Immigration to Malaysia

Living and Working in Malaysia

petronas twin towers, kuala lumpur, MalaysiaMalaysia is a Southeast Asian country with some parts from Malay Peninsula and from the Borneo Island. Malaysia is famous for its scenic beaches, dense rainforests and cultural influences. Each and every time you visit Malaysia there is always something new to discover as said by many tourists. Kuala Lumpur, is the capital city of Malaysia with ancient and beautiful colonial buildings, colorful markets, crowded shopping districts and mesmerizing skyscrapers. The low living cost and luxary are the two main factors that attracts immigrants in Malaysia. It has several parks, natural reserves, coral reefs, mangroves and tidal flats. Malaysia is a food paradise. Malaysia is surrounded by beautiful countries like Philippines, Singapore, and Indonesia. In the northern part it has Vietnam and Thailand. 

Millions of immigrant make Malaysia their home  each year. The reason behind this is Malaysia is one of the biggest economies in Southeast Asia, as well as  a fascinating destination for workers in the need of better wages.  There are mnay workers  from neighboring countries like Thailand, Vietnam, Burma and Singapore. Malaysia is rich in culture, fantastic people with excellent cuisine. This is one of the less populated countries in the Asian continent.  Visitors here love to explore untouched countryside, rain forests, tropical islands, hilly regions and beaches where they can relax. 

Traveling information

Flag of Malaysia
Flag of Malaysia

Malaysia welcomes tourists and international travellers who meet the legal requirements set by the Malaysian government. The basic requirements are as follows: 

  • Valid passport with minimum 6-months validity upon arrival in Malaysia.
  • Must have a visa, if your country requires a visa to enter Malaysia.
  • Have a valid return ticket or a ticket to a third country.
  • Proof of sufficient funds to support you during your stay in Malaysia.
  • Fill the MDAC (Malaysia Digital Arrival Card) 3 days prior to your arrival in Malaysia.

Even if you have a visa for Malaysia, that does not mean you will be allowed to enter the country. The immigration officer is the final authority to pass any visa holder. Tourists must also check for prohibited items that are not allowed to be brought into Malaysia. Please check the detailed traveller’s guide on:

It is recommended that travellers arriving to Malaysia get vaccinated for Hepatitis A & Hepatitis B, typhoid, Japanese encephalitis, Yellow Fever (if you are arriving from country having yellow fever). Take malaria medicine in areas where mosquitos are prone to spreading malaria. If you are travelling for adventure and likely to encounter animals or dogs, ensure you take Rabies vaccination as Rabid dogs are commonly found in Malaysia. Ensure to check the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) guideline for Malaysia, before you plan your trip to Malaysia.

Flying to Malaysia is on the best and fastest way. There are economical flights from neighbouring countries like Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand. The Kuala Lumpur International Airport in the main international airport in Malaysia. Malaysia Airlines is the flag carrier of Malaysia, which serves more than 50 destinations worldwide. Malaysia airlines operates over 300 flights a day from its base, Kuala Lumpur International Airport connecting Europe, North & South Asia, Southeast Asia, Australasia and the Middle East. 

You can also reach Malaysia by Train from Singapore and Thailand. By Sea, Thailand and Indonesia are well connected to Malaysia. There are luxury cruises that sail from Singapore and Phuket, Thailand. Malaysia is connected by road to Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore. The travel time from Thailand to Malaysia by road takes approximately 8-9 hrs. To travel from Singapore and Jakarta, Indonesia by road it takes approximately 5-6 hours.

How to immigrate to Malaysia

Malaysia has introduced a Visa Liberalisation Plan w.e.f., 1st December’2023 with improved immigration facilities. The plan aims to attract foreign tourists, general national income, and maintain Malaysia’s leadership in key industries like investment and tourism in Asia.  There has been updates on entry requirements in Malaysia for 2024. The MDAC (Malaysia Digital Arrival Card) application must be completed and submitted online, three days prior to arrival date in Malaysia.  Please refer the below mentioned link for more detailed information. The MDAC is exemption for those holding the following:

  • Permanent Residents
  • Singapore Passport
  • Diplomat and Official passport
  • Student Pass, Employment Pass, Dependent Pass and other long-term Pass

Foreign Workers from 15 Asian countries are hired to work in Manufacturing, Construction, Agriculture, Plantation and Services sectors in Malaysia. Eligibility, requirements and procedures are listed on the below mentioned link. For complete immigration guide visit the Immigration Department of Malaysia portal:


