Updated: Jul 24
An Employment Pass (EP) is a work permit that enables expatriates to work in organizations in Malaysia. The pass is governed by a contract of employment (maximum 60 months). Before the Immigration Department of Malaysia can issue an Employment Pass for foreigners, the Expatriate Commission (EC) or the relevant authority must approve foreign talents to fill the job vacancies.
Prior Approval from JTKSM
Employers are required to obtain prior approval from the JTKSM before employing foreign workers.
Approval from JTKSM is a must to all categories of foreign workers including expatriate.
How to apply a JTKSM approval
Application must be made by company director or employer’ representative (workers of the company).
JTKSM approval for expatriate category must be submitted through ePPAx System through link www.eppax.gov.my. Employer must create user ID and fill in all information needed in the system.
Employer must select menu Foreign Worker New Application (Permohonan Baharu Pekerja Bukan Warganegara) > Expatriate Application (Permohonan Pegawai Dagang).
How JTKSM will notify the employers regarding application status
● Notification to the employers will be sent through ePPAx system to the company registered email.
● Employer also can check application progress and status at system dashboard.
Once the application is approved, an email notification will be sent to the employer (registered email) through ePPAx system. That email notification is the prior approval from JTKSM. This notification email is one of the required documents as stated in Approving Agencies/Regulatory Bodies checklists.
The validity period of JTKSM approval is six (6) months starting from issuance date (email date).
Processing time for JTKSM to issue a decision
The application will be processed within five (5) working days.
Within 14 days from the date of employment, employer must submit details and information regarding expatriate to nearest JTKSM through Borang PA 1/13 that can be downloaded from jtksm.mohr.gov.my.
ESD allows companies to submit expatriate-related work permit applications through an integrated data platform.
Before You Submit
Step 1: Create an ESD account.
Step 2: Fill in all required information and upload all required documents.
Step 3: Submit your application. If further information is required, Immigration will notify you.
Step 4: Wait for application status. The status will be communicated to the company through the system.
Sep 5: If approved, complete the Letter of Understanding and print the document.
Step 6: Make an appointment with ESD to complete the registration process to gain full access to the ESD website.
Step 7: Online submission of expatriate application via ESD.
Step 8: Application status will be notified to the company through the system.
ESD Company Registration
About the Expatriate Services Division (ESD)
The Expatriate Services Division (ESD) under the Immigration Department of Malaysia is a one-stop center that facilitates company registration in a customer-centric manner.
The Expatriate Services Division (ESD) enables companies to submit expatriate-related immigration information online to facilitate the application process involving the registration and approval of companies wishing to employ expatriates.
Types of Services Provided by ESD
ESD provides registration services for companies wishing to hire qualified expatriates. In addition, ESD facilitates expatriate related passes at embassies and any temporary manual applications. As a first step, all companies need to register with the ESD.
Through ESD's Malaysia Expatriate Talent Service Center (MYXpats Centre), ESD-approved companies can apply for a range of expatriate passes, which include: Employment Pass, Talent Residence Pass, Professional Visit Pass and related passes such as Dependent Pass Visa, Long Term Social Visit Pass or Visit Pass (Temporary Employment) - Foreign Maid.
Companies have to register via the ESD’s online system. Companies need to obtain approval through ESD before applying for expatriate passes.
Eligibility for Companies to Register with the ESD
Before you apply, check if the company is eligible to apply for Employment Pass for foreigners.
Before a company can be ESD registered, two requirements need to be met. Requirements are detailed below.
1. The company must be registered with:
a. Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) under the Companies Act 1965; or
b. Registry of Societies of Malaysia under the Organisation Act 1966; or
c. Associations/cooperatives registered under Malaysian law.
2. Paid-up Capital of the Company
100% Locally Owned
Joint Venture (minimum foreign equity 30%)
100% Foreign Owned
Foreign-owned Companies operating Wholesale, Retail and Trading (WRT) (License is mandatory).
Not applicable to companies limited by guarantee and associations / organizations under Malaysian law.
How to Register for Company Registration Online
Applications can be made through the ESD website. Before proceeding with your registration, please ensure you have all of the following required documents:
1. Copy of MyKad (Malaysia Identity Card) or Passport of all directors of the company.
2. Company Profile
3. A copy of the company phone bill
4. Tenancy agreement/sale and purchase agreement (S&P)
5. e-SSM printout
6. SSM Form 9
7. SSM Form 24
8. SSM Form 49
9. The latest financial report
10. Copy of Local Authority License – Lesen Pihak Berkuasa Tempatan (PBT) (if applicable)
11. Other business license (WRT, CIDB, other SSM form or any other supporting documents)
The company registration process is as follows:
Step 1: Create an account (online registration)
Step 2: Submit your application online
Step 3: The application being processed by an immigration officer
Step 4: Status notification
Step 5: Company activation
After your company is successfully registered, the company can log on to the ESD website and start submitting applications to hire foreign employees.
