Facts and Figures
31,624,264 million (48.4% women)
Net Migration Rate
1.6 migrants/ 1,000 population
Women as a Percentage of International Migrant Stock (2017)

Malaysia’s resources and strategic location has made Malaysia a major destination country for migrants from Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East and African countries. Majority of migration to Malaysia is due to economic opportunities while a substantial number of irregular and vulnerable migrants come to Malaysia seeking protection from violence, persecaution and violations in their home country.

Malaysia is also recognized as a destination and a transit country for trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants, with migrants often falling prey to scrupulous recruiters which leaves them stranded and undocumented.

Between 2010 and 2017, the number of documented foreign workers in Malaysia increased from 1.7 million to 2.2 million and as of the end of 2018, there are an estimated 2 to 4 million additional undocumented migrant workers in Malaysia. Major countries of origin of foreign workers are Indonesia, Nepal, Bangladesh, India and Myanmar, among smaller numbers from other Asian countries. There are 163,000 refugees and asylum seekers registered with UNHCR including 142,000 from Myanmar and the remaining 21,890 from other countries and areas, including Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Syria, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Iraq and the Palestinian Territories.


IOM Malaysia’s resettlement assistance includes supporting resettlement countries to arrange interviews, making travel arrangements, coordinating with IOM offices in resettlement receiving  countries, assisting with exit formalities, and organizing departure and transit assistance at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.


IOM Malaysia’s physicians conduct health assessments for all refugees accepted for resettlement to a third country by performing physical examinations to assess their health status and to identify medical conditions that may require treatment prior to their departure, or follow-up and special care after their resettlement.


IOM Malaysia’s Counter Trafficking and Immigration and Border Management initiatives are in support of the Government’s efforts to combat trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants which include capacity building activities for relevant authorities and the provision of direct assistance to vulnerable migrants, including victims of trafficking.

The Corporate Responsibility in Eliminating Slavery and Trafficking (CREST) initiative works with private and public sector actors to realize their potential in upholding human and labour rights of migrant workers in business operations and supply chains with the aim to protect migrant workers.

Cultural orientation

IOM Malaysia’s cultural orientation team provides classes to refugees bound for a resettlement country, covering topics such as how to take a flight, cultural adaptation, information about on-arrival assistance, education, personal health and healthcare systems, how to get a job, general laws as well as individual rights and responsibilities.

Related documents

Migrant Health Alert: COVID-19 Flyer

Careers and Procurement Opportunities
Invitation to Bid (ITB) & Title Category Publication Date Closing Date

Call for Expression of Interest: Country-level funding schemes for Civil Society Organizations

EOI NO: IOM MALAYSIA/ EOI-001-2021/ CREST- Funding schemes for CSOs

PROJECT NAME: Funding schemes for CSOs


Partnership 30 Sep 2021

22 Oct 2021

Request for Proposals: IOM Malaysia/ RFP No. 2021-004 Country-level impact assessment

Services 19 Oct 2021 5 Nov 2021
Contact information

International Organization for Migration (IOM)
Malaysia 570, Jalan Bukit Petaling
50460 Kuala Lumpur

Tel:    +60.3 923 55 40 0
Fax:    +60.3 214 51 09 4
Email:    iomkualalumpur@iom.int