Citizens of Malaysia are called Malaysians. Malaysia is a multi cultural society. The main ethnic groups are Malays, Chinese and Indians.  Once in Malaysia you will experience the ethnicities that retain their culture, religion, customs and lifestyle.  Malaysians are  open-minded, friendly and courteous people. They speak English and are easy to blend with foreigners. They just seem to be introvert, reserved and unfriendly, however they are good to work with.  The Malaysians are also helpful, polite and fun loving. Around 40% expats in Malaysia are of Chinese and Indian decent. Indonesians are more than 10%, and the rest belong to different minority groups.  The  people here enjoy freedom of religion here. Major religions practiced in Malaysia are  followed are Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Malaysian folk religion, Hinduism, etc.  Around 1% of the population are atheist or do not follow any religion.  Malaysia is also politically stable and overall a peaceful country  

Job offers in Malaysia

The types of jobs that foreigners can apply to in Malaysia are IT professionals, Bankers or Financial advisers, Workers in Manufacturing/Production department, Construction, Engineers, Teachers, and you can find these jobs online. There are plenty of jobs available in this country but the salary is low compares to other countries. Portals like MYFuture Jobs, LinkedIn, WOBB and Hiredly, Tech in Asia, Indeed, hirestreet etc. are helping many expats to get jobs in Malaysia. Employment Pass Visa helps foreign nationals to take up work with the registered company in Malaysia. There are many brands in this country like Armani, Sephora, JW Marriot, Fahrenheit, etc, who are in continuous search of eligible and prompt employees. Malaysia is an economic hub and the job market is not saturated, so gradually you can get the job offer. Job market in this country is also expanding as new industries are blooming up. Highest paying jobs are Sales Director, HR Officer, Financial Officer, IT Specialist, Relationship manager, Finance Director and Plant Manager. It also depends on your skill levels in other fields. 

How to get a job: 

  • Check your skills to work in Malaysia
  • Educate yourself on the job market in Malaysia
  • Understand the common employment practices
  • Find job through online portals
  • Apply for job
  • Prepare for the interview
  • Apply for the work visa
  • Get ready to move

For more information on Malaysian work visa and work permit, please visit:

Unemployment rate

The unemployment rate in Malaysia has gone down to 3.9% in the month of May 2022 from 4.5% in the last year. The jobless rate gone down as the economy got recovers from the coronavirus pandemic. The number of jobless population declined from 12.4% from a previous year 637.7 thousand, whereas employment rate increased 3.4% to 15.90 million. Meanwhile, the labor force has risen  2.7% to 16.54 million. In the previous month the unemployment rate was also the same as 3.9%, the first time for the reading has fallen down from 4%, since the COVID-19 pandemic spread in early 2020. Unemployment rate is the share of labor force that is without work but available for and seeking employment. The job vacancy rate is rising, though the rate of increase has slowed from the previous quarter. According to a survey there are various factors, which contributes to the unemployment among people in Malaysia, due to lack of work experience, lack of skills, insufficient education levels and skills incompatibility to complete in the labor market, as declared by the Ministry of Finance. Joblessness causes workers to cope with financial hardships that affects relationships, families and communities.

For more information please visit:

Economy of Malaysia

The economy of Malaysia is set to grow 4.5% to 5.5% in the year 2024, from an estimated 4% in 2023, according to RAM Rating Services Berhad. Malaysia’s economy is the third largest economy in the Southeast Asia in the terms of GDP per capita and is the thirty fourth largest in the world indicated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).  People here enjoy a wealthy lifestyle compared to the other Asian countries after Singapore and Brunei. This is due to the fast growing export oriented economy, low Income Tax, low cost local food, transport fuel and fully subsidized single payer public healthcare. Malaysia has an industrialized market economy, which is open and state oriented economy. This economy is highly robust and diversified with the export value of hi-tech products. Malaysia exports the palm oil products globally, which has the second highest volume and value after Indonesia. Goods exported from Malaysia are Palm oil, liquefied natural gas, petroleum, machinery and equipments, semi conductor, electronics products, vehicles, and metal, rubber, wood and wood products. Imported items are Electrical products, machinery, chemicals, petroleum, plastics, vehicles, metal, Iron, and steel products.

For the latest news on the economy of Malaysia, visit the official website of Ministry of Finance:

Renting and buying of real estate’s for foreigners


Renting a property may save more money than buying a property. The decision to rent or buy a property depends on the purpose of entering this country. If you are visiting for short term like for six months or a year or two, then renting a property will be beneficial. If you want to settle in this nation then you must think of buying a property in Malaysia.

