Can I hire a foreign domestic helper (maid) if I am an expatriate in Malaysia?

Published on 13 Dec 2023, last updated on 2 Feb 2024

Yes, the Malaysian Immigration department allows foreigners and expatriates on the following visa categories in Malaysia to hire at least 1 foreign domestic helper, as long as they also meet other eligibility requirements such as minimum income and acceptable hiring reasons such as childcare, elderly care and/or housekeeping.


Expatriate visa categories eligible for hiring domestic helpers

If you are an expatriate/ foreigner in Malaysia holding one of the following long-term visas in Malaysia, you are eligible to hire a foreign domestic helper for your household:

1. Employment Pass (EP)

The Employment Pass (EP) is a work permit that enables an expatriate to take up employment with an organisation in Malaysia. The pass is subject to having a contract of employment (of up to 60 months). Immigration Units that issue Employment Passes include, but are not limited to, the Expatriate Services Division - ESD, Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation - MDEC, Malaysian Investment Development Authority- MIDA and the Protocols Unit (for diplomat officials). Employment Pass holders are allowed to hire foreign domestic helpers.

2. Residence Pass-Talent (RP-T)

The Malaysian Residence Pass-Talent (RP-T) is a long-term visa for highly skilled expatriates to live and work in Malaysia for up to 10 years with flexibility, as the Residence Pass-Talent is not tied to one employer. The main Immigration unit that issues this visa is the Residence Pass-Talent Unit located at Immigration Putrajaya headquarters. Residence Pass-Talent holders are allowed to hire foreign domestic helpers

3. Permanent Residence (PR)

Foreigners who are permanent residents in Malaysia and hold Malaysian identity cards are permitted to hire foreign domestic helpers.

4. Labuan Employment Pass

A Labuan Employment Pass is a two-year renewable work visa that caters to specific expatriates and foreign directors serving Labuan-based companies. The visa holder may live not only in Labuan but also peninsular Malaysia (e.g. Kuala Lumpur) and be permitted to exit and re-enter Malaysia multiple times. Labuan Employment Pass holders are also permitted to hire a foreign domestic helper, although the application to hire a domestic helper will need to be submitted at the Labuan Immigration unit

5. Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H)

Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) visa holders are allowed to hire up to 1 foreign domestic helper for their household. Application and approval procedures are contingent on MM2H programme guidelines on hiring a domestic helper in conjunction with Immigration’s regulations.

Expatriate employers on spousal visas or social visit passes are not eligible to be the legal employer of the domestic helper


Other general requirement documents

  • An employment verification letter issued by the Employer-Company that is hiring the expatriate in Malaysia
  • Proof of 3 months’ salary slip issued by the expatriate’s Employer-Company in Malaysia
  • Proof of a residential address in Malaysia
  • A legitimate reason to hire: childcare, elderly care or housekeeping for a large residence

Submitting a visa application for a foreign domestic helper as an expat in Malaysia

All visa applications for foreign domestic helpers hired by expatriates in Malaysia must be submitted manually over-the-counter at the relevant immigration unit and office. This will depend on where the expatriate’s employment or resident talent pass was issued at (ESD, MDEC, MIDA, MM2H or MOFA).

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