Visa Traveler

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Malaysia tourist visa: Visa types, requirements and application procedure

Updated: February 4, 2023

Malaysia tourist visa image

Malaysia tourist visa requirements are fairly easy to understand. Most nationalities are exempt from a tourist visa. Rest can obtain an eVisa or Visa on Arrival.

Currently, there are 5 different visa options available to enter Malaysia as a tourist.

  • Visa Exemption: 167 nationalities are visa exempt for stays up to 90 days
  • Visa on Arrival: 2 nationalities are eligible to obtain Visa on Arrival for stays up to 15 days
  • eVISA: 34 nationalities can obtain eVisa for stays up to 30 days
  • Transit Without Visa (TWOA): 9 nationalities are eligible to obtain TWOA for 120 hours (5 days)
  • Visa from the embassy: 35 nationalities require a pre-approved visa from the Malaysian embassy prior to arrival

Table of Contents


Malaysia tourist visa requirements by nationality

Minimum passport validity required to enter Malaysia as a tourist

The minimum passport validity required to enter Malaysia is 6 months.

VISA EXEMPT nationalities

90-day entry.

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Liechtenstein
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Sint Maarten
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Switzerland
  • Turkmenistan
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

30-day entry

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Dominican Republic
  • El Salvador
  • Marshall Islands
  • North Macedonia
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Philippines
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Sierra Leone
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Sudan
  • St. Kitts and Nevis
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Timor-Leste
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Vatican City

14-day entry

Visa on arrival eligible nationalities, 15-day, single-entry, evisa eligible nationalities, 30-day, single-entry.

  • Afghanistan
  • Burkina Faso
  • Central African Republic
  • Congo, Dem. Rep. of
  • Congo Rep. of
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Guinea – Bissau
  • Ivory Coast

VISA REQUIRED nationalities

  • Congo Dem. Rep.
  • Cote d’Ivoire
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • North Korea


A Malaysia transit visa is NOT REQUIRED if

  • You are NOT leaving the airport and
  • Continuing to the next destination with the same flight/airline


120-hour (5-day), single-entry, visa requirement for cruise passengers.

A Malaysia visa is REQUIRED to disembark the cruise at Malaysian ports.


Malaysia tourist visa entry and exit stamps in the passport

Malaysia has a liberal visa policy offering visa exemption to over 160+ nationalities. Most nationalities can stay up to 30 days without requiring a tourist visa. About one-third of these nationalities can stay up to 90 days without a visa. 

Entry permission

As a visa-exempt nationality, you can stay either 30 days or 90 days depending on your nationality.

Documents to carry

Apart from your passport, you must also carry the below documents in print or on your smartphone.

  • Proof of return or onward travel (your return or onward flight/bus/train ticket)
  • Proof of accommodation (a hotel reservation for the first few days)
  • Proof of funds to sustain your trip (some cash or ATM/Credit cards)

If you are traveling on a one-way ticket, make sure to get proof of return ticket from an onward ticket agency such as .


Malaysia Visa on Arrival (VOA) is available to China and India passport holders arriving from Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia or Brunei with a valid visa from those countries. 

Visa on Arrival is granted only for stays up to 15 days. There are some specific rules to follow for Malaysia Visa on Arrival.

Visa on Arrival can be obtained at the following international airports, land borders and seaports.

  • Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA and KLIA2)
  • Penang International Airport, Penang
  • Langkawi International Airport, Kedah
  • Senai International Airport, Johor Bahru
  • Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah International Airport, Selangor
  • Kota Kinabalu International Airport, Sabah
  • Kuching International Airport, Sarawak
  • Miri International Airport, Sarawak

Land borders

  • Sultan Abu Bakar Complex (KSAB), Second Link, Johor Bahru
  • Bukit Kayu Hitam Immigration, Customs, Quarantine & Security (ICQS) Complex, Kedah
  • Sungai Tujoh Immigration Cont rol Post, Sarawak
  • Labuan International Ferry Terminal Immigration Control

Validity of Malaysia Visa on Arrival

Visa on Arrival is valid for 15 days, single entry only. 

How long can you stay in Malaysia with Visa on Arrival

Malaysia Visa on Arrival allows you to stay up to 15 days. 

Passport validity required for Visa on Arrival

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months at the time of obtaining Visa on Arrival.

Documents required

You must present the following documents.

  • Original passport
  • Valid visa from the arriving country (Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia or Brunei)
  • Confirmed return or onward ticket
  • Proof of financial ability of at least 500 MYR (must be in the form of cash or credit/debit card)

The Visa on Arrival fee is 200 MYR, payable only with a credit/debit card. 


Malaysia eVISA image

Malaysia eVISA application is online and you can apply from anywhere in the world. 

If you are applying from a country other than your country of passport, you must provide proof of residency in that country. The Malaysia eVISA portal tracks the IP address. Therefore the eVISA application knows where you are applying from and expects proof of residency from that country. 

If you reside in Singapore, Israel or North Korea, you cannot apply for Malaysia eVISA. You must apply for a Malaysian visa from your nearest Malaysian high commission. 

Also, you cannot apply for a Malaysia eVISA when you are already physically present in Malaysia. If you are already in Malaysia on an eVISA or any other type of visa, you must first exit Malaysia. Then you can apply for a fresh eVISA from your country of passport or legal residence. 

Malaysia eVISAs are single-entry only, valid for 3 months. Visa extensions are not allowed.

Word of caution on Malaysia eVISA Scams

There are fake websites posing as “official websites” and charging three or four times the visa fee. Do not fall prey to such scams. 

There is ONLY ONE OFFICIAL Malaysia eVISA website. The URL is below.

OFFICIAL Malaysia eVISA website:  

Validity of Malaysia eVISA

The validity of Malaysia eVISA is 3 months from the day of issue. You can stay in Malaysia for either 15 days or 30 days depending on your nationality.

When to apply for E-Visa

You can apply for your Malaysia eVISA up to 1 month in advance. The E-Visa processing takes 2 working days. But due to high demand, the processing is currently taking much longer than 2 working days. I highly recommend applying for your eVISA at least a month prior to your travel date.

Passport validity required for eVISA

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from your expected date of arrival in Malaysia.

How long can you stay in Malaysia on eVISA

Stay granted on a Malaysia eVISA depends on the nationality. Refer to the below table for how long you can stay with an eVISA. 

eVISA application process

Malaysia eVISA is a simple application. Takes about 30 minutes to fill out and submit. The approval process takes about 2 working days. 

IMPORTANT After the approval, you must print your eVISA. A soft copy of eVISA on your phone is not accepted. The immigration officer will stamp the port and date of entry on your eVISA print. You may be asked to show this eVISA print with the stamp at the time of leaving the country. Therefore, carrying a print of your eVISA is very much necessary. 

You will need the following documents.

  • Digital passport-size photo
  • Passport ID/data page
  • Confirmed round-trip flight tickets
  • Hotel bookings
  • Other supporting documents (ex: proof of residence, etc.)

IMPORTANT Even though the eVISA portal accepts onward tickets to your next destination after Malaysia, the Malaysian embassy/consulate responsible for processing your eVISA will later ask for complete round-trip flight tickets. That means, flight tickets originating and ending in your home country or country of residence are required.

For example, if your home country or country of residence is India and your trip is India-Singapore-Malaysia-Thailand-India, you must upload all flight tickets starting from India and ending in India. If you submit just the inbound and outbound tickets (ex: Singapore-Malaysia-Thailand), you will be later asked to upload your full itinerary.

Photo requirements

The digital photograph must meet the following specifications.

  • Must be 35mm x 50mm in dimensions
  • Must be on a pure white background
  • Must have been taken within the last 6 months 
  • Full face must be in the center without any headgear or glasses
  • Must be a professional passport photo taken in a studio
  • Cellphone photos, selfies and cropped photos are not accepted

The eVISA fee is 50 MYR for India, 30 MYR for China and 20 MYR for all other nationalities. A detailed table with eVISA fee is below.

Apart from the eVISA fee, there is also a processing charge and service charge. 

  • Processing charge: 105 MYR
  • Service Charge: 0.8% of total transaction value

Processing time

Malaysia eVISA processing time is 2 working days. But due to the high amount of applications, processing times are often longer than 2 working days. I highly recommend applying at least a month in advance.

IMPORTANT In certain cases, the Malaysian embassy/consulate responsible for processing your application may demand additional documentation or an in-person or video interview, which might further delay your processing. 

Application tracking

You can track your Malaysia eVISA application within your dashboard on the Malaysia eVISA portal. You will also be notified of any changes in status via email. Your application can have any of the 6 statuses.

  • NEW APPLICATION: Your eVISA application hasn’t been submitted yet
  • IN PROGRESS: Your eVISA application is in process
  • APPROVED: Your eVISA application has been approved
  • REJECTED: Your eVISA application has been refused
  • REQUEST DOCUMENT/DATA AMENDMENT: You must correct the information or upload additional documents
  • REQUEST INTERVIEW: You must attend an in-person interview

Request Document/Data Amendment

If your Malaysia eVISA application requires any additional information or documentation, the Malaysian embassy/consulate will notify you of the list of additional documents needed. You will be given 5 days to upload the requested documents. 

Once you have uploaded all the requested documents, the processing time will be reset. It will take 2 more working days from that point onward for the processing of your visa.

In certain instances, the Malaysian embassy/consulate may request additional documents multiple times until the embassy/consulate is satisfied with your documents.  

Request Interview

If your eVisa application requires an additional proof, the Malaysian embassy/consulate will simply set up a “request for interview” appointment on your behalf.

This can be annoying as you have no choice in selecting your date/time for the in-person interview. I have seen only a handful of cases where was requested to appear in person for an interview at the embassy or consulate.

NOTE There is no option to change the date/time of the appointment. If you cannot make it to the appointment, I suggest applying for the visa again on the eVISA portal.

Priority visa service (optional, not applicable to all visa guides)

Unfortunately, there is no priority visa processing. The visa process usually takes 2 working days. It can take much longer in some instances. So apply at least one month prior to your trip.

Customer service (optional, not applicable to all visa guides)

You can use the live chat support on Malaysia eVISA portal to ask any questions or inquire about the status of your visa application. The chat agents are available 24×7. 


Validity of malaysia tourist visa.

The validity of a Malaysia tourist visa is 3 months for a single entry and 6 months for a multiple entry visa.

How long can you stay in Malaysia on a tourist visa

You can stay up to 30 days in Malaysia on a tourist visa. Passport holders from the African continent can only stay up to 14 days. 

Passport validity required for tourist visa

Blank pages needed in the passport for tourist visa.

You must have at least 2 blank pages in your passport for the tourist visa. One page for the visa sticker and one page for entry and exit stamps.

  • Completed Malaysia visa application form ( download here )
  • 2 photocopies of the passport bio page
  • 2 passport-size photos (3.5cm X 5cm)
  • Round trip flight tickets (return ticket must be within 30 days of arrival)
  • Bank statement
  • Invitation letter (if any)
  • Payment of visa fee
  • Yellow fever vaccination if applicable ( these countries require a yellow fever vaccination)

The photo must meet the following requirements.

