Travel & Expat Lifestyle Magazine

Moving to Malaysia

Malaysia is a Southeast Asian country of thirteen states and three Federal Territories, and has over 28 million people. It has a tropical climate, because it is near the equator. It is separated into two regions: Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo. It used to be under British influence as a bunch of scattered kingdoms, until it reorganized a few times and finally gained independence as the Federation of Malaysia in 1957. The government is a federal constitutional elective monarchy and parliamentary democracy. Its official language is Malay. It is a diverse country, with an ethnic makeup of 54% Malays, 7.5% Indian and 11.8% other Bumiputera, among others.


Work Visas

Malaysia seeks foreign workers in certain sectors, but not all. Work permits have a life of six months to five years, depending on what your job is. They are difficult to obtain, and the process is known to be long and complicated. The average grant time is two years. If you work in Malaysia as a foreigner, you will be granted an “Expatriate Identification” card to carry around instead of your passport. If you have a lined up job, your employer is the one who arranges your work permit.

Your employer must present a contract for your lined-up job, including information about your job position, contract period and salary. It must be signed by you and your employer. You must also submit a police report to your employer, along with your resume and educational records. You must have a valid passport and submit fees to gain this visa.

To become a permanent resident of Malaysia, you must reside there legally for five years. A dependent must reside there with you legally for ten years.

Click here for a chart of the process.

Click here for information about entry requirements for your dependents.

Click here for information about applying for a job in Malaysia.

Click here for information about the job market in Malaysia.

Student Visa

Anyone who wishes to study at a Malaysian educational institution is required to obtain a visa. Your school will help you out. You must first be accepted by a school before you start the application process.

You are required to submit the following documents to the Malaysian Immigration Department Headquarters in Kuala Lumpur:

  1. Letter of acceptance to a school
  2. Student pass application form, in duplicate
  3. Two photocopies of your passport
  4. Two passport photos
  5. Your school must sign a “personal bond” which you must submit

Upon arrival into Malaysia, you are to present your student pass approval letter at the immigration check point. They will issue you a Special Pass, then you will be referred to the respective State Immigration Department so you can obtain your physical Student Pass. You will also be issued a visa to enter Malaysia at your point of entry.

Click here for additional information about studying in Malaysia.

Moving Pets

To move your cat or dog to Malaysia, it must undergo a quarantine period of 7 days. Before you enter, make sure you have given your pet all shots and vaccinations, as well as treat it for worms and fleas. Microchips are recommended. Cats and dogs must be vaccinated against rabies, as well as other appropriate diseases. Many breeds of dogs are banned in Malaysia, such as Rottweilers and Bull Terriers. Dogs must be over 3 months old and have a pedigree certificate. At customs, the reporter has to write a written declaration of your dog. To prove that you have an acceptable dog, bring pictures of it by kids or in a loving environment, as it will probably be nervous at the airport.

Other Information

Click here for the Malaysian Immigration Department.

Click here for links and contacts relating to Malaysia.

Click here for a map of Malaysia.


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