This article is based on the regulations amended over Foreign Workers permitted and recruited in various companies and agencies of Malaysia. Business owners and sole investors in Malaysia can collect all sort of information needed regarding Foreign Workers Recruitment Policy based in Malaysia.


  1. Employment priorities is first given to the locals of Malaysia. The employers are asked to notify JTK the Department of Labor of Malaysia and KSM the Human Resource Department of Malaysia about each and every individual job vacancy conducted. The main purpose of these acknowledgment is done so that the vacancy circulars are advertised and filled up by locals who are registered with Jobs Malaysia and other related sites.
  2. Currently the employers are allowed to hire foreign workers in only 7 sectors; Among these 7 sectors 6 formal sectors covers up the construction, plantation, services, manufacturing, agriculture and mining, while the 1 informal sector is the foreign maids.
  3. In recent date workers are allowed to be recruited or sourced from 15 different countries to Malaysia, they are — Indonesia, Nepal, Myanmar, India, Vietnam, Philippines (Only Male), Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Laos, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan.
  4. Certain age restriction of workers and labors brought in Malaysia is strictly maintained — Age between 18 – 45 years can only be allowed to be recruited upon application.
  5. Hiring tenure allowed for the 6 formal sectors are 5 + 5 years, whereas there is no maximum period of tenure maintained for the 1 informal sector for foreign maids.
  6. Approvals, permits and other consideration made for recruitment applications is based on the terms and conditions set by the Regulatory Agencies of Malaysia. Even though locals are always considered as the first priority yet hiring of foreign workers comes in priority based on the industry needs.

Guidelines for Determining the Minimum Standards needed for Foreign Workers Accommodation are as follows:
– As per Employment Law 1955 –

  1. National Wages Consultative Council Act
  2. Minimum Wages Order 2016

Workers Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act (Act 446)

  1. Guidelines in Determining Minimum Standards for Foreign Workers Accommodation

#Let us now look into the ALLOWED SOURCE COUNTRIES along with the restrictions policies conducted over the workers or labors recruited:

Well, it is clearly stated by the Ministry of Labor based in Malaysia that foreign workers from the following countries are just allowed to work in these specific formal sectors: Manufacturing, Plantation, Agricultural Sectors, Personal Services, Construction, Mining & Quarrying.

  • Thailand
  • Cambodia
  • Myanmar
  • Laos
  • Vietnam
  • Kazakhstan
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uzbekistan
  • Bangladesh

In case of Philippines, only the male workers or labors are allowed to be recruited to work in the six (6) formal sectors. Indian, workers or labors are permitted to be recruited in sectors related to Services (restaurants only), Construction, Agriculture and Plantation. For Indonesia, only the male workers can work in all the sectors except manufacturing, whereas female workers are allowed to be recruited and work in all sectors.

#Let us now look into the SERVICES INFORMATION and THE 7 SECTORS (Formal and Informal)

This section resolves the SIX FORMAL SECTORS allowed for applications of foreign workers recruitment policies:

  • Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Agriculture
  • Plantation
  • Mining and Quarrying


  • Restaurant (cooks only)
  • Cleaning Sector
  • Spa
  • Reflexology sub-sector
  • Hotel
  • Caddy (male only)
  • Cargo Handling
  • Welfare Centers

The One (1) informal sector is related to the Foreign Maids allowed and regulated under certain laws and agencies in Malaysia.


Manufacturing RM 1,850
Construction RM 1,850
Plantation RM 640
Agriculture RM 640
Mining & Quarrying RM 1,850
Services RM 1,850


All steps and procedures related to hire foreign workers in Malaysia is conducted by the One Stop Centre (OSC) at Bahagian Pengurusan Pekerja Asing and Kementerian Dalam Negeri. The sole statutory body based for labor recruitment in Malaysia was established and enforced since 1st of August of the year 2005. The work process followed by this ONE STOP CENTRE in Malaysia is simple and hassle-free — Complied with all related information and valid details the Applications are completed and submitted is processed on the same day. The recruitment process also involves an interview session that take place between employers and a panel of interviewers (Candidates) consisting of the following government agencies:

  1. Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA), Secretariat Application Sectors.
  2. Department of Labour Peninsular Malaysia, Enforcement of Employment Act 1955 and Labour Act 1955 for all sectors.
  3. Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Manufacturing Application Sector
  4. Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB), Construction Application Sector
  5. Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC), Plantation Application Sector
  6. Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), Agriculture Application Sector
  7. Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism (KPDNKK), Services Application Sector
  8. Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (NRE), Mining and Quarrying Application Sector;
  9. Ministry of Tourism and Culture (MOTAC), Tourism Application Sub-Sector;
  10. Ministry of Transport Malaysia (MOT), Application related for Airport and Ports Sub-Sector;

The Foreign Workers Recruitment Policy ends up by the Employers who receives a Quota Approval Notification and are asked to make payment for the Levy to KDN within 30 days from the date of approval. Once the payment is made and is accepted the Employer will soon a receive Conditional Approval Letter. Employers who fail to make the Levy Payment within the designated time will have their quota approval rejected.

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