Malaysia Visas, Permits and Immigration

by Jose Marc Castro on August 11, 2009

VISAmalaysia200Foreigner nationals who plan to enter Malaysia for leisure, medical reasons, employment, religious purposes, mass media, business, investment, studies, permanent residency, etc. are required to apply for a visa from the Malaysian Immigration Department and the Malaysian Embassy or Consulate in their countries of current residence.

Malaysia Immigration

Most foreigners are not required a visa when the duration of the visit is less than a period of 1 month with the purpose of business or leisure. The Malaysian Immigration Department will check their passports and other travel documents upon arrival. It is also important for these foreign nationals to follow the conditions and laws governing foreign visits and immigration.

Immigration Laws

The Immigration Act of 1959/1963 is the main legislation in Malaysia handling immigration and foreign employment issues. Included in the legislation are admissions into and out of Malaysia, entry visas and permits, procedures upon arrival, in transit, removal from the country, and other offenses or special provisions for East Malaysia. Other rules and regulations are the Passport Act 1966 and the Immigration (Exemption) Order 1963.

Laws and statutes covering immigration are handled by a number of departments, namely:

•    The Malaysia Ministry of Home Affairs, which enforces immigration laws
•    The Immigration Department of Malaysia, or the Malaysia Ministry of Home Affairs. It functions to take out aliens who lie about their real intentions for entering the country, aliens with a criminal record, and aliens who cannot properly finance themselves.

Individuals classified under Section 8 of Immigration Act 1959/1963 are not allowed to enter Malaysia regardless of a valid passport, sufficient travel documents, adequate funds, and travel tickets.

Visa Immigration Services

Nationals of some countries are required by the Malaysian government to have visas at all times. Included in the list are citizens of Afghanistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Botswana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Republic of Central Africa, Niger, Congo (Rep), Congo (Dem Rep), India, Liberia, Mali, Taiwan, Mozambique, Angola, China (PR), Burkina Faso, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Western Sahara.

Visa relaxation for transit in less than 5 days may be granted to nationals of the countries above if they possess confirmed onward airline tickets to a third country before arrival via a Malaysian International Airport.

British Overseas Citizens are also required a visa. Foreigners who intend to stay longer need to write to the Immigration Department at the Malaysian High Commission in the country where they are applying. Nationals of Serbia, Montenegro, and Israel are restricted entry into Thailand unless in transit or staying within airport premises. Foreign women who are 6 months pregnant or more and suspicious individuals may also be denied entry.

Nationals of all ASEAN countries, except Myanmar, are not required a visa if staying for less than one (1) month. For stays exceeding one (1) month, a visa is required, except for Brunei and Singapore nationals. Israel nationals are required visas plus permission from the Ministry of Internal Security. Nationals of the Republic of Serbia and Republic of Montenegro are required visas and permission from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Types of Visas

Single Entry Visa

Foreign nationals who require a visa to enter Malaysia for social visits are issued Single Entry Visas. These are usually valid for a period of three (3) months since the date of issuance. Individuals can only enter the country once. Additional visits will require reapplication at the Malaysian Embassy or Consulate at the applicant’s country of residence. Extensions may be provided after reporting to the Immigration Department at the Malaysian High Commission in the country of application.

Foreigners entering Malaysia not only must obtain a visa but also a pass at the point of entry. This pass is an endorsement on the passport allowing the holder an approved stay in Malaysia.

This matter was discussed in a post in Malaysia Expat Forum last September 3, 2009:


As far as Immigration is concerned, you have the same foreigner status as any other foreigner, assuming that you’re a UK citizen with a UK passport. I’d suggest googling the website for Malaysia Immigration to inquire about changing your citizenship. One important piece, though, that I do know: Malaysia does not recognize dual citizenship, so if you did get approved for Malaysian citizenship, you would need to give up your UK citizenship – probably not a good deal for you, honestly… Many Malaysians would love to get out and get a citizenship from another country – I’ve never heard of anyone doing it the other way around.

Multiple Entry Visa

Foreign nationals who require a visa to enter Malaysia for business or government-to-government concerns are issued Multiple Entry Visas. These are usually valid anywhere from three (3) to twelve (12) months since the date of issuance. Those in group tours are not eligible to apply for this type of visa.