  • Must be of size 3.5cm X 5cm
  • Must be in color with white background
  • Must be the latest, taken in the last 6 months

The visa fee is anywhere from 6 MYR (about $1.5 USD) to 50 MYR (about $12 USD) depending on the country of your passport.

Please refer to the Malaysia Immigration Portal for the current visa fee for your nationality. 

The tourist visa processing time is about 3-5 working days.


Transit Without Visa (TWOV) is for those passengers that are transiting via Malaysia but would like to leave the airport and enter Malaysia for a limited amount of time.

TWOV is available at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA1 and KLIA 2) only. TWOV is NOT available at any other airport, land border or seaport in Malaysia.

Issuing of TWOV transit pass is at the discretion of the immigration officer at the airport.

TWOV is available to the following nationalities only.

  • GROUP 1: India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka
  • GROUP 2: Bhutan, China, Myanmar, Nepal and Vietnam

TWOV requirements for GROUP 1: India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka

  • Must hold a single/multiple-entry visa or residence permit from Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan or the USA
  • Must enter and exit KLIA1 or KLIA2 with Malaysian Airlines, Air Asia and Malindo Air only
  • Must hold a confirmed (with e-ticket number) flight ticket to your country of passport or to a third country within 120 hours

TWOV requirements for GROUP 2: Bhutan, China, Myanmar, Nepal and Vietnam

  • Can enter KLIA1/KLIA2 with any airline but must exit KLIA1/KLIA2 with Malaysian Airlines or Air Asia only

NOTE If you are transiting via Malaysia and not leaving the airport, then you do not need a TWOV transit pass. TWOV transit pass is necessary only if you plan to leave the airport.  

Validity of TWOV transit pass

The validity of Malaysia TWOV transit pass is 120 hours (5 days) from the date and time of issue at the port of entry in Malaysia. 

How long can you stay in Malaysia on a TWOV transit pass

You can stay up to 120 hours (5 days) in Malaysia on a TWOV transit pass. Extensions are not allowed.

Passport validity required for TWOV transit pass

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the day of arrival in Malaysia

  • A valid single/multiple-entry visa or a residence permit from Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan or the USA ( *this requirement is applicable to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka nationals only )
  • A confirmed (with e-ticket number) flight ticket to your country of passport or to a third country within 120 hours
  • Proof of financial ability of 500 MYR in the form of cash or credit/debit cards 

TWOV transit pass is issued FREE of cost to all eligible passport holders. 


Entering malaysia by air.

If you are obtaining Visa on Arrival or Transit Without Visa (TWOV), head to Visa on Arrival (VOA) section. You must produce all the required documentation and fee in order to obtain your VOA or TWOV. 

If you are visa-exempt or hold an eVisa or a visa from the embassy, head straight to the immigration and customs. Present your eVisa print along with your original passport. 

You may be asked what you plan to do in Malaysia, how many days you plan to stay, etc. You may be asked to show your return/onward flight ticket and hotel booking. If you are traveling on a one-way ticket, make sure to get proof of return ticket from an onward ticket agency such as .

Get a proof of onward ticket for your trip from OnwardTicket

Leaving Malaysia by air

You will go through passport control on exit. Exit formalities are fairly quick but make sure to account for a bit of extra time for this. No questions will be asked unless you have overstayed your visa.

Malaysia Tourist Visa Requirements - Petronas Twin Towers Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia tourist visa requirements are easy to understand. Though there are many types of visas, the requirements for each of them are very clear. Most nationalities are exempt from visas. Rest can obtain eVisa or Visa on Arrival. 


Thirumal Motati

Thirumal Motati is an expert in tourist visa matters. He has been traveling the world on tourist visas for more than a decade. With his expertise, he has obtained several tourist visas, including the most strenuous ones such as the US, UK, Canada, and Schengen, some of which were granted multiple times. He has also set foot inside US consulates on numerous occasions. Mr. Motati has uncovered the secrets to successful visa applications. His guidance has enabled countless individuals to obtain their visas and fulfill their travel dreams. His statements have been mentioned in publications like Yahoo, BBC, The Hindu, and Travel Zoo.


I highly recommend using these websites to plan your trip. I use these websites myself to apply for my visas, book my flights and hotels and purchase my travel insurance.

01. Apply for your visa

Get a verifiable flight itinerary for your visa application from DummyTicket247 . DummyTicket247 is a flight search engine to search and book flight itineraries for visas instantly. These flight itineraries are guaranteed to be valid for 2 weeks and work for all visa applications.

02. Book your fight

Find the cheapest flight tickets using Skyscanner . Skyscanner includes all budget airlines and you are guaranteed to find the cheapest flight to your destination.

03. Book your hotel

Book your hotel from . has pretty much every hotel, hostel and guesthouse from every destination.

04. Get your onward ticket

If traveling on a one-way ticket, use BestOnwardTicket to get proof of onward ticket for just $12, valid for 48 hours.

05. Purchase your insurance

Purchase travel medical insurance for your trip from SafetyWing . Insurance from SafetyWing covers COVID-19 and also comes with a visa letter which you can use for your visas.

Need more? Check out my travel resources page  for the best websites to plan your trip.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER We are not affiliated with immigration, embassies or governments of any country. The content in this article is for educational and general informational purposes only, and shall not be understood or construed as, visa, immigration or legal advice. Your use of information provided in this article is solely at your own risk and you expressly agree not to rely upon any information contained in this article as a substitute for professional visa or immigration advice. Under no circumstance shall be held liable or responsible for any errors or omissions in this article or for any damage you may suffer in respect to any actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the information in this article. Please refer to our full disclaimer for further information.

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please refer to our full disclosure for further information.


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How Long Can You Stay In Malaysia On A Tourist Visa

Published: November 7, 2023

Modified: December 28, 2023

by Robbi Hass

  • Plan Your Trip



Malaysia is a fascinating country that offers a wealth of cultural experiences, natural beauty, and warm hospitality. Whether you’re planning a short vacation or a longer stay, it’s important to understand the visa requirements for visiting Malaysia.

As a tourist, you will typically need a tourist visa to enter Malaysia. This allows you to explore the country’s vibrant cities, stunning landscapes, and diverse cultural heritage. The tourist visa allows you to experience the wonders of Malaysia, from the bustling streets of Kuala Lumpur to the pristine beaches of Langkawi.

In this article, we will delve into the details of how long you can stay in Malaysia on a tourist visa, the process of extending your stay, and the consequences of overstaying your visa. It’s crucial to be well-informed about these matters to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip to Malaysia.

So, let’s explore the fascinating world of Malaysian visas and discover the rules and regulations that apply to tourists visiting this captivating country.

Overview of Tourist Visas in Malaysia

When planning your trip to Malaysia, it’s important to understand the different types of tourist visas available. The most common type is the Single Entry Tourist Visa, which allows you to enter Malaysia once and stay for a specified period.

The Single Entry Tourist Visa is typically valid for a duration ranging from 30 to 90 days, depending on your country of residence. It grants you permission to explore the country as a tourist, engage in recreational activities, and experience the local culture. This visa can be obtained from Malaysian embassies or consulates in your home country.

Another type of tourist visa is the Multiple Entry Visa, which allows you to enter Malaysia multiple times within a specified period. This visa is particularly useful for travelers who plan to visit Malaysia frequently or make multiple stops in the country during their trip.

It’s essential to carefully review the requirements and validity periods of each visa type before applying. Additionally, ensure that your passport has at least six months of validity remaining before its expiration date, as this is a common requirement for obtaining a tourist visa.

It’s worth noting that citizens of certain countries, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and many European Union nations, can enter Malaysia without a visa for stays of up to 90 days. However, it’s advisable to check the latest visa requirements before planning your trip, as regulations and policies can vary.

Now that we have an overview of the different tourist visa options available in Malaysia, let’s explore how long you can stay in the country on a tourist visa and the process of extending your stay if needed.

Duration of Stay on a Tourist Visa

The duration of stay on a tourist visa in Malaysia varies depending on the type of visa you have obtained. As mentioned earlier, the Single Entry Tourist Visa typically allows you to stay in Malaysia for a duration of 30 to 90 days, depending on your nationality.

Upon arrival in Malaysia, your passport will be stamped with the duration of stay permitted on your visa. It’s crucial to note that the duration of stay granted is at the discretion of the Malaysian immigration authorities, and they have the right to limit or extend your stay beyond what is stated on your visa.

If you wish to stay longer than the initially permitted period on your tourist visa, it’s important to seek an extension before your current visa expires. The extension process can be done through the Immigration Department of Malaysia or at their respective offices located throughout the country.

When applying for a visa extension, you will need to provide a valid reason for needing a longer stay in Malaysia, such as ongoing travel plans or personal/medical circumstances. It’s advisable to submit the extension application at least a week before your current visa expires to allow sufficient processing time.

It’s essential to be aware that overstaying your tourist visa is a serious offense in Malaysia. Even if it is for just a few days, overstaying can result in fines, deportation, and future visa restrictions or rejections.

Now that we understand the duration of stay on a tourist visa, let’s explore the process of extending your stay in Malaysia if needed.

Extending Your Stay in Malaysia

If you find yourself needing to extend your stay in Malaysia beyond the duration permitted on your tourist visa, it is possible to apply for an extension. The process of extending your stay can be relatively straightforward if you follow the necessary steps.

To extend your stay in Malaysia, you will need to visit the nearest Immigration Department of Malaysia office or its respective branches. When applying for an extension, you will be required to provide the following documents:

  • Your original passport
  • A copy of your passport’s information page
  • A copy of your valid tourist visa
  • A completed application form for a visa extension
  • Proof of your valid reason for needing an extension (e.g., travel itinerary, medical documents, etc.)
  • Proof of financial means to sustain your stay in Malaysia (e.g., bank statements, proof of accommodation, etc.)

It’s important to note that there is a fee associated with the visa extension process. The fee amount may vary depending on the duration of the extension requested and is typically payable in cash at the Immigration Department.

Once you have submitted your application, it will be processed by the immigration authorities. It’s advisable to apply for an extension well before your current visa expires to avoid any potential issues or penalties for overstaying.

It’s worth mentioning that the decision to grant a visa extension is at the discretion of the immigration authorities. If your application is approved, you will receive an extension stamp in your passport, indicating the new duration of stay permitted in Malaysia.

Remember, it’s important to respect the immigration rules and regulations of the country you are visiting. Failure to comply with the visa requirements or overstaying your visa can lead to severe consequences.

Now that we have explored the process of extending your stay in Malaysia let’s dive into the penalties and consequences of overstaying your visa.

Visa Overstay Penalties in Malaysia

Overstaying your visa in Malaysia is a serious offense and can result in penalties and consequences that can have long-term effects on your ability to visit or reside in the country in the future. It’s important to be aware of the potential ramifications of overstaying to avoid any unnecessary complications.

