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Visas for Malaysia


If you have decided to move to Malaysia, you will probably need a visa. Find out, in this article, which visa suits you best and what are the conditions attached.

Before moving to Malaysia, it is best to inquire about traveling and entry conditions into the country. In most cases, you will need a valid passport and a visa according to the length and motives of your stay in the country. You can thus choose among different types of visas, namely the long or short term visit permits, the work visa, the student visa, the transit visa, the multiple entries visa, permanent residence, etc.


To be allowed to travel to Malaysia, the following documents have to be produced to the Malaysian embassy or consulate in your home country:

  • your original passport along with 2 copies
  • a duly filled and signed visa application form along with a duplicate
  • two passport-size identity photos
  • proof of confirmation of a return ticket (original 2 copies)
  • your recent bank statement or a traveler’s checkbook
  • an invitation letter or proof of accommodation in some cases
  • visa fees.

Visa waiver

Nationals of the following countries do not need a visa for a three months stay in the State of Sabah: Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bosnia Herzegovina, Brazil, Chile, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Norway, Oman, Peru, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, South Korea, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay and Yemen.

However, their passport should be valid for a minimum six months period as from their date of entry into Malaysia. Moreover, they should be in possession of a return ticket or booking. In some cases, the immigration department could request for a visa for the country from which they came.


Sarawak only issues tourist visas which are valid for a maximum of one month period.

Work permit

The work permit, which is also known as the employment pass is granted according to strict criteria. Indeed, Malaysia is very selective in terms of immigration. Therefore, local authorities issue permits only to foreigners with relevant specific professional skills wishing to contribute to the Malaysian economy thanks to their expertise. Note that recruitment of foreigners is subject to a committee approval before the visa application is processed.

Multiple entries visa

The multiple entries visa is issued to foreigners who are required to travel to Malaysia several times a year for business or diplomatic purposes. Its validity period ranges between three to twelve months. Indian and Chinese nationals are eligible to a one year visa by default. However, they are not allowed to stay in the country more than a month at each visit. In fact, they have to leave the country 30 days before coming back on another business or diplomatic trip.


The applicants should provide proof of sufficient funds to support themselves during their stay in Malaysia as well as proof of a return ticket booking. Fees apply.

Long stay visas

They are called Long-Term Social Visit Passes (LTSVP) and are primarily available to spouses and non-Malaysian children under 18 years of age (sometimes extended). They are not available to "expatriates and permanent residents". They are available to parents and limited other family members of Expatriate Official - i.e. those who cannot be deemed dependents. More information is on the immigration website. There are newly introduced waiting periods before they are granted after a marriage to a Malaysian citizen has been registered.  

Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H)

Local authorities have set up a 10-year extended program called Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H). This program provides for a long stay visa which is valid for ten years and renewable. It also includes spouses and less than 21 years old dependent children.

Student visa

Since the 1st February 2013 foreign students wishing to apply to a private higher education institution must contact the Ministry of Education through the Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS). This One Stop Application process allows the student to search and apply for multiple courses at multiple institutions all at the same time. However, they are only allowed to register with institutions licensed institutions providing accredited courses. They also have to apply for a student pass. Note that students must have applied for the student visa before traveling to Malaysia.



If you intend to perform an internship in Malaysia, you can apply for a tourist visa on arrival. However, you will be required to leave the country and make a renewal request in case your internship period exceeds the authorized three months. Therefore, it is best to apply for a student visa. The company who has hired you will then take care of related formalities. You will, in turn, have to gather all required documents, as well as your internship agreement.

Transit visa

The transit visa has been designed for foreigners traveling to other countries and having to transit through Malaysia before reaching their destination. However, it is only required when passengers concerned are planning to leave the airport before embarking on their next destination, on board or on another flight.

 Good to know:

The maximum authorized transit period lasts for 120 hours, that is five days. Note that immigration authorities can apply other conditions regarding this authorized period. Moreover, the arrival and departure should take place at the same airport, the traveler must be in possession of a visa for his final destination and his passport should be valid for at least six months. He must be in possession of a copy of the route, including the reservation number.

 Useful links:

Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) program
Malaysian Immigration Department
Visa application form
KLIA2 - Specifics visas depending on the country of origin
Go Abroad – List of Malaysian embassies and consulates abroad

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Member since 01 June 2008
Small earth, Mauritius
1 Comment
7 months ago

is there any long term VISA options for expats?


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