Malaysia is a country with picturesque landscapes, rugged mountains, sandy beaches, mangroves forest and diverse cultures, religions and races. From skyscrapers of Kuala Lumpur to the beaches of Langkawi Island and from sea-shore of Penang to the cave temples of Batu Caves, Malaysia offers a perfect vacation for the backpackers as well as the luxury travelers. Tourism in Malaysia is very popular among the Indians and this trend is only growing with each year.
Prior to August 2010, Malaysia offered a Visa-On-Arrival for Indian Citizens, but because of increasing cases of illegal immigrants, this facility was scrapped in Aug. 2010 and now, Indian Citizens require a visa in advance to visit this country.
Update on December 10, 2013:Malaysia has re-introduced visa on arrival (VoA) facility for Indians traveling to Malaysia from a third destination country. This facility is mainly available for the tourist arriving directly from Singapore or Thailand (Indonesia is not mentioned anywhere) for a maximum stay of 7 days. It is available at Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching and Penang International Airports only, provided that they hold a valid visa issued by Singapore or Thailand, return flight tickets and at least USD 1000 per person. The visa cost is whopping USD 100 or MYR 330 for 7 days. The visa will be preferably issued to the tourists who are on their return journey to India from the third country and priorities will be given to families, groups, business travellers, and labourers. This ease in visa norms came in conjunction with the Visit Malaysia Year 2014 and the Year of Festivals 2015.
Note:Visa is a document that you required to enter in a country. It is not an authorization and solely depends on the discretion of the Immigration Officer at Immigration Desk. If you are transiting through the Kuala Lumpur Airport and you are arriving and departing from the same terminal at KLIA Main (i.e. KLIA 1), technically you don’t enter in Malaysia. So, you don’t require any type of visa in this case, provided:
1. Your next connecting flight is within 24 hours after your arrival, (Both tickets should be on Malaysian Airlines, Malindo Airlines or on a code-sharing partner only). If you fly using the Fly-Thru programme of Air Asia, then your onward tickets should be within 6 hours. Air Asia operates from the Low Cost Carrier Terminal of KL (KLIA2).
2. The departure terminal of the connecting flight is same as the arrival terminal.
3. You are not allowed to leave the transit area of the airport.
4. You can not transit between Main Terminal and Low Cost Carrier Terminal at KL Airport.
Update on Sept 15, 2016: It is my personal experience at KLIA2, but please note that I did have the multiple entry visa for Malaysia before boarding my AirAsia flight in India, so there was no confusion/fear in my mind. You can/can not (depending on your luck) transit through the low cost carrier terminal (LCCT), i.e., KLIA2 without a prior visa. It means, if you have two flight tickets of AirAsia on different PNR, i.e., one from India to KLIA2 and then from KLIA2 to another country, you can transit through the KLIA2 without any visa. AirAsia is a point-to-point carrier and earlier, we were supposed to pass through the immigration after every flight in a new country, but while going to Indonesia from India via KLIA2, I use the international transfer to proceed for the next flight without passing through the immigration. It is more convenient if you have no check-in luggage and web check-in (possession of boarding pass) for the next flight. I don’t know what is the procedure if you don’t have a boarding pass for the next flight. There is an AirAsia desk in the corridor of International Transfer, but I am not aware if they can print the boarding pass for your next flight. So, it’s better to go for the web check-in, if you want to transit through KLIA2.
Update on June 09, 2017 (In Case You Fly With AirAsia): Many travellers reported that they booked their tickets on two different PNRs and went to board a flight from India (mostly in Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad etc) without having a valid Malaysia visa. The airline staff denied their boarding and asked them to buy a FLYTHRU ticket at the last moment in order to board the flight. Many travellers lost thousands of rupees in this process due to last minute price of the tickets. So, if you are flying from India, better to have a valid visa for Malaysia, unless you are having a FLYTHRU ticket. Ironically, while returning back to India (from Bali, Jakarta etc), they were never asked for the Malaysia Visa and they transited through KLIA2 smoothly without a Malaysian Visa. It indicates that there is some confusion among the AirAsia operations. Even there is no one to see your Malaysia Visa at KLIA2, AirAsia India insists for a valid Malaysia visa, while in other countries, they allow you to board the flight. Actually, no written document indicates that Malaysia Visa is not required to transit through KLIA2, but everywhere it is mentioned that a valid Malaysia visa is required for the Indian citizens to enter or travel through Malaysia. However, in practice, there is no one at KLIA2 to check your visa while transiting.