The penalties for overstaying your visa in Malaysia are as follows:

  • Overstay less than 30 days: A fine of RM30 per day, up to a maximum of RM1,200.
  • Overstay between 30 and 60 days: A fine of RM60 per day, up to a maximum of RM2,400.
  • Overstay more than 60 days: A fine of RM100 per day or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years, or both.

In addition to the financial penalties, overstaying your visa can result in other consequences, including:

  • Being banned from re-entering Malaysia for a certain period of time.
  • Difficulties in obtaining future visas or residence permits for Malaysia.
  • Complications in obtaining visas for other countries in the future, as immigration records may be shared.
  • Negative impact on your immigration and travel history, potentially affecting your ability to travel internationally.

It’s important to note that the immigration authorities in Malaysia take visa overstays seriously and actively monitor the entry and exit records of visitors. Therefore, it is best to adhere to the visa regulations and avoid overstaying to ensure a trouble-free travel experience.

If you have unintentionally overstayed your visa, it’s advisable to address the situation as soon as possible by contacting the nearest Immigration Department of Malaysia office. They will guide you on the proper course of action and help you rectify the situation.

Now that we have explored the penalties and consequences of overstaying your visa in Malaysia, let’s discuss the options for applying for a different visa if you wish to stay longer in the country.

Consequences of Overstaying Your Visa

Overstaying your visa in Malaysia can have serious consequences that can negatively impact your current and future travel plans. It’s important to understand the potential consequences to avoid any unnecessary complications and to ensure a smooth and hassle-free travel experience.

Here are some of the consequences of overstaying your visa in Malaysia:

  • Fines: Overstaying your visa will result in fines that need to be paid. The amount of the fine increases the longer you overstay, with a maximum penalty of RM100 per day for overstays exceeding 60 days.
  • Immigration Record: Overstaying your visa will result in a negative immigration record. This record can affect your future visa applications not only for Malaysia but also for other countries. Immigration records are often shared among countries, making it more challenging to obtain visas in the future.
  • Ban on Re-entry: Overstaying your visa can result in a ban on re-entering Malaysia. The length of the re-entry ban will depend on the duration of your overstay. This ban can range from a few months to several years, prohibiting you from returning to Malaysia during that period.
  • Difficulty in Obtaining Visas: Overstaying your visa can make it more difficult to obtain visas for other countries in the future. Immigration authorities of other countries may view your immigration history, including overstays, as a negative factor when considering your visa application.
  • Legal Consequences: In extreme cases of overstaying, such as overstaying for an extended period, legal consequences such as imprisonment may apply. It’s important to adhere to visa regulations and avoid overstaying to prevent facing legal actions.

It’s crucial to respect the immigration laws and regulations of the country you are visiting. Always ensure that you have a valid visa and adhere to the specified duration of stay. If you realize that you have unintentionally overstayed your visa, it’s important to take immediate action by contacting the nearest Immigration Department of Malaysia office to rectify the situation.

By respecting the visa regulations and avoiding overstays, you can have a smooth and enjoyable travel experience in Malaysia without any unnecessary complications.

Now that we have explored the consequences of overstaying your visa, let’s discuss the options for applying for a different visa if you wish to stay longer in Malaysia.

Applying for a Different Visa in Malaysia

If you wish to stay longer in Malaysia beyond the duration permitted on a tourist visa or if you have specific purposes such as work or study, you may need to apply for a different type of visa. Malaysia offers various visas to cater to different categories of visitors, each with its own specific requirements and benefits.

Here are some common types of visas you can apply for in Malaysia:

  • Student Visa: If you plan to study in Malaysia, you will need to apply for a Student Visa. This visa is typically obtained with the sponsorship of a Malaysian educational institution and allows you to reside in Malaysia for the duration of your study program.
  • Work Visa (Employment Pass): If you have secured a job offer from a Malaysian employer, they will sponsor your Work Visa, also known as an Employment Pass. This visa allows you to work and reside in Malaysia for the duration of your employment contract.
  • Investor Visa (Malaysia My Second Home Program): The Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) program is designed for foreign nationals who wish to reside in Malaysia on a long-term basis. This program offers various benefits and incentives to qualified individuals, including the ability to stay in the country for an extended period.
  • Dependent Visa: If you are a spouse or dependent of someone holding a valid visa in Malaysia, you can apply for a Dependent Visa. This visa allows you to reside in Malaysia as a dependent of your sponsor.

Each visa category has its own set of requirements, including proof of financial means, medical checks, and sponsorship documentation. It’s important to carefully review and fulfill all the necessary requirements for the specific visa you wish to apply for.

To apply for a different visa in Malaysia, you will usually need to submit an application to the relevant immigration authorities. This process may involve providing the necessary supporting documents, attending interviews, and paying the required fees.

It’s recommended to consult with a qualified immigration agent or seek advice from the Malaysian diplomatic mission in your home country for more detailed information on the specific visa you wish to apply for.

By following the proper procedures and fulfilling the requirements, you can obtain the necessary visa to stay longer in Malaysia and fully explore the opportunities and experiences the country has to offer.

Now, let’s wrap up our discussion.

Understanding the visa requirements and regulations is essential when planning a trip to Malaysia. Whether you are visiting for a short vacation or contemplating a longer stay, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the duration of stay permitted on a tourist visa and the process of extending your stay if needed.

Remember that the duration of stay on a tourist visa can vary depending on your nationality, typically ranging from 30 to 90 days. It’s important to respect these limits and avoid overstaying your visa to prevent facing fines, re-entry bans, and other consequences.

If you find yourself needing a longer stay in Malaysia, you can explore the option of extending your visa through the Immigration Department of Malaysia. Ensure that you have valid reasons for the extension and apply well before the expiration of your current visa to allow sufficient processing time.

Overstaying your visa in Malaysia can have serious consequences, including fines, negative immigration records, difficulties in obtaining future visas, and even potential legal actions. It’s important to comply with visa regulations and seek the necessary assistance in rectifying any unintentional overstay.

If you require a more extended stay or have specific purposes such as work or study, you may need to apply for a different type of visa, such as a Student Visa, Work Visa, or Investor Visa. Each visa category has its own set of requirements, so it’s essential to research and fulfill these requirements to secure the appropriate visa.

By respecting the visa regulations, being aware of the duration of stay permitted, and adhering to the necessary procedures, you can have a fulfilling and trouble-free travel experience in Malaysia. Whether you are exploring the vibrant cities, relaxing on beautiful beaches, or immersing yourself in the rich cultural heritage, Malaysia offers an unforgettable destination for every traveler.

Remember to always consult official sources, such as the Malaysian diplomatic missions or immigration authorities, for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding visa requirements and processes.

We hope this article has provided you with valuable insights into the duration of stay on a tourist visa in Malaysia and the options available for extending your stay or applying for different visas. Enjoy your time in Malaysia and make the most of your visit to this captivating country!


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Do I need a visa to visit Malaysia?

Joe Bindloss

Feb 19, 2022 • 5 min read

A woman enters the Federal Territory Mosque.

Entering the Federal Territory Mosque in Kuala Lumpur © Patrick Foto / Getty Images

Malaysia has a reputation as the easy country for travel in Southeast Asia, and that certainly applies to the visa situation. Citizens of many countries are granted visa-free entry on arrival, meaning there’s no complicated paperwork standing between you and Malaysia’s beaches, jungles and food markets. 

Even better, the relaxed visa situation makes for easy detours to neighboring Singapore , Indonesia , Brunei and Thailand , though you’ll need to check the latest Covid restrictions before you travel. Here’s everything you need to know about visas for Malaysia. 

Can I travel to Malaysia without a visa? 

In normal circumstances, nationals of most countries in Europe, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan (and many other countries) can visit Malaysia without a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. This applies to entries by air, land and sea. 

In practice, 90-day stays are usually given as the default if you arrive in Malaysia by air, but if you enter by land or by sea, you may be given a 30-day entry stamp unless you specifically ask for a longer permit. It’s worth doing this, as extending your stay may not be possible once the stamp is issued. 

On arrival, your passport will be stamped and you’ll need to fill out an arrival/departure card; just make sure your passport is valid for six months from the date of entry. Technically, the authorities can ask for proof of sufficient funds for your stay and a ticket for onward travel from Malaysia, but this is not usually requested. 

Lanterns in Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia.

Some countries are granted a shorter stay in Malaysia

Citizens of Russia and many neighboring countries are granted a stay of one month on arrival, and similar rules apply to nationals of many countries in Africa and Central and South America. For longer stays, you’ll need to apply for a visa. 

Note that citizens of Israel can only enter Malaysia with written permission from Malaysia’s Ministry of Home Affairs , which rules out easy overland trips from Thailand to Singapore.

What are the visa requirements for Malaysia? 

If your home country is not on the visa-free travel list, or you’re planning a long stay, you’ll need to apply for a visa. However, be aware that the only visas valid for more than 90 days are the multi-entry visas reserved for business travelers.

Different rules apply to different countries. Tourist E-Visas lasting up to 30 days are issued to citizens of Serbia & Montenegro, China, India, and many other nations in South Asia and Africa. See the Immigration Department of Malaysia website for details of how to apply and a full list of approved countries. 

Other nationals will need to apply for a visa the old-fashioned way at a Malaysian embassy or consulate in their home country. The Malaysian Ministry of Home Affairs has a full list of Malaysian missions overseas; contact your local embassy for advice on the application process. 

Business and transit visas for Malaysia

For business trips, it’s usually fine to enter the country as if you were a tourist, but you are not permitted to work for any Malaysian company. Business travelers can also apply for long-duration multiple-entry visas, but the application process is complex – Malaysian embassies can provide details. 

Transit visas are also available, but as so many people can enter Malaysia without a visa, they’re rarely needed.   

A proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus) sitting on a tree branch with its child.

What are the rules for travel to East Malaysia? 

Sabah and Sarawak – the two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo – retain a certain degree of control over their borders. Even if you arrive from Peninsular Malaysia, you must go through passport control and have your passport stamped. This also applies when traveling between Sabah and Sarawak via Brunei, and when traveling to the federal district of Pulau Labuan. 

When entering Sabah or Sarawak from another part of Malaysia, your new visa stamp will be valid only for the remainder of the period you were granted when you first entered Malaysia. If Malaysian Borneo is your first port of call in Malaysia, you’ll get the full, uninterrupted 30 or 90 days. 

Extending a Malaysia visa 

While the entry procedures for Malaysia can seem very relaxed, it’s important not to overstay your visa or the visa-free entry period. If you do, you can be detained, fined, deported, and blacklisted – it’s no laughing matter. 

In the past, it has been possible to extend a 30-day entry up to 90 days through the Immigration Department of Malaysia , but don’t rely on this being possible with the pandemic muddying the waters. Extending a 90-day stay is out of the question. 

