Extending tourist visa or visa runs

Hi there,

My girlfriend has a 9 month work contract in Kuala Lumpur and I am planning to join her for the majority of her stay.

Originally, I had planned to do two visa runs in total, as I already have to return to the UK for two weeks after 80 days in Malaysia. However, reading this blog and other supporting documents has got me feeling a tad nervous about the viability of this.

I wasn't planning on doing visa runs of a single day of a few days to neighbouring countires, I was planning two to three week trips to Japan, South Korea, etc. Does this change my re-entry at all?

I will be working freelance for British companies so will be unable to apply for a work visa in Malaysia.

What options are available for me? Is two visa runs of the type I described viable? I don't mind moving to surrounding countries for a few weeks at a time but I want to be with my girlfriend for the majority of her stay.

I will also have a semi-permanent address in Kuala Lumpur and return flights all booked up.


As long as you break up your re-entries into KL with 2-3 weeks, as you suggest, you may be able to do this without problems.

Immigration look for entry patterns. So far it has been disclosed that if leaving from 80-90th day, then minimum 7 days outside Malaysia is required. However don't think that this means re-entry will be guaranteed with such a short absence.

It is possible to extend a 90 day tourist entry by 30 days and once more by 14 days. The latter is at the discretion of immigration. But this is not really feasible as you want to make more than one trip here.

Work permits in Malaysia are applied for by a local company, so you could not get one as you are not employed by a Malaysian company.

Basically immigration is interested in people working illegally in Malaysia. You will be questioned by officers about your purpose. Due to local traditions, it might not be advisable to make a big deal of living with your girlfriend here.


Thank you so much for your reply - you are some what of a veteran on this website so your advice is very much appreciated.

I'm glad that breaking up my re-entries by a few weeks will improve my chances.

However, if I got to the immigration office and ask for an extension, to then be denied, would this reduce my chances of being able to re-enter the country after a few weeks and gaining a 90 day tourist entry?

Sorry for all the questions - I leave the UK at the end of this month so I want to put my nerves at ease.

If I understand your question correctly, the extension route is just not suitable for you because that is really for people making one entry, extending it at the immigration department and then leaving.  You would need to enter 3 times with some reasonable spaces. A likely scenario might be on the third entry you might not be given 90 days.

Okay, thanks.

Would entering Malaysia through a different border/airport increase my chances of being granted full 90 day visas on re-entry?

Not really because the dates are in an immigration database as well as your passport will be stamped on entry and departure. The standing orders would generally be the same at every border. KL is possibly the best entry point. I would say that Johor and Penang are possibly more tricky