer must be for a position that will last for a minimum of two years. There are no age limits on applications for an expatriate work permit but in order to be considered, applicants must be in possession of a passport which will be valid for at least 18 months.

Dependent Pass

This visa can be extended to include family members who wish to travel with them to Malaysia. The individual will have to apply for a Dependent Pass for an eligible family member which can include; spouse, children under the age of 21, disabled children and adopted children.

Unskilled Worker Pass

You can also apply to obtain a visa for the right to perform services in the following sectors: Manufacturing, Plantation, Agriculture, Construction and Service. For more information on this type of pass, for full eligibility and the documents you will require, click on the following link: www.jimlondon.net/visa_unskill_pass.html.

If you have any questions concerning work permits and Malaysia, get in touch with the Malaysian Immigration Department.

Malaysian Immigration Department London
Tel: 02 07 9190 263
Email: ruzaidi@btconnect.com

Embassy of Malaysia, Washington DC
Tel: +1-202-572-9700
Fax: +1-202-572-9882
Email: malwashdc@kln.gov.my

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.