Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia. It is located in the north of the Equator. Malaysia includes two regions:

  • Peninsular Malaysia. This region is also known as West Malaysia, and it is on the Malay Peninsula.
  • East Malaysia. It is on the island of Borneo.

Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia. It is on the west of the peninsula, which is approximately 25 miles (40 km) from the coast.

The Malaysian government offers various types of visas for international travelers to visit the country for different purposes. In this article, we will take a broad look at Malaysia visa types, some basic requirements, the difference between various Visa types and Passes, and foreigners who can apply without a visa.

Who Needs Malaysia Visas?

First and foremost, applicants must know that having a Malaysia visa does not guarantee that the traveler can enter Malaysia. A Malaysia Visa only allows the holder to travel to Malaysia. At the border, the Immigration Officers subject applicants to border checks at the point of entry and decide whether they can enter Malaysia or not.

The Immigration Officers issue a certain Pass to each traveler based on their travel purpose. These Malaysia Passes specify that the traveler can stay in Malaysia. In addition, these passes contain the period of stay for each applicant.

Important Note: Suppose an applicant is not required to get a Malaysian visa; they will still have to receive it on their passport and go through an immigration check at the entry point.

Nationals of several countries are to travel and stay in Malaysia for a pre-determined period of time without a visa. However, foreign travelers will have to apply for a visa for a stay that exceeds the initial duration.

Citizens of the following countries in the table below must acquire a Malaysia visa regardless of the duration of their stay:

Burkina FasoBurundiCameroonThe central African Republic
ChinaColombiaComorosCongo Democratic Republic
Congo RepublicCôte D’IvoireDjiboutiEquatorial Guinea
Hong KongIndiaLiberiaMali
MontenegroSri LankaUnited Nations (Laissez Passer)Western Sahara

Visa Exempt Countries for Malaysia

Nationals of the countries below do not need to apply for a Malaysia visa for a short time stay up to 90 days:

CubaCzech RepublicDenmarkEgyptFinland
Kyrgyz RepublicKyrgyzstanLebanonLiechtensteinLuxembourg
PolandQatarRomaniaSaudi ArabiaSlovakia
South KoreaSpainSt MarinoSwedenSwitzerland
SyriaTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanUnited Arab Emirates
United KingdomUruguayYemen

If the applicants come from the countries in the table below, they can travel to Malaysia without obtaining a visa for up to 30 days:

BoliviaBulgariaCambodiaCape VerdeChad
ChileCosta RicaEcuadorEl SalvadorEstonia
GabonGeorgiaGreeceGuatemalaGuinea Republic
HaitiHondurasHong Kong SARIraqKazakhstan
LatviaLithuaniaMacao SARMacedoniaMadagascar
NicaraguaNorth KoreaNorth YemenPalestinePanama
ParaguayPortugalRussiaSao Tome & PrincipeSenegal
TogoUkraineUpper VoltaUzbekistanVatican City

Nationals 5 countries/territories in the table below can travel to Malaysia without acquiring a visa for up to 14 days:

LibyaMacaoSierra Leone
SomaliaSouth Yemen

Citizens of certain countries are qualified for getting an APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC). ABTC allows its holder to travel to the countries included in the agreement visa-free.

A business trip to Malaysia of up to 60 days is permitted if you have an ABTC with the “MYS” code on the back. The countries included in the agreement are:

ChinaHong KongIndonesia
JapanSouth KoreaMexico
New ZealandPapua New GuineaPeru

When is a Good Time to Apply for a Malaysia Visa?

Applying for a Malaysian visa up to a month prior to the date travelers plan to take their trip is recommended.

How to Apply for a Malaysia Visa?

Foreign nationals can use one of the following methods in order to apply for a Malaysia visa:

  • Manual
  • Online

Online Malaysia visas are not issued for all countries. Most Malaysian visas are issued by visiting a Malaysian Representative Office Abroad or through an authorized visa application agency.

Who Can Apply for a Malaysian Visa Online?

Malaysian authorities offer Malaysia eVisas to citizens of certain countries. When a Malaysia eVisa is issued, applicants can receive it online. However, applicants need to print this visa because it won’t be attached to their passport.

A Malaysia eVisa can be applied to by the nationals of the following countries:

SerbiaSri Lanka

In addition, the nationals of India and China can acquire an Electronic Travel Registration and Information or eNTRI.

What is the Malaysia Visa Application process?

The application process for Malaysian visas includes the following steps:

  • Finding a Malaysian Representative Office.
  • Downloading the application form.
  • Completing the documents file.
  • Submitting the application and the documents.
  • Waiting for processing to finish.

Finding a Malaysian Representative Office

Applicants need to take a look and find a Malaysian Representative Office or a visa application center that is nearest to them.

