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Malaysia – Visas

Visa Regulations for Entering Malaysia

Malaysia is a Southeast Asian country that is known for its diversity, natural beauty, and booming economy. Whether visiting Malaysia for tourism, work, or study, it is important to understand the visa regulations and requirements for entry. In this article, we will explore the types of visas available for entering Malaysia, any exemptions that may apply, and the relationship between visas and residency.

Types of Visas for Entering Malaysia

There are several types of visas available for individuals who wish to enter Malaysia, including short-term visas and long-term visas. The type of visa required will depend on the individual’s reason for entering Malaysia, the length of their stay, and their nationality.

Short-Term Visas

Short-term visas are available for individuals who wish to stay in Malaysia for up to 90 days. These visas are generally issued for the purpose of tourism, business, or family visits. Short-term visas can be further categorized into the following types:


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  • Tourist visa: This visa allows the holder to stay in Malaysia for up to 30 days for the purpose of tourism. This visa can be extended for up to 90 days.

  • Business visa: This visa allows the holder to stay in Malaysia for up to 30 days for the purpose of business. This visa can be extended for up to 90 days.

  • Social visit visa: This visa allows the holder to stay in Malaysia for up to 30 days for the purpose of visiting family or friends. This visa can be extended for up to 90 days.

Long-Term Visas

Long-term visas are available for individuals who wish to stay in Malaysia for more than 90 days. These visas are generally issued for the purpose of work, study, or family reunification. Long-term visas can be further categorized into the following types:

  • Employment pass: This visa is required for individuals who wish to work in Malaysia. It is valid for a maximum of two years and can be extended for up to 10 years.

  • Student pass: This visa is required for individuals who wish to study in Malaysia. It is valid for the duration of the study program.

  • Spouse visa: This visa is required for individuals who wish to join their spouse in Malaysia. It is valid for a maximum of five years.

Visa Exemptions

Citizens of some countries are exempt from the visa requirement when traveling to Malaysia. These countries include members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, as well as citizens of some other countries, such as the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. However, even if a visa is not required, individuals may still need to meet certain requirements, such as having a valid passport and proof of sufficient funds.

Relationship Between Visas and Residency

It is important to note that a visa is not the same as a residency permit. While a visa allows an individual to enter Malaysia for a specific period of time, a residency permit allows an individual to reside in Malaysia for an extended period of time. In order to obtain a residency permit, individuals must meet certain requirements, such as having a job offer or proof of financial means to support themselves.

Reliable Information on Visas for Entry into Malaysia

Individuals who are planning to travel to Malaysia can find reliable information on visa requirements and regulations from the following sources:

When to Apply

Most foreign nationals require a visa to enter Malaysia, with some exceptions for citizens of certain countries who are eligible for visa-free entry or can obtain a visa upon arrival. It is advisable to apply for a visa before traveling to Malaysia, as visas can also be obtained upon arrival in certain cases. However, it is recommended to check the latest information regarding entry requirements and procedures with the relevant authorities before traveling.

Where to Apply

Malaysian consulates or embassies abroad are the primary locations for visa application. The closest one to your location can be found on the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia: https://www.kln.gov.my/web/guest/missions

For US expats, the Embassy of Malaysia in Washington, D.C. is responsible for issuing visas. Additional information and visa application forms can be found on their website: https://www.kln.gov.my/web/usa_washington/home.

For UK expats, the High Commission of Malaysia in London is responsible for issuing visas. Additional information and visa application forms can be found on their website: https://www.kln.gov.my/web/gbr_london/home.

Documents Required

The following documents are required when applying for a visa for Malaysia:

  • Completed visa application form.
  • Original passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry into Malaysia.
  • One recent passport-size color photograph.
  • Proof of payment of visa fees.
  • Proof of travel arrangements (airline tickets, hotel reservations, etc.).
  • Proof of sufficient funds for the duration of stay in Malaysia.

It is important to check with the relevant authorities for any additional requirements or documents, as requirements may vary depending on the type of visa and the purpose of the visit.

Translations may be required for documents that are not in English. It is advisable to check with the relevant authorities for their specific requirements.

Processing Time

The processing time for a visa for Malaysia can vary, but it typically takes around 5-7 working days. Express processing is also available at an additional cost. It is advisable to check with the relevant authorities for the latest information regarding processing times.

Cost

The cost of a visa for Malaysia varies depending on the type of visa and the purpose of the visit. Visa fees can be paid in the local currency of the consulate or embassy where the visa is being applied for. Additional costs, such as express processing fees, may also apply.

It is advisable to check with the relevant authorities for the latest information regarding visa fees and any associated costs.


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