Work during study in Malaysia
Updated on Sep 20, 2016 - 11:17 a.m. IST by Manashjyoti
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Work during study in Malaysia: Studying abroad can be fun as well as challenging. The fun part obviously lies in being able to travel abroad – that too to a developed country which in most cases is also a tourist hotspot. So, in some ways you feel like floating in a bubble about to conquer the world. But this bubble of excitement gets a reality check of sorts when confronted by the gravity of studying abroad: bouts of loneliness, long-distance travel that gives one a jet-lag, trouble getting acclimatized and managing the necessary funds, to mention a few. If you are planning to study in Malaysia, a similar bitter-sweet moment may challenge you. One way of reducing the bitterness and making your stay in Malaysia sweeter is to work during study in Malaysia. But before we start with part-time jobs, first let’s take a look at what makes Malaysia a viable study-abroad destination.

Malaysia’s stars are rising as a study-abroad destination

Currently, five Malaysian universities are listed in QS world rankings 2016, helping it build a case among students. But there are other reasons as well why students come to study in Malaysia. Prominent among them includes:

  • It is much cheaper to study in Malaysia than in top academic destinations like Australia and USA. For example, the average cost of an engineering degree in the UK is about USD 45,000; the same degree costs USD16,000 in Malaysia.

  • Malaysia’s education system is modeled on the British education system, which is very popular among members of the Commonwealth.

  • A cultural melting pot, Malaysia is cosmopolitan and forward looking with a long list of tourist attractions

So, if you have fallen for the charm of Malaysia, we can move to our next topic: work during study in Malaysia


Part-time work in Malaysia for international students

If you are an international student, you are allowed to pursue part-time employment in Malaysia. But the catch is there are limited paid employment opportunities and the competition is fierce. In addition, the Malaysian Immigration Department has specific guidelines for international students studying in Malaysia seeking part-time work opportunities.


Guidelines international students studying in Malaysia must follow:

  • International students can work a maximum of 20 hours per week in a select category of jobs during their vacations

  • Before you take up part-time employment in Malaysia, you need to consult the Student Visa Officer at the International Office.

  • You are also barred from undertaking unofficial employment, as doing so you stand the risk of getting your student visa revoked.

Vacations during which you can work include:

  • semester breaks

  • festive holidays

  • more than seven days of holiday

International students are allowed to work in the following type of establishments:

  • restaurants

  • petrol kiosks

  • mini markets

  • hotels

Professions that are out of bounds for international students seeking part-time employment in Malaysia include:

  • cashier

  • singer

  • masseur

  • musician

  • guest relations officer

  • any activity considered immoral

Application process to pursue work during study in Malaysia

International students seeking to work during study in Malaysia need to get the necessary approval from the immigration office.


1. Documents to be furnished with the application

  • a photocopy of your passport (the photocopy must include information of the bearer and valid Student Pass)

  • address, contact number and letter from the prospective employer

  • RM 120 (Non-returnable processing fee)

2. The student must meet the representative of the Educational Institution, who will forward the application to work part-time in Malaysia at the Immigration Department Headquarters Malaysia. The application must be accompanied by the university’s sponsorship, allowing the international student to take up work during study in Malaysia. The supporting letter will also include the dates of the semester breaks.

3. After interviewing the applicant, the Director General of Immigration may approve/decline the application.

4. Students whose applications have been approved will have their passports endorsed accordingly.

Valid student pass mandatory to work during study in Malaysia

A valid passport isn’t simply needed to study in Malaysia, but to work during study in Malaysia as well. The student pass can be obtained from the Department of Immigration Malaysia.

Documents required:

a)      Supporting letter ( Ministry of Education / Department of Skill Development)

b)      Original or copy of offer letter

c)       Two (2) sets of Form Imm.14

d)      Two (2) sets of passport copies / travel documents

e)      Two (2) sets of colored photos (3.5 cm x 3.5 cm)

f)       Personal Bond form (stamped), and

g)    For students who wish to transfer university/college, they need a release letter from their previous university/college, attendance report, academic performance report and support letter from Ministry of Education.

Application procedure:

2. Foreigner in public higher education institutions

  • Application can be sent to the State Immigration Office via the universities.

  • Applicants from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan need to apply directly for the Student Pass application at Department of Immigration Headquarters in Putrajaya. The extensions of the Student Pass can be made at State Immigration Office

3. Foreigner in private higher education institutions / training centers

  • New application for Student Pass can be made through Education Malaysia Global Service (EMGS) system via the universities/colleges/training centers.

  • The extensions of the Student Pass can be made at State Immigration Office.

If you find an opportunity to work during study in Malaysia, you not only earn some valuable money, but get a first-hand taste of the Malaysian job market as well: what are the working conditions like, which profession pays well and what is the pay gap, in addition to getting yourself a leg up on your peers once you complete your studies and start looking for post-study jobs in Malaysia.


Stay tuned to for more stories on Malaysia

Also read:

Work after study in Malaysia

Study in Malaysia: Know all about best universities

Study in Malaysia-Admission Cycle


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