ESD Company Activation
The director of the company must sign the Letter of Undertaking (LoU) to ensure that he accepts responsibility for all transactions of the company. This will also protect the interests of the company. Also, it is crucial that the company designates suitable personnel to access and manage the company account under the MYXpats Centre system. This is done only once and the entire process takes no more than 10 minutes based on an appointment scheduled online through ESD.
A company director must be present to submit the LoU. No one else can submit the LoU on behalf of your director. Corporate activation will not take longer than 10 minutes.
Submission of Expatriate Talent Projections
A company must submit a projection for expatriate talent requirements to the ESD. This is to ensure that the company's planning and estimation of foreign talent is based on realistic estimates derived from the company's annual business plan and/or project requirements.
All employment pass applications for expatriates will be assessed on an individual basis, based on the merits of each application submitted.
Location of ESD
The Expatriate Services Division (ESD) is located at the Immigration Department of Malaysia, Level 3 (Podium), No.15 Persiaran Perdana, Presint 2, 62550 Putrajaya.
The ESD is open from Monday to Friday at 8:30am to 4:30pm.
About MYXpats Center
The Malaysia Expatriate Talent Service Center (MYXpats Centre) provides Employment Pass and related pass services to employers and expatriates. It processes and issues Employment Passes and related passes to qualified expatriates wishing to work in Malaysia.
It is a joint initiative of Talent Corporation Malaysia (TalentCorp) and the Immigration Department of Malaysia, overseen by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Services Offered at MYXpats Center
Companies already registered with the Expatriate Service Division (ESD) can use the MYXpats Center to:
• Apply for relevant passes for their expatriate employees
• Seek assistance with the document submission process
• Collect approved immigration passes
How to Apply for Expatriate Employment Pass
Foreign nationals are not allowed to apply for their own immigration pass. The application must be completed by the company intending to hire the expatriate.
First, companies need to be registered with ESD before they can apply for an expatriate Employment Pass or other expatriate-related immigration pass. These passes can be applied for online.
Go to the ESD website, log in through the company's ESD account, and submit an expatriate application.
The checklist on documents needed to complete and where to obtain them is available in the ESD Online Guidebook.
After submitting the application, companies are not required to submit a hardcopy of the uploaded documents unless the MYXpats Center requests to see the original documents.
Duration of Pass
Up to 60 months, depending on employment contract and EC's discretion. The pass is only valid in Peninsular Malaysia
Only Employment Pass holders with salary exceeding RM5,000 are eligible to apply
1. Employment Pass holders can apply for Dependent Passes for the following family members:
- Children (under 18 years old)
- Legally adopted children (under the age of 18)
Foreign applicants can submit applications for dependant pass together with the application.
Applicants can also add dependents later, once the principal's application has been approved.
2. Employment pass holders can apply for long-term social visit passes for the following family members:
- Children (over 18 years old)
- Legally adopted children (over 18 years old)
3. Employment pass holders can apply for social visit (temporary employment) for foreign domestic helpers
Applying for Visa with Reference
If the applicant is abroad, he can apply for a Visa with Reference at the same time as the application submission.
You will be notified if the application has been approved or rejected through the system . If approved, an approval letter will also be issued and can be printed directly from the system.
How will Visa with Reference be Issued
There are two ways for a Visa with Reference to be issued:
• You can get it by showing your approval letter at the MYXpats Center counter.
• Visa with Reference will also be available through the system soon.
Location of MYXpats Centre
The MYXpats Centre is located at:
Level 16, Surian Tower No 1 Jalan PJU 7/3 Mutiara Damansara 47810 Petaling Jaya Selangor Darul Ehsan
MYXpats Centre’s operating hours are from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm from Mondays to Fridays.
After all required documents are submitted in order, it takes fourteen (14) business days to complete the process of having company registered.
It takes 5-10 business days to process expatriate projection submissions for a company.
All applications for an Employment Pass will be processed within five (5) business days after submission of all required documents.
It takes 5-10 business days to process submissions for a new position request application from a company
MYXpats Centre Application Charges
Connect with Us
We are are ready to assist you at Bestar. You may contact us to seek clarification on any related matter pertaining to expatriate passes, or for more information on the ESD.
Click here to find out how to apply for Dependant Pass, Long-term Social Visit Pass or Social Visit (Temporary Employment) – Foreign Maid