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.

{ 674 comments… read them below or add one }

sahar February 8, 2011 at 3:07 am

i am iranian and citizen in uae, i wanna apply visa to malaysia , i wanna go to university to contiune my eduacation
i have already , bachelore degree from Ajman University of Science and Technology at u.a.e
i wanna apply for MASTER DEGREE at malaysia

would u plz give me some information,
and what certificates r u need ??
and also tell me the FEES , what are the cost! if u give me ,1 consultancy address website, at U.A.E, i would be thankful..
i wanna register for new semester

look forward to hear from u
reply me , on my email :


salman February 8, 2011 at 2:52 pm

hi i want to know about registration of firm with minimum funds and if i marri with malaysian girl which kind of banifits i can take for business and how its help for me plz some body who know these information and i wanna study there also i will thankfull take care all


murad ali khan February 9, 2011 at 5:08 am

I am murad from pakistan . my father is a malaysian citizen and living in malaysia. we are 4 brothers and two sisters along with my mother, living right now in pakista. our age are 34 yrs to 16 yrs. can we move permanently to malaysia with my father ?. please me guide me and suggest me with the most suitable advice please. Thanks. waiting for ur reply please. murad , pakistan


Fahad February 9, 2011 at 1:16 pm

I am Bangladeshi. i went to Malaysia for three years.right now i have come back. now i want to go to malaysia again by taking a work permit visa. what should i do ? Could u please help me any one?


riyasmubarack February 10, 2011 at 3:09 pm

iam an indian citizen . can i get citizenship of malaysia


Kairuneesa February 14, 2011 at 1:45 am

To whom is may concern:

I had a my relation from india he when to singapore, to visit our relative in singapore for wedding function and same time he would like to visit us in malaysia, Kuala Lumpur too for sighseeing 4 to 5 days, do he need a visa to enter to Malaysia, Please advise me what is the requirement is. Thank you so much for help.


Edward Lee February 14, 2011 at 8:12 am

I am a Chnese citizenship holding a China passport. I have a work permit working in Sarawak till march 2011. Please advice how can I renewal my current work permit.


SHANTI February 15, 2011 at 6:07 am



Patrick Wyse February 15, 2011 at 11:22 am

Hi, my name is Patrick for the UK, I am looking for work in Malaysia, May I know where I can look for work in Penang? I have a lot of experience in customer service, DHL data entry and more. I hope someone can help me.


Goh February 16, 2011 at 2:37 am

Hi, i would like to know if an american would like to live in Malaysia. What procedure should i do and will it have any requirements?


shaina suresh February 16, 2011 at 2:52 am

I am an indian citizen,holding an employment pass in Malaysia. I wish to bring my daughter on a vacation to malaysia for 2 months. what visa should i apply for. I know that with a visit visa she can be here only for 30 days. During check in she has to produce a return ticket. Can this ticket be the one booked after two months time. Before the expiry of the 30 days visa can we exit to singapore and show the same ticket at the immigration. so that she will have a ticket to malaysia-ticket to singapore-return ticket to malaysia from singapore and return ticket to india from malaysia. is this possible. if so should she have the singapore visa stamped in passport before leaving india.pls give me valid information.


malysian February 16, 2011 at 12:14 pm

I am living in sydney and has malaysia passport. I need to urgently travle back back to malaysia but my passport has expired. Rang the high comm and was told to come on next month!!! it will be too late.. has anyone been successful of going to canberra for renewal without appointment???


RESAN February 18, 2011 at 8:33 am

Hi, i am from philippines, how can i get vication in malaysia, whats the documents neded too inter your country????ASAPTHANKYOU!


raju February 24, 2011 at 12:13 pm

can anybody inform me the Malaysian immigration department E mail address?


Emmanuel otubuia February 25, 2011 at 11:09 am

hi am Emmanuel otubuia i have three(3) mouth visa but i want to work in malayasia what should i do am a Ghanaian?


iftikhar March 1, 2011 at 5:49 am

Dear we are planning to open or registerd small company and at the same time we need three long time visa tell me all details .
Also tell me work permit for professional visa etc.

Govt Fees and your charges and all details send me with open mind.

Send me your online id msn or yahoo or skype
iftikhar ahmed khan
Karachi- Pakistan


Esther March 2, 2011 at 4:42 am

Hi my Indonesian maid will go home for good. May i know do we need to inform any authorities before she go home and we will have peace of mind after she leave?


