Guidelines for Malaysian Visa

How to apply for Malaysian visa? - Everything you need to know!

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Visa to Malaysia

A Malaysian visa a travel-permit but not an entrance warranty document. Holding a Malaysian visa is mandatory for citizens of visa-subject countries wishing to visit this country. 

Nationals of visa-exempt countries can enter Malaysia without a visa under the condition of passing the border control successfully.

In both cases (visa-subject and visa-exempt countries) the final decision about letting a traveller cross the border is always taken by an Immigration Officer at the point-of-entry.

A Malaysia Visa is a pre-entry document allowing you to come and stay in this country up to 14, 30 or 90 days depending on the nationality of the traveller, purpose of the visit and some other details. Anyway, the Immigration Officer has the right to deny an entrance to any person. In this case, the passenger must turn back even if they gained the approval from the side of the Immigration Department of Malaysia or the Malaysian Representative.

But don’t worry, holders of tourist visas and passengers from visa-free countries, in general, enter Malaysia without any problems - they are just a subject of border control and get a Pass issued by an Immigration Officer. This Pass in your passport contains the information about your entrance date and time you can remain in Malaysia.

Malaysian visa guidelines

If you are planning to visit this beautiful country in Southeast Asia, you are probably already looking for information about its visa policy. You do not need to continue! In our article, we will present all issues and questions connected to the subject of the Malaysia visa. After reading our guidelines you will know:

  • if you need to apply for a Malaysian visa before the departure
  • how to apply for a tourist Malaysian visa
  • if it is possible to apply for a Malaysia visa online and who can do it
  • what are required documents for a visa to Malaysia
  • all about types of visas and Passes to Malaysia
  • how to get the visa on arrival and how to extend it if needed

Do you need a visa to Malaysia?

Malaysia is a very welcoming country and the list of visa-exempt countries is long. Check if your home country is listed there. You may check on the official website of the Malaysian embassy in your state or go to the Wikipedia site about the visa policy in Malaysia:

If you haven’t found your country on this list, read the rest of this article carefully as you apparently need visa information.

There are actually 3 lists of countries. Citizens of several countries can stay in Malaysia for 90 days without a visa, others for 30 days and the third group - up to 14 days. 

If you want to take a paid job, study or move to Malaysia, you will have to apply for another type of visa than a tourist one.

Malaysia visa application

If you are not eligible for an online visa application (see the next paragraph to see who is), you need to go or send the documents to a Malaysian Representative Office or a Visa Application Center there where you live.

Next step is downloading the application form from the website of the Immigration Department of Malaysia. You need to have the Adobe Reader installed on your computer, smartphone or tablet. You have to complete it electronically, then print it and sign.

You can submit the application form with an affixed passport-style photo of yourself and the documents by mail or in person if it is required by the Malaysian Representative Office or a Visa Application Center near you. Remember that your photograph must satisfy all Malaysian Visa Photo Standards.

If the authorities accept your application and documents, you can collect your passport with the affixed visa to Malaysia.

Malaysia tourist visa application online

There is a list of countries, which citizens can apply for a Malaysian visa online (through the Malaysia eVisa system). See which ones to know if you are eligible. They are:

  • Bangladesh
  • Bhutan
  • China
  • India
  • Montenegro
  • Myanmar
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Serbia
  • Sri Lanka

Nationals of these countries are the possibility, but not a duty to apply for a visa online. It is also possible through the Malaysian Representative Office, in person or by mail.

If you hold a Chinese or Indian passport, you can use the eNTRI (Electronic Travel Registration and Information).

In the case of an online application, you have to attach the required documents electronically. Scan them and add them to the application in the specified field.

Once your visa process is finished successfully, you receive your visa via the Internet. It will not be affixed in your passport – you have to print it and carry it with you together with a passport.

Malaysia Visa Required Documents

You need to complete a documentary in order to get your visa. Some of them are universal and some are required for different types of visa, for example: you have to submit an original approval letter from the Immigration Department of Malaysia or another authority once you apply for a Malaysia Visa with Reference.

Below we present a list of documents needed for a tourist Malaysia visa:

  • Malaysia visa application form - two completed and signed copies
  • passport valid for at least 6 months from the date you intend to travel to Malaysia and with at least two blank pages
  • 2 photocopies of your passport - only the pages with your personal data
  • 2 passport-style photos of yourself meeting requirements
  • go, onward or back ticket from Malaysia on your name and its color photocopy
  • itinerary for this trip
  • hotel booking or an invitation letter if you are going to stay with your family or friends
  • proof of sufficient funds - a bank statement from the past 3 months
  • proof of the payment for visa fees
  • Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate (if you come from a country that is in risk of Yellow Fever transmission)

If you travel with your underage child,  you must also attach their birth certificate. If you travel with the child and you are not their parent or a legal guardian, you must submit a No Objection Letter from the parents or legal guardians is required, allowing the minor to travel with you.

If you are applying online and in some locations, you will have the possibility to track the process of your application online. The application processing time may vary depending on many factors: your country, method through which you are applying, the time of year and even the season when you have all the required documentation. Anyway, there is some time frame for different applications. If you have applied in person or via mail, the processing time depends on the office chosen by you but it is hardly ever more than 7-8 working days.

In the case of an online (eVisa), the process should take no longer than 4-5 working days. The fastest way is an application through eNTRI. It is up to 72 hours.