The good news is that it is possible to prolong your stay in Malaysia by hopping across the border to a neighboring country. When you re-enter, you’ll be granted a new 30- or 90- day entry stamp on arrival. There’s rarely a problem if you do this once or twice, but the authorities may take a dim view if you repeat the so-called “visa run” too many times. 

Cenang beach, Langkawi, Malaysia

On the peninsula, the easiest place to leave and re-enter Malaysia is Johor Bahru ; local buses buzz across the causeway to Singapore day and night. The other easy option is Pulau Langkawi , which has ferries to Satun (year-round) and Ko Lipe (November to May) in Thailand. 

Alternatively, consider crossing the Thai border by train at Padang Besar, or take the ferry to Sumatra in Indonesia from Melaka or Johor Bahru. In East Malaysia, you can cross by bus or boat into Kalimantan in Indonesia, or make the easy hop into Brunei by bus from either Miri or Kota Kinabalu , or by boat from Pulau Labuan. 

You may also like:  12 best things you have to do in Singapore The 15 best things to do in Malaysia: Mountains, marine life, and amazing apes 'Ghosts are a big part of life in Malaysia': healing one year after losing my parents to COVID

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  • Expat guide

Visas for Malaysia

how long tourist visa malaysia

Before traveling to Malaysia , it is advisable to check with the nearest Malaysian Embassy or Consulate regarding entry requirements. There are indeed different visas and fees that vary depending on the purpose of the visit, the length of stay and nationality.

As detailed in our Traveling to Malaysia article, citizens of 95 countries are visa-exempt for social visits lasting less than a month, and several of these nationalities are allowed to stay there for up to three months without further formalities. However, the passport must be valid for at least six months after entering Malaysia, and a return plane ticket is often requested.

Single entry visa, multiple entry visa and rransit visa

T here are three types of visa s f or those who wish to enter Malaysia . The single-entry visa is valid for entry within three months from the date of issue. It is particularly suitable for vacationers. The multiple-entry visa is valid between 3 and 12 months and is reserved for business or government trips that do not exceed 30 days each. And there is the transit visa.

Some nationalities are allowed to remain in transit in Malaysia for up to 120 hours without a visa as long as the person arrives and leaves the country from the same airport and has a subsequent air ticket, as well as the documents required to get to their final destination. However, a transit visa may be required for certain nationalities. The persons concerned must leave the airport before their connecting flight.

Depending on the purpose of your visit, you will need to apply for a visa with or without reference.

To obtain a visa without reference for a social visit, you will need to provide:

  • The original of your passport.
  • 2 copies of your passport.
  • 2 copies of the visa application form (form IMM.47).
  • 2 passport-size identity photos.
  • The original and 2 copies of your return plane ticket.
  • A recent bank statement or traveller's cheques.
  • Proof of payment of visa fees.
  • A letter of invitation if necessary.

The IMM.47 visa application form can be downloaded from the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs portal . It is also available at the counter of any Malaysian immigration office. If you choose to download, be sure to print the document on two A4 pages, forms printed on both sides of the same sheet are not accepted. Those who wish to complete the document by hand after printing it can do so.

Read also Discovering Kuala Lumpur

If you are going to Malaysia as a student , dependent or professional, or looking for work in Malaysia , you will need to apply for a visa with reference. For this, you must first obtain authorization from the Immigration Department and include it in your file with the documents mentioned above, except the bank statement.

Work permit

To work in Malaysia , you will need to receive a work permit, also called an Employment Pass (EP). This pass is granted for a contract of up to 5 years on the Malaysian peninsula, and the Expatriation Committee or the relevant authority must give its authorization before the work permit is issued.

Expats will only be able to work for the company stated on their work permit, and they will need to reapply if they change companies.

A company wishing to employ an expatriate must register online through the Department of Expatriate Services portal and, upon approval, can then submit an application for a work permit on behalf of the expatriate. This site is set up to ‘provide efficient and innovative services to expatriates and companies', and it allows expatriates to obtain a work permit within 5 working days. The company will have to prove that the position cannot be exercised by a local and that the potential of the expatriate person is of vital importance.

You will need to meet minimum salary requirements and a minimum contract period to obtain the work permit. In addition, you will also need to hold a senior management position, either in middle management profession with experience and qualifications, or be highly qualified and possess indispensable technical knowledge.

The following documents are required for the application for a work permit:

  • Letter of application or letter of assignment
  • Hiring letter or employment contract
  • Complete application forms
  • Letter of authorization from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Original receipt of payment for the claim
  • Copy of the employee's passport
  • Passport size ID photos
  • Copy of the employee's CV and qualifications
  • Medical report from the employee's home country, approved by the Malaysian Ministry of Health

Read also The labor market in Kuala Lumpur

Dependency pass or long-term social residence permit

Holders of a work permit will be able to apply for a dependency pass for their spouse, their children under 18, their parents or their parents-in-law. The dependency pass is valid as long as the work permit of the person providing financial support for the family is valid. They will also be able to apply for a long-term social residence permit for their children under the age of 18, their parents or their parents-in-law if these family members are financially independent.

Professional Visit Permit

A Professional Visit Permit (PVP) is granted to foreigners who have professional skills or qualifications and are employed by a foreign company but are working with a company in Malaysia. With this permit, they are allowed to provide their services or undergo practical training with a Malaysian company for up to 12 months.

The PVP is required for anyone traveling to the country to host conferences, training programs or seminars, whether these events are paid or unpaid. The application must be made to the Malaysian Immigration Department by the organizers and/or event sponsor. Please note that obtaining a social visit permit for this type of trip is illegal in Malaysia and is punishable by law.

On the other hand, those who go to Malaysia for business reasons (negotiations, discussions, partnerships, etc.) can do so with a social visit permit without being worried by the immigration authorities.

Setting up a business in Malaysia

Student visa

Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS) aims to promote Malaysia as an international centre of education and acts as a benchmark for international student services. Being the only recognized gateway for international students in Malaysia, this centre promotes higher education in Malaysian universities and colleges , and other accredited training centres and language schools. Requirements vary depending on the type of establishment you are applying for, so be sure to check the application requirements and calculate entry fees once you have made your choice.

Students will need to apply for a visa before entering Malaysia, and there are two ways to do this. If you are a new student who has received a proposal letter from a public university or private higher education institution, you can apply for a student visa online, directly through the Education Malaysia website.

You can also apply for your visa through the host institution who will start the application procedure for your letter of authorization once you have made the payment and gathered the necessary documents. You will receive the authorization letter after at least 14 working days from the date on which your complete file has been received by EMGS. You can download the EMGS mobile app to track the status of your application and receive notifications.

For the student visa application, you will need to provide a passport size photo with a white background, a copy of all the required pages of your passport, a copy of your letter of authorization, your academic certificates and transcripts, a medical examination report, a personal commitment signed on your part by the host establishment, which will be submitted at the end of your studies. A certificate of no objection or a letter of eligibility will also be required for students coming from Iran or Sudan.

If you are a citizen who requires a visa to enter Malaysia, you will need to obtain a single-entry visa from your nearest Malaysian Embassy once you have obtained your clearance letter.

Read also Universities in Kuala Lumpur


Since the end of 2015, companies registered with the Expatriate Services Division can apply for a social visit permit for international students at a recognized foreign university to carry out a short-term internship in Malaysia . The maximum duration is 90 days and participants from countries that require a visa must also obtain a single-entry visa before entering Malaysia. Passports must be valid for at least six months, although 12 months is recommended, and recipients of this visa must leave Malaysia at the end of their internship or when their visa expires, as renewal is not authorized.

Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H)

This program promoted by the Malaysian government allows foreigners who meet certain criteria to stay in Malaysia on a multiple-entry social visa for an initial period of 10 years. This license is then renewed.

It is available to citizens of all nationalities, and applicants are allowed to bring their spouse and unmarried children below the age of 21.

To be part of this program, applicants must be able to support themselves financially. Persons under the age of 50 must provide proof of liquid assets worth at least RM500,000 and present an employment contract granting them at least RM10,000 per month. If you are over 50, you will need to provide proof of liquid assets worth RM350,000 and your monthly income must exceed RM10,000. If you are retired, you will need to provide proof of a monthly pension worth at least RM10,000.

If you buy property in Malaysia that is worth more than RM1 million, these conditions may be lowered.

It is possible to apply for two types of part-time work through this program if you are over 50 years old. You can apply to be a part-time speaker, or you can work up to 20 hours a week for a company that can justify choosing to employ you over a local citizen.

Since March 2017, the MM2H centre has implemented an online application system to facilitate the procedure and manual application forms are no longer submitted.

Read also Buying property in Kuala Lumpur

Entry requirements

To be allowed to enter Malaysia, you will need to meet the following conditions:

  • Your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry.
  • You must meet all entry requirements and obtain a visa beforehand if necessary.
  • You must be able to show a return air ticket to another destination.
  • You must present a negative PCR test dating back less than 72 hours upon arrival. A second test will be carried out at the airport.
  • You must be able to prove that you have sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay in Malaysia.
  • You must be able to provide proof of accommodation.
  • You will need to present a completed arrival and departure card to an immigration officer at the point of entry.
  • Your fingerprints will be scanned on arrival and departure.

Anyone arriving from certain countries in Africa or South America must be able to provide a certificate of immunization against yellow fever (Angola, Ethiopia, Senegal, Benin, Gabon, Sierra Leone, Bolivia, Gambia, and South Africa). South, Brazil, Ghana, Sri Lanka, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Burundi, Kenya, Suriname, Cameroon, Mali, Tanzania, Central African Republic, Niger, Togo, Chad, Nigeria, Uganda, Djibouti, Panama, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Zaire, Guinea, Rwanda, Zambia, Eritrea, Sao Tome and Principe).

Good to know :

The states of Sabah and Sarawak have different entry and visa requirements. You will also need your passport to enter these states by domestic flight from Peninsular Malaysia.

A visa is not an absolute guarantee of permission to enter Malaysia. The final decision rests with the immigration service at the point of entry into the chosen country.

Useful links :

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia

Malaysia Immigration Office

Visa application forms

List of countries whose nationals require a visa

Expatriate Services Division, Immigration Department of Malaysia

Education Malaysia Global Services

Malaysia My Second Home

MM2H Application System

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Malaysia visa extension: All you need to know

Generally, it's not possible to extend a Malaysia Tourist eVisa. If you're in Malaysia and want to prolong your stay past your eVisa's expiration, you'll need to exit the country and submit a new eVisa application. To avoid any legal issues, it's crucial to organize your travel plans to fit within your visa's allotted time frame.

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Learn more here about applying for a new Malaysia eVisa , and the penalties you may incur for overstaying.

Malaysia Tourist eVisa extension

Unfortunately, the Immigration Department of Malaysia does not allow Malaysia tourist visa extensions. Foreign nationals must leave the country and apply for a new Malaysia tourist visa .