Mostly expats live in private residential apartments called condo or condominiums. The benefits to rent a property are you can move away whenever you need to, no need to invest a huge chunk of savings for downpayment, new neighborhood whenever you change the residence. 


  • Passport copy
  • Identity card
  • Proof of working in this country (Salary Slip)
  • Lease Papers


Buying a property is a form of investment and you get the wholesome ownership over a property. Those planning to be in this country for the medium to long-term may consider buying. In the places other than the city centre, housing costs are comparatively lower, especially in the suburbs, surrounding prefectures and in other regions in Malaysia.

The cost of property in this country is very high; on the top of it there are mortgage payments, Stamp duty, Legal Fees, Valuation Fees, Mortgage Insurance (MRTA) and Real estate agent’s fees. Property prices are very high in the capital city, Kuala Lumpur, whereas the cost is half the price in Pahang.


  • Passport copy
  • Identity proof
  • Mortgage papers
  • Bank Statement

For more information please visit:


Climate in Malaysia is equatorial as it is situated at just north of the equator; as a result it is humid, hot and rainy around the year. The climate of the Eastern region and the Peninsula is not same, as the climate on the Peninsula is affected by wind from the main land. Also climate change has affected this country like increasing sea levels, heavy rainfall, flooding risk and droughts. Malaysia has two monsoon seasons one is southwest monsoon starts from the last week of May and ends in September, and the other Northeast Monsoon from October to March. 

Local climates are affected by the mountain ranges all over Malaysia and climate can be categorized in to the highlands, the lowlands and coastal regions. The coastal areas have a sunny climate, temperature between 23°C to 32°C and rainfall from 10 to 30 cm in a month. The lowlands have similar temperature but with more rainfall and higher humidity levels. On the other hand, the highlands are cooler, wetter and shows variations in temperature. 

For more information please visit: 


Malaysia has more than one official, which are language Malay and English. The national language of Malaysia is Malay, it is spoken by more than 90% of the population, also known as Malaysian Malay. Malay is the mother tongue of the majority Malay ethnic group, which is the main ethnic group in Malaysia. The second official language is English, which is also widely spoken in Malaysia. Malaysians also speak and understand Chinese and its dialects such as Mandarin, Cantonese, Hakka, Hokkien, etc. A multitude of languages are used in this country as there are many minorities and immigrant from all over the world. Immigrants are English, Filipino, Indonesian, Japanese and Russian. Minorities are Arabic, Telugu, Isan, Karen, Kurdish, Malayalam, Farsi, Thai, Tamil, Korean, Punjabi, Malayalam, etc. A small number of people here also speak a language called creoles, such as the Portuguese based Malaccan Creoles and Spanish based Zamboangueño Chavacano. 

Malaysian Sign Language, Selangor Sign Language and Penang Sign Language are another language used by the deaf and mute people in this country. In the field of education, no sign language is used, rather than this Manually Coded Malay is used Road signs, public hospitals, Notices and Campaigns, etc. are written in all the four languages, Official work is done mostly in English, also English is taught as first language in educational institutions.  For more information on the languages of Malaysia, please visit:


Driving in Malaysia is possible for foreigners if they have valid International domestic driving license, which is also attested by the embassy of their native country and translated in English. Till 90 days they can use this license and after they have to get a Malaysian Driving License. Roads in this country are smooth and well maintained. Major city like Kuala Lumpur has traffic on road in the rush hours. In this city driving can be tough due to lots of traffic and complicated roads, but still it is possible to drive here. Rush hours are from 11 am to 2.30 pm and 4.45 pm to 7 pm on Monday to Thursday. On Friday the traffic is a bit heavier as some offices have longer lunch break than usual to allow Muslim Staff for prayer and let them attend the mosque for prayer (NAMAZ). In Malaysia you can roam around in train, bus, taxi, car (rented or owned), etc. the first country, implementing the Electric Road Pricing System (ERP). Generally the speed limit for driving in this country is 60 km/hr. Many expressways have 110 km/hr but in some areas it is 80 to 90 km/hr speed limits. These limits are applied in all conditions weather, road and traffic. People ignoring these speed limits and caught speeding up will be charged, fine or face prosecution. Traffic runs on the left hand side of the road and the driver’s seat is on the right hand side in Malaysia. The minimum legal age to drive and to get a driver’s license is 17 years. 