Citizens of China (PR) and India are eligible to apply for Multiple Entry Visas for the purpose of social visits. Cost is RM50.00 for Indian Citizens and RM30.00 for Chinese Citizens. Multiple Entry Visas are valid for one (1) year, with each entry lasting 30 days only. Extensions are not allowed. There are two conditions for this type of visa:

•    The applicant must show proof of adequate funding for a Malaysian visit.
•    The applicant must possess a valid and confirmed return ticket to the country of residence.

Transit Visa

Foreign nationals who require a visa to enter Malaysia on transit to a third country are issued Transit Visas. However, the visa is not required for foreign nationals on transit who will not leave the airport premises and will proceed to their trip to the next destination with the same flight.

Foreign nationals need a valid passport or other travel documents recognized by the Malaysian government to properly carry out visa applications. Their passports need adequate pages for the embarkation stamp placed upon entering Malaysia. A passport validity of at least six (6) months at the date of entry is required. Travel documents need to be endorsed with a valid re-entry permit. Proof of adequate funds and the onward or return air or sea ticket are also needed.

Applications and queries should be addressed to the Malaysian High Commission. Application requirements include:

•    Passport valid for a minimum of six (6) months
•    2 passport-size photos
•    Fee (in cash or postal order only)
•    2 completed and signed application forms (£0.25 each)
•    Proof of sufficient funds (including the original and photocopy of your latest bank statement)
•    Onward or return air or sea travel ticket or itinerary from travel agent
•    Yellow fever vaccination certificates (required from all foreign nationals of infected areas as indicated by the World Health Organization)
•    Letter of introduction with a copy from the applicant’s employer, college, or university

An expat shared the costs of a social visa into Malaysia in Malaysia Expat Forum last June 24, 2009:

You get a 90 day social visit pass when you arrive in Malaysia – if you’re from the USA, you are visa exempt. After 90 days, you can just head across the border for the day and return for a fresh 90 day visa. You can do this indefinitely – I know many people who have lived in Malaysia for years this way, and I lived there for 2 years just making runs to Singapore every 3 months. Alternately, you can apply for an MM2H Social Visit Pass and Visa. There is a recent thread on this forum with a lot of information about this visa. Note that you do need to make a fairly sizeable investment in a Malaysian bank, amongst other things, to qualify. You can get an MM2H visa regardless of your age. For many people, though, just getting the social visit pass is quite adequate.

Rents are cheap. Even in KL, which is about the most expensive place to live in Malaysia, you can easily find a place for well under 1000 RM a month (about US$300). Look at the on-line listings for apartment rents in the Star and the New Straits Times. Outside of KL, you should be able to find some cheap digs for under 700 RM a month without any problem. However, you will need to commit to at least 6 months and, for most places, a year’s lease. Otherwise, you’ll probably be stuck staying at a hostel. Internet is widely available. I used IZZI, which uses a 4-G modem and has excellent coverage in KL. I think I was paying about 70 RM a month for it. You could also use internet cafes, which charge roughly 3 RM (US 90 cents) an hour. Very easy to obtain – bring your passport. No deposit required, though you need to sign up (and pay) for at least 6 months.


Most people end up living in either KL or Georgetown, though ex-pats are spread throughout the country. Kuching, on the island of Borneo, is another area with a growing ex-pat population. Ipoh, which is very cheap, has a small ex-pat population and it’s a nice place to live, about midway between Georgetown and KL.

Types of Permits

Employment Pass (EP)

This type of pass is issued to foreigners planning to work under contract for a minimum period of two (2) years and earning a monthly income of RM3,000 or more in Malaysia.

Visit Pass (Temporary Employment)

This pass is issued to foreigners planning to work for less than twenty-four (24) months in Malaysia.

Visit Pass (Professional)

This pass is issued to allow foreigners entering Malaysia to engage in short-term contracts with any agency. The validity varies but cannot exceed twelve (12) months at a time. The groups of foreigners eligible for application include:

•    Artists
•    Volunteers
•    Members of religious groups or institutions
•    Members of international organizations or agencies
•    Filmmakers, producers, photographers, actors, directors, etc.
•    Invited speakers, educators, and lecturers
•    Equipment installation or maintenance experts
•    Researchers recognized by the Government of Malaysia

Dependant Pass

This pass is issued to spouses and children of foreigners possessing an employment pass. The pass may be filed for application together with the employment pass application, or after approval of the employment pass. The maximum duration of the dependant pass should also be aligned with the duration of the employment pass (around 2 years).