You can apply for a new Malaysia eVisa with the Immigration Department of Malaysia , or just simply check if you are one of the nationalities eligible to apply for a Malaysia single-entry eVisa online with us. If you need a multiple entry visa you should also consult the Malaysian embassy or government body.

How to apply for a new Malaysia Tourist Visa with us

Simply follow these steps:

First , answer the questions in the iVisa application form and select your preferred processing time.

Second , double-check your information carefully and continue with the payment.

Third , upload and attach all the required documents and submit your application.

As soon as we receive the completed online form, our visa experts will review the information and process it. Once it’s approved, you will receive the confirmation of your eVisa via email with further instructions.

Malaysia Tourist eVisa validity

Travelers should take note of the specific conditions tied to the Malaysia Tourist eVisa:

Visa validity period: Typically, the Malaysia Tourist eVisa remains valid for 90 days from the date of issuance. You're required to enter Malaysia within these 90 days.

Permitted duration of stay: Upon entry into Malaysia, the duration of stay allowed is up to 30 days for each entry.

Entry type: The Malaysia Tourist eVisa usually allows for a Single Entry. This implies you're permitted a single entry into Malaysia with the eVisa. If you exit Malaysia, regardless of whether the 30-day period has been fully utilized, the visa will no longer be valid for re-entry.

What if I need to stay longer than the permitted Tourist Visa validity?

If you wish to stay in Malaysia longer than the expiration date of your visa, it's important to address this situation properly to avoid violating immigration laws. Here are some steps and considerations:

Check visa extension possibilities: First, determine if your visa type is eligible for an extension. This is not typically possible for tourist eVisas , but other visa categories may have provisions for extensions under specific circumstances.

Apply for an extension (if eligible): If your visa type allows for extensions, apply for one well before your current visa expires. Visit the nearest Malaysian Immigration Department office to inquire about the process, required documents, fees, and any other requirements. Extensions are granted at the discretion of immigration officials and usually for valid reasons such as medical emergencies or unavoidable travel disruptions.

Exit and re-enter Malaysia: If your visa cannot be extended, you must leave Malaysia before your visa expires. You can then apply for a new visa from outside the country if you wish to return. Some travelers use this method, known as a "visa run," to comply with immigration laws while planning a return to Malaysia.

Consider applying for a different type of visa: If your travel plans or circumstances have changed, and you have a legitimate reason for a longer stay (such as study, work, or family reasons), you might consider applying for a different type of visa that suits your new situation.

Consult with Malaysian Immigration: Immigration laws and policies can change, and there may be specific advisories or exceptions in place (for example, due to global health emergencies). It's wise to consult directly with the Malaysian Immigration Department or the nearest Malaysian embassy or consulate for the most current advice and solutions tailored to your situation.

What are the penalties for overstaying my Malaysia Visa?

Avoid overstaying your Malaysia Visa validity period . Overstaying your visa in Malaysia can lead to penalties, including fines, detention, deportation, and a possible ban on re-entry. It's crucial to take steps well in advance of your visa expiration to ensure you remain compliant with Malaysian immigration laws.

You can find a detailed list of the penalties for overstaying your Malaysian visa on the Malaysian Immigration website.

Extending your visa due to special circumstances

The Malaysia Special Pass is a temporary pass that allows foreigners to extend their stay in Malaysia due to ‘special’ circumstances. A few examples of these circumstances are illnesses, accidents, conflicts in your home country, etc. You must apply at least 7 days before your current visa expires to get this permit.

Generally, there are three common circumstances under which the Malaysian Immigration Department will grant a Special Pass:

Pending approval of an employment pass (or other related passes) : This applies to scenarios where foreigners have to renew their work visa (or another related pass). They may apply to remain in Malaysia with a Special Pass for another 30 days beyond the expiry date of their current visa, while awaiting the decision of their renewal application.

Making arrangements to exit Malaysia : The Special Pass is only for situations in which foreigners need to extend their stay in Malaysia for less than 30 days. They need to submit the supporting documents for approval:

A copy of an original passport.

A copy of the current visa.

Reserved flight ticket within the next 30 days.

Typed letter explaining the reason for requesting the Special Pass.

Completing in-country immigration process : This is for situations in which foreigners have yet to complete an in-country immigration process and might receive the Special Pass for 30 days to remain in Malaysia. During this time, they must complete any immigration formalities to update their status in Malaysia.

If you have time, and you are traveling for tourism purposes, the best thing to do is to prevent the offense of overstaying.

Where can I get more info?

If you have more inquiries about how to apply for a Malaysian eVisa or any other travel document, don't hesitate to contact our support team via online chat or WhatsApp .

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Update May 10, 2024

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Travel Advisory July 24, 2023

Malaysia - level 1: exercise normal precautions.

Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.

Exercise normal precautions in Malaysia. Some areas have increased risk.  Read the entire Travel Advisory. 

Exercise Increased Caution in:

  • The eastern area of Sabah State due to kidnapping .

Read the  country information page  for additional information on travel to Malaysia.

If you decide to travel to Malaysia:

  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program  ( STEP ) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on  Facebook  and  Twitter .
  • Review the  Country Security Report  for Malaysia.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest  Travel Health Information  related to your travel.  
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the  Traveler’s Checklist . 

Eastern Area of Sabah State – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

There is a threat of kidnappings-for-ransom from both terrorist and criminal groups. These groups may attack with little to no warning, targeting coastal resorts, island resorts, and boats ferrying tourists to resort islands.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in eastern Sabah as U.S. government employees must obtain special authorization to travel to parts of eastern Sabah.

Embassy Messages

View Alerts and Messages Archive

Quick Facts

Six months beyond date of arrival

At least one blank page required for entry stamp

Not normally required for stays of less than 90 days.

$10,000 or equivalent

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Kuala Lumpur

376 Jalan Tun Razak 50400, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia Telephone: +(60) (3) 2168-5000 Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(60) (3) 2168-5000 (press 0 at the recording) Fax: +(60) (3) 2148-5801 Email:  [email protected]

Destination Description

Learn about the U.S. relationship to countries around the world.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

To enter Malaysia, your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of your arrival in Malaysia.  You must have at least one blank page for the entry stamp.  Permission to enter and remain in Malaysia is under the authority of the Malaysian Immigration Department.  Visit the websites of the Embassy of Malaysia in Washington D.C . and the  Malaysian Immigration Department for more information.

Effective January 1, 2024, the Malaysian Immigration Department requires all travelers to complete the Malaysian Digital Arrival Card (MDAC) .  Permanent residents of Malaysia, long term-pass holders, and diplomatic and official passport holders are exempt from this requirement.  

For the latest information, travelers should review the Malaysian Immigration website .  You can submit an online inquiry form or contact the Malaysian Government call center (MyGCC) at +60 3-8000-8000.  If you are outside of Malaysia, you should contact the nearest Malaysian embassy or consulate if you have questions about Malaysian entry and exit requirements. 

If you are planning onward travel after departing Malaysia, please note that many other countries in the region require at least six months’ remaining validity on your passport to enter.

You do not need a visa if you are coming for business or tourism for 90 days or less.

Immigration officials will place an entry stamp, known as a social visit pass (visa), in your passport authorizing a stay of up to 90 days.  Travelers may apply to the Malaysian Immigration Department for extensions, which may or may not be granted.  You must exit Malaysia using the same passport that you used to enter.  If this passport is replaced for any reason before you depart Malaysia, you must apply with Immigration to obtain a “special pass” (exit permit) in your new passport prior to departing. 

Neither the U.S. Government nor the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur can intervene on your behalf when you apply for a Malaysian visa, nor can we advocate for your admission into Malaysia if you are denied entry.

Travel Document : Persons traveling on a USCIS-issued Refugee Travel Document issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must apply for a visa prior to traveling to Malaysia.

Border Crossings:  Follow all entry instructions, present your passports only to immigration officials, and be sure immigration officials stamp your passport with the correct date upon entering and exiting Malaysia.  Lack of correct documentation or proof of entry into Malaysia may result in high fines and/or detention.

Sabah and Sarawak:  The eastern states of Sabah and Sarawak (on the island of Borneo) maintain semi-autonomous immigration controls and may have additional have special entry requirements.  You must have your passport to enter or exit Sabah or Sarawak, even when arriving from peninsular Malaysia on domestic flights. 

Dual Nationality:  Malaysia does not recognize or permit dual nationality.  If Malaysian authorities learn that you are a U.S.-Malaysian dual national, they may require you to immediately forfeit your U.S. passport or your Malaysian citizenship.  U.S.-Malaysian dual nationals should consider this issue seriously before traveling to Malaysia.  See our  dual nationality page  for more information.

U.S.-Israeli Dual Nationals:  The Malaysian government does not maintain diplomatic relations with Israel, and Immigration officials have denied entry to U.S.-Israeli dual nationals who have presented their Israeli passports to show exit stamps from their last destination point of departure.  U.S.-Israeli dual nationals should use their U.S. passports to depart the last country on their itinerary prior to arriving in Malaysia.

Visa Overstays:  Malaysian immigration authorities have exit controls at all official ports of departure and routinely fine and detain foreigners who overstay their social visit passes (visas).  If you overstay your visa, you will not be allowed to exit Malaysia until you resolve the overstay with the Immigration Department of Malaysia.

Carry your passport (containing the Malaysian entry stamp) with you at all times in case authorities question your immigration status.  Several U.S. citizens have been arrested during immigration sweeps based on inability to establish nationality and legal status in Malaysia.  Detentions may last from a few hours to several weeks.  Check your visa status periodically while in Malaysia and strictly follow immigration laws and regulations. 

Visit the Embassy of Malaysia website for the most current visa information.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Malaysia.

Find information on  prevention of international child abduction  and  customs regulations  on our website.

Safety and Security

Terrorism:  Terrorist groups and those inspired by such organizations are intent on attacking U.S. citizens abroad.  Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack – including knives, firearms, and vehicles – to more effectively target crowds.  Frequently, their aim is unprotected or vulnerable targets, such as:

  • High-profile public events (sporting contests, political rallies, demonstrations, holiday events, celebratory gatherings, etc.)
  • Hotels, clubs, and restaurants frequented by tourists
  • Places of worship
  • Shopping malls and markets
  • Public transportation systems (including subways, buses, trains, and scheduled commercial flights) 

Malaysia remains a transit point and, to a lesser extent, a destination country for members of terrorist groups including ISIS, Abu Sayyaf Group, al-Qa’ida, and Jemaah Islamiyah.  Information from credible sources suggests that there is a continued risk of armed terrorist and criminal groups operating and planning attacks against foreigners, including U.S. citizens, in the East Asian and Pacific region, including Malaysia.  Since 2013, Malaysian authorities have arrested more than 500 supporters of ISIS, including many individuals who planned to fight in Syria and Iraq.

Use caution in eastern Sabah because of the threat of kidnappings-for-ransom and violence from both terrorist and criminal groups, including the Philippines-based Abu Sayyaf Group (see the  Philippines Travel Advisory for more information ).  In addition to targeting coastal or resort islands themselves, criminal or terrorist groups may attempt to intercept boats ferrying tourists from the mainland to resort islands. 