For more information please visit:


The currency of Malaysia is known as the Malaysian Ringgit. It is divided into 100 sen. It is abbreviated with the ringgit (RM) or MYR. Ringgit is issued by the Central Bank of Malaysia. The paper currency is in six denominations, RM1, RM5, RM10, RM20, RM50, RM100. There are also paper currencies which are discontinued but are legal and still in circulation RM2, RM60, RM600 (commemorative). Coins are available in 5, 10, 20, 50 sen. Coin of 1 sen is nowadays rarely used but is in circulation. The Singapore Dollar and the Brunei Dollar are also called ringgit in Malay, although nowadays Singaporean Dollar is commonly known as dollar in Malay. To differentiate between these three, the Malaysian currency is referred as Ringgit Malaysia, therefore the official abbreviation is RM. 

Payment Transactions

Payments can be made in this country through online, cash or cards, cheques, or by digital wallets. Cash is the original and the oldest payment method, used by population. Nowadays people in Malaysia are clinging towards cashless payments like online payments or bank transfers. Incentives are offered to the people to use the digital wallet, attracting more than fifteen percent Malaysian without having a bank account. Numerous companies are competing to get market share in the digital wallet market. Credit cards are also used by more than twenty percent population. Bank transfers are also used by most of the expats as well as locals. Some of the payment methods used here are Online banking Malaysia, digital wallets, credit and debit cards, bank transfers, etc. Cashless payment refers to electronic payment, covering everything from credit and debit card payments to digital wallets and virtual cards, mobile payment apps and IC cards payments. Apparently, it’s anytime you pay without physically handing over notes and coins. 

Payment Methods:

  • Cash
  • Credit Cards
  • Visa Cards
  • Apple Pay
  • Master Card
  • GrabPay
  • Digital Wallets
  • Bank Transfers

For more information visit:

Cost of living in Malaysia  

According to a survey Malaysia is one of the cheaper country in the World and cost of living here is low more than eighty eight percent of countries in the whole wide world. Average living cost in this country also depends upon your lifestyle or your current situation, like whether you are working or a student. Cost of living varies if you are staying alone or with your family.        

The average monthly expense for a single person is approximately RM4,200 and the approx monthly expense will rise if you want to move along with your family of four people will be RM9,250. Food is cheap compared to housing or dining. If you are staying near your educational institute or work place then you can go by bicycle or by walking or you live in a city with a good public transport system like Kuala Lumpur, then your cost of living will be much lower. Expense will also be low if you need smaller accommodation, than the bigger one.

Here are some products mentioned below, so that you will get a clear idea of the cost of living: 



Amount in (RM)  (Malaysia Ringgit)

Whole Fat Milk

1 lit



12 (a dozen)



1 Kg (2 lb.)



500 grams (1 lb)


Dining (Lunch)

Full meal


Fast food meal




2 loaf



8 mbps (1 month)


Cleaning help



Public transport ticket




Short visit


Movie Tickets

For 2


Utilities (heating, gas, electricity)

1 month, 2 persons in (900 sqft) flat


Utilities (heating, gas, electricity)

1 month, 1 person in  (450 sqft) flat


For more info visit:

Apartment Rent

Unlike cost of living of other cities and Kuala Lumpur are same, the rent in the capital city is much higher than rest of the cities in this country. You can spend very little in rent, if you rent a place outside the city or in the outskirts of the capital. It is possible for foreigners to get a posh and confortable rental in Malaysia. To rent a property there are many websites available on the internet displaying the property with prices. You can also hire a real estate agent, they will help you find a place cozy and in the budget for you. Documnets needed are student pass for students, employment pass if you are working, work permit, etc. These documents give you the same rights as the locals have. 

Fully furnished one bedroom apartment in the city center will cost you approximately RM 2,100 and same apartment, outside city will cost approx. RM 1,900. A furnished studio apartment of 2 to 3 bedrooms in the city center will cost you approx. RM 3,008 and outside the city it will cost you approx. RM 2,178. Finding accommodation here is challenging so asking your colleagues, friends, shopkeepers or waiters in the nearby café or restaurants will be helpful. In many places renting a one bedroom apartment, in the city centre will cost around as much as a two bedroom apartment outside the city center. As you wander on the streets and see some sign boards of ‘To let’ will also be useful. 

For more information please visit:


If you are working or staying in Malaysia, this is a must to know about the taxation system in this country. Income tax is called as (cukai pendapatan). But there is no need to panic as an employee, it is the employer’s duty to submit your income tax to the Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri Malaysia (LHDN) or Inland Revenue Board (IRB). However, it is good to know the basics of income tax calculation. While the employer pays taxes for you, it is your take to file the income tax returns. Income tax is a type of tax that government levies on business and individual income. 

