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Registration, Permits & Other Documentation

Kuala Lumpur - Registration, Permits & Other Documentation

Click here to go to this city guide's homepage

For an overall description of the registration procedure, refer to the Expat Focus Malaysia Country Guide.

Do note that the East Malaysian states (Sabah and Sarawak) have different immigration procedures, and traveling from the Peninsular (West Malaysia) to East Malaysia for work requires separate formalities for work and residency permits.

The Foreign Workers Division of the Department of Immigration is located in Putrajaya. The address is No. 15, Persiaran Perdana, Precint 2, 62550. Tel: +06 3 8880 1000. The building has seven levels for all kinds of immigration matters. Level 3 is for Employment Visas, Pass and Permits, and Level 2 is for the Foreign Workers Unit. Contacts for Overseas Offices for immigration matters relating to Malaysia is available at www.imi.gov.my.

It should be noted that foreign workers are required in some industries in Malaysia, but not all. Most expatriates working in Malaysia were posted to this country on behalf of their company or organization. It is not easy for expatriates to come to KL in search for work.

The process to obtain a work permit is a precise and lengthy 2-stage process, including both seeking approval and endorsement for employment in Malaysia by committees. There are special requirements, such as additional reference visas, or security clearance, depending on your employment position (key role or professional) and country of origin. The process, restrictions and requirements are described in detail in the website of the Malaysian Immigration department at www.imi.gov.my. The website is updated regularly, so check to ensure that you are referring to the most updated set of guidelines.

There are mainly two main categories for work visas: expatriate (employment pass visa) in key managerial / executive positions, and foreign skilled workers (professional visa) for artists and/or missionaries/volunteers. Successful first-time applicants usually receive a two-year visa, and a renewal for up to five years can be given. The work permit is issued in your passport. Spouses on dependent visa can take up paid employment if permission to do so is sought and given by the immigration officer.

Malaysia introduced a new i-Card in 2008 that replaces the previous Expatriate Identification Card. The functions of the i-Card are the same as the previous Expatriate Identification card, but with additional security features to ease the cardholder's entry and exit at the international airport (KLIA). The i-Card is a photo-id that can be used in lieu of the expatriate's passport for identification purposes in Malaysia. For more information about the card, call the i-Card hotline at 03 8880 1435 or email at expati_kad@imi.gov.my. Expatriates must apply for the i-Card in person at the Putrajaya office (3rd Floor). The i-Card is a convenient pocket-sized card with details about the holder's thumbprint, employment details and nationality.

Expatriates wishing to register their new born, or register a death, or marriage / divorce in Kuala Lumpur should contact a customer service officer of the National Registration Department ("Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara") at 03 8880 8206 / 8203 / 7077 / 7071 / 7068 / 7067. The general line is +03 8880 7000 or email at pro@jpn.gov.my; website in English available at www.jpn.gov.my. The office is located at No. 20, Persiaran Perdana, Precint 2, Federal Government Administrative Center in Putrajaya.

For a list of embassies located in KL, click here.

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.