Due to safety concerns, U.S. government employees traveling for both personal and official travel to Sabah east of the north-south line drawn from the cities of Kudat to Tawau, including all islands, must obtain official written permission from the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.  The exceptions are the cities of Sandakan, Lahad Datu, Tawau, the Sepiloolik Nature Reserve, and the Kinabatangan River areas, which require U.S. government employees to officially notify the Embassy prior to travel.

Malaysian law enforcement officials have enacted land and water-based curfews in the coastal areas of eastern Sabah.  Check local media or ask local police for the most recent curfew information if traveling to eastern Sabah.

For more information, see our  Terrorism  page.  

Crime:   Petty theft and violent crime in Kuala Lumpur continue to be concerns. Purse snatchings, pickpocketing, smash-and-grab thefts from vehicles, and residential burglaries are the most common crimes committed against both locals and foreigners.  Avoid wrapping purse straps around arms or shoulders to avoid injury.  Violent and more serious crimes are less common; however, in October 2022, following local media reports of an increase in violent crime in the area of 430-440 Jalan Tun Razak, which houses multiple bars, clubs, and restaurants, the Embassy has advised U.S. government employees visiting establishments in this general vicinity to depart the neighborhood no later than 9:00 pm.

Taxi drivers in central Kuala Lumpur have perpetrated violent crimes against foreign tourists and local residents.  Use e-hailing services or book taxis in downtown shopping areas by phone or online, rather than hailing a taxi on the street, particularly after dark.

Criminals also target motorists stuck in traffic or stopped at a light with smash and grab robberies.  Keep valuables out of sight while driving or remove them from the car (including from the trunk) when parked.  GPS devices should not be left on the windshield or dashboard.

Demonstrations occur frequently.   They may take place in response to political or economic issues, on politically significant holidays, and during international events.  

  • Demonstrations can be unpredictable, avoid areas around protests and demonstrations.
  • Check local media for updates and traffic advisories.

Local law pertaining to peaceful assembly  prohibits  non-Malaysians from participating in public protests.

International Financial Scams:   See the  Department of State  and the  FBI  pages for information. 

Sophisticated internet romance and financial scams are prevalent in Malaysia.  Scams are often initiated through Internet postings/profiles or, less frequently, by unsolicited emails, letters, text messages, and messages on social media.  Scammers frequently pose as U.S. citizens who have no one else to turn to for help.  Common scams include:   

  • Romance/Online dating 
  • Money transfers 
  • Lucrative sales 
  • Gold purchase 
  • Contracts with promises of large commissions 
  • Inheritance notices 
  • Work permits/job offers 
  • Bank overpayments

Victims of Crime:  U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance.  Report crimes to the local police via the emergency line at 999 (landline) or 112 (cell/mobile).  Alternatively, call the Royal Malaysia Police (RMP) Operations Center in Kuala Lumpur, 03-2115-9999 or 03-2266-2222 for advice on how to make a non-emergency police report.  Contact the U.S. Embassy at +(60) (3) 2168-5000 for assistance.  A police report is necessary for the Embassy to help victims follow up on incidents of crime.  In some tourist areas, the police have established small "Tourist Police” stations manned by personnel familiar with helping visitors to Malaysia.  Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting a crime.

See our webpage on  help for U.S. victims of crime overseas .

  • Help you find appropriate medical care  
  • Assist you in reporting a crime to the police 
  • Contact relatives or friends with your written consent 
  • Provide general information regarding the victim’s role during the local investigation and following its conclusion 
  • Provide a list of local attorneys  
  • Provide our information on  victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution 
  • Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home 
  • Replace a stolen or lost passport 

Domestic Violence:  U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the Embassy at +(60) (3) 2168-5000 for assistance.  Victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse may receive comprehensive care at the One Stop Crisis Centers (OSCC) located in all government hospitals.  The OSCC provide survivors medical care, temporary shelter, legal aid, and counseling.

Tourism:  The tourism industry is generally regulated and rules with regard to best practices and safety inspections are regularly enforced.  Hazardous areas/activities are identified with appropriate signage and professional staff is typically on hand in support of organized activities.  In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is widely available throughout the country.  Outside of a major metropolitan center, it may take more time for first responders and medical professionals to stabilize a patient and provide life-saving assistance, and first responder capabilities may vary.  When participating in trekking or other activities in extremely remote areas, particularly in the eastern states of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo, it may be difficult for first responders to reach patients quickly.  

U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance.  See our webpage for more  information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties:  You are subject to local laws.  If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.  Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business.

Penalties for using, possessing, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Malaysia are more severe than those in the United States, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines, or death.   

It is illegal to take pictures of certain buildings such as military facilities, government buildings and offices, and Ministry of Health facilities including public hospitals and clinics.

Driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail.

Certain white-collar crimes are punishable by caning.

If you purchase or collect local plants or wildlife without authorization from the Malaysian government, you may be prosecuted and sentenced to heavy fines, expulsion and/or imprisonment.

It is illegal to distribute religious literature of another faith to Malaysian Muslims.  Special religious authorities and local police occasionally conduct raids on popular nightspots and hotels to deter activities among local Muslims that contravene religious customs, including drinking alcohol and adultery.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law.  For examples, see our website on  crimes against minors abroad  and the  Department of Justice  website.

Arrest Notification:  If you are arrested or detained, ask the police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately.  See our  webpage  for further information.

Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Although counterfeit and pirated goods are prevalent in many countries, they may still be illegal according to local laws.  You may also pay fines or have to give them up if you bring them back to the United States.  See the  U.S. Department of Justice website  for more information.

Currency:  Currency exchange and Western Union money transfers are readily available.  Credit cards are accepted throughout the country, but you should be aware of the risk of fraud.  If possible, ensure your credit card remains in your presence during every transaction.  ATMs can be a safer means of obtaining Malaysian Ringgit.  PINs in Malaysia are six digits long, and some travelers have reported having difficulty retrieving cash from ATMs using four-digit PINs.

Faith-Based Travelers:   See the following webpages for details:

Faith-Based Travel Information

International Religious Freedom Report  – see country reports

Human Rights Report  – see country reports

Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers  

Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad   

LGBTQI+ Travelers:  Malaysia’s penal code criminalizes homosexual acts, termed “carnal intercourse against the order of nature,” leading to punishment of up to 20 years in prison and/or whipping, and police periodically raid LGBTQI+ frequented nightclubs and events.  Foreign same-sex marriages or civil unions are not recognized as legally valid.  Several states in Malaysia have instated Islamic Sharia laws, applying to male and female Muslims, criminalizing same-sex activity with up to three years imprisonment and whipping.  Transgender individuals have been arrested and charged with "indecent behavior,” and received fines and prison sentences of up to three months.  Transgender individuals may also be denied entry to Malaysia at the discretion of the Malaysian immigration authorities.  LGBTQI+ individuals may face discrimination or even violence, especially in more conservative rural areas. See  LGBTQI+ Travel Information  page and section 6 of our  Human Rights Report  for further details.

Travelers With Disabilities:  The law in Malaysia prohibits discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual or mental disabilities, but the law is not regularly enforced.  Social acceptance of persons with disabilities in public is as prevalent as in the United States.  The most common types of accessibility may include accessible government facilities, information, and communication/access to services.  Expect accessibility to be limited in public transportation, older lodging, and older public infrastructure, and common in newer lodging, communication/information, and newer public infrastructure.  Accessibility is more limited in rural areas.

Malaysia has an active civil society and NGO community focused on disability welfare and protection. They are usually able to provide information and assistance in employment services, assistive devices and equipment, chore services, companion-based services, day services, and support network for parents.

See our Travelers with Disabilities page. 

Students:  See our  Students Abroad  page and  FBI travel tips .  

Women Travelers:  In cases of sexual assault, victims should go directly to the nearest major public hospital which will offer “one-stop” response including medical care and testing, forensic testing, access to the police to make a criminal report, legal assistance, counseling, and temporary shelter.  See our travel tips for  Women Travelers . 

For emergency services in Malaysia, dial 999 (landline) or 112 (cell/mobile).  Callers to 999 emergency number are directed to whichever government hospital the dispatcher chooses.

Ambulance services are:

  • Widely available but training and availability of emergency responders may be below U.S. standards.
  • Not equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment.  
  • Injured or seriously ill travelers may prefer to take a taxi or private vehicle to the nearest major hospital rather than wait for an ambulance (45+min).  

We do not pay medical bills.  Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas.  Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.  Malaysian hospitals will not bill your insurance directly.  You must provide payment and seek reimbursement.

Medical Insurance:   Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas.  Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments.  See  our webpage  for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.  Visit the  U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.

We strongly recommend supplemental MEDEVAC insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.  Check with the  Royal Malaysian Customs Department  to ensure the medication is legal in Malaysia.

Vaccinations:  Be up-to-date on all  vaccinations recommended  by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Further health information:

  • World Health Organization
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  (CDC)  

Air Quality:  Visit  AirNow Department of State  for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.

The air quality varies considerably and fluctuates with the seasons.  It is typically at its worst in the dry season from July to October due to large agricultural fires in the region.  People at the greatest risk from particle pollution exposure include: 

  • Infants, children, and teens 
  • People over 65 years of age 
  • People with lung disease such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema; 
  • People with heart disease or diabetes 
  • People who work or are active outdoors 

The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals .  We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.

Medical Facilities and Services:

  • Adequate health facilities are available throughout the country but health care in rural areas may be below U.S. standards.
  • Private hospitals usually require advance payment before admitting a patient.  
  • Medical staff in rural areas may speak little English. 
  • Generally, in public hospitals only minimal staff is available overnight in non-emergency wards. Consider hiring a private nurse or having family spend the night with the patient, especially a minor child. 
  • Psychological and psychiatric services are limited, even in the larger cities, with hospital-based care typically only available through government institutions.

Medical Tourism and Elective Surgery

  • Medical tourism is a rapidly growing industry. People seeking health care overseas should understand that medical systems operate differently from those in the United States and are not subject to the same rules and regulations.  Anyone interested in traveling for medical purposes should consult with their local physician before traveling and visit the  U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  website for more information on Medical Tourism.
  • Visit the  U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  website for information on Medical Tourism, the risks of medical tourism, and what you can do to prepare before traveling to Malaysia. 
  • We strongly recommend supplemental MEDEVAC insurance  to cover medical evacuation in the event of unforeseen medical complications.  
  • Your legal options in case of malpractice are very limited in Malaysia.
  • Although Malaysia has many elective/cosmetic surgery facilities that are on par with those found in the United States, the quality of care varies widely.  If you plan to undergo surgery in Malaysia, make sure that emergency medical facilities are available and professionals are accredited and qualified.  


