Malaysia Residence Pass

Complete guide to obtaining the Malaysia residence pass often referred to as a Malaysian Talent Pass or Talent Visa

The Malaysia Residence Pass Talent (RP-T) is a fairly recent addition to Malaysian work permits. It allows the holder to work in Malaysia for up to ten years without being dependent on a specific employer, and it is renewable. Additionally, the Residence Pass holder’s spouse and children under 18 can come to Malaysia. They are also allowed to work and study in Malaysia (although the former only applies to the spouse).

The Malaysia Residence Pass holder is also allowed to bring their parents and children over 18 through a Malaysia Long Term Social Visit Pass, only valid for up to five years.

However, the Residence Pass Malaysia is only issued to talented foreign workers who fulfill certain criteria, which is why it is often referred to as a Malaysian Talent Pass or Talent Visa.

Only foreign workers who are already in Malaysia can apply for the Residence Pass Talent.

Who is Eligible for the Malaysia Residence Pass Talent?

You are eligible to apply for a Malaysia Residence Pass Talent if:

  • You have lived in Malaysia for at least three years on a valid Malaysia Employment Pass (EP).
  • At the time of application, your EP is still valid for at least three more months.
  • You are a “high achieving” professional and can help develop Malaysia’s economy.
  • You have a minimum of five years of work experience.
  • You earn a monthly salary of at least RM15,000 (bonuses and allowances excluded).
  • You hold academic qualifications from a recognized educational institution.
  • You have paid income tax in Malaysia for at least 2 years.
  • You have a Malaysian income tax file number.

Additionally, though it is not exclusive, workers in the following industries, known as “key economic areas” are more likely to receive a Malaysia Residence Pass:

  • Oil, Gas & Energy
  • Palm Oil and Rubber
  • Tourism
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Financial Services
  • Business Services
  • Communications, Content and Infrastructure
  • Electrical & Electronics
  • Agriculture
  • Wholesale and Retail

These industries are included in the National Key Economic Areas (NKEA) as described in the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) of the Government of Malaysia.

What are the requirements of the Malaysia Residence Pass Talent?

When applying for a Malaysian Residence Pass, you must have the following supporting documents:

  • Form IMM12 (Visit Pass application form)*
  • Form IMM16 (Residence Pass application form)*
  • Malaysia Sponsor Form (A declaration they support your Residence Pass application)*
  • A No Objection Letter from current employer*
  • Photocopies of all the pages on your passport
  • Three passport-size pictures of yourself taken in front of a light blue background
  • Photocopies of all your educational certificates
  • A copy of your work contract
  • Your CV
  • Copy of your salary slips from the last three months
  • Copy of Tax declaration slip from the past two years
  • Letters of recommendation (testimonials)

If you are also applying for a spouse or dependent child, you must have additional documents, such as:

  • Photocopies of all the pages on their passport
  • Copy of marriage or birth certificate. The copy must be endorsed as a Certified True Copy (CTC) by the Embassy of your country in Malaysia.
  • Three passport-size pictures of them taken in front of a light blue background.

All documents submitted have to be in English. If they are not, they must be translated and both the original and a copy have to be submitted.

Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list of required documents. The Malaysian authorities may ask for additional documents depending on your specific case.

*You can download these documents at the RP-T application website.

How to apply for Malaysia Residence Pass Talent?

It is the Malaysia Expatriate Talent Service Centre (MYXpats Centre) who processes Malaysia Residence Pass Talent applications.

You must submit the application online via you also attach all the required documents.

You also have to pay a processing fee of RM300 at the time of application. The fee payment is done online by Visa or MasterCard.

Once your Residence Pass is processed, you also have to pay an additional fee of about RM2,000 per application to get it issued. You have to pay the fee and submit your passport to the Immigration Department of Malaysia to receive your Residence Pass sticker.

Other categories of Malaysia Residence Pass

As per the Immigration Department of Malaysia, a type of Malaysia Residence Pass is also issued to the following categories of foreign nationals:

  • A family member of a Malaysian citizen
    • Legal spouse
    • Child 18 and under
    • Biological parent
    • Parents-in-law with a valid Pass in Malaysia
    • In order to be eligible, family members of a Malaysian citizens must have lived in Malaysia with a valid Pass for at least three years.
  • A family member of Permanent Resident of Malaysia
    • Legal spouse
    • Child aged 18 and under
    • In order to be eligible, family members of a Malaysian PRs must have lived in Malaysia with a valid Pass for at least five years.
  • An ex-Malaysian citizen who either:
    • Renounced their citizenship
    • Lost their citizenship

In all cases, the applicants must have a Malaysian sponsor who is at least 21 years old. Any Malaysian over 21 years of age is eligible to be a sponsor.

The above-mentioned categories of applicants must submit their Residence Pass application and the required documents (see below) in person at the offices of the Malaysia Immigration Department in Putrajaya or the nearest Immigration office. Both the applicant and the sponsor have to be present when applying.

In this case, the Residence Pass is valid for five years and allows the holder to work, study, and open a business in Malaysia without having to apply for a work/study permit.

Required documents

When applying for a Malaysia Residence Pass at an Immigration office in Malaysia, applicants must have the following documents:

  • Residence Pass application form (Form IMM16a)
  • Complete photocopy of their passport, and any passports they previously had.
  • Two passport size pictures
  • Copy of their sponsor’s ID card.

Then, additional documents based on their status include:

  • For spouses: Photocopy of marriage certificate
  • For children: Photocopy of birth certificate or adoption papers.
  • For biological parents of a Malaysian citizen:
    • Photocopy of birth certificate of their Malaysian child.
    • Photocopy of their Malaysian child’s ID card.
    • Photocopy of their marriage certificate.
  • For spouse/child of Malaysian citizen: Two photocopies of the Malaysian spouse/parent ID card.
  • For spouse/child of Malaysian PRs: Photocopy of their spouse/parent’s Permanent Residence identity card (MyPR).
  • For ex-Malaysians:
    • Photocopy of their passport, and any passport they previously had.
    • Photocopy of their birth certificate
    • Photocopy of their Declaration of Renunciation of Malaysian Citizenship (Form Y / K) OR a photocopy of their Order of Forfeiture of Malaysian Citizenship.

Photocopies of birth and marriage certificates (non-Malaysian) must be endorsed as a Certified True Copy (CTC) by the Embassy of the respective country in Malaysia.

All documents have to be in English. If they are not, they must be translated and both the original and a copy have to be submitted.