Jobs in Malaysia for Foreigners

Malaysia is a developing country in the south-east Asia region. The country is on the fast track to becoming a developed country by 2020. The official currency used is Ringgit (RM/MYR). 1 US$ is equal to 4.15RM. It is a beautiful country and it blessed with the two extremes, urban & rural. Golden sandy beaches surround the country. And towards the interior mountains stand tall. The mountains are covered by carpets of paddy fields and tea plantation. But, as you approach cities like the capital, Kuala Lampur, you will see a different world!

The high mountain peaks are then replaced with sky high buildings. The hustle and bustle of the city will mesmerize you. Malaysia is home to the world-famous Petronas twin towers. You can experience the best of both worlds in Malaysia.

The country reaching to become a developed nation soon has created many job opportunities for foreigners. Malaysian companies look into foreign investment and workforce to help build their nation.

Following are the sectors that have plenty jobs for foreigners.

  • Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Plantation
  • Agriculture
  • Services

The best way to come to Malaysia is be sent by an international company to work at their Malaysian Branch. For an example, Unilevers PLC is a global company with branches worldwide. So, a Sri Lankan working for Unilevers in Sri Lanka can go to Unilevers branch in Malaysia through internal transfer. Or you may apply for jobs via company websites or through LinkedIn etc.

Foreigners may also choose to visit the country on a visit visa and later change it to an employment visa. We at S & F consulting have conducted a research to figuring out what areas create jobs for foreigners.

What we must assure you is that expat package Malaysia offers enables you to live a luxury life in the country. So, by getting a job in Malaysia, you are able to live while holidaying which is an added advantage.

Malaysia has a Critical Occasional List (OCL). It is a list that analyses skill shortages in the country. These areas create jobs in Malaysia. Following are top ten (2018-19):

  • Managing Director
  • Finance Manager
  • Human Resource Manager
  • Policy and Planning Manager
  • Business Service Manager
  • Sales and Marketing Manager
  • Manufacturing manager
  • Construction manager

When you have successfully achieved a job in Malaysia you will need a work permit. A work permit will enable you to come to the country to start. The company who hired you will process the visa for you. Below explained briefly is the process after you secure your job.

Work Permit

Expatriate workers must have a work permit to work in Malaysia. When you are accepted at a company, the company will file for work permit on behalf of you. It is best for you to arrive in Malaysia equipped with the work visa. Some may come on a tourist visa with the intention of finding a job. We advise you against it. Unless you are highly-skilled & experienced it will be a real struggle to find a job on arrival in Malaysia.

Following are the documents required for processing Work Permit.

  • An application or appointment letter from Company.
  • Acceptance letter or employment contract.
  • Visa application forms.
  • Letter of approval from Ministry of home affairs.
  • Original receipts of payment application.
  • Copy of your passport.
  • Passport size photographs.
  • Copies of your CV & qualifications.
  • A medical report approved by the Ministry of Health-Malaysia.

There are three main types of work permits:

  • Employment Pass
  • Temporary employment pass
  • Professional Visit Pass

Each of these passes poses their own requirements. Your eligibility depends on certain criteria.

Malay or Bahasa Melayu is the widely used language in the Country. But they have a good command of English as well. Although you do not need to be proficient in Malay, it will help you stand out in this highly competitive job market.

Salaries in Malaysia is low. But, if you are able to earn 8,000RM-10,000RM per month, you will be able to live a comfortable life in the country. The salary depends on your experience and educational qualifications.

We have discussed employment options from an employee’s point of view. Now let us delve into the company’s role in this process. Employers have many rules and regulations to follow when recruiting a foreigner.

Employers first will apply for a VDR or a Visa with reference from the Immigration Department before employing an individual.

VDR CHECKLIST: (before arrival)

  • VDR application form
  • Approval letter from Home Ministry (Quota Approval)
  • Original payment of levy
  • IM.12 & IM.13 forms
  • Security Bond – deposits/insurance guarantee/ bank guarantee

(Insurance guarantee must have 18 months validity)

  • Copy of foreign workers passport
  • Latest photo of the worker (passport size)
  • Medical Certificated (3 months validity)
  • Foreign worker compensation scheme (insurance)
  • Insurance policy of health insurance protection scheme foreign workers (SPIKPA)
  • During the VDR process, expatriate workers should stay in their countries. Once approved workers can arrive in Malaysia.

Post arrival of foreign worker;

Employers have to make sure the clearance at the entry points is done within 24 hours of arrival. The employees must pass the medical examination (FORMEMA) within 30 days. Then they will receive a visitor pass which is a temporary document. This is also called VP(TE).

VP(TE) – Visit Pass (Temporary Pass)

VP is valid for 12 months. The company may apply for an extension 3 months before expiry date.

Foreign workers can live in Malaysia for up to 10 years. Their contract is renewable annually. Upon completion of employment period, employers must deport them accordingly.

Foreign workers with VP(TE) need to adhere with the following:

  • Family members cannot accompany or live in Malaysia
  • They should not be front liners
  • Change of employers or employment is prohibited
  • Marriage with a local or foreigner is un acceptable.

It may seem there is a long process in migrating to Malaysia for employment. But we at S & F CONSULTING are here to help you out by simplifying the process. Our team of experts will help you through with necessary documentation & advise. Please do feel free to contact us with your queries.

Related Article:

Applying for a Visa to Malaysia

Apply for an investor visa in Malaysia

Malaysian Business Visa Requirements & Fees

Malaysia Entry Visa Requirements With Documents

How to check Malaysian visa status – Easily check in online


Company Registration Expert Since 2012