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 tMalaysia 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 standard of living in this country is affordable and is known as better place to live. 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. These are some of the most scenic countries just short flight away from Malaysia.

Till the previous year, millions of immigrant reached Malaysia. The reason behind this is Malaysia has one of the biggest economies in Southeast Asia, as well as this is a fascinating destination for workers in the need of better wages and employment from neighboring countries like Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, Singapore, etc. It takes a lot to move from one country to another, from one culture to another. But moving to a country that encourages foreigners, gives accommodation and makes it so much easier to stay. Malaysia is rich in culture, fantastic people with excellent cuisine. This is one of the less populated countries in the Asian continent. Therefore you will explore untouched countryside where you can find rain forests, tropical islands, hilly regions and beaches where you can relax. Here you can also enjoy a vast range of flora and fauna. Living overseas is not an easy task.

Traveling information

Flag of Malaysia
Flag of Malaysia

Travelers who want to enter Malaysia must complete the vaccination with a booster dose for COVID-19 recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO). Also download, register and activate the MySejahtera App. Fill the details carefully, including travel details and vaccination information. Before your departure keep your proof of vaccination with you as well as upload it on the vaccination check portal. Adults, aged 18 years or above required to take a COVID-19 RTPCR test or antigen rapid test. Partially or non vaccinated persons need to take COVID-19 test after arriving (within 24 hours) in this country.  Keep tickets for any flight to Malaysia. There is no need to get health insurance to travel to this country. All the travelers need a confirm ticket unless they are Malaysian Permanent Resident, entry permit holder/the long term pass holder, issued by the Immigration Department of Malaysia.

Documents to show at the immigration: 

  • Vaccination certificate in MySejahtera application
  • Hard copy of vaccination card from your native country
  • Hard copy of vaccination exemption for travelers medically unfit for vaccination
  • You need a valid passport with at least 6 months remaining and 2 blank pages.
  • Bank statement proving enough monetary funds.
  • A recent color passport size photo and a valid visa.
  • An onward or return flight ticket

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How to immigrate to Malaysia

Malaysia is a famous tourist destination and a better place to settle down. Millions of immigrants have taken refuge in Malaysia. There are four main categories of migrants, migrants related to the local citizens, skilled workers, business persons and migrants living as refugees. Malaysia offers student visa and work visa. Work visa has three categories, Employment Passes (EP), Professional Visa Passes (PVP) and Spouse Visa. To get the student visa, students must get the admission first for a full time course in any approved Malaysian University or educational institute. The University or Institute will get the student pass issued on the behalf of the migrant. Along with the visa approval letter from the University, migrant can apply for student visa. Employment Passes is for the migrant who got a job in this country with more than RM 3,000 per month salary. This is valid for two years and can be extended. This is given to those who want to work on short term projects in Malaysia,  maximum twelve months. Spouse visa is for those who have married a Malaysian citizen and want permission to enter and exit this nation numerous times upto 5 years.

 Documents required: 

  • Photocopy of passport showing that it is valid for at least one year
  • Passport sized photographs
  • Copy of the offer letter from the Institute or work place
  • Completed and signed visa application form
  • IELTS/TOEFL test results
  • Attested copies of secondary and post secondary qualification

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Citizens of Malaysia are called Malaysians. Malaysians are of mixed race population. This nation is a multi cultural society. The main ethnic groups are Malays, Chinese and Indians. After roaming around in this country you experience the ethnicities that retain their culture, religion, customs and lifestyle. The important festivals of these ethnic groups are public holidays. They are friendly and courteous people. They speak English and are easy to blend with. They just seem to be introvert, reserved and unfriendly but they are good to work with and they have qualities like helpful, polite and fun loving. If you visit here with free mind, you will not feel like you are in a different country as people are lively and live their life to the fullest. Most expats here are of Chinese and Indian decent with more than forty percent, Indonesians are more than ten percent, and other are approx. three percent. Religions followed here are Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Malaysian folk religion, Hinduism, etc. People here are open minded and there is no restrictions on following your own religion in this country. There are also people who are atheist or do not follow any religion but their population is less than one percent. Malaysia is also politically stable and a peaceful country with peace loving people.

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

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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.

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Economy of Malaysia

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). This economy is the twenty fifth most competitive in the world and is more competitive than Japan, France and Israel, according to the Global Competitiveness Report of 2021. 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. Economy is dominated by the service sector with more than 54.77% contribution to the economy followed by the Industry with 35.93% contribution in the annual GDP of this country. The agricultural sector has less contribution than other sectors with 8.19%. 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.

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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

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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

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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


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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. 

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If you are working or staying in Malaysia, this is 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 taxes 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 individuals income. 

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”, 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. Average tax rate is 18.4 percent and marginal tax rate is 28.9 percent. Marginal means immediate additional income is taxed on this rate. 

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Health Insurance

Healthcare service in Malaysia is one of the best health cares in the world as this nation has achieved universal health coverage. This country provides universal healthcare for all citizens and legal residents. 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 little 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 much expensive. Hospitals also offer healthcare package as an economical option for patients.

Expats in Malaysia can easily talk to doctors as nearly all of them and majority of nurses speak English. Expats usually opt to take private medical insurance in Malaysia. It saves their time for waiting in a queue for 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. 

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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


Malaysia is famous for its capital city Kuala Lumpur. This city is one of the financial powerhouse and a business hub in Asia. This country is also famous for its scenic beaches, secluded islands, elevated hill stations and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This is one of the good place to study, work and live as this nation gives you the a healthy and good lifestyle and the friendly atmosphere. Malaysia has the world class amenities, education and healthcare as a result, many expats choose this nation to settle down. There are many world famous places here you can visit in the rainy season. People are very hospitable, respectful and friendly and here you can experience the business friendly environment. Nightlife here is vibrant with lit lantern streets, music and discos. Here you will find plenty of lounge bars. This nation is culturally diverse an upper middle class country. This is a developed country and is considered as tax friendly as the tax rates are very low compared to the rest of the world. This nation is famous for its colorful markets, bridges, beautiful buildings (Twin Tower) and monuments, food and beverages. This place is on many of people’s bucket list to take a trip here.

Moving to Malaysia 

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Translation Of The Documents

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