  • Exercise caution when purchasing medication overseas.  Pharmaceuticals, both over the counter and requiring prescription in the United States, are often readily available for purchase with little controls.  Counterfeit medication is common and may prove to be ineffective, the wrong strength, or contain dangerous ingredients.  Medication should be purchased in consultation with a medical professional and from reputable establishments.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration are responsible for rules governing the transport of medication back to the United States.  Medication purchased abroad must meet their requirements to be legally brought back into the United States.  Medication should be for personal use and must be approved for usage in the United States.  Please visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration websites for more information.

Assisted Reproductive Technology and Surrogacy

  • If you are considering traveling to Malaysia to have a child through use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) or surrogacy, please see our ART and Surrogacy Abroad page .
  • Although surrogacy agencies/clinics claim surrogacy is legal in Malaysia, there is no legal framework for foreigners or same-sex couples to pursue surrogacy in Malaysia.  As a result, surrogacy agreements between foreign or same-sex intending parents and gestational mothers are not enforced by Malaysia courts. 
  • If you decide to pursue parenthood in Malaysia via assisted reproductive technology (ART) with a gestational mother, be prepared for long and unexpected delays in documenting your child’s citizenship.  Be aware that individuals who attempt to circumvent local law risk criminal prosecution.

Water Quality

  • In many areas, tap water is not potable.  Bottled water and beverages are generally safe, although you should be aware that many restaurants and hotels serve tap water unless bottled water is specifically requested.  Be aware that ice for drinks may be made using tap water. 

Adventure Travel

  • Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Adventure Travel .

General Health Language

The following diseases are prevalent:

  • Chikungunya
  • Leptospirosis 
  • Use the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended mosquito repellents and sleep under insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets.  Chemoprophylaxis is recommended for all travelers even for short stays.
  • Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about  Resources for Travelers  regarding specific issues in Malaysia.   

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Road safety is a very serious safety concern.  Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Malaysia averagesd approximately 2219 traffic fatalities a day, placing it among the top 1020 most dangerous countries in which to operate a vehicle worldwide.  Undisciplined motorcycle and motor scooter operators are the principal cause of traffic accidents and constitute nearly two-thirds of all traffic fatalities.  Motorcyclists tend not to obey traffic laws and often travel without regard for their safety or that of other motorists.  As such, use turn signals well in advance of turning to alert motorcycles. 

Bottlenecks are common in major cities because road building has not kept pace with the spread of motorized vehicles.  Multi-lane highways often merge into narrow two-lane roads in the center of town and cause congestion.  Many streets are narrow and winding.  Traffic is heavy during the morning and afternoon rush hours and slows down considerably when it rains.  Monsoonal rains can quickly flood roads located in low-lying areas.

Traffic Laws: Traffic in Malaysia moves on the left side of the road, and most vehicles are right-hand drive.  By law, you must use your front and back seat belts and must not use your cell phone while driving unless it is hands-free (e.g., Bluetooth).  Turning left at a red light is not legal unless otherwise marked.  Carry your passport or Malaysian identification card at all times when driving.

If you are involved in a traffic accident:

  • Call the police immediately. Depending on the severity of the accident, you should call either the emergency number 999 (or 112 from a mobile phone) or the Royal Malaysia Police Operations Center in Kuala Lumpur, 03-2115-9999 or 03-2266-2222.
  • Stay in your car and wait for the police to arrive before exchanging information with other parties involved in the accident.

Reports of road rage incidents, especially after midnight, are rising.  Avoid confrontational behavior if you are involved in an accident.  If you are threatened, stay in your car and lock the doors.  If able, lleave the scene and file a report with the local police within 24 hours.

Sobriety Checkpoints: Laws against drinking and driving are strictly enforced and carry serious penalties.  Police operate sobriety checkpoints in many entertainment districts frequented by expatriates.  At these checkpoints, all drivers must submit to alcohol breath tests.  If you fail a breath test, you will be arrested.

Driver’s License Requirements: International Driving Permits (IDP) may be used in conjunction with a valid U.S. license.  The IDP must be obtained outside of Malaysia.  If your IDP or U.S. license has expired, you will need to obtain a local driver’s license.  Some classifications of visa holders may also be eligible for driver’s license “conversion,” a quicker process to obtain a local license.  For additional information on this process, please contact the Malaysian Ministry of Transportation directly.  The Ministry of Transportation recommends contacting a local driving school to arrange the paperwork.  In order to obtain a local license, you will also need a valid long-term visa or work permit.

Many car rental agencies in Malaysia are willing to rent vehicles for a short term to U.S. citizens with valid U.S. driver’s licenses.  Nevertheless, if you plan to drive in Malaysia, obtain an IDP before leaving the United States. More information on how to obtain an IDP is available on the  Driving Abroad  section of the Department of State website.

Public Transportation: There have been fatal and other serious accidents involving long-distance tour buses in Malaysia, particularly at night or in adverse weather conditions.  If you plan to travel by bus, choose a reputable company, and avoid overnight routes.

Taxis are metered, but many drivers refuse to use the meter and instead charge a much higher rate, particularly during peak hours, when it is raining or when the passenger’s destination is to or through a heavily congested area.  By regulation, metered fares increase by 50 percent between midnight and 6:00 a.m.; meters are programmed to display the higher fee automatically during these hours.  Many individuals prefer to book taxi and car services through widely-used smart phone apps both for convenience and fare transparency.

See our  Road Safety page  for more information.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Malaysia’s Civil Aviation Authority as not being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Malaysia’s air carrier operations.  Further information may be found on the  FAA’s safety assessment page .

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Malaysia should also check for  U.S. maritime advisories and alerts .   Information may also be posted to the   U.S. Coast Guard homeport website , and the  NGA broadcast warnings .

For additional travel information

  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)  to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Call us in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (from all other countries) from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • See the  State Department’s travel website  for the  Worldwide Caution  and  Travel Advisories .
  • Follow us on  Twitter  and  Facebook .
  • See  traveling safely abroad  for useful travel tips.

Review information about Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Malaysia . For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act ( ICAPRA ) report.

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how long tourist visa malaysia

  • Passports, travel and living abroad
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Entry requirements

This advice reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in Malaysia set and enforce entry rules. If you’re not sure how these requirements apply to you, contact the Malaysian High Commission in the UK .

COVID-19 rules

There are no COVID-19 vaccination requirements for travellers entering Malaysia.  

Passport validity requirements

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date you arrive in Malaysia. Make sure your passport is undamaged, with no pages missing.

Check with your travel provider that your passport and other travel documents meet requirements. Renew your passport if you need to.  

You will be denied entry if you do not have a valid travel document or try to use a passport that has been reported lost or stolen.

Dual nationals

Malaysia does not recognise dual nationality. You can be refused entry if you’re found with a Malaysian passport and one of a different nationality. If you have dual nationality (not including Malaysian), enter and exit on the same passport.

Visa requirements

British nationals do not need a visa to visit Malaysia. You will normally be allowed to stay for 90 days on arrival. For any longer, or for a non-tourist visit, you will need a visa.

The Malaysian authorities do not tolerate illegal immigration. Do not overstay your visa or violate the terms of entry. Even if you overstay for just a few days, you can be:

  • deported to the UK at your own cost
  • blacklisted for future visits to Malaysia

If you are detained, you will find facilities can be poor with limited healthcare services. The British High Commission is unable to help you to remain in Malaysia or issue any document to support your overstay.

Keep a copy of your passport and visa safe in case your passport is lost. It may take time to get a replacement visa. If you cannot show your original visa or entry stamp on exit you may be treated as an overstayer, fined and blacklisted.

Applying for a visa

If you want to stay for longer than 90 days or visit for non-tourist purposes, you must apply for a visa from the nearest Malaysian diplomatic mission before you travel.

Entry to East Malaysia

If you’re travelling between Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia (sometimes known as Malaysian Borneo, made up of the states of Sabah and Sarawak) you will need to carry your passport. You will pass through immigration control when entering and exiting East Malaysia from and to Peninsular Malaysia, and must obtain an entry and exit stamp.

Declaration form

You must fill in the Malaysia Digital Arrival Card to enter Malaysia. You should complete this before you travel as it may be requested at check-in. You do not need to complete the arrival form if you are not passing through immigration. See the Malaysian Immigration website for further information, including exemption details.

Vaccination requirements

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the vaccinations and certificates you need in TravelHealthPro’s Malaysia guide .

Drug screening

You could be asked to take a urine test on arrival in Malaysia if you are suspected of having used drugs before your visit. If you’re found with drugs in your bloodstream, you could be detained, or deported and blacklisted from any further visits to Malaysia. You can be charged with drug consumption even if the drugs were consumed overseas, including if they were consumed  in a country where the use of that particular drug is legal.

Customs rules

There are strict rules about goods you can take into or out of Malaysia . You must declare anything that may be prohibited or subject to tax or duty.

If you are in any doubt about the legality of any items, including medications, you should declare them on entry.

Importing firearms

It’s illegal to import unlicensed firearms and ammunition into Malaysia. This includes spent ammunition and souvenirs from war museums. Do not take any weapons or replica weapons into Malaysia. You may be detained and charged if you do. If you’re convicted of dealing in illegal firearms you can be given the death penalty.

Taking money into Malaysia

You can import or export up to the equivalent of 10,000 US dollars in Malaysian ringgit without prior approval.

On entry to or exit from Malaysia, declare any cash or travellers cheques if the value is 10,000 US dollars or more. If you do not declare it, customs officials can seize your money, and you may get a fine of up to 3 million ringgit and up to 5 years’ imprisonment. Further information can be found on the Royal Malaysian Customs Department website.

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how long tourist visa malaysia

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Malaysia should extend visa waiver for Chinese tourists, says MCA vice-president

Wednesday, 08 May 2024

Related News

Foreign firms in China see ties fray with overseas HQs as information gap and communication chasm quell trust

Foreign firms in China see ties fray with overseas HQs as information gap and communication chasm quell trust

Beijing slams top us envoy in hong kong over ‘blatantly supporting jimmy lai and other anti-china disrupters’ after ‘soft repression’ claims, china raises stakes in spacex internet rivalry, claims higher orbit for first skynet satellite.

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia should respond in kind by extending the visa waiver for tourists from China, said Datuk Tan Teik Cheng.

"As the chairman of the PRC Affairs and Belt and Road Initiative Committee, I urge the Malaysian government to reciprocate by extending the visa waiver for tourists from China intending to visit Malaysia," he said in a Facebook post on Wednesday (May 8).

Tan, who was also the MCA vice-president, said the visa extension was not merely a reciprocal move towards the goodwill gesture by China but one that would bring significant benefits to both countries.

He noted that such a move could help expand the goodwill shared between both nations while adding to the celebratory mood of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Malaysia and China.

On Tuesday (May 7), Chinese ambassador to Malaysia Ouyang Yujing, announced visa-free travel to China for Malaysian citizens would be extended until the end of 2025.

