Work Permit Malaysia Process Guide For Expatriate via Expatriate Service Department

Employer Jan 04, 2021

See this article in Malay Language.

Looking forward to hire an Expatriate talent but unsure of the method and process?

Did you know that there are other methods to apply for Employment Pass in Malaysia apart from MDEC (Expats Service Centre).

In this article, we will go through Employment Pass Application's Process via ESD (Expatriate Service Division, Immigration Department of Malaysia).  


Steps 1-2 is for  a new company which did not register yet with ESD. For company that already have ESD account, can start from step 3 process.

Step 1: Company Registration

An employer has to comply with criteria listed below in order to register with ESD:

a. Company must be REGISTERED with either:

i. The Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) under Companies Act 1965

ii. The Registry of Societies Malaysia (ROS) under the Organization Act 1966

iii. Firms incorporated under specific acts. E.g. Law firms and Accounting firm

iv. Organizations supported by Ministries / Government Agencies

v. International organisation certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

b. Eligibility Criteria.

 ESD 1
Source: ESD

i. For joint venture companies, a minimum of 30% foreign shareholding is required.

ii. According to Guidelines on Foreign Participation by the Distributive Trade Services Malaysia, foreign involvement is restricted as listed by ESD.  Therefore, applications for any long-term pass (more than 3 months) including Employment Pass for companies in these sectors is NOT ALLOWED.

iii. ICT sector is only allowed to apply for Professional Visit Pass (PVP).

iv. For Professional Visit Pass (PVP) only, employer is still required to comply with the paid up capital requirement for company registration.

For registration process, eligible employer will undergo:

i. Create account - create an ESD Web.

ii. Application submission -  prepare documents and company projection (based on the number of expatriates application) including existing expatriates for renewals or new hiring.

iii. Clearance - ESD Admin will verify and validate the document.

iv. Notification -  Employer will be informed on application status (Approval/Rejection).

Step 2: Company Activation

For company activation, employer will undergo:

i. Appointment - Schedule appointment via ESD online system.

ii. Letter of Undertaking(LOU) print out.

iii. LOU Submission - Company director need to be presented at the schedule appointment.

iv. LOU signing.

For cases of:

i. Numbers under the projection has been fully utilised, employer may request for new projection with appropriate reasoning.  

ii. If the applied position is not in system's data, employer need to submit a position request.

For note, Employment Pass is categorised per type and salary base.


In addition, for Regulated and Unregulated Sector company:

i. For Regulated Sector, submission for approval letter for each Employment Pass (Category I/III/III) application from the relevant Regulated Approving Agency is required.

ii. For Unregulated Sector, Employment Pass (Category I/III/III) application will be assessed and decision is subjected to approval by the Expatriate Committee.

Step 3: Expatriate Application on MYXpats

From this stage, employer will undergo:

i. Create application

ii.  Submit application

iii. Document verification and validation

iv. Notification-  Expatriate application is either APPROVED  or REJECTED.


Based on  new regulation of expatriate hiring, employers need to adhere to the new regulations before applying for Employment Pass:


For  reference, there are several types of Pass for Employer to apply base on company's necessity.



i. Employment Pass Category III holders whose pass have been renewed for (2) times or (3) years in a row MUST leave the country and serve (3) months cooling off period before applying for Employment Pass Category III again.

Exemption is only given for cases of Employment Pass Category III converting to Employment Pass Category I /II.

ii. Employment Pass Category III holders who are changing employers MUST leave the country and serve (3) months cooling off period before applying for Employment Pass Category III with different employer.

iii. Visit Pass (Temporary Employment) holders who wanted to convert to Employment Pass (all categories) MUST leave the country and serve (3) months cooling off period before applying for Employment Pass (all categories).

For full details of required documents, refer ESD Guide Book.

Step 4: Passport Endorsement

Upon approval, employer will undergo:

i. Print Approval Letter

ii. Entry - Expatriate need to enter within (30) days from date to endorse the EP sticker as normal procedure. HOWEVER, as for Entry during COVID-19 period, EMPLOYER need to refer  ESD update news.

iii. Walk-in to the MYXpats Centre and submit the relevant documents for endorsement of related pass sticker on the passport.

iv. Payment of Immigration fees at MYXpats counter.

v. Endorsement - Documents including  Original passport/Copy of approval letter /Payment Receipt/DP11/DP11A Form with original company stamp/details of the appointed Endorser as per the Letter of Undertaking (LOU) signatory.

vi. Passport collection after (3) working days.


There is a possibility of procedure changes by the Immigration Department of Malaysia along the way.

Source: ESD

How to get the latest HR News & Updates?

We Seekers have been developing a free tool called SRS (Seekers Recruitment System), which you can receive latest HR News on the dashboard.


Some of the key features of Seekers SRS:

  • Free Job Posting (permanently)
  • Candidate database access (Free 1 month access to Scout function )
  • Freelance Recruiter Boost (20,000 recruiters in Malaysia will hunt a talent for you)
  • ATS (Application Tracking System)
  • Company Introduction Builder

We hope our information helps, and SRS will assist in your future HR duties!


Seekers will empower hiring companies with free job posting platform combined with Google for Jobs SEO, Automated Screening, Performance Analytics, and Headhunting with Recruiters.

Great! You've successfully subscribed.
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.