Downloading the application form

First, applicants have to visit the website of the Immigration Department of Malaysia. Then, they need to download the Malaysia Visa application form. Finally, they have to complete the form electronically. Applicants must have access to a computer and the Adobe Reader program. After the form is completed, applicants must print two copies and sign them.

Completing the documents file

In order to submit a Malaysia visa application, applicants must collect several required documents, such as:

  • The Malaysia visa application form (two copies).
  • Applicant’s original passport along with two copies.
  • Two pictures (must be passport-sized).
  • A copy of the flight schedule
  • A confirmed round-trip ticket.
  • Evidence of accommodation in Malaysia; for example, a hotel booking.
  • An invitation letter for applicants that are staying with friends or family members.
  • A bank statement related to the past three months.
  • To apply for a Malaysia Visa with Reference, applicants need an original approval letter issued from the Immigration Department of Malaysia or another related authority.

The list above is limited. For more information, read our article to learn about the complete Malaysian visa requirements.

Submitting the application and the documents

Applicants have to visit the Malaysian Representative Office or a visa application office and submit their Malaysia visa application form copies. In addition, they need to submit their original passport and the required documents. Then, based on the applicant’s origin country, applicants can submit the application in person or by mail.

Moreover, applicants have to attach a picture of themselves to the application form and pay the Malaysia visa application fee.

Waiting for processing to finish

Applicants from some countries are able to track the process of the application online.

If the visa application is approved, applicants have to retrieve their passport with the attached visa. After that, they are eligible to travel to Malaysia.

Important Note: As already mentioned, the immigration officers at the border will decide whether a traveler is eligible to enter the country or not. The immigration officers will give each foreign traveler a certain period of stay based on their travel purpose. Depending on your travel purpose, they will give the traveler the adequate, which states the number of days the applicants are allowed to stay in Malaysia. For example, a visa is typically valid for 30 days; however, officers can issue a visa for a fewer amount of days.

How Long is Malaysia Visa Processing Time?

The time it takes for the applicants for a Malaysia visa application to be over depends on several subjects:

  • Applicant’s original country
  • Malaysia visa application method
  • The time of year
  • Whether the applicant has all the documentation

Here you can see different variations of application methods and the time they take:

  • Online or eVisa: No longer than 100 hours or four days.
  • Manually: Within 7-8 working days; however, it can still depend on the office which handles the visa applications.

What is the difference between a Malaysian Pass and Visa?

A foreigner who has a Malaysia Visa can travel to Malaysia regardless of their travel purpose, whereas a Malaysia Pass makes the purpose of the travel clear. Some Passes are available at the port of entry when applicants arrive, while others can be received before applicants can apply for a visa. Here is a list of various Malaysia visas and Passes:

  • Malaysia Transit Visa
  • Malaysia Tourist Visa
  • Short Term Social Visit Pass
  • Employment Pass
  • Dependent Pass
  • Visitor’s Pass (Temporary Employment)
  • Visitor’s Pass (Professional)
  • Long Term Social Visit Pass
  • Student Pass
  • Special Pass
  • Residence Pass
  • Malaysia Permanent Residency

If you like to learn more about each Pass or visa, check the sidebar on the left.

What is the difference between a Malaysia Visa With Reference and a Visa Without Reference?

The travel purpose differentiates between the Malaysian Visa Without Reference and the Visa With Reference.

The High Commission of Malaysia issues a Malaysia Visa Without Reference without the need for prior authorization from a Malaysian authority. This visa is usually considered a single-entry visa and is issued for social visits or tourism purposes.

The Malaysia Visa With Reference is issued for foreign travelers; however, it needs authorization from the Immigration Department of Malaysia in advance before it can be issued. This type of visa is issued for purposes such as pursuing further studies, joining a family member or working.

How Many Times Can I Enter Malaysia?

The Malaysian government issues the following types of countries based on the number of entries:

  • Malaysia Single Entry Visa. This visa has validity for a maximum of three months. This visa is usually issued for social visits or tourism purposes.
  • Malaysia Multiple Entry Visa. The validity of this visa ranges from three to twelve months. The holder of this visa can enter Malaysia multiple times as long as the visa is valid. Malaysia visas of this type are generally issued for business or government purposes. Upon entry, you can stay for a maximum of 30 days.

How Can I Extend a Single Entry Visa in Malaysia?

A Malaysia single entry allows you to stay for up to 30 days, and it cannot be extended. If you intend to stay in Malaysia longer, you have to exit the country and apply for a Malaysian Visa/Pass that is suitable for you.

However, if you have an extraordinary case, you can extend your visa. For example, if you become ill, have an accident, or if a situation in your home country (such as a war), you can file for an extension.

Note: you will have to provide proof for your claims and a confirmed return ticket to your home country.

The Bottom Line…

Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia that issues many various types of Visas and Passes to foreign travelers who like to visit this beautiful country. This essay took a look at some basic information about Malaysia visa types, their differences, how to apply for a visa manually, and foreigners who can enter Malaysia without a visa.

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