Permitted source countries for companies hiring migrant workers by job sector

Published on 22 Dec 2023, last updated on 2 Feb 2024

Businesses in Malaysia can hire migrant workers from various countries. The Malaysian Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA) or Kementerian Dalam Negeri (KDN) updates the status of these permissible categories from time-to-time. Presently, businesses can hire from 15 source countries with the following rules:

Source CountryStatus
IndonesiaPermitted for all sectors, except only female Indonesian workers are permitted for manufacturing
NepalPermitted for all sectors and the security sector (as security guards)
IndiaPermitted for all service sectors (sub sector Indian businesses), agriculture, farming, and construction (high tension cable workers only)
PhilippinesMale workers are permitted for all sectors and female workers only for the domestic work (domestic helper/maid) sector
BangladeshReopened since 2021
ThailandAll sectors
MyanmarAll sectors
CambodiaAll sectors
LaosAll sectors
VietnamAll sectors
PakistanAll sectors
Sri LankaAll sectors
TurkmenistanAll sectors
UzbekistanAll sectors
KazakhstanAll sectors

Source: Ministry of Home Affairs

The MOHA reviews the list of approved source countries regularly and may make changes as needed. For example, the MOHA may add or remove countries from the list based on factors such as the availability of workers, the economic conditions of the source countries, and the security situation in the source countries.

Employers who are interested in hiring migrant workers should contact the MOHA to get the latest list of approved source countries and to learn more about the quota allocation process.

  • The list of approved source countries is not exhaustive. Employers may be able to hire migrant workers from other countries if they can obtain special permission from the MOHA.
  • The quota allocation process is competitive. Employers should submit their applications early to increase their chances of getting a quota.
  • Employers must comply with all applicable laws and regulations when hiring migrant workers

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