Spouse Permit

This permit is issued to foreign spouses married to a Malaysian Citizen. The duration is between six (6) months and two (2) years.

Student Pass

This Pass is issued to foreigners enrolled as students in any recognized and approved educational institution in Malaysia.

Training Pass

This pass is issued to foreigners entering Malaysia to undergo training for a period lasting no more than twelve (12) months.

Malaysia My Second Home

This program is promoted to foreigners that meet a particular set of criteria, often for a period of ten years and renewable. This allows foreigners to bring their spouse, parents and children.

This permit is issued to foreigners looking for a long term social visit in Malaysia. Duration of stay is anywhere between 5 and 10 years with a multiple entry visa. However, foreigners are not allowed to work in the country.

All professional employment permits and passes should be applied for and related to local legal entities in Malaysia. These include:

•    Private limited company
•    Representative office
•    Regional office

Private Limited Company

The company is required to have at least two resident directors with a completely paid minimum capital of RM250,000. Additional requirements may be given such as specific licenses, additional fully paid capital, and a minimum Malaysian or Bumiputera equity depending on the number of employment passes needed and the activities of the company.

Representative Office

The Representative Office is owned by a foreign company approved and recognized to gather relevant information on investment opportunities in Malaysia. Included areas and activities are the manufacturing sector, Malaysian products export promotion, product research and development, and bilateral trade relations.

Regional Office

The Regional Office is owned by a foreign corporation and functions as the coordination center for the corporation’s affiliates, agents, and subsidiaries in Southeast Asia and the Asia Pacific. The office is responsible for specifically assigned activities by the corporation in the region where it is located and currently operates.

All applications for passes, except for the purpose of business or social visits, should be made before arriving in Malaysia. Sponsorship in Malaysia is required for all applications, with the sponsors agreeing to be responsible for the maintenance and repatriation of visitors if needed.

Besides a visa (if required), foreign nationals need to obtain a pass or permit at the point of entry to be allowed to temporarily stay in Malaysia. The pass serves as an endorsement in the passport indicating permission to stay over an approved purpose and duration of time.

{ 615 comments… read them below or add one }

Ayman November 20, 2014 at 10:31 am

my name is Ayman from Egypt im 51 years old,my wife 39 years old , i have 3 children 14,13,9 years old , i have my own travel agent in Egypt , i would like to move to Malaysia for immigration …?? thanks


Shonali February 16, 2015 at 9:00 am

Do not move to Malaysia …. thanks ….


Sheikh tanveer November 26, 2014 at 5:42 am

I am sheikh Tanveer from Pakistan I want to do business in malaysia I need work visa ASAP.can u assist me in this cell number is xxxxxxxxxxx.


Ravichandran November 26, 2014 at 5:23 pm

Sir, my son studying in China. He will come to Trichy, India, by way of Kulalumbur by AirAisa flight. Last time, you gave the transit visa for 5 days. This time he also come this, any changes your provide transit visa for entering airport premises. Pl. inform me


fazal hayat November 28, 2014 at 2:22 pm

I am Fazal hayat from Pakistan. I have done Master in English literature and want to immigrate to Malaysia for work and settlement as this is an Islamic country and there will be no problem to adjust in the society here.please help me and guide me getting entry legally. my age is forty 40. thanks


chandan barua November 30, 2014 at 12:28 pm

my name is chandan barua from bangladesh im 41 years old,my wife 30 years old , i have 2 children 3 /5 years old , i have one business in my country , i would like to move to Malaysia with my family what can i do ?? thanks


Gulzar Masih December 8, 2014 at 4:58 pm

I have been serving in a government department. I am interested to join some suitable job in Malaysia. I am 48 years old. Is there any suitable place for my adjustment. Would you please help me in the matter.


karthi April 7, 2015 at 3:43 am

D’s kkarthi……my imegresen was issued on 26/2/2015 for Malaysia…but still it was not stamped and I did not receive my passport…what is the actual time for stamping after realising imegresen


Chang December 10, 2014 at 6:43 am

A friend has employed a general worker from Bangladesh who has lost his passport for several years. Hence the Employer failed to renew his work permit. What is the action to be taken if he wish to register him now?


fenny April 22, 2015 at 7:39 am

i have a friend from indonesia was work in penang and the bos said the visa worker cant out . then he was already there for 6 months and wanna back to his country? what should he do for back indonesia ? thank you


manu January 4, 2015 at 12:13 pm

can i work as a general worker in malaysia .in multiple entry visa.