Please do not confuse above note with the below description of visas, those entitled you to enter in Malaysia subject to the discretion of Immigration Officer.
Different types of Visas: There are mainly three broad categories of visa available to visit Malaysia. First one is, Visa without reference, in which visa is approved by the Consulate General of Malaysia for social, tourist or business visits.
Second category is, Visa with reference, in which visa is approved by the Department of Immigration Malaysia or the Ministry of Home Affairs for the purpose of working, study or social visits for a stay more than the allowed period under visa without reference.
Third category is, Transit Without Visa (TWOV), which is available only to the citizens of certain Indian sub-continent countries and allow a short 5 days stay in Malaysia .
From a backpacker’s point of view, only first and third categories of Visa is required. So, in this post, I will provide a complete information on the visa requirements of first and third categories for an Indian Citizen .
Available Visa in Malaysia for an Indian Tourist:
Transit Without Visa (TWOV): This facility is available to the visitors from Indian Sub-continent who wish to travel in transit through Kuala Lumpur Airport of Malaysia in order to proceed to some specified country of destination. This facility allows a visitor to stay in Malaysia up to 5 days without a visa. TWOV is subjected to certain terms and conditions imposed by the Malaysian Government. The important points to note are:
1. Transit Without Visa (TWOV) facility is available only to the citizens of Indian Subcontinental Countries i.e., India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. This facility is also available to the citizens of Myanmar, Bhutan and Nepal.
2. To use this TWOV facility, visitors must have a long-term* valid visa for any of these countries: USA, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, China, South Korea, New Zealand. (For citizens from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka a valid visa does not mean a tourist visa to these country. They must have a long-term visa. The definition of a long-term visa of a 3rd country is employment/work permit, expatriate card, student pass or permanent resident card. It is worth noting that a permanent multiple entry visa (MEV) above does not fall under this category .)
3. This facility is available for up to 120 hours (5 days). It means, a visitor must have a confirmed onward tickets to third destination country (specified in point 2) within 5-days of arrival in Malaysia.
4. TWOV facility is available only at Kuala Lumpur International Airport and Low Cost Carrier Terminal of Kuala Lumpur Airport. No other entry point in Malaysia offers this facility. And within 5-days limit your departure must be also from Kuala Lumpur International Airport or Low Cost Carrier Terminal of Kuala Lumpur Airport.
5. TWOV is available only for the passenger of Malaysian Airlines and Air Asia. If you are traveling by any other airline, this facility will not be available. Your departure ticket must be booked with any of these two airlines only. But if you are arrive by Malaysian Airlines, then departure ticket should be on Malaysian Airlines only. (Remember Same Airline Same Airport )
6. Passport or internationally recognized travel document must have at least 6 months validity from the date of entry. Visitor must be in possession of a confirmed ticket to a third country;
7. Visitor must be able to finance his/her stay in Malaysia;
8.Visitor MUST visit the country in group (package tour) and the trip is either a packaged tour in Malaysia or in the destination country;
9. There is no extension for TWOV facility. It means 5 days limit can not be extended at all.
10. This facility is available free of charge.
11. If transit is more than 8 hours it is permitted to leave the transit area provided:
a). traveling to or returning from the country which has issued the visa; and
b). traveling on a tour/package arranged by company registered in the third country.
12. Transit between Main Terminal and Low Cost Carrier Terminal is also permitted. When leaving the airport transit area, passports must be valid for at least 6 months from date of arrival.
