Temporary Passes in Malaysia: What Foreign Workers Need to Know

Malaysia’s dynamic economy and strategic location make it an attractive destination for foreign workers. For those looking to take up temporary employment, understanding the various temporary passes available is crucial. This comprehensive guide will provide you with everything you need to know about temporary passes in Malaysia, ensuring you are well-prepared to navigate the application process and secure your position.

Types of Temporary Passes

Temporary Employment Pass (TEP)

The Temporary Employment Pass (TEP) is designed for semi-skilled and unskilled foreign workers in various sectors such as manufacturing, construction, agriculture, and services.

Key Features:

  • Validity: Up to 12 months, renewable.
  • Salary Threshold: Typically for positions with salaries below RM 5,000 per month.
  • Sector-Specific: Mainly for sectors facing labor shortages.

Professional Visit Pass (PVP)

The employment pass in Malaysia is for foreign professionals providing short-term services or undergoing training in Malaysia. It is suitable for consultants, trainers, technical experts, and researchers.

Key Features:

  • Validity: Up to 12 months.
  • Scope: For providing professional services, training, or participating in research.

Eligibility Requirements

General Eligibility

Regardless of the type of temporary pass, the following general eligibility criteria must be met:

  • Job Offer: You must have a confirmed job offer or service agreement from a Malaysian company.
  • Relevant Qualifications: Possess the necessary qualifications, skills, and experience for the job.
  • Employer Compliance: Your employer must comply with Malaysian labor laws and regulations.

Specific Requirements for TEP

For the Temporary Employment Pass, additional sector-specific requirements may apply:

  • Labor Market Test: Employers may need to demonstrate that there are no suitable local candidates available.
  • Quota Approval: Employers must obtain quota approval for hiring foreign workers from the relevant authorities.

Specific Requirements for PVP

For the Professional Visit Pass, the following additional requirements apply:

  • Service Agreement: A formal service agreement or invitation letter from the Malaysian host company.
  • Professional Credentials: Proof of professional credentials and expertise in the relevant field.

Required Documentation

Common Documents

Regardless of the type of temporary pass, you will typically need the following documents:

  • Passport: Valid for at least six months beyond the intended stay.
  • Photographs: Passport-sized photographs as specified by the immigration authorities.
  • Employment Contract or Service Agreement: Signed by both you and your employer.
  • Educational and Professional Certificates: Copies of your qualifications and credentials.
  • Resume/CV: Detailing your work experience and skills.

Additional Documents for TEP

For the Temporary Employment Pass, additional documents may include:

  • Quota Approval Letter: Proof of quota approval from the relevant authorities.
  • Labor Market Test Results: Evidence of efforts to hire local candidates.

Additional Documents for PVP

For the Professional Visit Pass, additional documents may include:

  • Invitation Letter: From the Malaysian host company detailing the nature of the visit.
  • Professional Credentials: Proof of professional qualifications and expertise.

Application Process

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Secure Job Offer or Service Agreement: Obtain a confirmed job offer or service agreement from a Malaysian employer or host company.
  2. Prepare Documentation: Gather all required documents as per the type of temporary pass.
  3. Employer Submission: The employer submits the application and required documents to the relevant Malaysian authorities.
  4. Processing: The application is reviewed, which may take several weeks. Additional information or documents may be requested.
  5. Visa Approval Letter (VAL): If approved, a Visa Approval Letter (VAL) is issued.
  6. Obtain Entry Visa: Present the VAL to the Malaysian consulate or embassy in your home country to obtain an entry visa.
  7. Arrive in Malaysia: Upon arrival, present the VAL to the immigration authorities.
  8. Medical Examination: Undergo a medical examination at a registered clinic in Malaysia if required.
  9. Pass Endorsement: Visit the Immigration Department to have your passport endorsed with the temporary pass.

Tips for a Successful Application

Complete and Accurate Documentation

Ensure all information and documentation are complete and accurate. Incomplete or incorrect applications can lead to delays or rejections.

Regular Follow-Up

Stay in regular contact with your employer and follow up on the status of your application. Promptly provide any additional information or documents requested.

Understand the Terms and Conditions

Be aware of the terms and conditions of your temporary pass, including its validity period and any restrictions. Ensure timely renewal if you intend to continue working in Malaysia.

Seek Professional Assistance

If the process seems complex or challenging, consider seeking assistance from an immigration consultant or lawyer. They can provide valuable guidance and help ensure a smooth application process.

Common Challenges and Solutions

Delays in Processing

Solution: Ensure all documentation is complete and accurate to avoid delays. Regular follow-up with your employer and the relevant authorities can also help expedite the process.

Compliance with Quota and Labor Market Tests

Solution: Employers should be proactive in obtaining quota approvals and conducting labor market tests. Providing detailed evidence of these efforts can support the application.

Medical Examination Requirements

Solution: Undergo the required medical examination promptly after arrival and ensure you use a registered clinic to avoid any issues.


Navigating the temporary pass system in Malaysia involves understanding the different types of passes, meeting eligibility requirements, and following a detailed application process. By preparing thoroughly and following the steps outlined in this guide, you can enhance your chances of a successful application. Whether you are applying for a Temporary Employment Pass or a Professional Visit Pass, securing the right temporary pass is essential for a rewarding work experience in Malaysia. Start preparing your application today and take the first step towards your new career opportunity in this vibrant and dynamic country.

Leave a Comment