Irene March 2, 2011 at 10:46 am

Hi I am a UK resident and I have a ticket to travel to KL with a return date of 5 months. I know you need a visa to stay longer than 90 days but my intention is to stay in Malaysia for a month then travel to China etc and then return to use my return ticket. My question do i still need the visa even though my intention is not to stay for the 90 days?….if i do not have a definate booking for the forward travel will this be an issue? (I intend to decide when i arrive). I would appreciate any advice……..thanks in advance


deepak March 7, 2011 at 4:28 pm


Im Deepak from willing to study in malaysia..i just wanna know how much money i should should in my bank account..


Fernando March 8, 2011 at 11:01 am

Hi I am Fernando, I have 2 child and my wife will plan to go to Sri lanka via Malysia from Australia. we are sri lanken pass port holders but Australian permenent resident, do we neet get the visa to stay about 2-3 days in Malysia. for the next flight to Sri lanka.


tom March 9, 2011 at 4:27 am

i am renting an unit to indonesian couple, who told me their passports are with the immigration of malaysia for processing their work permits. how to check if permits are approved or under process when i only have their passport no?


Rebecca Valahu March 10, 2011 at 6:01 am

If ur married to a malaysian and you're on a spouse programming visa and u find employement…how do you go about applying for permits and visa…?


Aamir March 12, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Let me know how can i get permit without fraud agents.


lisa March 15, 2011 at 9:43 am

To get work permit u need to get job offered from any company, or incorporate a company in Malaysia with paid up capital RM500,000


rizawanullah March 13, 2011 at 7:12 am

I have shared a company sdn bhd. with someone.due to some mistake in documents I have bee refuse professional visa 2 times.Now I,m going to apply in paroblem is that i have also been refused first extention of visit visa in immigration office seremban.Is it possible I get from potrajay immigration office as advised by seremban office.


lisa March 15, 2011 at 9:05 am

We can assist you to do company registration in Malaysia either you want to start new business or expand branches in Malaysia.Register company in Malaysia with minimum RM 500, 000 Paid Up capital, you can apply your WORK PERMIT as a company director/share holder.

The complete procedure to register a company in Malaysia takes only 5-7 working days and then you may start your visa process, personally.

We also have service for relocation, work permit, and visa.

For further inquiry, please feel free to send me email at


lisa March 15, 2011 at 9:43 am

We can assist you to do company registration in Malaysia either you want to start new business or
expand branches in Malaysia.Register company in Malaysia with minimum RM 500, 000 Paid Up
capital, you can apply your WORK PERMIT as a company director/share holder.

The complete procedure to register a company in Malaysia takes only 5-7 working days and then you
may start your visa process, personally.

We also have service for relocation, work permit, and visa.

For further inquiry, please feel free to send me email at


Yadav ghimirey March 18, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Hi, I am planning to visit malaysia for attending a symposium.. may I know how much does it take (US dollar) as visa fee there??


Merlie U. Enong March 20, 2011 at 1:54 pm

hi,, I'm Merlie, can somebody advice me how to check if my working permit is fake or not my mobile number is 0166519163


gleez89 March 24, 2011 at 11:17 am

hi, i m falling in love with Malaysian lady. and i want to get marry with her. i had already been in Malaysia for 5 years. now i m in my country. sOMEBODY GIVE me a idea how can i get marry with her….and is there any rules for this……


gene March 25, 2011 at 8:41 pm

hello, I need your advise upon procuring Employment Registration Certificate and Registration Card Is processing fee needed???
thank you.


gene March 25, 2011 at 8:53 pm

Good day!!
I was offered by KPJ Seremban Specialist Hospital to work with them as a nurse. They told me to procure an Employment Registration Certificate and Registration Card to be able to process my visa. They gave me Prof. Fadli Adilah a Senior Officer of Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
I contacted this person and he said to pass all the requirements needed including the processing fee of USD1420. I would like to know If this is true or just an act of illegality?? thank you.


