Expatriate Facilitation: An Economic Imperative

Jun 28, 2014 1 Min Read

Malaysia aspires to be a high income nation and to emerge as a global talent hub by 2020. In line with this, the Government introduced the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) in 2010 to achieve Vision 2020 through the implementation of 12 National Key Economic Areas (NKEA). These NKEA represent economic sectors that contribute significantly to the country’s gross national income (GNI).

Initiatives within the ETP will nurture industries and move them up the value chain, thereby improving career prospects for both local and foreign talent.

We need to attract both top companies and top talent to our shores and this fits well with our drive to become a regional hub in strategic areas.

Large-scale, innovative multinationals, both home-grown as well as global names, go a long way to create high-value, high-paying jobs for Malaysians, as well as allow for local companies to leverage on the exchange of knowledge.

Winning in the international arena requires top notch talent. As we endeavour to move up the value chain in critical sectors driving the economic transformation, we would need talent with specialised skills, expertise and global experience. This talent is expected to play a key role in supporting Malaysia achieve its objective of propelling the economy to a high-income status.

While the Government’s primary focus is on Malaysian talent, the Government recognises the contribution of eminent foreign talent in meeting Malaysia’s skill requirements through the improvement of services under the Immigration Department of Malaysia (JIM).

The Government has rolled out various initiatives and programmes to engage top foreign talent in the long-term.

At the same time, JIM is working towards transforming service delivery. For instance, the Government has liberalised the issuance of the Employment Pass (EP) both in terms of tenure and features.

We have also implemented the Residence Pass–Talent (RP-T), which provides top expatriates currently in Malaysia a longer term option of working here. The RP-T also allows spouses to work in the country.

Residence Pass-Talent benefits

TalentCorp milestones

December 2010

Establishment of TalentCorp
– NKEA: Greater KL/Klang Valley
– TalentCorp as the lead initiative owner for Entry Point Project 2 (EPP2) – Attracting the right mix of internal and external talent

Strategic thrusts

January 2011

Employment Pass Liberalisation
• Removed the need to advertise executive positions
• Eliminated understudy requirements
• Lifted 10-year limit for key expatriate positions

Employment Pass (EP)
This is a type of work permit that enables foreign talent to take up employment under a contract of service with an organisation in Malaysia. Duration varies from a minimum of 12 months to a maximum of 60 months depending on the nature of employment and need of such employment by the hiring organisation. The Immigration Department of Malaysia will issue the Employment Pass.

April 2011

Launch of Residence Pass-Talent (RP-T)
Ten-year visa enabling top foreign talent in critical sectors to stay and contribute for a longer term

Residence Pass
The Residence Pass, which is in effect a 10-year multiple entry visa, gives a welcoming signal to top foreign talent. The pass provides talent the flexibility to work with any employer without having to apply for another pass. The spouse and children (under 18 years) of the holder will also be awarded the same benefits, e.g. the spouse has the freedom and flexibility to work.

June 2011

Introduction of i-Pass
Identification pass to help expatriate’s mobility within Malaysia

October 2011

Introduction of the Employment Pass
Category II by the Government to enable top foreign graduates who had completed their tertiary education in Malaysia and young professionals, to pursue employment in the country.

December 2011

– TalentCorp turns one

April 2012

– Launch of Talent Roadmap 2020
– MOU between MOHA and TalentCorp
– Formation of Joint Working Committee-Expatriate (JWC-E)

Q1 2013

Expatriate Services Division set up in April 2013
Re-brand and re-engineer Immigration Department’s Expatriate Services Division


Expatriate Services Centre
Establish a full-fledged focal point for top expatriates of leading companies, offering premium services

Grace of Mondelez International

“In Mondelez International, we provide international work experience and different cultural exposure to our employees in order to develop global talent. TalentCorp supported us in our Talent Development and Mobility Programme by assisting us on securing work permits for our International Assignee in Malaysia. It’s good to have a partner like TalentCorp.” – Grace Munsayac, human resource director, Mondelez International

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