Obtaining a Malaysian Visa for foreign entrepreneurs is incredibly easy if you know the exact application requirements and processes. Relin Consultants’ work visa experts have a long working relationship with the Malaysian Immigration Authority. The Malaysian government has a few types of Visa options for international entrepreneurs who want to reside in Malaysia while managing their international businesses.
What is Employment Visa (Malaysian EP)
The Malaysian Employment Visa will allow a foreign entrepreneur/business owner to reside in Malaysia by being employed by the Malaysian company he has set up. The employment pass issued by the authorities is usually subject to the employment contract for a period of up to 60 months. To qualify for the employment pass the company needs to meet certain requirements.
Key Requirements A Malaysian Company Has To Meet Before Qualifying To Apply For Work Visa –
Equity Paid-up Capital
- 100% Malaysian Owned RM250,000
- Joint venture (with foreigner owned 30%) RM350,000
- 100% Foreigner Owned RM500,000
(if a company is foreigner owned by more than 51% and above and operating it in the Wholesale and retail and trade industry. The Company has also to submit a valid WRT License during the application.)
Minimum Salaries Requirements of the Employee applying for the Employment Visa
- Employment Visa – Category 1 Monthly salary of at least RM 10,000, and the Employment contract has to be valid for at least 5 years.
- Employment Visa – Category 2 Monthly salary of at least RM 5,000, and the Employment contract has to be valid for at least 2 years.
- Employment Visa – Category 3 Monthly salary of at least RM 3,000, and the Employment contract has to be valid for at least 1 year.
Most of the foreign entrepreneurs investing in Malaysia will choose Category 1 as once the visa is secured, the individual can travel in and out of Malaysia for 5 years without restrictions.
Once a company has ensured that it meets the basic requirements as above and it qualifies for application. The Malaysian company has to apply to the expatriate committee (EC) and other relevant authorities to approve the hiring of foreigners as employees. The Employment pass will be tagged to the company which has applied for it and as such an employee cannot change employer by way of transfer.
Malaysia has also implemented restrictions on the number of foreign workers (employment pass) a Malaysian Company can employ. Also, the company will have to justify hiring the foreigner/employment pass application by proving to the authorities that a local hire could not fulfill the requirements.
Aside from the above Employment pass option, there are three types of options available to foreign investors wanting to enter the Malaysian business environment.
Malaysia Tech Entrepreneur Program (MTEP)
The MTEP program was launched in 2017 by MDEC and Malaysia Digital Hub (MDH) with the intention to facilitate Malaysia’s tech startup ecosystem by supplying work visa to Techpreneurs who wants to enter the ASEAN Market via Malaysia. Under the program, the government offered two types of Work Visas – Mainly Professional Visit Pass (PVP-MTE), which is valid for 1 Year, and Residence Pass (RP-MTE), which offers a validity of 5 years. The Visa will allow the new foreign entrepreneurs who run their tech businesses to reside in Malaysia without incorporating a Company.
To qualify under the MTEP program, a foreign investor must meet the following criteria.
- No previous criminal records.
- The foreigner is self-employed in a digital business idea with a strong digital proposition.
- The foreigner has at least a minimum of RM 50,000 in their personal bank account for at least the past 3 to 6 months from the date of application.
- The individual must also be sponsored by an organization registered under MDH or MaGIC. This ensures that the sponsoring organization can vouch for your presence in Malaysia. Relin Consultants and MDEC will be able to be your sponsoring organization if you are not able to find one.
- The individual also has to sign up with one of the MDH’s.
- If the foreign investor is an established individual (i.e, founder, co-founder, or Malaysian Venture Partner with minimum funds of RM 10 Mil and registered as a Venture Capital Management Corporation (VCMC) with the securities Commission Malaysia.
Country Manager Appointment through an Employer on Record (EoR)
This option is for those who are currently operating an established business in their Home Country or elsewhere in the world and wishes to enter Malaysia but not through immediate relocation. By employing a Country Manager through an Employer on Record.
This provides the foreign investor a foundation before officially expanding your business to Malaysia. Thereafter, once you are ready to enter the country, you may incorporate a company using your country manager as one of the directors and then apply for a formal employment visa as mentioned above.
Being employed under an Employer on Record (EoR)
Under this approach, you will be getting employed by an employer on Record as a country manager of your business. Once you have entered Malaysia and sorted it out, you can proceed to incorporate a company and appoint yourself as the company’s resident director. Once the company is operating for a few months and is in good standing, you may then proceed to apply for the employment pass.