March 2015

This summary is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered an authoritative guide on how to obtain work authorization in Malaysia. The intent is to give the reader a general overview of the process only. Procedures and requirements may have changed since the writing of this article. For current and detailed information regarding the topics below, as well as documentary requirements, processing times, post-arrival and departure requirements, penalties for non-compliance, allowances for accompanying family members, and any other information pertaining to your specific needs, please contact your Pro-Link GLOBAL immigration professional.



Permitted Activities – Business visitors must generally limit their activities to the following:

• Attending business meetings or discussions;
• Signing agreements;
• Conducting surveys on investment opportunities;
• Inspecting or setting up factories;
• Performing audits;
• Attending seminars.

Type of Business Visas – Certain nationals may enter Malaysia without need of a business visa (visa-exempt nationals).   All other nationals will require an entry visa or a visit pass for business.

Basic Requirements

1. Intention of a genuine visit for business and not for paid employment;
2. Valid passport;
3. Evidence that there are no restrictions on his or her traveling to Malaysia;
4. No intention to permanently reside in Malaysia;
5. A ticket for onward travel from Malaysia;
6. Proof of funds.

Estimated Processing Times – This varies by diplomatic post and country.

Maximum Time On Visa – This visa allows business people to make a short business visit to Malaysia for up to three months during their visa validity period. Visas can be extended in country.

Typical Documents Required – All travelers need to present the following documents to officers in immigration clearance:

• A valid passport or other acceptable travel document and in some cases; and
• A valid visa or authority to enter Malaysia.


Basic Requirements – The principle visa category for temporary employment in Malaysia is the Employment Pass. This is a category for employers to sponsor qualified skilled workers to work as intra-company transferees in Malaysia on a temporary basis. The minimum employment period required is two years and employees must be localized to Malaysian payroll for the duration of their Employment Pass.

Process Overview – The process for obtaining an Employment Pass involves four steps summarized below:

1. Employment Pass application filed online;
2. Calling Visa application (for visa nationals only);
3. Endorsement of Employment Pass.

Another visa category for temporary employment in Malaysia is the Professional Visit Pass, which is for skilled qualified foreign nationals who will be engaging in short-term assignments and who will remain on their home-country payroll throughout their assignment in Malaysia. The Professional Visit Pass is often utilized for technical experts and trainees.

Estimated Processing Time – Six weeks for pre-arrival application.

Validity periods – Employment Passes are valid for two years and can be renewed. Professional Visit Passes are valid for a maximum period of 12 months and not renewable.

Family Members – Dependents cannot work and study in Malaysia without separate authorization. Dependent Pass applications for accompanying family members can be prepared and filed concurrently with the principle assignee’s work authorization application process.

For dependents of Professional Visit Pass holders it is not possible to obtain Dependent Passes – they can come to Malaysia on a Social Visit Pass.

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