Employment pass status - "Return to Company"


My company has applied to the https://esd.imi.gov.my for my employment pass and the status on the website says - "Return to Company".

So they need my passport copy again, anyone could tell me how long it will take from this stage ?

Thanks a lot.

There are no hard and fast rules about how long procedures take. It looks as though the company has either omitted to submit some documents or has some additional actions to take or to inform you about (could be they have reached their quota regarding hiring foreigners, don't have correct incorporation to hire foreigners, or things like the need to cancel an existing pass or that you need to leave the country while Stage I takes place - new rules from August 2016). It means they are not processing the request and have returned it pending correction. It's also Ramadan, so could be delays due to absences, shorter working hours.

Yes I have to leave the country before stage 1... so how long it will take after I exit the country ?

My company says it will take 3-7 days once I exit the country and provide the passport copy.

So all I want to know is that have anyone else faced the same ? If yes how long it might take? Any estimate ?

One month is a guesstimate. That would take into account you having to apply for a Visa With Reference to enter Malaysia again (if necessary).

Alright thanks a lot.

Although I have a 6 months multiple entry tourist visa already. Would that help to reduce the time ?

Would have thought immigration would want you to cancel that before you exit as well (i.e. providing details of your flight out etc.). It is only possible to hold ONE visa at any time, which is why a VWR is usually the way to re-enter (unless the country you need to return to does not have a Malaysian high commission or another national embassy assisting them). Cases are unique.

Thanks for your time Gravitas to answer my queries.
Hope you get my situation correctly:
1. I am in malaysia on tourist visa 6 months validity.
2. company applied for work permit and got. "return to company"  status.
3.  Now I need to go back to my home country to get the approval from immigration as they say that : They cannot approve EP unless I exit Malaysia.
4. Now I will exit and then send the passport copy again for applying EP.

I hope I get the EP within 15 day.

Right - so my reading is that they may want the copy of your passport to show you have cancelled your 6 month tourist visa and exited the country (i.e. this is evidenced through the stamps in your passport). You maybe should ask your prospective employer to clarify with immigration what they want to see on the copy of your passport i.e. what stamps do they want to start the Stage 1 process. It will as a minimum be an exit stamp and an entry stamp in your "home" country. But could be more, which is what I am saying regarding the tourist visa you hold might need cancellation.

15 days is not going to happen. You need to exit, provide the paperwork and then the process can start. I know of someone else in your situation and even after 2 months they have not progressed. He was in the same situation holding a visit pass - not sure if immigration don't move until that expires or is cancelled - that is what to double check. I think the current processing time is 30-90 days. Guessing, with Ramadan it could be on the longer side. And the effect of Ramadan is actually 2 months because there are also delays during the month of Eid.

Thanks a lot Gravitas for providing all the info.

Hi Gravitas,

What are these stage 1 & stage 2, and at what stage am I in ?

Once I provide the passport copy with exit stamps from malsysia, my application will be approved ? And that makes it stage 1 ?

And I can enter in Malaysia with stage 1 right ?


Stage 1 is where immigration look at the company credentials to see if they have the ability to create the post (or restaff an existing one) and the candidate the company is proposing falls within the immigration guidelines (e.g. degree, experience, etc.). In your case this has to be done while you are outside the country. Once you show that you have left the country, the company can resubmit the papers to ESD and the Stage 1 process can commence.

Stage II is when the post and the candidate have been approved for immigration purposes and their passport can be submitted to immigration and the work permit (called employment pass or professional pass) can be inserted into it.

After Stage 1 is completed, you will receive correspondence that you have a job to go to and can enter the country on the basis of that.  Remember, don't come before (your passport will bear stamps showing you were incountry).

Thanks Gravitas, I hope I get my EP soon.

Just an update for website users, I exited malaysia & returned back to my home country and provided scan copy of my passport ( without cancelling my multiple entry tourist visa ) to my agent in malaysia, they submitted it the next morning and the application got approved within 2 hours.
Then I submitted my passport to malaysian embassy with VDR ( approval letter ) got the visa for getting EP visa within 3 days.

Hope it helps to others who seek help.

Good luck with your new life in Malaysia!!

Thanks Gravitas :)

Dear Gravitas / friends , Now I am working 2 years in Malaysia and my EP expired from 2 days and the company only applied for the extension yesterday so it returned back as there should be valid EP.
Now also my work visa expired yesterday. So how this problem could be solved . Now I considered illegal staying in Malaysia with my family??
DO I have to go out from Malysia so that they can apply for a new EP?? DO I have to go to any country or only my country??

If the company is intending to renew your employment pass, you do need to get a Special Pass immediately for yourself and family as you are illegally in the country. You don't need to leave unless your are Professional Pass Category III and changing employer.

https://www.fragomen.com/knowledge-cent … 99-special

Pending Approval of an Employment Pass (or other related Passes)

For cases where the foreign national is in the midst of renewing their work pass (or other related pass) in Malaysia, they may be eligible to apply for a Special Pass to remain in Malaysia for up to a further 30 days beyond current pass expiry, pending the decision on the relevant renewal application. For this, the foreign national needs to furnish evidence to show that their application is in progress. If the renewal application cannot be completed within the validity of the Special Pass, the foreign national may apply for a second Special Pass. However, they may need to provide a copy of his or her flight ticket showing that they will depart Malaysia if the pending renewal application cannot be completed within the duration of the second Special Pass.