Ragoo January 14, 2015 at 6:30 am

My maid had stay in malaysia for a year ,without permit,but her passport is valid.
Now she wants to go back.
How and what shall i do.


Jeffrey January 21, 2015 at 7:48 am


Please go to Philippine Embassy and get a travel document because even if her passport is valid if she don’t have a valid work permit the. She is still considered illegal.


hon April 16, 2015 at 8:57 am

who is she?mr rajoo?


chua January 15, 2015 at 1:08 am

Dear Sir,
My passport expires on jan 19 2015, can i visit jb and return on same day this coming saturday jan 17 2015.
I m singaporea and using singapore passport..


anonymous January 24, 2015 at 2:48 am

you can’t. you need to have at least 6 months of validity in your passport, even for malaysia.


Chez February 7, 2015 at 10:50 am

I applied work in Malaysia, i had undergone my medical exam here in the philippines, in my x-ray i have mild scoliosis so the doctor told me that i am unfit for work (service crew). Is having a mild scoliosis is not valid to work in Malaysia? Please answer my question. Thank you.


Muhammad Rizwan February 16, 2015 at 12:42 pm

Dear Sir,
I am Rizwan from pakistan i am 42 years are old.i have 3 children 15,12,11 are old.i trevls in dubai 6time for business purpass but i am not satisfied in dubai.i would like to Malaysia to move for immigration.


Irfan February 25, 2015 at 1:11 pm

My name is Irfan Najam am 60 years old. i have small investments in different countries i would like to invest in Malaysia also approximately 1 million US dollars. looking forward for guidance.


Ashok August 17, 2015 at 7:00 am

Hello Irfan,

Good Day!!!!

This is Ashok here and I m staying here in Malaysia. I am in real state business here. I would suggest you that can invest in real state here in malaysia coz if you invest here like buying house property, land and all it will give you double return in few years as i am doing it here. if you wanna invest in real state please watsapp or call me 01136549701, 0195103834

Ashok (Mac)


Sohail Ahmed March 30, 2015 at 11:59 am

I am from Pakistan, interested to live and work in Malaysia. Looking for Professional visa, is there any opportunities of Professional Visa.

Sohail Ahmed.


Abid April 5, 2015 at 5:38 am

I like to immigrate to Malaysia with second home option and work. Can you please guide me how I can go about it.


Md.Mostafizur Rahman April 11, 2015 at 3:38 pm

I am B.Sc in EEE and 25 years old. Now I want to go to Malaysia for job or immigration purpose. What is easy way to go there? Thanks


chan April 17, 2015 at 6:14 am

is travel itinerary acceptable in malasian immigration if no eticket to show?


niqabi April 22, 2015 at 8:48 pm


I’m a Singaporean. Planning to move to KL this May to be with my hubby and his first wife. We did not have our marriage registered in both countries. Thus there are no legal documents

But I still will be in and out of Malaysia every two-three weeks to visit my kids in Singapore. Do you think I need a visa?

*first wife is Malaysian
Hubby just got his PR

Thank you in advance


Sulley Iddi Kototo April 24, 2015 at 3:26 pm

Sir,I’m a heavy duty Mechanic from Ghana,We got Malaysian single entry visa can we get work permit?Please help us to find out.Thank you


muhammad May 1, 2015 at 2:40 pm

hi sir,
im Muhammed 28 years old from Pakistan.
I was work in United Arab Emirates 8years was work in gov electricity & water authority a phone opretor and coordinator.
I leave dubai right know.
can I found any job in Malaysia??
sir can u help me?


Adil May 2, 2015 at 7:56 am


My multiple entry Malaysian visa expired on 7th May. Can I go today i.e. 2nd May and return on same day.


