There’s a growing interest in the “Tech in Asia” scene with the help of some interesting new startups coming out of Malaysia. A previously rural country with an absolutely beautiful landscape, Malaysia’s business friendly reputation has helped to turn it into a new Asian metropolis with growing opportunities for work. For those looking for a taste of the East with a tropical lifestyle and destinations, Malaysia is a perfect option.
Malaysia’s government has been increasingly supportive of businesses and startups over the last few years and, as a result, to doors are opening to foreign talents to help move business along. However, for unskilled work, it is still rather difficult to meet qualifications. It is best for skilled and highly skilled workers to look for jobs in Malaysia ahead of making any plans so your employer can help you through the process and vouch for your ability.
To live and work in Malaysia as a foreigner, you must get an Employment Pass:
To get an Employment Pass, you must have a contract with a Malaysian company secured before applying. Your Employment Pass will span your work contract for up to five years. You must be approved to fill a local position by the Expatriate Committee before being granted an employment pass. You can only work for the employer who you filed for your pass with but you are able to sponsor family members during your stay.
Here is the process for approval:
- Your company will set up (or already has) an account with the ESD.
- Use your employers account to login here and submit your application.
- You will detail your position (with the help of your employer) and submit all documents (detailed below).
- Submit and wait for approval. This usually takes 5 business days.
- Print your approval letter, pay fees, and have passport endorsed at ESD office.
Here is the documentation necessary:
- Your original employment contract
- A copy of your passport
- Two passport sized photos
- Your resume
- Immigration form DP11
- Copy of educational certificates
- Processing fee of about $12 in form of cheque
All of these documents are submitted online. The total processing time for a decision is 5 days, after that, it’s just a matter of getting your passport endorsed at an office and paying the fee!
For Highly Qualified Professionals: Entry Permit:
For those highly qualified professionals who are considered experts or highly educated in their field, there is an option to enter and live permanently in Malaysia with an Entry Permit.
There are three categories of professionals who can apply for this:
- Investors: Requires a $2 million investment in a Malaysian bank and one local sponsor.
- Experts: Any individual with “World Class” ability recognized by an international organization, requires recognition from a relevant agency in Malaysia, requires a certificate of good conduct from home country, and one Malaysia sponsor.
- Professionals: This is anyone with outstanding skill in their field, requires recognition from a relevant agency in Malaysia, requires a certificate of good conduct from home country, one Malaysia sponsor, and have work in any government agency or private company for at least three years in Malaysia.
To qualify there is a point system (minimum score of 65) based on these areas:
- Length of stay/contract
- Value of total investment
- Work experience
- Proficiency in local language
The process to apply:
- Submit application to Immigration Department of Malaysia in Malaysia
- Submit personalized cover letter
- Interview with Immigration Department
- Recommendation from Relevant Agency
The entire process for this permit but be taken care of in person in Malaysia so it is best to do this after your planned arrival and bring all necessary documentation with you.
For skilled work, those are the two best options for getting a visa for a long term stay in Malaysia. There are other more restricted options for unskilled work but you must be from a short list of other asian countries and they positions are limited to age and even sex. You can take a look here. If you’re Australian, you have a special deal as well. You can apply to travel and work here
For any other foreigners looking for a taste of international work and tropical weather, it is best to look for a job before beginning the visa process for an easy time getting residency. You can search for open positions with Malaysian companies willing to sponsor foreign talent here.