Work Permit and Visa Applications in Malaysia

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Oct. 24 – Malaysia has a flexible visa policy that allows a majority of countries to enter without a visa for business trips that do not last longer than 90 days, including foreign nationals from the United States, France, Australia, Brazil, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Nonetheless, it is important to check ahead of time if Malaysia requires a visa from your country.

Foreign workers who wish to be employed by a company within Malaysia will have to have their application reviewed by the relevant government agencies, such as the Ministry of Manpower. The employee’s sponsoring company must also work with the government to ensure that the worker is approved for entry.

Types of Visas

There are two types of visas in Malaysia:

  • Single Entry – valid for 3 months
  • Multiple Entry – valid for 3-12 months

Application Process

Applications must be made through the nearest Malaysian Representative Office Abroad or, for Indian and Chinese nationals, through the online I-Visa System. Several documents are required during the visa application process. These include:

  • Original passport
  • Two passport photos
  • Two copies of the applicant’s passport
  • Two copies of the visa application form
  • Two copies of a return air ticket
  • Original approval letter from the Immigration Department of Malaysia
  • Evidence of sufficient financial standing

Work Permit

Work permits are required for foreign nationals working within eligible work sectors. These are:

  • Manufacturing
  • Plantation
  • Agriculture
  • Construction
  • Services

In order to work in Malaysia, the applicant must obtain approval from the Local Center of Approval under the Ministry of Home Affairs and the applicant’s employer must also file for a Visa with Reference and a Visitor’s Pass if the employment is on a temporary basis. The paperwork required to obtain a work permit includes the following:

  • Copy of applicant’s passport
  • One passport photo
  • A letter of work permit application from employer
  • Visa application
  • Letter of approval from the Ministry of Home Affairs
  • Original receipt of fees paid
  • Visa with Reference application form
  • Medical report from the country of origin approved by the Ministry of Health Malaysia

Work-Visa-and-Permit-Procedures-thmbPortions of this article came from the September/October 2013 issue of Asia Briefing Magazine titled, “Work Visa and Permit Procedures Across Asia,” which is currently available as a complimentary PDF download on the Asia Briefing Bookstore until the end of October. In this edition of Asia Briefing Magazine, we outline the specific documents required for foreign nationals working in China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as highlight the relevant application processes in each of these countries.

Dezan Shira & Associates is a specialist foreign direct investment practice, providing corporate establishment, business advisory, tax advisory and compliance, accounting, payroll, due diligence and financial review services to multinationals investing in emerging Asia. Since its establishment in 1992, the firm has grown into one of Asia’s most versatile full-service consultancies with operational offices across China, Hong Kong, India, Singapore and Vietnam as well as liaison offices in Italy and the United States.

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5 thoughts on “Work Permit and Visa Applications in Malaysia

    Patrick says:

    what is the things include in the Medical report from the country of origin approved by the Ministry of Health Malaysia

    Michelle Lee says:

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    We are in heavy equipment industries. We would like to hire a China worker to work in our company in Malaysia & he would like to bring his wife and stay in malaysia.
    Please advise what kind of documents needed & how should i proceed the work permit for the said worker.
    Appreciate your kind advise.

    Michelle Lee

    Dear Michelle,

    Many thanks for your message, we would be delighted to assist you in the hiring process.

    There are a number of requirements to consider when obtaining a work permit for a Chinese worker in Malaysia, including the minimum value of the contracted salary, role of the worker, company capital, and corporate structure.

    Once the work permit for your employee is obtained, the dependent pass procedure is acquired for his family separately.

    Please see your inbox for further details.

    Kind regards,


    whoah this blog is magnificent i really like reading your posts. Stay up the good work! You know, many individuals are hunting around for this info, you could help them greatly.

    kea says:

    Hi, I am indonesian and my fiancee is malaysian. I am planning to move to malaysia but I have not found a job. is it possible to have a work permit visa while I havent had a job yet? because I have been applying job online and they seem reluctant to hire foreigner without work permit visa.
    hope to hear from you soon
    thank you

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