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Entering Malaysia

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Malaysia is a popular South-East Asian business and holiday hub that attracts tourists and expatriates from all corners of the world. Before travelling to Malaysia, make sure that you are well informed about the different types of visas and various other requirements, which differ depending on nationality, intended duration, and purpose of stay.

Which countries require a visa

Citizens of North America, the European Union and most commonwealth countries (excluding Bangladesh, Cameroon, Ghana, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) do not require a visa for a 'social visit' of up to 90 days. Citizens from most ASEAN countries (excluding Myanmar) are granted 30 visa-free days on arrival. Travellers will simply receive a stamp in their passport that will be valid for the entitled duration.

Other nationalities should contact their nearest Malaysian embassy or consulate, as they may be required to obtain a visa in advance – especially if travelling for longer than a month. The embassy will be able to advise on the visa application process, as well as any further requirements.

As of May 2017, citizens from China, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Bhutan, Serbia and Montenegro also have the option of applying online for a 30-day single-entry eVISA. Once approved, this eVISA must be printed in A4 format and presented on arrival.

Special entry conditions

Nationals from Angola, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Colombia, DRC, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Israel,Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Western Sahara are only allowed to enter Malaysia by air.

Colombian citizens are only allowed to arrive or transfer through Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Israeli citizens can now visit Malaysia as long as they have a visa and official approval from the Ministry Of Home Affairs, Malaysia. They are still, however, banned from participating in the 'Malaysia My Second Home' (MM2H) programme.

 Good to know:

The eastern states of Sabah and Sarawak have separate entry requirements and visa regulations. You will also need your passport to enter these states from Peninsular Malaysia on a domestic flight.

A visa is not an absolute guarantee of permission to enter Malaysia. The final decision lies with the immigration department at your chosen entry point to the country.

Conditions of entry

To be allowed entry into Malaysia, you will need to fulfil the following criteria.

  1. Your passport must be valid for at least six months from entry date.
  2. You must meet all entry requirements and have obtained a visa in advance if need be.
  3. You must be able to present a valid return ticket or a ticket to an onward destination.
  4. You must be able to prove you have sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay in Malaysia.
  5. You must be able to show proof of accommodation.
  6. A completed arrival/departure card must be presented to an immigration officer at the entry point.
  7. You must have your fingerprints scanned on arrival and departure.
  8. Anyone coming from these African or South American countries may be required to show a certificate of immunisation against yellow fever.

 Important:

Anyone classified under Section 8 of Immigration Act 1959/63 will not be allowed to enter Malaysia.

Malaysian immigration authorities have strict procedures for dealing with anyone who overstays their authorised visa duration. An overstay can result in a fine of up to MYR10,000 (~USD2,340) or can even carry a prison sentence of up to five years.

 Useful links

Malaysia Immigration Office
List of countries that require a visa
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.
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