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The Malaysian government only allows foreigners to work in the country if they successfully acquire authorization to work. The Malaysia Professional Visit Pass is one of those government-issued work permits for foreign nationals.

The Malaysia professional visit pass has different circumstances from the other types of Malaysian work permits. A Malaysian company or organization does not actually hire professional visit pass holders. In other words, professional visitors are paid by one company for a short time in exchange for the services they provide to a company in Malaysia.

In Malaysia, the Immigration Department is responsible for issuing Professional Visit Passes, but they will work with relevant authority bodies to decide whether the application has merit. Applicants need a sponsor to submit the application on their behalf in Malaysia.

Who is Eligible to Get a Malaysian Professional Visit Pass?

Foreign nationals who fall under one of the categories below are eligible to work in Malaysia with a Malaysian Professional Visit Pass:

  • Foreign artists. These artists primarily work in films and performances, such as:
    • Stage artists (singing, music, dance, theatre, acrobatics, circus, etc.)
    • Filming (for example, filming a movie in Malaysia but for a foreign company)
    • Producing (filming)
    • Performance (in hotels, cultural centers, stadiums, etc.)
    • Experts in arts management and screen-related arts.
  • Islamic missionaries, such as:
    • Islamic teachers
    • Al-Quran teachers
    • Arabic teachers
  • Other religious workers, such as:
    • Gurukkal
    • Granthi
    • Priest
    • Guru Dharma
    • Religious musicians and sculptors
  • Students from around the world attend religious courses at the Malaysia Bible Seminary.
  • Government officials traveling to Malaysia for official purposes, such as:
    • Government to a government program.
    • Governmental purposes.
  • Horse riding experts
  • International volunteers
  • A student on an international mobility program or undergoing an industrial training program

Who Needs a Malaysia Visa With Reference for Employment?

Almost all foreign nationals have to obtain a Malaysia visa reference to get employed. However, nationals of the following countries do not need to apply for an entry visa at a Malaysian embassy or consulate in their country:

Antigua and BarbudaAustraliaBahamasBarbadosBelize
BotswanaBruneiCanadaCyprusDominica
FijiThe GambiaGrenadaGuinea RepublicGuyana
IrelandJamaicaKenyaKiribatiLesotho
LiechtensteinMalawiMaldivesMauritiusNamibia
NauruNetherlandsNew ZealandPapua New GuineaSaint Kitts and Nevis
Saint LuciaSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSeychelles
SingaporeSolomon IslandsSouth AfricaSwazilandSwitzerland
TanzaniaTongaTrinidad and TobagoTuvaluUnited Kingdom
VanuatuWestern SamoaZaireZambiaZimbabwe

How Can I Apply for a Malaysia Professional Visit Pass?

Every applicant must have a sponsor, such as a company or institution where they will be working or training. This sponsor should apply for a Professional Visit Pass on their behalf. The sponsor is responsible for submitting the application before the visa applicants arrive in Malaysia.

In addition, the sponsor must pay a visit to a Malaysian Federal Government Administrative Centre, such as the Ministry of Home Affairs or the Immigration Department, and submit a Professional Visit Pass application in Putrajaya.

Note: To work in the film and performance industry, the sponsor must submit a visa application to PUSPAL, the Central Agency for Filming and Performance by Foreign Artists. PUSPAL, in contribution to the Immigration Department, issues approvals. A letter of approval from FINAS (National Film Development Corporation Malaysia) is also required for applicants in the filming industry.

Applying for the Malaysia Visa With Reference

Nationals of certain countries require Malaysian visas with reference to enter the country. To obtain a Malaysia visa with reference, foreign applicants have to apply at a Malaysian embassy or consulate.

Once the Malaysia Professional Visit Pass is approved, you can apply for the Visa With Reference for employment purposes.

There are also certain countries whose nationals do not need an entry visa from a Malaysian embassy or consulate. The Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration Department allows these nationals to travel to Malaysia without a visa.

After arriving in Malaysia

Upon arrival in Malaysia, applicants must go to the Ministry of Home Affairs and then to the Immigration Department. At the department, they can receive the sticker for a Malaysia Professional Visit Pass on their passport. This sticker is legal proof showing that the applicant can work and live in Malaysia.

What are the Required Documents for a Malaysia Professional Visit Pass application?

The needed documents for a Professional Visit Pass can vary based on the applicant’s occupation. However, here is a list of general documents that are required:

  • A copy of the applicant’s passport (all pages).
  • Applicant’s picture (must be passport-sized)
  • IMM.12 and IMM.38 application forms for a Malaysian visa.
  • Letter of offer from the sponsor, explaining the reason for the applicant’s employment or training.
  • A copy of the sponsor’s company profile.
  • If the applicant is an international student, they also need to submit:
    • Their resume.
    • Their academic certificates.
    • Evidence of agreement between their school and the company or institution sponsoring them.
  • For religious missionaries: An approval letter from the Department of Religion and the Islamic Religious Department.
  • For Chinese citizens: A guarantee or a personal security bond from a bank.

Note: Keep in mind that the list of requirements above is not complete. Each applicant and their sponsor should contact the Immigration Department of Malaysia and ask for the full list of documents the sponsor must submit with the Professional Visit Pass application.

What are the Conditions of the Malaysia Professional Visit Pass?

There are several conditions for applicants for the Professional Visit Pass. Applicants must:

  • Not bring their dependent family members to Malaysia.
  • Be officially employed and earn a salary from an overseas company. If an applicant wants to work for a Malaysian company, they will need an Employment Pass or Temporary Employment Pass.
  • Non-Muslim religious workers:
    • Cannot extend their Professional Visit Pass for more than three years.
    • Must meet the following age requirements:
      • At least 40 years old for Hindu monks (Expatriate Gurukkal), Sami Sikh (Granthi), Dharma Teachers, and Priests.
      • At least 35 years old for religious musicians.
      • At least 30 years old for religious sculptors.

How Long is a Malaysia Professional Visit Pass Valid?

The validity of a Malaysian Professional Visit Pass is 12 months. This pass is subject to renewal for another 12 months.

A Malaysia Professional Visit Pass will be valid for six months if applicants undergo training at a factory or hotel.

The Bottom Line…

A Malaysia Professional Visit Pass is for foreigners, such as artists, religious missionaries, government officials, etc., who like to travel to Malaysia and work there. Keep in mind that these foreigners cannot get paid in Malaysia by local companies. They must get paid by an overseas company and only do their duties in Malaysia. Each travel purpose requires specific documents that the applicant and their sponsor must collect.

On the Visa Library website, you can learn about other Malaysian work visas (like Temporary Employment Pass and Employment Pass) as well as ways to immigrate to other countries.  If you have obtained this type of pass before, share your experience with us and write about your travel purpose in the comment section.

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