Ali July 6, 2015 at 5:34 am

Yes, you can


John L. Agosta May 5, 2015 at 1:52 am

Greetings, I’m John. I was deported for overstay. I served penalty (in lieu of fine) prison time for a few weeks. My fiance Emmy lives in Eng Ann, Klang, Selangor & is MY citizen. I was told by IDC staffs that I must wait 4mo b4 return. It has been over half year I have resided in my LA, CA USA home of record. Can I receive visa on arrival for regular 90da visa to wed there or must I apply 1st at MY embassy if I’m released off blacklist?


Abdull May 13, 2015 at 4:47 pm

Good day sir,i got an admission into iium for september intake and my student pass is ready,i got another admission into another university in malaysia which i prefered it because of the course of study given to me but the student pass is not ready and may be delayed before my resumtion which is june intake,my question is,can i use the student pass from iium international islamic university malaysia to get temporary visa and come in but later on arrival transfer to my choice of school ?


RICHIE May 15, 2015 at 2:16 pm

pls i want to know the type of work permit you have in Malaysia. And the period each one of them take before it expire


Karl Svensson May 17, 2015 at 11:56 am

I just read in KL paper that a Swiss couple have been detained and their MotorHome confiscated because “They exceeded the three visits rule”. They just want to go home but typically the Malaysian immigration are treating them terribly instead of just letting them go through into Thailand! The paper doesn’t qualify what this, “three visits rule” is. I am a British citizen and flew in a couple of months ago (I have a business class return ticket in June) and have traveled to Thailand and back , to Philippines and back and to Vietnam – that’s three trips. I want to go to Melbourne for a week but am very nervous about this story. What are the facts please?


RICHIE May 18, 2015 at 12:55 am

Please is single entry , general work permit.

expire on 23 -02-2016
issue on 22-02-2015

Please i want to know is a correct permit.


Naman May 19, 2015 at 6:10 pm

My name is Naman, Indian nationalist and i am 25 years old. My father is visiting Malaysia on work purpose for maximum 2 years. Is there anyway in which i am eligible to get a visa to stay in Malaysia for more than 30 days?


Steaphen Dsouza May 21, 2015 at 5:21 pm

I had applied for Employment pass in Malaysia in January 2015 I was told that I would get my pass in two month , I had applied with a reputed company , I am worried as it delayed for five month because they introduced G S T .Can you please help me know if I am going to get my employment pass


muhammd.qasim May 29, 2015 at 10:29 am

I came to malaysia on social vsit i am allowed to stay here for only 1 month but can i get my visa extended ?? For 20 or maybe 15 days??? Plz help me out


Sajib May 29, 2015 at 2:35 pm

My Friend Went to Malaysia in Multiple Visa.But Unfortunately,Her Passport and mobile,laptop,Dollar etc,was Hijacked.Now What Should she do?


danniela June 1, 2015 at 2:27 pm

hello help … me and my family are having a vacation in Singapore but my children want to visit Malaysia
is it possible to come in the morning and return at night in singapore..
Thank You


Mase June 16, 2015 at 1:18 am

Please can anyone tell me the rule on bringing in factory sealed food items into Kuala Lumpar from England.

We are wanting to bring crips, choccies etc with us



khit June 17, 2015 at 7:19 pm

I sponsor my gf as tourist coming here in malaysia but know working in hotel her agency processing her working permit and i already check at eservice her name already appearing they start processing January 30 2015 but until now she don’t have sticker on her passport does she already overstay here in malaysia?


Syed sajid ali. June 23, 2015 at 11:27 am



Johnson June 26, 2015 at 10:00 am

I was in Malaysia in April 2015 for registration at my University (UUM), but unfortunately the authority asked to defer the semester because I was late for registration and fly back my Country and return to Malaysia in this coming August. I’ve got my admission letter from my School and School director said it was OK for me to return to Malaysia with the Approval Letter from Malaysian Immigration because iit’s still valid. My Question is can I return to Malaysia with the same approval letter cuz is still valid ?


sadiq June 30, 2015 at 6:26 pm

Need work permit here in Malaysia, how can apply a work permit visa, I am a visitor in Malaysia


mary ann July 4, 2015 at 8:18 am

Hello can you advice me because i want to help my friend she is married to Chinese Malaysian but she is over stay already she want to get the visa what she need to do to get the married visa? Thank you


REGINA T. ESCOBRO July 10, 2015 at 7:55 am

Good Day. Im a Filipina , A professional teacher. I want to to land for a teaching job in
Sarawak, Kuching , Malaysia.I will surely appreciate if you will help me with my purpose.