Note 1. Transit pass for 120 hours (without visa) can also be considered to Indian citizen who hold valid permanent residence, expatriate / working pass, student pass, dependent pass any long term visit pass from other countries (please bring along document to proof it).
Note 2.Please do understand that Malaysian immigration rule differentiate between visa and pass. Visa is the permission to enter the country and pass is the permission to stay in the country. Please check whether your visa is the permission to stay for the said period (i.e. 10 years) or it is only Multiple Entry Visa for 10 years (limited stay each entry). Only long term visit PASS can be considered in this case which means e.g. 10 years stay permission.
Note 3.Granting of TWOV is solely at the discretion of the Malaysia Immigration; even if guest(s) meet all the required criteria above.
Tourism Visa for Malaysia i.e. Visa without Reference: For the purpose of tourism , an Indian citizen needs a valid visa to enter in Malaysia prior to the departure from India. Without a proper visa, you will not be allowed to board your departure flight from India. However, if your plan to stay in Malaysia is not more than 120 hours (5 days) and you meet the criteria of TWOV, you can also avail that facility.
Getting Malaysia Visa in India:
In India, Malaysian Visa Application process is outsourced to VFS Global. In Delhi, VFS Center for Malaysian Visa is located at International Trade Tower, Nehru Place. VFS Center remains open throughout the year except on Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays. If a public holiday falls on Sunday, then next working day will be the closure day of the center.
For the Visa Application Center timings and contact numbers of all VFS Center in India, follow this link: http://www.vfsglobal.com/malaysia/india/contactus.html
After reaching a VFS center, ask for a token number from the security guard or reception. When your number displayed or announced, move inside to any counter for documents verification. After documents verification, you need to deposit the application fee at the counter itself and they will give you an acknowledgment receipt, which is required at the time of passport collection. Some items like bags, knives, inflammable items, laptops etc are strictly prohibited inside the VFS Center and there is no deposit facility available to keep these items outside.
Collection of Passport after Visa:
Visa collection timing at VFS is strictly as per the timings specified on their website, which link is given above. Go to the VFS with your photo identity card and VFS receipt. Security Guard will issue a token outside the center. Go inside the center. Wait for your turn. Once your token number is announced proceed to the Counter as per the token number and collect your passport with your visa stamped.
Documents Required for Tourist Visa (Visa Without Reference):
An applicant needs to submit following documents:
- Passport or travel document with validity not less than 6 months from the date of arrival in Malaysia with three blank pages.
- For Mumbai Application Center, Two Copies of Passport front and last page
- Visa Application Form completely filled out (download here ). For applicant applying in Kolkata and New Delhi VFS, back to back Application Form is to be filled.
- Two recent photographs (3.5x 4.5 cm) of the applicant (preferably not older than 3 months)
- Evidence of Transportation: Confirmed air ticket in original and a copy with complete tour itinerary.
- Evidence of Adequate Finance: Applicants traveling for the first time or hold a fresh passport, need to submit photocopy of the last 3 month updated bank statement with the bank stamp (Not applicable for applications submitted in Chennai and Hyderabad) or A Credit Card issued by a bank or financial institution. The account balance should be approx. 35000 INR for one week travel.
- Invitation letter/ covering letter/ supporting documents (if any)
- All documents must be in A4 size
- A complete list of all hotel reservation in Malaysia. (Not Compulsory, but desirable)
1. Photo Specifications: Color Photographs (not B & W) taken against a white background and your full face should be visible. The photograph should be taken without sunglasses and without a hat or any other head covering, unless you wear such an item because of your religious beliefs or ethnic background. Photograph should be without any border.
Please Note: If required, you may be requested to bring additional documents by Malaysian High Commission/Consulate General.
Visa Fee for Tourist Visa:
INR 1000 for single entry and also for multiple entry. This fee is payable through demand draft only. For Delhi, Chandigarh and Kolkata, Demand Draft should be in favour of High Commission of Malaysia, New Delhi. For Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad, it should be in favour of Consulate General of Malaysia, Chennai and for Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Pune, it should be in favour of Consulate General of Malaysia, Mumbai.