One of the common questions that we face as immigration consultants is “Can I work while on Special Pass?” Our answer: “It's at the discretion of the Immigration Department”. Generally, a foreign national is allowed to continue working while holding a Special Pass. However, the Immigration Department may deny a foreign national's ability to continue working while holding the Special Pass by indicating as such on the Special Pass endorsement.

Yes , the company is applying for the special passs , What about the EP (work permit)?? Do they have to apply for a new one now (as the extension is returned back due to late apply as the original one is expired)?
How long it take for getting the EP??

When you said immigration rejected the renewal application it was not clear the reason was simply because of late application. (It was SO late that the normal processing time would have meant the Pass expired before it was competed.) There are cases where extensions are refused because knowledge transfer should have taken place. In those instances the company would need to explain why this has not occurred in the renewal/application.

I think it will be a new work permit not an extension, as the Special Pass will be issued in between - so a break in continuity. I also think it is hard to tell how long the EP application would take, especially as the company sounds inexperienced and delays may occur because of them (and not immigration backlog). A lot depends whether they are applying online through the ESD system, as well. But the SP is valid for 30 days, so the EP would need to be finished by then.

EP Extensions was rejected due to late application not other reason. they told the special pass will be issued within this week. For the new EP as also you think , normally how much average time it is taken to be finished,??

Stage I & II - minimum 15 working days (but it depends on backlog and which immigration office is stamping).

Dear Gravitas:
Now I got the SP today , I can not see in it any special comments, Can I go and start work with it without waiting for the EP?? the agent will apply on the EP on Monday as they were waiting the SP to get copy from it and attach to the EP admission.
Pleas can you see the SP and advise: the link of the SP as follows:

http://s000.tinyupload.com/?file_id=579 … 6942141348http://s000.tinyupload.com/index.php?fi … 6942141348


The Agent should check. (They should have specifically asked for that condition when the SP application was submitted). There would normally be a comment saying that SP applicant can continue to work during SP validity.

Hi Arvind,

Just to understand, you got a VDR visa which gives you 30 days stay and within which period you have to get your EP done? Please let me know.


Hi Gravitas,

I have noted that you are very knowledgeable and helpful for Malaysia queries. Got a lot of understanding about how it all works there through your posts.

I just have a question and shall be obliged for your valuable inputs. Haven't gone through chats very old, so pardon me if my question is repetitive. If some one is arriving in Malaysia on VDR VP social visa, can he be approved an employment pass if all other requisite processes are done?

Thanks & Regards

Hi Gravitas,

I have noted that you are very knowledgeable and helpful for Malaysia queries. Got a lot of understanding about how it all works there through your posts.

I just have a question and shall be obliged for your valuable inputs. Haven't gone through chats very old, so pardon me if my question is repetitive. If some one is arriving in Malaysia on VDR VP social visa, can he be approved an employment pass if all other requisite processes are done?

Thanks & Regards

The VDR is the gateway to taking up employment with the Company (Employer) that has ALREADY BEEN GRANTED a Stage I approval by the Immigration Department for a Professional Pass.

While Stage 1 is being conducted, the applicant has to be outside Malaysia. The VDR is required by some nationals only (it's used to enable the person to satisfy their local immigration procedures to be able to board the plane).

Stage 2 (endorsement of the PP) is carried out on arrival in Malaysia within 30 days, whereby the Employer submits the passport for scrutiny and processing to Immigration and stamping.

VDR is also used for foreign worker Employment Pass (EP) processing. It is always provided for this category of employee. Once again, the VDR for foreign workers is only processed after immigration has APPROVED the person for the specific job detailed in the application (i.e. non-transferable).

So if your question is "does getting the VDR confirm the immgration process will be completed" - then the answer is almost certainly. The caveats would be: something wrong with the passport validity, or some discrepancies noted in the application process. If your question is can you come and job search* then the answer is yes, but once you have a job offer, you would then need to leave the country while Stage I is bring processed and a decision being made by immigration and the other approving agencies. A specific VDR is then processed.

*There are only a few employment sectors that employ foreigners - e.g. where no local skills can be hired. Malaysia is not like the middle east as there is a large and strong local skill bank.

Thank you so much Gravitas for your prompt detailed response and guidance. Just one point, VDR visa in the referred instance could be termed as social visit pass?  What type of VDR visa is issued for MM2H visa?

So are you asking if you can work on a MM2H visa? The answer is it is hard to get approval to do so, but easier if the position applied for is in academia. MM2H is NOT a work permit, but a residence permit. It is a huge mistake to take the MM2H visa and then expect to work (might as well apply for a job and a work permit). Here are the details.

The Malaysia My Second Home Program or MM2H is open to all the countries recognized by Malaysia. You have to complete the official requirements to get the approval for the visa. These requirements include a minimum amount of monthly income, liquid assets, a fixed deposit, and some other rules.