Types of Visa do Malaysia

The Malaysian authorities issue 3 types of visas to foreign citizens:

1. Single Entry Visa called also a tourist visa

This is a pre-entry permission for a short stay in Malaysia. You can apply it if you travel to visiting your family or friends, sightseeing, take part in cultural or sports events etc. This travel permission is valid for only one entrance to the country and expires after 3 months from the date of issue.

2. Multiple Entry Visa

You may apply for the Multiple Entry Malaysian Visa for tourism only if you are from India or the People's Republic of China. Other nationals can apply for a multiple entry visa for business or government-to-government travels. In both cases the candidate must submit:

  • the written explanation of why they apply for a multiple entry visa
  • a flight ticket reservation which shows at least two trips to Malaysia
  • the proof of sufficient funds for staying in Malaysia
  • a photocopy of a valid and confirmed return ticket

The Multiple Entry Visas to Malaysia are not applicable for organized tourist groups. If you travel in a group and want to enter Malaysia more than once during 3 months, you need to apply individually. With the multiple entry visa, you can stay in Malaysia for the period of 3 or 12 months but each entry must not last more than 30 days.

3. Transit Visa

If you change your flight in one of the Malaysian airports and you are not planning to leave the airport before continuing your journey to the next destination - you do not require a transit visa.                                        

You need it only if you want to leave the airport or you pass through Malaysia to another country.

A Malaysian visa could be a Malaysia Visa Without Reference or Malaysia Visa With Reference.

The Malaysia Visa Without Reference can be issued for social visits or tourism purposes, and it is usually a single-entry visa. It does not require a prior authorisation from the Malaysian authority body.

The Malaysia Visa With Reference, for a change, needs prior authorization from the Immigration Department of Malaysia before being issued. You have to apply for this type of visa if you want to travel to Malaysia for studies, join a family or work.

Passes to Malaysia

A Malaysian Visa - as mentioned - is pre-entry permission to travel. Malaysia Passes are travel permissions too, but this indicated on them which is the purpose of the travel. Some Passes are available to receive at the-port-of-entry upon arrival and some have to be received before the departure to Malaysia. The application process for these Passes is the same as for visas, such as an Employment Pass. You can get one of following Malaysia Passes:

  • Short Term Social Visit Pass called also a Tourist Visa on Arrival

You can receive this Pass if you are traveling for a short-term purpose, such as visiting family/friends, short holidays, business meeting, attending a conference, passing an exam, participating in a sports competition, etc.

  • Employment Pass

This pass authorises its holder to work in a Malaysian company/organisation. Before you apply for the Employment Pass, The Expatriate Committee (EC) or another Malaysian authority has to approve your position in the company which is hiring you.

  • Dependant Pass

The Pass issued to wives, husbands, underaged children and elderly parents of holders of an Employment Pass.

  • Temporary Employment or Visitor’s Pass

This Pass is issued to foreign nationals who want to work in a private sector or as a Foreign Domestic Help. Applying for this Pass before the planned trip is required. 

  • Professional Visitor’s Pann

This is the Pass for service providers who want to offer their professional services in Malaysia for a short-term.

  • Long Term Social Visit Pass aka Spouse Visa for Malaysia

Especially for spouses or life partners of Malaysian citizens who want to live in Malaysia for a period of time longer than 6 months but not longer than 5 years. Holding this Pass, you cannot get a paid job or become self-employed.

  • Student Pass called also the Malaysia Student Visa

Apply for this Pass if your purpose to go to Malaysia is pursuing studies.

  • Residence Pass

Valid up to 10 years Pass for highly qualified foreigners who will work in Malaysia. You can apply for this Pass only if you have stayed and worked in Malaysia previously, at least for 3 years.

Malaysian Visa on Arrival and Visa Extension

There are only a few situations when getting a Malaysian Visa on arrival is possible. You must:

  • be a citizen of India or China
  • travel directly from Indonesia, Singapore or Thailand with a valid visa to these countries
  • present a return flight ticket
  • prove that you have at least USD 1000 per person to cover the cost of living in Malaysia

If you want to extend your stay in Malaysia, remember that this is not possible for a single entry visa and Social Visit Pass. Do not leave the country after your visa expires because you risk being punished and deported.

If you are in an extraordinary situation such as for example: an accident, dangerous situation in your home country (war, natural disaster etc.) you may ask about an extension of your visa but be aware that this is very difficult to get.

However, an extension of a Social Visit Pass may be possible in extraordinary cases, and only after consideration on a case to case basis. For example, you could receive an extension for your Social Visit Pass if you fell ill, had an accident, or if a situation in your home country (such as a war) could endanger you if you returned. In such a case, provide evidence of these circumstances and a return ticket to your home country.

Why go to Malaysia?

This exotic and beautiful country big for over 300,000 square kilometers is located in the Malay Peninsula and stretches to parts of Borneo. Its capital and the biggest city, Kuala Lumpur, is the real capital of finances and business in South East Asia. This is why so many businessmen go every year there.

But of course, this country is also known for its outstanding beaches, quiet and full of the beautiful nature islands, elevated hill stations, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

You will have the opportunity to admire a wild nature in Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, visit Malacca also known as ‘The Historic State’ with its most interesting architecture in all of Malaysia, take a rest on paradise beaches in Langkawi Island which is very popular with honeymooners and observe the freely living orangutans in Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in Sabah (East Malaysia)

Try a Malaysian kitchen with the staple food in Malaysia, nasi kandar - you will be given a plate with rice with a choice of variety of toppings and sauces. If you like nightlife, going to the Golden Triangle is an area of Kuala Lumpur is mandatory for you! This area is well known for its nightlife, bar, clubs, restaurants.

One thing is sure - you will never be bored in Malaysia!