Photo: Once you clear customs, start eating.

Visas and border crossings

What would you like to know about Malaysia's visas and border crossings?


Tourist visa

Many nationalities do not require a visa for Malaysia for a stay of up to either one or three months depending on their nationality. For the vast majority of casual travellers, a three-month stay should be sufficient for a first poke around the country. If you need longer, do a border run to Thailand or Singapore and re-enter to get another one or three months. When you enter the country you'll be stamped in for a stay of 30 or 90 days and this is referred to as a Social Visit Pass.

If you do need a visa, Malaysia has three main types of visa that may be of interest to tourists visiting the country. A single-entry tourist visa, a multiple-entry tourist visa and a transit visa. The single-entry visa is valid for three months from the date of entry.

Israeli travellers require permission from the Ministry of Home Affairs before a visa will be issued.

For those requiring a longer stay, a multiple-entry visa can be valid for up to twelve months. This must be arranged via a Malaysian diplomatic mission before arrival in Malaysia, and, from what we understand, is primarily issued for governmental and business needs -- not extended beach research. Please refer to the immigration department website for further information.

The transit visa is, well, a transit visa -- issued to allow a person to transit to another country -- and so is unlikely to be of interest to travellers intent on spending time in Malaysia.

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Extensions

Social Visit Passes can be extended, but it is a little bit of a hassle and many opt to do a run to Thailand or Singapore rather than get an extension. You can (in theory) get two extensions of 30 days apiece at a cost of 50 ringgit each time. For more detail, see our piece on getting an extension to your Social Visit Pass.

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Validity issues

The Social Visit Pass is for a single entry only. If you leave Malaysia, you'll just be issued another one (depending on your eligibility of course) when you return.

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Overstays

Given how straightforward it is to get a Social Visit Pass, overstaying in Malaysia is frowned upon. The fine is 30 ringgit per day of overstay, though, in theory, arrest is possible.

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Border crossings

Malaysia has land crossings with Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia. Social Visit Passes are issued on arrival at any designated international crossing.


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Highlights

How long have you got? Here are some of our favourites ...

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