The collected amount through taxes is used for government and community expenses, like healthcare, infrastructure, and other activities. Taxation rates differ from country to country. Income taxes in this country are “territorial”, which means a person or entity is taxed only on incomes earned in the country. Personal income taxes are distinguished as progressive or flat, depending on the type of work and tenure in Malaysia. This is a tax-friendly county, especially for foreigners. The average tax rate is 18.4 percent and the marginal tax rate is 28.9 percent. Marginal means immediate additional income is taxed at this rate. 

For more information please visit:

Health Insurance

Healthcare service in Malaysia is one of the best health care in the world as this nation has achieved universal health coverage. Malaysia provides universal healthcare for all citizens and legal residents. The Malaysian government subsidizes all the cost of care through public facilities; it is not based on a national insurance program like several other countries. The Public Healthcare System and private system work well with each other in this nation. Malaysia’s universal healthcare system is funded by tax. Patients have to pay a small fee for the treatment. If you visit a clinic for cough and cold or any small infection it will cost you less than ten bucks. Consultation with a specialist, follow-ups and overnight stay in a private room can cost you a bit more but it is not too expensive. Hospitals also offer healthcare packages as an economical option for patients.

Expats in Malaysia can easily talk to doctors as nearly all of them and the majority of nurses speak English. Expats usually opt to take private medical insurance in Malaysia. It saves their time waiting in a queue for a doctor’s check-up. It also gives coverage to them from the moment they have arrived in the country and access to the biggest hospitals and clinics. 

For more information please visit:

Important addresses

Kuala Lumpur International Airport:
64000 Sepang, Selengor, Malaysia
Ph: +60 3-8776 2000

Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport:
Lapangan, Terbang Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah,
47200 Subang, Selangor,
Ph: +60 3-7845 3245

Langkawi International Airport:
Padang Mat Sirat Pulau Langkawi, 07100 Langkawi,
Kedah, Malaysia
Ph: +60 4-955 1311

Kuala Lumpur Railway Station:
Kampung Attap, 50000 Kuala Lumpur,
Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur,

Setia Jaya Railway Station:
Ss 10, 46150 Petaling Jaya,
Selangor, Malaysia

Tanjung Malim Railway Station:
Kampung Stesen Tanjong Malim,
35900 Tanjong Malim,
Perak Malaysia

Embassy of the State of Qatar:
113, Jalan Ampang Hilir, Desa Pahlawan,
55000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur,
Ph: +60 3-4256 5552

British High Commission:
Level 27 Menara Binjai, 2, Lrg Binjai,
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Ph: +60 3-2170 2200

Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan:
Suite 6.07, Sixth Floor, North Block, The Ampang Walk,
218, Jalan, Ampang, 50540,
Kuala Lumpur, 55000
Ph: +60 3-4251 0728

High Commission of India:
Level 1, Wisma HRIH Lotus,
442, Jalan, Pahang, Setapak, 53000,
Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur,
Ph: +60 3-4024 0990


Nеstlеd in Southеast Asia, Malaysia offers a sought-aftеr living and working еxpеriеncе, with Kuala Lumpur standing out as a financial powеrhousе and bustling businеss hub in Asia.  Rеnownеd for its stunning bеachеs, sеcludеd islands, еlеvatеd hill stations, and UNESCO World Hеritagе Sitеs, Malaysia providеs an attractivе lifеstylе with world-class amеnitiеs, еducation, and hеalthcarе.  As of  January’ 2024,  the population of Malaysia is  34.6  million, which is a 1.06% increase from 2023.  Many еxpats and immigrants are drawn to Malaysia for its friеndly atmosphеrе, cultural diversity, and hospitablе pеoplе. Malaysia’s vibrant nightlifе, fеaturing lantеrn-lit strееts, music, and discos, adds to thе ovеrall appеal. Thе country’s uppеr-middlе-class status and dеvеlopmеnt arе complеmеntеd by a tax-friеndly еnvironmеnt with rеlativеly low tax ratеs comparеd to thе global avеragе. With its colorful markеts, iconic landmarks such as thе Twin Towеrs, and a rich culinary scеnе, Malaysia consistеntly ranks high on thе buckеt list of thosе sееking a uniquе and fulfilling living and working еxpеriеncе.

Moving to Malaysia 

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