mak March 26, 2011 at 1:34 am

i am a indonesian, i enter malaysia on year 2008 as a trayel reason, but i didn't go back until now, it's mean illegal enter, so what shouldi do if now i want to stay here as a legal maid since i have found a good employer and he willing to hire me too


mohammad amir March 27, 2011 at 2:06 am

Hi.I'm Amir from Malaysia.I'm married with Indonesian girl on 19 Feb 2011. want to bring my wife to Malaysia.My question is are my wife need to apply Visa to enter Malaysia?If yes,what is the procedure?


mariya March 28, 2011 at 6:18 pm

hi my name is mariya i want to shift to malaysia with my husband plz let me know wht shld i do


nana March 30, 2011 at 3:34 pm

hi, im filipino married to malaysian for 3 years now, is there a possibility that i can work in malaysia though im not yet PR? thank u


gagan srivastava April 2, 2011 at 6:10 am

hi m single 33 years old graduate from delhi(india),what should i do to get work n live visa in malaysia..??the esiest t way


pamela April 3, 2011 at 3:07 am

hi can anyone help me… well im from mauritius i came here to attend my friends engament n wedding… i was allowed a stay of 1 month, and an extention of 1 month. now no more further extension is allowed. im going back soon. i wanna know if i can come back soon for the wedding in may n will i be allowed another extention being a mauritian citizenship.


christianah April 14, 2011 at 9:15 am

hello my name is christiana i need an adivce on how to secure a good accomodation and secure a student visa to malaysia


Sean April 15, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Hello I am english and my wife is from kuching malaysia we are now living in the uk, but we would like to live in kuching in a few years time, what type of visa do I need to live permanantly in malaysia, that will also alow me to work/ make investments


Chan Sytha April 30, 2011 at 8:05 am

I am a Cambodia who wish to work in Malaysia. Is it possible for me to prepare all the documents by myself without the help from agency?
What documents should I prepare for the Malaysia immigration?


Chan Sytha April 30, 2011 at 8:08 am

What kind of document should i prepare?


Karen Mclaire May 3, 2011 at 4:10 pm

I'm enquiring for a Korean friend, He is a Korean Permanent Resident holding Taiwan Passport and is visiting Malaysia in a week or two.

Just to check does he need to apply any visa from Korea or Taiwan to visit Malaysia?


ryan May 4, 2011 at 6:03 am

hi im ryan from kuala lumpur…i have a girlfriend from china and she is now working in singapore with holding singapore's work permit…we are planning to get marry within two months, so what i have to do in order to apply visa for her to stay in malaysia for permanently?


Kazim May 4, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Hi i am a undergraduate student in Malaysia graduating in July 2011. I have actually gotten an internship here for 3 months, however the HR department is saying that i need to apply for a internship training pass through my university to be applicable to work. However i have a document from my University stating that i can work during the summer break for internships. I actually used that document to work as an intern in summer 2010 as well. Should i contact my university visa department to help me apply for a training pass since thats what the company says that my University will have to do it.


Chandra May 5, 2011 at 3:20 pm

I am going to get expatriate visa. I am from India. I want my mother in law to come and stay with us in Malaysia.Any advice on what kind of visa or pass should i apply for her long term stay.


Asif Husnain Naqvi May 19, 2011 at 9:38 pm

I'm interested in moving to Malaysia on Employment Pass, please let me know the details for this.



abdul waris June 1, 2011 at 12:32 am

Dear Sir
I have visa in malaysia more then 10 years ,i have visa Employment Pass,can i aply for (P R ) if i aply what docoument i ned and how i aply Thank you


Tayyab June 1, 2011 at 8:41 am

Hi this is tayyab i am from pakistan i need information n fee about outsource worker visa n consturction worker visa plz tell me


shahida June 3, 2011 at 11:26 am

hello my fianci is in mlyshia and he has submitted his case in the uno and the uno has passed his case now we want to get married im from pakistan how can i go to the mlyshia if we get married then how could i go to mlyshia i m worried and how many time will take it? what is thee process ?


faraz June 10, 2011 at 2:25 pm

iam from pakistan , and iam a buisnesman. planing to shift in malysia with family, please guide


Adnan June 10, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Hi, sir i am a freelancer web developer, well i work from home. I earn avg of 1000USD monthly … I am in pakistan, but i want to live and work in malaysia, i may not look for employment there as i am a self employed, Please can you tell me the way i can live in malaysia, what visa shall i acquire ? and how much would that cost? I am not rich person, so i wont be able to show lot of money, but i can support myself. Please guide me in details i will be very thankful to you.


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