Malaysia – New Employment Pass Category (EPIII)

What has changed

Effective July 15, 2015, the Expatriate Services Division in Malaysia has announced the implementation of a new category of Employment Pass (EP) referred to as “EPIII”.

This Employment Pass has a lower monthly salary threshold of RM2,500 per month up to RM4,999 (approximately US$660-1320). The normal minimum salary under Expatriate Services Division (ESD)/ MYXpats Centre is 5000MYR per month.

Who is affected?
What to expect

  • Employment Pass applicants through the Expatriates Services Divisions’ MYXpats Centre

Applicants will qualify for the EPIII with a lower monthly salary threshold than that required for a standard employment pass. The duration of the EPIII must not exceed twelve (12) months and 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

Companies must obtain prior approval from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA) for an exemption from the minimum basic salary requirement of RM5,000 per month. This approval must be obtained before filing the EP application. The validity of the approval for exemption is based on the current year and approval must then be reviewed on a year to year basis.

Besides the approval from MOHA, companies are required to obtain the necessary approval/ support letter from regulatory or monitoring agencies for the respective industry sectors to support the EPIII application.

It is not necessary to nominate the EP III category when filing applications. The authorities will issue the EP according to the relevant category at the time of endorsement of the pass.

Some differences from the standard Employment Pass are:

  • EPIII holders are not allowed to bring dependents or support Long Term Social Visit Pass applications.
  • EPIII holders may also not sponsor foreign domestic household staff.
  • Renewal is available a maximum of twice and is subject to review of the above criteria.
  • EPIII category is only applicable to EP applications processed by the Expatriates Services Divisions’ MYXpats Centre. The implementation of the Category III does not affect EP categories processed by other authorities – such as  Multimedia Development Corporationfor Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) and ICT companies.

What you need to do
Planning ahead

  • Emigra Worldwide can assess feasibility of EPIII in a given circumstance as required.
  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide attorney or representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your client.

The information above was provided by Emigra Worldwide, our global network partners, and relevant government authorities. The information herein is for general purposes only and not intended as advice for a particular matter. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work.

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