Work Permits/Visas for Freelancers

Hello Everyone!

I work as an English teacher online with a company in China. It's a good job, and wherever I go get paid in USD, which is nice whenever the exchange rate is beneficial. But I'm not sure if/how I can get a visa that will allow me to stay there for an indefinite period of time (providing I renew it, of course) working as a freelancer.

I've tried to do research on this, but I keep coming up with conflicting information from different sources. You guys seem to know what you're talking about, so I'm hoping one of you might know the answer to this question. If so, please enlighten me -- I'll be very grateful.


The only visa is the Malaysia my Second Home which is a 10 yr social visit pass.

Qualification is based on proving liquid assets and income and then putting down a Fixed Deposit after approval (which takes currently 4-5 months and best using an special MM2H registered/authorised agent).

Malaysia does not tax offshore income.

Help Advice needed,
Im a chef ,I got recruited by a yet to be open restaurant in Kuala Lumpur, but I had been waiting since 5months ,each time I enquire about my Visa status the employer says foreigners work permit approval is in it normal for the approval process to get so much delayed ?

Quite likely it can take several months, because the setting up of a restaurant takes a long time, before it is able to get the operating licence required.

Until everything is in place, immigration cannot process any employment passes for foreigners. This is because the company incorporation process (that owns the restaurant) is closely associated with immigration processes where non-Malaysians are going to be employed.

Perhaps you can see if the company is processing the EP application through ESD

What kind of cuisine do you prepare and are the owners foreigners or Malaysians?

There are lots of problems associated with foreigners opening restuarants because of restrictions on type of outlet and size. If the Directors of the company don't have culinary experience it can cause delays as they are just seen as investors not requiring any permit to live in Malaysia. So the delay could be caused by other issues than your recruitment.  On average 6-9 months would be the time taken  to open a new restaurant owned by foreigners. (Even getting an electric supply can be long-winded for a newly incorporated entity with no credit record).

You may not be getting the whole picture. But do be aware you have to remain outside Malaysia and enter on a Single Entry Visa (VDR) issued by the Malaysian consulate or HC before you can begin working in Malaysia.

Hopefully your salary is rm5000 per month or above as then you will not need a medical. However, if the company are trying to recruit you on a (unskilled) Foreign Worker visa (salary below RM3k per month) it is a different process completely and a medical is always required plus the VDR entry visa.

Thank you very much for your reply,the owner of the restaurant is a Malaysian citizen (Malaysian Indian). Chartered accountant.
The restaurant is going to be a banana leaf and a fusion restaurant.  I have experience of working in Italian,Indian,Maldivian cuisine ,also bakery and confectionery. I had been waiting for the approval since 5months. They have got all the necessary license and paper work already done.but foreigners work permit approval is getting to delayed. I'm confused whether to wait a bit longer or to sign up other opportunities.

Did you check the ESD link above to see if the status of the application is showing (that would mean they were applying for a Professional Employment Pass for you). But they could be doing it other routes so it is not conclusive. Sometimes owners may have to justify hiring a foreigner and prove there are no similar talents available among the Malaysian population.

There is also the question of quotas. This means a certain number of local employees is needed to then hire a foreigner. Perhaps the company could guide you about the real nature of the delay and when (and if) they have already applied.

I had requested to the owner to send the companies registration number. Only once they send I can check online. Once I get the numbers from them I will check for status online and update . Thank you very for your time and advice.

Your job offer should have the company reg. Number on it

The owners are family friend of mine. So I didn't receive any offer letter from them yet. I was in Malaysia 12/2017, for kitchen set up, menu planning,  currently I'm in India.  Generally how many months does it take for processing of       
   Necessary  permissions  for a Malaysian company  to hire foreign workers?

well no employment pass application  can be processed without a signed acceptance of the offer which also needs stamping at the revenue office.

So they have done  nothing yet.

Sounds like they picked your brain for ideas and wont be hiring you.

As far as I know they haven't applied for the employment pass. They are struck up in processing the necessary approval for hiring foreigners. Which is getting delayed.

That's the quota system referred to earlier. To be honest it could take forever and they do not sound serious or particularly professional.

They may have found out they need to increase the paid up capital if the company before they can hire foreigners and with no profits this may not be welcome news

They might need the approval from ministry to hire foreign workers and only after getting the approval, they are eligible to apply for employee's work permit. Am I right ?

See above

You are 100% right. You cleared my doubts. Thank you so much for your support.

You don't want ti be hired as a Foreign Worker which is possible for indian national cooks.

I would set your sights higher TBH

50% of restaurants fail in Malaysia within first year

Its not true

I am in a similar situation. Can you let me know how you solved this. Was the MM2H the right solution? Or did you set up a company in Malaysia? Thanks!

MM2H is a long term Visa solution. You may want to check out this site for more information on your needs.

With MM2H, I think you can own your business but I am not sure if you can get work pass based on MM2H.

There is however another way to get work permit which is you can set up a Labuan company. You can own the company 100% and you and your family members can get 2 years business visa. As long as the company is functioning and proper, you can continue to renew your business visa every 2 years.

check it out here.

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