Ouyang pointed out that Chinese President Xi Jinping, who was on a visit to France, had announced on Monday (May 6) that the visa-free policy for citizens from 12 countries, including Malaysia, to enter China would be extended until the end of 2025.

The 15-day visa-free policy applies to Malaysian citizens holding ordinary passports to go to China for business, tourism, family visits and transit purposes.

This visa-free privilege was first announced by China on Nov 24 last year. Prior to this latest announcement, the visa-free policy was enforced from Dec 1, 2023 to Nov 30, 2024.

Malaysia was one of the top destinations for Chinese tourists and had seen a substantial increase of 53.9% in arrivals compared to the previous year.

During the recent festive season, it was estimated that 100,000 Chinese tourists visited the country resulting in economic gains of between RM10bil and RM15bil for the nation.

Tags / Keywords: China , Tourist , Visa , Visa Waiver , Extension , MCA , Tan Teik Cheng ,

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Visa-free travel to China for M'sians extended till end of 2025, says envoy

KUALA LUMPUR: Visa-free travel to China for Malaysian citizens has been extended until the end of 2025, says Ouyang Yujing.

The Chinese ambassador to Malaysia announced in his speech during the launch of the Malaysia-China Commemorative Forum on Tuesday (May 7).

"Just yesterday (Monday), Chinese President Xi Jinping announced in France that the visa-free policy for citizens from 12 countries, including Malaysia, to come to China will be extended until the end of 2025.

"This will further promote the exchange and cooperation in our two countries," he said.

On Monday (May 6), Xi said in France that China has decided to extend visa exemption entry for citizens from 12 countries on short-term visits to China until the end of 2025.

He made the announcement during the closing ceremony of the Sixth Meeting of China-France Business Council.

The 15-day visa-free policy would allow Malaysian citizens holding ordinary passports to enter China for business, tourism, family visits and transit purposes.

China first announced on Nov 24 last year an earlier visa-free travel for six European countries and Malaysia until Nov 30, 2024.

Visa-free travel to China for M'sians extended till end of 2025, says envoy

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how long tourist visa malaysia

YB Dato Sri Tiong King Sing, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture delivering his mandate at the Tourism Malaysia Strategic Direction Towards VM2026 Networking Session

KUALA LUMPUR, 30 April 2024 – Tourism Malaysia had a prominent start on 30th April 2024 by organising a networking session with the industry players by presenting its strategic direction and action plans focussing on promoting Malaysia internationally and domestically. This direction and action plans were crafted during the engagement session with industry players to ensure the fast conversion and high impact programme and achieve the common goal in attracting 35.6 million tourists and generate RM147.1 billion in receipts for Visit Malaysia 2026.

The VM 2026 roadmap is built on three core strategies – creating demand, increasing traffic, and prioritising target markets. Key initiatives include branding and marketing blitz, strategic partnerships for joint promotions/tactical campaigns and market segmentation.

Malaysia's notable tourism achievements for the first quarter of 2024 are promising. During this period, from January to March, Malaysia saw a significant influx of foreign tourists, reaching 5.8 million arrivals. This marks a remarkable growth of 32.5% compared to the previous year's 4.3 million. The top ten markets contributing to this success were Singapore, Indonesia, China, Thailand, Brunei, India, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Philippines.

Tourism Malaysia will continue to empower its branding through aggressive advertising campaigns, influencer marketing, and compelling content creation across digital (70%) and traditional (30%) media platforms. The agency will also establish strategic partnerships with airlines, online travel agents (OTAs), and land/sea border operators of neighbouring countries to enhance tourist arrivals.

Key target markets are prioritised into three tiers, led by first-level priorities such as China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Australia. The second-level priorities include South Korea, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the United Kingdom, followed by third-level priorities comprising Chinese Taipei and Germany. Apart from traditional markets such as Brunei, Thailand and Singapore, the focus is also highlighted on emerging markets like Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, tourism products and travel experiences will be tailored for niche segments like nature-based tourism, experiential tourism, medical & wellness tourism, responsible tourism, luxury, weddings, Muslim-friendly, gastronomy, and bleisure travel.

YB Dato Sri Tiong King Sing, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, said: "Our multipronged VM 2026 strategy provides a comprehensive framework to boost Malaysia's visibility, enhance destination accessibility and elevate our tourism offerings. Through focused efforts and strategic collaborations, we are confident of achieving our yearly arrivals and target receipts in the run-up to VM 2026."

Tourism Malaysia will continue engaging industry stakeholders and international partners to refine and execute the VM 2026 strategies, positioning Malaysia as a preferred tourist destination in this region.

About Tourism Malaysia

Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board, also known as Tourism Malaysia, is an agency under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture Malaysia. It focuses on the specific task of promoting Malaysia as a preferred tourism destination. Since its inception, it has emerged as a major player in the international tourism scene.

The next Visit Malaysia Year, set to take place in 2026, will commemorate the sustainability of the nation's tourism industry, which is also in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG).

Furthermore, Tourism Malaysia actively endorses the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT), working towards the realisation of the IMT-GT Visiting Year 2023-2025, with the shared aim of promoting the region as a unified tourism destination. For more information, visit Tourism Malaysia’s social media accounts on Facebook , Instagram , Twitter , YouTube , and TikTok .

For enquiries, please contact:

Mohamed Shahrir Hadzim Deputy Director Strategic Planning Division [email protected] Tel: +603 8891 8164

Marhafizman Mohamad Daud Senior Tourism Officer Corporate Communications Division [email protected] Tel: +603 8891 8755

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  1. eVisa

    How long will my eVISA for Tourist (Social Visit) be valid for? eVISA is valid for 3 months while eVISA holder is entitled to stay for the total of days subjected to the eligibility of eVISA holder nationality for each visit to Malaysia as follows:

  2. Tourist Visa for Malaysia

    How Long is a Malaysia Tourist Visa Valid? A Malaysian tourist visa (eVisa included) is valid for a maximum of 3 months and for a single entry. However, you can only stay in Malaysia for a maximum of 30 days. It is the immigration Officer at the Malaysian point of entry who decides how long you can stay.

  3. Official Malaysia Visa

    An eVISA is only valid for a single journey to Malaysia for purposes of tourism and commercial trips for the maximum of 30 days. Any applicant, who breaches the Malaysian law, will be subject to criminal proceedings and administrative actions by the Government of Malaysia.

  4. Malaysia tourist visa: Visa types, requirements and application

    The validity of a Malaysia tourist visa is 3 months for a single entry and 6 months for a multiple entry visa. How long can you stay in Malaysia on a tourist visa You can stay up to 30 days in Malaysia on a tourist visa.

  5. Tourist Visa In Malaysia: A Simple Guide [April 2024 Update]

    Our guide demystifies the tourist visa process, leading you straight to the heart of Malaysia. ... Sample Page; Malaysia Solved. Legal Services. Tourist Visa In Malaysia: A Simple Guide. By Editor March 28, 2024 March 28, 2024. Planning a trip to Malaysia? Imagine stepping into the lush landscapes of Malaysia, where ancient rainforests meet ...

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    How long does it take to obtain an eVISA? It takes 2 working days to process. This 2 working days processing period applies only for working days and, does not include weekends, public holidays, Malaysian holidays and any other specific countries holidays.


    Level 1-6, Block B MKN Embassy Techzone Jalan Teknorat 2 62502 Cyberjaya Malaysia

  8. How Long Can You Stay In Malaysia On A Tourist Visa

    As mentioned earlier, the Single Entry Tourist Visa typically allows you to stay in Malaysia for a duration of 30 to 90 days, depending on your nationality. Upon arrival in Malaysia, your passport will be stamped with the duration of stay permitted on your visa.

  9. Visa requirements for visiting Malaysia

    Tourist E-Visas lasting up to 30 days are issued to citizens of Serbia & Montenegro, China, India, and many other nations in South Asia and Africa. See the Immigration Department of Malaysia website for details of how to apply and a full list of approved countries.

  10. Malaysia Visa

    You can apply for a Malaysian visa up to 1 month before the date you intend to travel. How to Apply for Malaysia visa? There are two methods through which foreign nationals can apply for a Malaysia visa: manually, or. online. However, Malaysia only offers the online Malaysia visa application option to a handful of countries (see below).


    Visa Requirement Based on Country. Bahasa Melayu BM | A A | ... Tourism Activities in Malaysia. Content no longer exists. Online Services. ... Malaysia. 2.9378764,101.6517949. 603 8000 8000. 603-8888 3163. 2 ACCESS PAGE Calendar. Agencies Directories.

  12. Visa policy of Malaysia

    Most visitors to Malaysia are granted visa-free entry for a period of 90, 30, or 14 days respectively. However, nationals from some countries must first obtain a visa from one of the Malaysian Diplomatic Missions before being allowed into the country. All visitors must hold a passport valid for at least 6 months. [1] Visa policy map. Visa exemption

  13. All long-stay visas in Malaysia

    The single-entry visa is valid for entry within three months from the date of issue. It is particularly suitable for vacationers. The multiple-entry visa is valid between 3 and 12 months and is reserved for business or government trips that do not exceed 30 days each. And there is the transit visa.

  14. New rules for foreign visitors to Malaysia

    PETALING JAYA: Foreigners who wish to enter Malaysia will have to fill up the Malaysia Digital Arrival Card (MDAC) three days prior to their arrival, effective immediately.

  15. Visas

    Business/Tourism: 60 days. Students (F, M, J): 70 days. Work (H, L, O, P, Q, R, E3): 90 days. Please read Important Visa Information for more details about payments, appointments, interview requirements and special accommodations. What is a Visa?

  16. Malaysia visa extension: all you need to know about it

    Visa validity period: Typically, the Malaysia Tourist eVisa remains valid for 90 days from the date of issuance. You're required to enter Malaysia within these 90 days. Permitted duration of stay: Upon entry into Malaysia, the duration of stay allowed is up to 30 days for each entry.

  17. Malaysia International Travel Information

    Quick Facts. PASSPORT VALIDITY: Six months beyond date of arrival. BLANK PASSPORT PAGES: At least one blank page required for entry stamp. TOURIST VISA REQUIRED: Not normally required for stays of less than 90 days. VACCINATIONS: None. CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY: $10,000 or equivalent. CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT: $10,000 or equivalent.

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  20. Malaysians can travel visa-free to China until end-2025: Chinese media

    KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians can travel visa-free to China until the end of 2025, as part of visa-travel exemption extensions granted by China to 12 countries. Chinese media reported that Malaysia is among 12 countries that were granted the visa-free travel exemption extension by the Chinese government. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin ...

  21. Visa-free travel to China for M'sians extended till end of 2025, says envoy

    The 15-day visa-free policy would allow Malaysian citizens holding ordinary passports to enter China for business, tourism, family visits and transit purposes.

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  23. Entry requirements into Malaysia

    No. 15, 1-7 Floor, (Podium) Persiaran Perdana, Presint 2, 62550 Putrajaya. T : 03-8000 8000 (MyGCC) Portal Feedback: [email protected]