Visas and Immigration Guide

13 August 2015

With an incredible diversity of holiday destinations, a thriving economy and relatively low costs of living (including transportation, food and accommodation), it’s no wonder that Malaysia is the 10th most visited country in the world.

Obtaining a visa to this beautiful nation is straightforward and, for many countries, not required for a period of up to 90 days.

The following is intended to be a brief but informative guide to the different visas and permits required to enter Malaysia. However, do contact the Immigration Department of Malaysia for more information and further inquiries.

Tourist Visa

A tourist visa may be obtained for leisure travel within Malaysia for maximum of 90 days.

Find out your visitor visa requirements for Malaysia.

Business Visa

A Malaysian business visa allows foreigners to practice short-term commerce in the country. To obtain a business visa, travel insurance and business references such as a letter from employer, are required.

Visitors may also apply for this visa to enter Malaysia on business trips, except when the trip involves the provision of technical assistance services of any nature.

Find out your business visa requirements for Malaysia.

Work Permit

Malaysian companies may only hire foreign employees if they can prove that locals are unable to meet their requirements, except in the case of strategic job positions such as management or finance.

Upon receiving a job offer from a company in Malaysia, the employer will typically file a permit application with the local government on your behalf.

However, to be eligible for a work permit, you must be at least 27 years of age and earn a minimum of RM5000 per month. If your contracted salary exceeds RM8000 a month, your work permit application will instantly approved and immigration guarantees that you will have your work permit within a week. Highly-skilled expatriates may also apply for a special 10 year visa that is tied to the actual individual, instead of the company hiring the expatriate.

With a work permit, you may open a bank account in Malaysia, and even obtain a mortgage. Expatriates pay taxes in either their home country or in Malaysia during employment; in most cases Malaysia has an agreement with countries to avoid double taxation. The highest income tax bracket in Malaysia is 26%.

Dependent Pass

A Malaysian work permit holder may apply for a dependant pass to bring spouse and children to Malaysia. A dependent pass will be valid for as long as the principal’s employment pass remains valid.

Student Pass

The procedure for the application of a student pass is simple. The Malaysian institution of higher education from which you have obtained an offer will apply for the pass on your behalf prior to your arrival in Malaysia. Prospective students will be informed of their application status by the Immigration Department in Malaysia through their educational institutions within an estimated 7 to 14 days of the date of application.

A prospective international student must have an approved student pass before entering the country.



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