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guide to residence pass talent application in malaysia

The Expatriate’s Guide To Malaysia’s Residence Pass-Talent (RP-T)

Malaysia’s Residence Pass-Talent (RP-T) is a renewable 10-year visa that comes with a substantial degree of employment flexibility.

Being such an attractive package, the RP-T is accessible only to a select few expatriates who demonstrate high potential to positively impact Malaysia’s economy – evidenced by the recent awarding of these visas by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.

multiple country flags to show that talentcorp residence pass is open to every nationality

After reading this post, you’ll find out if you’re qualified to apply for an RP-T of your own.

Here’s how we’ll break it down:

  1. Why the RP-T was introduced
  2. Key diffferences with a Category 1 Employment Pass
  3. Minimum requirements to apply
  4. The application process
  5. We’ll try to pursuade you to get our help!

If that sounds good, let’s begin.

What is a Residence Pass-Talent?

The Malaysian Residence Pass-Talent (RP-T) was established in 2011 by TalentCorp, the Ministry of Home Affairs, and the Immigration Department of Malaysia to retain high-value expatriates who have been working in Malaysia for three years or more to contribute to her economic development over a longer period.

Though all top talent is welcome, there is a particular emphasis on leaders and experts from industries within Malaysia’s National Key Economic Areas including oil, gas & energy, financial services, and education among others.

RP-T vs Category 1 Employment Pass

A Category 1 Employment pass is another popular way for Malaysia to attract foreign professionals. 

The key differences between these two passes can be found in the table below. As you can see, an RP-T holder enjoys a significant amount of freedom over an Employment Pass holder. 

 Residence Pass-Talent Category 1 Employment Pass
Maximum Validity Period10 years5 years
Employment StatusFree to change employers at any timeTied to employer under which EP was applied for
Spouse Work StatusAllowed to workNot allowed to work

The ability to easily shift between companies and for your legal spouse to work without getting their own Employment Pass gives RP-T holders a huge amount of freedom.

The idea is for RP-T holders to truly see Malaysia as a home rather than an overseas workplace. 

However, as you will see from the following section, an Employment Pass is the stepping stone to getting access to an RP-T.

Minimum requirements for RP-T application

To qualify for an RP-T, an expatriate must: 

  • have worked in Malaysia for at least 3 consecutive years at the time of application
  • hold an Employment Pass with >3 months validity during RP-T submission/resubmission
  • earn a minimum salary of RM15,000/month excluding allowances and bonuses
  • have at least 5 years of total work experience
  • have a Malaysian income tax file number
  • have paid income tax for the most recent 2 years at the time of application
  • have annual income declared in the 2 years’ tax filings of at least RM180,000 per annum
  • hold a PhD/Master’s/Bachelor’s Degree or Diploma in any discipline from a recognised university, OR
  • a professional/competency certificate from a recognised professional institute

Expatriates must start with an Employment Pass and the company it is registered to, then work in Malaysia for three years before qualifying for an RP-T.

Ideally it should be planned in advance to ensure all requirements are met.

RP-T Application Process

Pre-application: Required documents

We’ve divided the required documents by main applicant and their various dependants. 

Main applicant

  • Passport copy (all pages, including front and back cover, and in colour) 
  • Updated resume
  • Copies of academic certificates*
  • Passport photo sized 3.5×5.0cm or 99x142pixels and light blue background
  • Employment contract, duly stamped by Inland Revenue Board Of Malaysia (IRBM)
  • Latest job description printed on company letterhead
  • Latest 2 year’s tax declaration slip (e-BE & EA Form) with proof of tax paid
  • Latest 3 months’ salary slip
  • No Objection Letter (NOL) from current employer in Bahasa Malaysia
  • A copy of the local contact person’s NRIC (MyKad) (the front and back, and in colour)
  • Local Sponsor Form (filled in with local sponsor’s details)
  • Testimonials with company’s letterhead

Dependants

This includes legal spouses, children, or legally adopted children under 18 years old.

  • Passport copy (all pages, including front and back cover, and in colour) 
  • Certified True Copy (CTC) of marriage/birth certificates by embassy*
  • Passport-sized photo with light blue background

Social Visit Pass holder

This includes common law spouses, parents, parents-in-laws, children, or legally adopted children between 18 – 24 years old.