Thank you,


gursewak singh gir July 14, 2015 at 7:06 am

my name is gursewak singh gir.
I am Indian .work visa in malashiya …nd hotel line work


Dr Vitaly zorchky July 20, 2015 at 6:57 am

Dear Sir/Madam

if i enter with a social pass entry to malaysia and after two days i leave to another country and back the same day re-entering malaysia is it allowable with social pass?

thanks and regards


kasey July 22, 2015 at 3:25 am

Hi .i need some advice my bf is a Pakistani recently his visa got cancelled and he and he was sent back to Pakistan, is it possible for me to send him a visa from Malaysia because we intend to get married here . Please reply thank you.


martin July 23, 2015 at 5:07 am

Hi, good day. I would like to ask. I already have my passport with working visa as I.t analyst. I need to go back to Philippines because of family emergency, my passport released July 18 with working visa, then I need to go back to Philippines this July 26 or 27. Is that possible?

Thank you, appreciate your help.

– martin


levy July 23, 2015 at 5:13 am

Hi good day, I would like to ask. I already have my passport with working visa as I.t analyst for 2 years. Now, my passport released this July 19 from immigration, and I have a family emergency, so I’m planning to go back to Philippines this July 26 or 27. Is that possible?

Thank you, appreciate your help.

Best regard,


placidp franco July 27, 2015 at 12:28 pm

I just want to ask of the employer are the pne who keep my company are keeping the staff passport.please do let me lnow,becAuse i facing problem when the immigration dping random checking,they are asking my original passport and they tols meuat be my passport is with me at all hoping you will giving me and some foreigner who work in Malaysia.


Luke August 14, 2015 at 6:59 am

hi placidp franco

You should ask to physically see your passport. Ideally you should hand on to this.
I have a friend now locked up in immigration due to her boss not renewing her passport and working visa.. bad boss. Boss claimed that they did do this, but did not.
MAKE SURE YOU SEE YOUR PASSPORT and the correct visa’s are entered. and hold on it if possible.


Kings August 19, 2015 at 6:04 pm

Please Sir/Madam..

I would like to know about this my curiosity, I studied in Malaysia between 2012-2014 and left the country upon graduation .. Then currently living in Indonesia doing export business back to my country . However I came to Indonesia last year Oct with 21 days visa and applied for their 1 year visa before the 21 days got expired. It took the immigration in Indonesia longer time to process the 1 year. finally on March 2015 i got the clearance which permit me to travel of out of Indonesia within 7 days and then go obtain the visa from Indonesia embassy in Malaysia. all supporting documents was given to me and I went to Malaysia . upon arrival I was denied entry by an immigration officer ( woman) who questioned my reason of overstaying in Indonesia. I was asked to show return tickets and fund for the duration of 7 days I wished to stay. I showed all to her and she asked how much I have with me. I was with 1300$ and I told her. She went back to say that she can’t permit entry because I overstayed in Indonesia but the paper attached to my passport read prohibited immigrant under section 8(3) of the Immigration Act 1959/63. Then I was detained till the next morning .. then i was called and sent back to Indonesia . However before I left I asked the other immigration officers whom that night told me that the woman is wrong to send me back if I can still visit Malaysia after i have obtained my 1 yr Indonesia visa and the said yes after 1 month that I can return for a visit. I arrived Indonesia and went back to Africa and the Indonesia 1 yr clearance was changed/readdressed to their embassy in my country . I got the 1 yr visa after 1 month and returned back to Indonesia end of May.

having explained all that, I am traveling to Langkawi next week by Air Asia from Jakarta through 1 hr transit in KL. I have obtained Malaysia visa again here in Indonesia. It is 3 days trip in langkawi with my Australian girlfriend . We have booked and paid for hotels and other stuffs needed for the vacation in Langkawi. Please I want to know for certainty if I will be allowed to enter Malaysia again.


AMBREEN August 19, 2015 at 6:42 pm



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