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Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia: Visa Information to Visit or Live

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There are three kinds of work in Malaysia: you can work for an international company, for a local company, or for an embassy or chamber of commerce. While a company will take care of obtaining your work permit, it is possible to work with only a tourist visa. We would not recommend the later as you will not be protected in case your employer decides not to pay you, and you will be taxed as an expatriate—more than 27 percent.

Therefore the best option is to obtain employment with a company that will organize your visa. To do this you must work in a specialist field where you expertise and experience is in demand. The most effective way to secure this type of work is through employment agencies as this is how most larger and international employers source candidates.

Nationals of certain countries can visit Malaysia for up to three months without a visa but will need to be granted a work visa or permit to take up employment. Commonwealth citizens (except for India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka), British protected persons or citizens of the Republic of Ireland and citizens of Switzerland, the Netherlands, San Marino and Liechtenstein do not need a visa to enter Malaysia. Citizens of certain countries which include Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Japan, Republic of Korea, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Turkey, Italy, United Arab Emirates and the United States of America do not require a visa for a visit not exceeding three months. Citizens of European Countries, Baltic and Commonwealth of Independent States, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Romania and Syria do not need a visa for a visit not exceeding two weeks. Citizens of North Korea, Cuba, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the People's Republic of China and holders of Hong Kong Certificate of Identify, Myanmar and Taiwan are allowed to enter Malaysia subject to their application for a visa being approved. Nationals of countries not mentioned above will need a visa to visit Malaysia.

The main employment centres are Kuala Lumpur, George Town and Ipoh. Rental rates and house prices are highest in these particular areas of the country, but when compared to other countries popular with expatriates, Malaysia is a lot cheaper.

Once an application has been made for a job in Malaysia it is normal for a potentially suitable candidate to travel to the country for an interview. A successful candidate will then be granted an Employment Pass or Professional Pass by their employer which will give them the right to residency in Malaysia. A travelling spouse and children will then require Dependent's Passes.

For expatriate children there are many international schools which either follow the English or American education system and curriculum, and for the benefit of all family members there are excellent health care facilities in Malaysia - although funding health care can be a problem. Basically all expatriates living and working in Malaysia have to use private hospitals and doctors and their fees can be quite high, this means that health insurance is a must – many international employers in Malaysia include family health insurance as part of their employment package but if not, an individual has to make sure they have expatriate health insurance in place. Employment income is taxed on a sliding scale with the top rate of tax just 28%.

However, as these regulations are subject to change frequently, it is advisable to check with the nearest Malaysian embassy for the latest information.

You can also verify visa information for Dubai & Singapore.

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