  • A copy of the SVP’s passport (all pages, including front and back cover, and in colour)
  • Certified True Copy (CTC) of:
    • RP-T applicant’s birth certificate (for parent or children)  
    • Spouse’s birth certificate (for parent-in-law)  
    • Affidavit on the relationship status from embassy (for common law spouse)  
  • Passport-sized photo with light blue background
  • Personal Bond Form (duly stamped by Inland Revenue Board Of Malaysia and submitted within 3-months from stamping)

Keep in mind additional supporting documents may be requested by the RP-T panel.

First time hearing about Malaysian Dependents and Social Visit Passes? Take a look at our detailed guides on these topics here:

  1. FAQs on Dependent Passes
  2. Guide to Long Term Social Visit Passes

Submitting the application online

screenshot of talentcorp online portal for residence pass talent application

The application must be submitted by the applicant, and can be done via the MyExpats portal.

  1. Create account: Click ‘Register’ and enter the required information.
  2. Upload documents: Can be submitted in JPG, JPEG and PDF formats.
  3. Submit payment: Pay RM530 application fee through online payment.
  4. Track application: Application status is visible via the RP-T platform.

In general, it takes 21 working days for the RP-T application to be processed with complete documents and 10 working days for a notification to be sent on application status.

Post-application: Endorsement submission

Once you’ve received Stage 1 approval for your RP-T,  you have six months to reduce your existing Employment Pass to a maximum validity of 30 days (please consult with your employer).

With your pass duly shortened, time to proceed with the online endorsement submission, also via the MyExpats portal.

  1. Log in with your user ID and password.
  2. Go to My Endorsement and fill up the required fields accordingly.
  3. Upload all essential documents.
  4. Payment a processing fee of 
  5. Submit the application and wait 14 days from date of submission for approval. 
  6. Upon approval, make immigration payment to proceed with the pass delivery.
  7. Initiate sticker printing and upload required documents.
  8. Submit sticker printing for pass delivery.

If application is successful, the pass will be processed in 7 working days and delivered to applicants within 2 workign days for Klang Valley addresses and 3 working days for addresses in all other states.

  1. A notification via email will be sent to the applicant to notify on the delivery date.
  2. The Pass will be delivered to the applicant’s delivery address as stated in the RP-T system.

Time and costs involved in RP-T application

In total, a typical RP-T application will take up to a month, including gathering and certifying of necessary documents.

Here is a cost breakdown for a single main applicant.

Fee TypeAmount (RM)
Application Fee530.00
Processing Fee2,531.28
Immigration Fee500.00
TOTAL3,561.28

If you are planning to bring a legal spouse or other dependents, these figures can effectively be multipled according to the number of individuals.

This doesn’t account for various miscellaneous fees, such as Entry Visa fees which vary between countries.

Let MISHU help with your RP-T application

HOBD Adrian

MISHU’s team is experienced in helping applicants prepare for their Residence Pass-Talent application. We would be happy to sit down with you and understand your needs – check out our Employment Pass services and let us know if you’d like help!

🔑 Key Takeaways


  • A RP-T is a renewable 10-year work visa.

  • Compared to other visas, an RP-T gives holders a lot of freedom as they are free to change employers and their spouses are allowed to work in Malaysia.

  • Expatriates can only apply for an RP-T after working in Malaysia for at least three years.

  • RP-T applications must be submitted by the applicant directly, not their employers or agents as with conventional Employment Passes.

  • Each RP-T application costs about RM3,500 in government fees alone and can take up to 30 working days to process.

  • Save yourself the trouble and engage MISHU to help apply for your LTVSP today!

4 thoughts on “The Expatriate’s Guide To Malaysia’s Residence Pass-Talent (RP-T)

    1. Hi,

      We take accuracy of our content very seriously – could you specify which part is inaccurate?

      Many thanks,
      The MISHU Editorial team

    1. Hi Fauzi,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      We reached out to our employment pass expert regarding your inquiry, and here’s their response:

      1. In the context of a LTVSP / Spouse Visa, a sponsor is similar to a guarantor.
      2. The sponsor must a Malaysian citizen and a sibling or relative.
      3. The sponsor must have a minimum personal income of RM2K.

      Let us know if you need further assistance or clarification on this matter.

      Best regards,
      The MISHU Editorial Team

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