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Immigration Laws and Practices in Malaysia

It is essential that investors/businessmen in Malaysia know the immigration laws and practices especially in areas of employment/professional and other visit passes. If further information or explanation is required, enquiries may be made to the IMMIGRATION DEPARTMENT OF MALAYSIA (IDM)or you can contact us


Foreigners entering Malaysia must possess valid passports. The passports must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of entry into Malaysia.

Citizens from countries which are not recognized by Malaysia must apply for an entry document from the Malaysian Commission abroad, in lieu of a passport and visa.

All applications, other than applications for entry for the purpose of tourism, social or business visits, must be made prior to arrival in the country. Such applications must have relevant sponsorship in Malaysia. The sponsor(s) must undertake the responsibilities of maintenance and repatriation of the applicants, from Malaysia, if it should become necessary.

Social/tourist visit pass does not permit the holder to take up employment, business or professional work in Malaysia.

The business visit pass allows foreign investors to enter the country for business negotiations, or inspection of business houses only (and cannot be used for employment purposes, or for supervising the construction of a factory, or installation of new machinery.

Other passes are:

Foreign companies are encouraged to bring in the necessary technical expertise in areas where there are no such trained Malaysians who can undertake the job. Certain key posts may also be permanently filled by foreigners to safeguard their interests as well as to provide the required personnel where there is a shortage of trained Malaysia.

Applications for such posts can either be submitted to the MALAYSIA INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (MIDA) at the time the company apply for its industrial project, or at a later stage.

If a foreigner invested a minimum prescribed paid-up capital in new investments, the company will be automatically allowed five expatriate posts including key posts.



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