Policies and Guidelines for Hiring Foreign Workers in Malaysia

Policies and Guidelines for Hiring Foreign Workers in Malaysia

Are you thinking of hiring foreign workers in Malaysia for your company but are concerned about lengthy and complicated processes? We are here to make the process seamless for you. Placed here under are the policies and guidelines for hiring foreign workers in Malaysia. This will provide clarity and transparency about the processes of hiring or legalizing foreign workers in Malaysia.

Types of the work permit issued by the Malaysian government 

The kind of work permit the government issues is determined by the level of expertise of the foreign applicant and the number of open positions in that industry. The work permit issued by the Malaysian government is usually of three types. 

  • Employment pass;
  • Temporary employment pass; and
  • Professional visit pass.

The relevant government organizations, such as the Ministry of Manpower, must access the applications of foreign workers who desire to work for a company within Malaysia. The employer who is sponsoring the worker must also coordinate with the authorities to guarantee that admission is permitted.

Read more about: Requirements to hire foreign workers in Malaysia

Nationalities permitted to work in Malaysia

Policies and Guidelines for Hiring Foreign Workers in Malaysia

The nationalities allowed to work in Malaysia are:

  • Indonesia
  • Thailand
  • Cambodia
  • Nepal
  • Laos
  • Vietnam
  • The Philippines (to estates in Sabah only)
  • Pakistan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uzbekistan
  • Kazakhstan
  • India
  • Bangladesh

Only male Filipino workers are allowed to work in Malaysia. Indian workers are allowed to work in all sectors except for the manufacturing sector. Male Indonesian workers are allowed to work in all sectors except the manufacturing sector.

Age criteria

The individual must be 18 to 45 years old at the time of submission of the application. 

Required Certification

1. Foreign workers must be certified under the PASS Immigration and Security Clearance (ISC) before visa issuance at the Malaysian embassy in the applicant’s country. 

2. Foreign workers must be certified as fit and healthy by approved medical centers in the applicant’s country. 

Individuals prohibited to enter Malaysia

Following are the individuals who are not allowed to enter Malaysia:

  • Suffering from an infectious or contagious disease, or having a mental illness
  • Unable to demonstrate that he can support himself and his family, has a stable job, or won’t become a pauper. 
  • Stray or habitual beggars;
  • Refuse to submit for a medical exam;
  • Either has a criminal record or has some connection to one. 
  • Those who live as prostitutes or those who benefit financially from prostitution. 
  • Attempts to bring in individuals for prostitution in Malaysia or other immoral purposes, such as prostitution. 
  • Any written legislation deems entry into Malaysia unlawful. 
  • An individual who promotes violence, subverts the government and its public representatives, or instructs and promotes property destruction.
  • Family and dependants of the prohibited individuals. 
  • Those who Do not possess valid travel documents. 
  • Any individuals who are affiliated with or is a members of any organization advocating the above principles/ belief. 
  • Deemed to be undesirable by the Minister.
  • Considered undesirable by the Director-General as a result of repatriation of the individuals by the individuals’ country. 
  • Those individuals whose Pass or permit has been canceled by the Director-General.

Business visas

Policies and Guidelines for Hiring Foreign Workers in Malaysia
  • Malaysia does not issue business visas, so those individuals traveling for business purposes can do so through a tourist visa.
  • To apply for a tourist visa, the applicant must show proof of having sufficient funds while his stay in Malaysia and must possess a valid return ticket.

The procedure for hiring foreign workers in Malaysia

  1. Employers should Obtain a quota of foreign workers from the Ministry of Home Affairs, One Stop Centre (OSC).
  2. Obtain the individual ISC results from the ISC results of the applicant’s country. 
  3. Employers must apply to the Immigration Department for a Visa with Reference (VDR) approval before employing foreign workers. Application forms for VDR can be submitted either at the Immigration counters or online via the e-Services system.
  4. Foreign workers can enter Malaysia via authorized entry points using an issued VDR by the immigration office and an entry visa issued by the Malaysian Attaches Offices in their respective countries.
  5. Upon arrival, the employer has 24 hours to complete the clearance process for their foreign worker. 
  6. Apply for a Visit Pass (Temporary Employment)[VP(TE)]. VP(TE) will only be issued once the individual obtains a medical certificate (FOMEMA) from a certified clinic/ hospital. It must be done within 30 days of entering Malaysia. Failure to do so will bar the individual from staying and working in Malaysia.

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