On July 15, 2015, the Malaysian Expatriate Services Division (ESD) implemented a new work authorization category, the Employment Pass III (EPIII). The EPIII category is intended for foreign nationals who will earn less than MYR 5,000.00 per month, the current minimum salary amount for regular Employment Pass (EP) applications. To sponsor EPIII applications, companies must first obtain an exemption from the MYR 5,000 minimum salary amount from the Ministry of Home Affairs prior to the filing of EPIII application. Dependents cannot accompany employees to Malaysia under this new category.

To be eligible for the EPIII category, the assignment must meet the following criteria:

  • Monthly salary must be between MYR 2,500.00 to MYR 4,999.00;
  • The initial term of assignment cannot exceed 12 months, but the EPIII is renewable up to a maximum of 48 months;
  • The assignment must be supported by an approval or support letter from the regulatory agency for the respective industry; and
  • The assignment must fall within one of the designated National Key Economic Areas (NKEA).