Additional Charges for Malaysian Visa:
With effect from 9 December 2013, all applications lodged in India will be levied VLN service charges INR 2000/- in addition to the visa fees and logistic fees.
The VLN service charges must be paid by demand draft favoring ìSmart Data Processing Services Pvt Ltd, payable at New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai for all applications lodged in North India, West India and South India respectively.
Validity of Visa and Duration of Stay: Single entry visa is valid for 3 months from date of issue (including issuing date). For multiple entry, it is valid for one year (including issuing date). Tour groups are not eligible to apply for multiple entry. On a single entry visa, only 30 days stay is allowed including the date of arrival and departure both. Under multiple entry visa, each entry is for 30 days only (including date of arrival and departure both) and the extension of stay is not allowed. However, for single entry tourist visa, one time 30 days visa extension is allowed.
Extension of Stay:
Those who wish to stay longer in Malaysia after the expiration of 30 days period on a tourist visa, can do so, by applying for an extension up to 30 days only. The application for visa extension should be made in person at the Immigration Office in Kuala Lumpur ((Mon-Fri, 07:30-13:00 and 14:00-17:30). The extension of stay is solely at the discretion of the Immigration officer. The usual fee for a visa extension is 50 RM.
For all types of visa extensions, bring along two passport-sized photos and one copy each of the photo and visa pages of your passport. Remember to dress neatly and do all visa extensions yourself, rather than hiring a third party.
If you overstay your visa, the usual penalty is a fine of 30 RM per day and you may be prohibited from re-entry. Fines can be paid at the airport or in advance at an immigration office.
VFS Service Charges: INR 335 per person including all taxes up to 24 people. If there are more than 24 people in the group, the service charges are different and slightly lower (INR 310 for 25-40 people and INR 290 for 41 and more people).
1. VFS service charges and other additional charges (Except Visa Fee and VLN Service Charges) at all application center is payable in cash only.
2. If you apply in person and then want your passport delivery at home, you can get this option at the charge of Rs.204 per application. The passport will be delivered by courier to your home/office address.
Important Note: All fees and charges are non refundable, even if the application is refused or withdrawn.
1. When is the last date for Indian tourist to enter the country?
Indian tourist can enter the country till the day of visa expiry date provided the passport remains valid for not less than 6 months.
2. Can Indian tourist apply for Malaysian visa in Singapore (Malaysian High Commission in Singapore)?
Indian passport holder may apply visa from Singapore. But, principally, in Singapore, Malaysian High Commission is issuing visa for bonafide foreigners who reside in Singapore. Therefore, it is always advisable for Indians to apply for Malaysian visa from their home country.
3. Can Indian tourist apply for urgent Malaysian visa?
At this moment, tourist visa is only being processed in 3 working days. Please plan your trip accordingly. Avoid buying non-refundable package(s), air ticket or hotel booking.
4. What is the validity of passport for Malaysian visa application?
The passport shall not be less than 9 months.
5. What is the validity of passport which is required for entry purpose into Malaysia?
The passport shall not be less than 6 months.
6. I am invited as a speaker in a training program / conference / seminar in Malaysia, can I enter the country with tourist visa?
No. You have to apply for Professional Visit Pass (doesn’t matter it is paid or unpaid or even for a few minutes). The said pass can only be obtained from Immigration Department of Malaysia in Malaysia. Application can be done by the organizer / sponsor in Malaysia (before you enter the country).
If you enter the country with tourist visa for this purpose, it is violating Malaysian visa rules and regulations. it is also punishable under Malaysian law.
7.How to apply for Business Visa?
Nowadays, Malaysia does not issue any business visa. If the visit / trip is only for business meeting, discussion, negotiation etc., as long as the visit is not engaging any employment (paid or unpaid) you may enter the country by using tourist visa.