Malaysian Immigration
skill Work Permit

Unlocking Opportunities and A Comprehensive Guide to the Malaysian Work Permit

Malaysia, a land of diverse cultures and economic growth, attracts a steady influx of foreign talent seeking to contribute their skills and expertise to its thriving industries. The Malaysian work permit, known as the “Employment Pass,” serves as the gateway for foreign nationals to legally work and reside in this vibrant nation. In this extensive guide, we will explore the intricacies of obtaining a Malaysian work permit, from understanding its significance to eligibility criteria, the required documentation, application processes at the immigration office and online platforms, and the compelling benefits that come with this permit.

Who is eligible for Malaysian Work Permit

  • Work in permitted sectors namely Manufacturing, Construction, Agriculture, Plantation and Services;
  • Foreign worker applications by employers/companies are subject to quota approval from the Local Approval Center (OSC), Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • Be not less than 18 years old and not more than 45 years old at the time of application;
  • Confirmed passing the IMMIGRATION SECURITY CLEARANCE (ISC) verification done in the source country. List of ISC Centers
  • Certified healthy by a health inspection center in the source country; List of health centers
  • Prospective workers are not included in the list of foreign individuals who are prohibited from entering according to Section 8(3) of the Immigration Act 1959/1963; and
  • Foreign workers must be recruited from an authorized source country as follows:

What is the requirement for a Malaysian Work permit?

Passport and Visa: The importance of a valid passport and appropriate visa for a smooth application process.

Job Offer Letter: The significance of an official job offer letter detailing the position, salary, and terms of employment.

Educational Certificates: Necessary steps for obtaining and attesting academic and professional certificates.

Curriculum Vitae (CV): The importance of a comprehensive CV showcasing work experience and skills.

Passport-Sized Photographs: Requirements for recent passport-sized photographs conforming to Malaysian standards.

Medical Examination Report: An overview of the medical screening process and its role in the application.

Police Clearance Certificate: Obtaining and presenting a clean criminal record from the applicant’s home country.


(Pre Arrival )

  • The Immigration Security Clearance (ISC) result for PASS must first be obtained by employers from the ISC centres of the source nations.
  • Before hiring foreign labour, employers must first apply to the Immigration Department for a Visa with Reference (VDR).
  • VDR application forms can be filed at Immigration counters or online through the e-Services system.
  • This checklist must be followed while developing a VDR application:
  • Application form for VDR
  • Ministry of Home Affairs permission letter (quota approval)
  • Original receipts for levy payments IM.12 and IM.38 Forms
  • Deposits / insurance guarantee / bank guarantee (insurance guarantee must be stamped and valid for at least 18 months) Security bond
  • Passport copies for international workers
  • The most recent photo of the foreign workers (passport size)
  • Medical certifications from origin nations’ medical centres (valid for three months from the date of issuance)
  • Compensation Scheme for Foreign Workers (insurance)
  • Health Insurance Protection Scheme Foreign employees (SPIKPA) Insurance Policy – Except for the Plantation Sector,
  • foreign employees must remain in their respective countries while awaiting VDR permission from Malaysia Immigration Department.

(Post Arrival)

  • Foreign employees are only permitted to enter the nation through the designated entry ports with a VDR granted by the Immigration Department and an entrance visa issued by the Malaysian Attachés Office in their place of origin.
  • Employers are responsible for making sure that the foreign workers are cleared at the entry ports within 24 hours of their arrival.
  • Only once the foreign employees have successfully completed the FOMEMA medical examination, which can be completed at any medical facility registered with FOMEMA within 30 days, would they be issued a Visit Pass (Temporary Employment) [VP(TE)].
  • Once a clinic or medical facility registered with FOMEMA certifies that the foreign worker is fit, a VP(TE) will be issued. If this condition is not met, the foreign worker will not be permitted to remain and work in this nation. Employers must submit a Check Out Memo application in order to send a foreign worker home.
  • The Immigration Office where the VDR permission letter was obtained must issue VP(TE).

How Do I Apply for a Malaysian Work Permit from the Immigration Office?

Application Process Overview: An outline of the step-by-step procedure for applying for a work permit at the immigration office.

Document Submission: Guiding applicants on preparing and submitting all required documents.

Processing Time: An analysis of the typical processing duration for work permit applications.

Biometric Data Collection: Understanding the collection of biometric data during the application process.

Medical Screening: The significance of a medical screening and the designated clinics for this purpose.

Interview (if necessary): Preparing applicants for the possibility of an interview as part of the evaluation process.

Approval and Issuance: Receiving the work permit upon successful application and compliance with requirements.

How Do I Apply for a Malaysian Work Permit Online?

Introduction to eXpats System: An overview of the eXpats online platform designed for work permit applications.

User-Friendly Interface: Navigating the user-friendly interface for a seamless application process.

Real-Time Application Tracking: Utilizing the eXpats system to track the progress of an application.

Digital Document Uploads: Securely uploading all necessary documents through the online portal.

Benefits of a Malaysian Work Permit

Legal Employment and Job Security: The importance of working legally in Malaysia and the job security that comes with it.

Residency and Long-Term Opportunities: Exploring the potential for long-term residency and permanent residency.

Access to Social Services: Enabling work permit holders to access essential social services, including healthcare and education.

Cultural Experience: Embracing Malaysia’s rich cultural heritage and experiencing a diverse way of life.

Opportunities for Family: Understanding the possibilities for work permit holders to sponsor their family members.


The Malaysian work permit represents a bridge to a world of opportunities for skilled individuals from all corners of the globe. By meeting the eligibility criteria, preparing the required documentation, and navigating the application processes—whether through the immigration office or online—foreign workers can set forth on a transformative journey in Malaysia. As they contribute to the nation’s growth and immerse themselves in its vibrant culture, work permit holders can forge a path towards personal and professional fulfillment, making Malaysia not just a destination for work, but a place they can call home


Salman Ghaffar