The MM2H visa holders aged 50 and above, are allowed to get a work permit in Malaysia and they can work for up to 20 hours a week. It is applicable to the visa holders who have professional skills in certain sectors. The approval of a part time work by the committee depends on the view if the job could be done by a Malaysian. Even, MM2Hers are allowed to set up and invest in business in Malaysia. They are also subject to the previously mentioned regulations like other foreign investors. But they are not permitted to get involved in the day to day running of the business in Malaysia. If they are willing to do so, they must switch their visa to a work permit and this is a subject to approval by the Malaysian Government.

Generally, two types of part time jobs are available in Malaysia.

Part Time Lecturer
Part Time Job

For the job of a Part Time Lecturer, you have to take care of these requirements.
The applicant must be above 50 Years Old
Letter of Intention
Letter of Acceptance from Public / Private Higher Education
Letter of Permission from Malaysia Ministry of Education
Advertisement in local newspaper for the intake of local citizen
Original copy of your Working Contract and its copy
Personal Income Tax Relief Letter Form Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia (LHDN)
Copy of your Passport (Pages of Particulars & MM2H Pass)

For a Part Time Job you have to fulfill these criteria:
Applicant & Company's Representative.
Applicant Must Be 50 Years & Above.
Letter of Application From Company Authorization Letter From the Company Photocopy Mykad (MyKad is the compulsory identity document for Malaysian citizens aged 12 and above) Designation in Company Covering Letter Explaining Company Activities & Job Justifications Letter of Offer From The Company Duration of Employment Contract Duration of Working Hour Remuneration
Latest Print-Out Companies Commission of Malaysia Form 9, 24 & 49 and it must be verified by Companies of Malaysia.
Business License From Local Authority.
Recommendation Letter From Related Agency (which ever related). It might be from the sectors such as Education (Ministry of Higher Education / Ministry of Education), Health (Ministry of Health), Manufacturing (Malaysia Industrial Development Authority), Banking, Financial & Insurance etc.
Certified Copy of the participant's Passport.
The Resume of the Participant
Copy of Passport (Pages of Particulars & MM2H Pass).
Completed DP 10 Form.
Advertisement in local newspaper / Job street for the intake local citizen.
Personal Income Tax Relief Letter from Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia (LHDN) - Salary Above RM 10,000.00.

I don't think there is a VDR issued for successful MM2H applicants because the approval letter should be sufficient to apply for a normal social visit pass as an entry visa, in order to complete the process here in Malaysia. You could check this with one of the Malaysian High Commissions throughout India.

Thank you very much for your prompt guidance.

Sorry, I missed clarifying earlier & mixed up two separate queries. Work related query was for a relative of mine who is considering options there.

MM2H related query was a separate point.

Obliged for you taking time to provide detailed guidance.


Oh yeah

Dear Gravitas,

Can you please help with this scenario , i.e 4 months ago one of My friend got EP approval by "ABC Company" (Malaysia) due to some reasons he dint joined to that company.  Now he got new offer from some "XYZ Company"  , and they proceeding to apply EP. Will it conflicts to "ABC company" EP ??

Can you please clarify.


ABC should just cancel their online request in the ESD database. This will allow XYZ to apply. You don't say how far the process went. He does need to be outside Malaysia while XYZ process Stage I is carried out.  If because of his nationality he would ordinarily need a visa to enter Malaysia, then he still needs to get the Visa With Reference, naming XYZ as the employer, before he enters to take up employment.

Dear Gravitas,

Would like to seek your advise.

I have been working with my current company (ABC) for 1.5 years and end of January, received job offer from different company (XYZ).

Upon signing the confirmation with XYZ, they are asking me to provide all necessity for Immigration approval (2 separate documents which one is Full Employment Contract and another one is for Immigration for XYZ to get the stamp).

I also asked them whether I can tender my resignation letter to ABC and their responded not to tender the resignation until they get approval from Immigration first.

After 2 weeks, XYZ contacted me and said that "ESD : Application Returned" and ask me to provide Release Letter from ABC.

Need your enlightenment to clarify the following things :
- What does it mean by Application Returned?
- To obtain the Release Letter, meaning I need to submit my resignation letter?
- Is it ethical to ask my current employer to issue the letter? and the release date should be based on the end of notice period?

Try to avoid situation whereby I have resigned from ABC but the employment pass for
XYZ is not approved.

Very much appreciated for your advise.

Kind regards.

It means the paperwork submitted was not correct or there was something missing. In your case it is the No Objection Certificate (Letter) from ABC. You can't really proceed without some element of risk i.e. agreeing a termination date and NOC with your current employer.

Hi you will need to obtain a release letter otherwise you need to be out of malaysia for six months before being able to work in malaysia. You would also need to do a tax clearance from the previous job as immigration might require that document to prove you have paid all your taxes

Hi Arwind,
May I know is it easier to go thru the agent for application? There's a requirement to submit the job description to justify the employment of foreigners in a Malaysian local company. Is this being covered by the agent or the company/us to come up with that?