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MALAYSIA – New Employment Pass Category (EP III) Announced

The Expatriate Services Division (ESD) in Malaysia has announced the implementation of a new category of employment pass (EP), to take effect from 15 July 2015.

The new category, to be known as EPIII, is only applicable for EP applications processed by the ESD, and allows work on a monthly salary of less than the standard minimum of RM5000.00.

EPIII Criteria

  • The basic monthly salary is between RM2500.00 and RM4999.00;
  • The duration of the assignment must not exceed 12 months;
  • The EPIII category is permitted for industries which fall within the National Key Economic Areas (NKEA):
    • Agriculture
    • Business services
    • Communication content and infrastructure
    • Electronics and electrical
    • Education
    • Financial services
    • Greater Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley
    • Healthcare
    • Oil, gas and energy
    • Palm oil
    • Tourism
    • Wholesale and retail;
  • Before submitting the application, companies are required to obtain prior approval from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA) for exemption from the minimum basic salary requirement of RM5000 per month;
  • The validity of the approval for exemption is based on the current year, and approval will be reviewed on a year to year basis;
  • Besides the approval from MOHA, companies are required to obtain the necessary approval/support letter from the regulatory or monitoring agencies for the respective industry sectors to support the EP application;
  • Visa required nationals must enter the country on a reference visa, rather than convert post arrival to a journey-performed (JP) visa;
  • EPIII applicants cannot obtain dependent immigration status for their family members;
  • Renewal is subject to review, up to a maximum of two times.

How to Apply

Applicants are not required to indicate their preferred category on the employment pass application form. The authorities will issue the EP according to the relevant category at the time of endorsement of the pass.

Action Items

  • Applicants intending to work in Malaysia for longer than three years (with two renewals), convert to a Journey-Performed Visa post arrival, or take their family members as dependents, must be paid a basic salary of at least RM5000.00 per month.
  • Applicants with a basic salary of less than the minimum RM5000.00 per month must obtain approval from the Ministry of Home Affairs and can only be granted an EPIII employment pass.

This news alert was prepared using information provided by Rabin & Associates.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2017 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.