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Malaysia: Visa Guides - Must read

Post-study visa options in Malaysia

Want to remain in Malaysia to work once you've graduated from a Malaysian university? Read our guide to the various passes you can apply for in order to work in Malaysia as an expatriate...

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Are you finishing your studies in Malaysia but wish to remain in the country to work? Like many who study in Malaysia, you may not be quite ready to leave it all behind. Plus Malaysia is particularly strong in certain fields.

There are a few options available for graduates who wish to stay and work in the country, namely the Employment Pass. There is also the Temporary Employment Pass and Visitor’s Pass (Professional). The lengths of each of these options do vary, from six months up to around five years, as do the terms and conditions.


Who can stay in Malaysia to work?

This will depend on the role, salary and contract, all of which will dictate which pass an individual is eligible for and must apply for.


What’s the first step?

First you need to find a job with a company in Malaysia. Honestly, currently it is not all that simple for international graduates to remain in the country to work. The Malaysian government is very keen for jobs to go to Malaysian nationals before those from other countries (whether they are a graduating international student or an expat from abroad).

Take a look at our tips for writing a CV and guide to reference letters to help you obtain that first job as this is the hardest part. Once you have an offer from a company and you’ve accepted, your new employer should apply to the Malaysian government for the correct pass (note that individuals cannot do this themselves). Your company will have to apply to one of the government’s six agencies depending on the core business of that company.


What pass do I apply for?

Employment Pass

This is the most common pass for those who have been offered an extended job contract of over 2 years with a Malaysian company, with an annual salary of RM 5000.

The Employment Pass is typically offered for skilled workers, professionals and those in management roles. The Expatriate Committee will have to confirm that an expatriate from another country can take the role over someone from Malaysia. In addition to required documents, terms and conditions of the Employment Pass, the official Malaysian immigration department’s website provides the following guidelines as for who can apply depending on their role or ‘post’:

Key Post

  • Top managerial post of a foreign-owned company operating in Malaysia

  • Responsible for looking after the company’s interests and investments

  • Responsible for determining the company’s policies and goals

Executive Post

  • Professional/middle managerial post

  • Required academic & working experience and practical skills related to the respective jobs

  • Responsible for implementing the company’s policies and supervision towards junior staff

Non-Executive Post

  • Highly skilled

  • Require working experience and technical skills related to the respective jobs


Temporary Employment Pass

This is normally available to those with a job where the contract is for less than two years or where the annual salary is less than RM 5000. For anyone involved in industries such as manufacturing, plantation, agriculture, services and construction, this option is available for up to 5 years maximum and for those aged 18-45. However there are some strict rules to abide by including who you can marry and changing jobs. Usually you will have to renew this each year which is a bit annoying but necessary.

Visit the Malaysian Government site to find out more about the Temporary Employment Pass, including documents to be provided, terms & conditions and more.


Visitor’s Pass (Professional)

The Visitor’s Pass is available to foreigners who have professional qualifications and skills who are either working for a foreign company or will only be in Malaysia for 12 months or less. This Pass would be for those working in specific field, including the following: 

  • Lecturer
  • Researcher
  • Technical Advisor
  • Maintenance Expert
  • External Auditor

The processing fee for a Visitor’s Pass (Professional) is RM90 per application.

Read more about the Visitor’s Pass (Professional) on the government’s official website.



One more thing... i-Pass

Expatriates working in Malaysia also have to obtain an i-Pass from a local immigration office to serve as identification while working in the country (though this can be obtained afterwards once you have your pass).



Feeling more comfortable about studying in Malaysia now that you know what it will take to remain in the country post-study? Study in Malaysia and browse courses in Malaysia now!



Read more:

‘Why study in Malaysia?’

'Applying for a student visa in Malaysia'

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About Author

Petrona towers Kuala Lumpur

Graduating from Sydney Uni in 2010, I love travelling, reading, running and music. I believe that everyone should get an education and also taste rocky road. Trust me, it's delicious.


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