Malaysia Employment Pass Categories Which One is Right for Your Expatriate

Malaysia Employment Pass Categories: Which One is Right for Your Expatriate?

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As a foreigner wishing to work in Malaysia, you are required to hold an Employment Pass (EP) so that you can work and live in the country legally. For EP, it refers to work permits meant for skilled professionals and high salaried executives entry into Malaysia. An organization that is planning to employ you should apply for it even before traveling to Malaysia.

The types of Employment Pass are divided into three, Category 1 and Category 2 and category 3. There are requirements, benefits, and limitations for each category. So, let’s define Category 1 and Category 2; in this article we will explore all the distinctions so that you decide which one fits your needs. For today’s discussion let’s skip category 3 (Knowledge/Skilled worker) which a basic salary ranges from Rm 3,000 to Rm 4,999 as we lay more emphasis on expatriates.

Employing company eligibility criteria for applying for employment pass under ESD

Only companies incorporated under the Companies Act, 1965 and organizations registered under Association/ Organization Act, 1966 with either the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) or Registry of Societies Malaysia (ROS). In the converses, if you are incorporated under acts (law firms and accounting firms), an organization by Ministries or Government Agencies supporting Honorable mention or an International Organization certified by the Minister of Foreign Affairs then you are also eligible.

EquityPaid-Up Capital
100% Locally OwnedRM 250,000
Foreign-Owned Joint Venture (Minimum 30% Equity)RM 350,000
Fully owned by foreign entitiesRM 500,000
Companies in the Wholesale, Retail, and Trade sectors with foreign ownership of 51% or moreRM 1,000,000
Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM)

What is an Employment Pass?

The Employment Pass (EP) is a work permit in Malaysia whereby it enables foreign managers and professionals to stay as well as work in the country. Renewable upon expiry, this pass is valid for a period of two years. Malaysia’s Employment Pass allows professionals from diverse walks of life in national development and to contribute towards building Malaysia’s economic future.

Employment Pass (Category 1)

In Category 1 – Employment Pass (referred to as “Talent”), aimed at highly skilled specialists in the field. This is the only category for people who have set skills that are hardly found in Malaysia. For the job offer category, there has to be a company sponsor which must give an Malaysia-based offer with minimum monthly wage of RM10,000.

Common professions in this group entail eminent medical practitioners, experienced engineers, competent IT experts and qualified executives in international corporations. These people are instrumental in propelling innovations, fast tracking economic growth and advancement of the society at large.

Employment Pass (Category 2)

The Employment Pass Category 2 in Malaysia is designed for foreigners aspiring to work as executives and professionals but fail to qualify under Category I commonly referred to as the “Professional” category. The applicant must have a minimum salary of RM5,000 per month. Category I is based on a certain enumerated list of professions which would qualify, unlike Category II that follows the general approach. Candidates in this group should have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university and appropriate career background relating to the aforementioned areas. The requirements ensure that only highly skilled people can contribute to the workforce and economy of Malaysia.

Malaysia Employment Pass Category 1 vs 2

Employment Pass Category 1Employment Pass Category 2
Employment CriteriaAt least MYR 10,000/month as a basic salary
At least 5 years contract period
Highly skilled positions
At least MYR 5,000/month as a basic salary
At least 2 years contract
Medium skilled positions
EligibilityRelevant academic qualification
Minimum 3 years of relevant working experience
Relevant academic qualification
Minimum 2 years of relevant working experience

How do I apply for employment pass approval?

For someone to qualify for an Employment Pass in Malaysia, he or she must have a job offer from a Malaysian company. Next, once you get the job offer, the company will submit an application through Expatriate Services Division (ESD) at the Malaysia immigration department.

The hiring company near to prepare and provide the candidate’s:

  • Resume
  • Passport
  • Passport photo
  • Employment contract
  • Education certificates
  • Other supporting documents

Upon receipt of all necessary documents, the Hiring Company must promptly submit the application form and initiate the diligent review process.

Who is Eligible for a Malaysia Employment Pass?

There are some requirements that need to be met for an Employment Pass Malaysia. These requirements include the academic qualifications of the job in addition to a relevant experience for at least three years. Nevertheless, if you do not have the academic qualifications an extra number of years in experience may be required. Secondly, the desired role should be managerial or executive and requires technical knowledge. Stated salary conditions should and conscientious abstaining from restricted work sectors.

Can I bring my family members to Malaysia with an Employment Pass?

As a holder of Malaysia Employment Pass you generally have the right to accompany your dependents, unless one is a holder of Category 3 EP. If you fall under Category 1 or 2, we will have the flexibility of bringing your wife (or husband) and children below the age of twenty one years through Dependent’s Pass or Long-term Social Visit Pass.

Family members, on the other hand, can accompany you to Malaysia with their Dependent Pass. However, this does not allow them work unless they exchange their Dependent Pass with an Employment pass. Similarly, the Long-term Social Visit Pass is designed to enable your family members to stay with you in Malaysia for more than six months but not longer than five years. It should be noted that, regrettably, Malaysia Employment Pass holders Category 3 are not allowed to bring any of their family members along to Malaysia.

Need help with employment passes, expatriate visas, or work permits?

If you need help with your Employment Pass application or have any questions related to work as a foreigner in Malaysia, please feel free to contact us FastLane Group. Taking advantage of our in-depth experience in EP applications, we will be able to offer customized assistance at every step. Contact us today for invaluable assistance.

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