extending visit visas/doing visa runs

Hello everyone,
My partner and I are from Australia and have started an online business and ready to try out the whole "digital nomad" lifestyle for a while.
We love Malaysia (been there a few times for holidays). I am aware we can stay for 90 days at a time with the "visa free" policy.
Just wondering can this visa be extended or can we do a visa run to a neighbouring country for a period of time and then return to Malaysia and if so how risky is this, as far as would we be allowed back into Malaysia?
Thanks in advance :-)

You could probably do several visa runs before immigration may react and reduce the number of days from 90 downwards. You need to be out of the country for 7 days if you leave between 80-90 days.

Thank you for your reply Gravitas. It's much appreciated.
That sounds great that several runs might be allowed. We intended to visit Indonesia for a month between visa runs.

You are right to be concerned about re-entry. In the old days, you could expect really unlimited re-entries. Today, there is no guarantee of re-entry and they dont have any extending mechanism. At the border, you will get a clerk who will grant it or they wont. You just dont know. If they dont grant 90-days again, they will give 3 days with instruction to visit the immigration enforcement dept immediately where you would plead your case. Being a digital nomad isnt a valid reason to stay in the country.

Ok that said, I would bet on at least a few trouble-free re-entries but at some point you have to decide what you are really doing here and if you want to stay, you have to look at longer term visas. That creates a new headache because without getting an actual job, enrolling in school or marrying, what kind of visa would you be expecting?

Seems like once a month a digital nomad comes here to ask how to stay. There is no logic or reasoning you can use to be able to stay under such a scheme and that applies to all the countries around here. This is going to create a bit of a hard life--travel, re-accommodation, unpacking, packing up. Where do you figure to live for 90-180 days? Apartment leases are 1-2 years. Hotels then?

I wish i could be more positive. Things have changed a lot, starting from 2-3 years ago. Basically these countries dont want foreigners except as free-spending tourists and retirees and they are clearing them out as their situations expire.

Last thing, when you do visa runs you can hop over to Thailand or Singapore and the minimum time you should be out is two nights. I used to do one night and though they raised their eyebrows they let me go. OFFICIALLY, I believe the number is two months but I have never heard of that being enforced. Three weeks is a very good number. And by the way, when you leave to Indonesia for a side trip, your 90-day visa starts from zero again upon your return. Because of the uncertainty of re-entries, I would advise to make the trip nearing the end of a 90-day period so that the whole thing wasnt wasted.

Hi Aishah,
Similar kind of thing happened to me when I was coming here, at Immigration I showed them my Single Entry Visa for Employment, that is valid for one month, they said we need proof, I asked what do you want me to show you, they asked for offer letter, luckily I had one in my email, BUT... the one issued from the MINISTRY ( idk if it is from Ministry of Labour or whatever ). I was lucky enough that before going to the immigration I topped up my internet and showed them the letter from Ministry. Otherwise they won't have had let me in.

"THIS IS NOT YOUR COUNTRY" unfortunately they have this kind of attitude for foreigners, not all but most of them, whenever you will be having an argument with them you will hear this from them and they will become rude to you. you can't do anything about it, after all it's really not OUR OR YOUR COUNTRY

At last, have a nice time and stay in Malaysia.


I think it’s all down to luck and not trying to maximise the 90 days - ie leaving after 89 days and going to Singapore returning the same day.

Go out after say 60 days and spend a week outside then return. I did this for a couple of years in the past without issue.

Since my work permit has expired I’ve been doing the same and not many questions yet - although due to move to MM2H so I won’t have these issues anymore.

Hey guys, I've been following some of these posts, and have my own inputs and advice to give now that we've been through it. After moving to KL with me and working here for almost 2 years, my bf from Europe quit his job in order to figure out what to do next and so was on tourist visa (90 days validity) after they cancelled his work permit. The first 2 times he exited, he went to his home country for 3 weeks followed by US for 3 weeks. On the 3rd exit, he was questioned on his way out to Singapore. Coming in was ok.

Now on the 4th return (I used the advice on this forum as a guide, so out before 80 days, stayed 6 days in Singapore), he was denied entry at klia2. It didn't matter that he had a pending visa application with MDEC (for the MTEP program, he is trying to start a tech business here) - they said you have to be out of the country during this visa application anyway. We had to spend the night at the immigration office and he was sent back to Singapore in the morning (who then made him buy a ticket to his home country). Same experience as the others, the malaysian officers refused to listen to him, was rude to him and everybody there, until I managed to get back inside to talk to them (as I had already cleared the autogates). Unfortunately I was too late as they had already stamped the entry denial and could no longer change it supposedly.

There were others at the office with the same problem. So it looks like they're certainly clamping down. The main advice they gave me was to return to the home country every few exits and stay for at least a month or two. But they also don't like patterns of staying 3 months then leaving (even though it was leaving for 3 weeks). They don't like U-turns even though the U-turn is 6 days and not 24 hours. It's up to the officer's discretion, there are no clear rules. Not like in Europe, it's clearly stated out of 6 months, as a Malaysian I'm allowed 3 months. After that I would need to have 3 months cooling period before being allowed in again. Sadly, apart from the MTEP visa, the other options all take a lot of time for a fresh application and it's a risk to attempt to enter again on a tourist visa.

So don't delay your visas and attempt too many runs. It can end poorly. There is no set rule by the immigration, so it's dependent on their mood and your luck.

For me, no problem whatsoever. Left the 75th day of my visa to Singapore, and returned the same day to Malaysia. No questions asked.

@Kaasjes, it really depends on the officer`s mood

They'll let you do it once or twice, but by the third time may NTL you. In my bf's case, he spent >80 days in malaysia, followed by 3 weeks in Europe, then >80 days and then 3 weeks in the US. 3rd exit was via Singapore (5 days) and by the 4th time (<80 days, 6 days in S'pore) they NTLed him. They told me they expect to see cooling period of one month in home country.  And weren't too keen to see the two visits to Singapore. And yeah, bad luck with the officer that day.

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