Malaysian Immigration
skill Work Permit

Malaysia’s Immigration Department Reinstates the i-KAD Card for Employment Pass Holders

A Significant Update for Employment Pass Holders

In a major development, the Immigration Department of Malaysia has reinstated the i-KAD Card for Employment Pass holders.This move, overseen by MDEC & ESD, marks a critical shift in how foreign workers’ identities are managed within Malaysia.

Background: The Reemergence of the i-KAD Card

The i-KAD Card, akin to a biometric residence permit, displays the holder’s photo and other identifying information.This credit-card-sized document, recognized by the Department of Immigration in Peninsular Malaysia, is now mandatory for foreign nationals to carry at all times.After a temporary suspension in 2019 due to technical issues, the i-KAD Card is back in circulation.

Who Will Be Affected?

The reinstatement of the i-KAD Card impacts all Employment Pass holders in Malaysia.This encompasses:

Employment Pass (EP) Categories I, II, and III
Residence Pass – Talent (RP-T) and their dependents malaysia
Those with a Transfer of Endorsement for passes valid over six months

Key Considerations and Impact

While the i-KAD Card is a significant identification document within Malaysia, it’s crucial to note that it cannot be used for international travel or movement between West Malaysia and East Malaysia. Additionally, for now, Employment Pass holders under MDEC in Penang state will not receive the i-KAD Card until further notice.

i-KAD Card: The Rules and Regulations

In the event of cancellation, the i-KAD Card must be surrendered to the Immigration Department.It’s important to remember that the card will not be reissued if lost, stolen, or amended for any reason.Despite the convenience of the i-KAD Card, Malaysian Immigration still advises foreign workers to carry their passports.

malaysian permanent resident, permanent resident, permanent resident malaysian, pr

Recent Developments and Media Coverage

Various immigration and legal news outlets have reported on this development, highlighting the significance of the i-KAD Card’s reintroduction.Notably, Envoy Global and Fragomen have underscored its importance for Employment Pass holders.Additionally, in December 2022, Malaysia introduced an electronic pass (ePass) renewal option for Employment Passes, signaling a move towards more digital solutions in immigration processes.

signals Malaysia commitment

This update signals Malaysia commitment to streamlining the immigration process while ensuring security and convenience for foreign workers. The i-KAD Card, along with the ePass system, represents a forward-thinking approach to immigration and identification management in the country.

10 Frequently Asked Questions About the i-KAD Card Reinstatement

What is the i-KAD Card?
It’s a biometric residence permit that acts as an official identification for foreign nationals in Malaysia.

Who needs the i-KAD Card?
All Employment Pass holders in Malaysia are required to have it.

Can the i-KAD Card be used for international travel?
No, it’s only valid within Malaysia and not for international travel.

Are there exceptions to the issuance of the i-KAD Card?
Currently, holders under MDEC in Penang state are excluded from this issuance.

What should be done with the i-KAD Card upon pass cancellation?
It must be returned to the Immigration Department during the cancellation process.

Will a lost or stolen i-KAD Card be replaced?
No, the card is not replaced under these circumstances.

Is carrying a passport still necessary if one has an i-KAD Card?
Yes, Malaysian Immigration advises keeping a passport with you even if you have an i-KAD Card.

When was the i-KAD Card reinstated?
The card was reinstated after its suspension in 2019 due to technical issues.

What other developments have been made in terms of Employment Passes?
In December 2022, the government introduced an ePass renewal option for Employment Passes.

How has the reintroduction of the i-KAD Card been received by legal and immigration experts?
It has been positively reported by various agencies, recognizing its importance for Employment Pass holders.


Salman Ghaffar