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Immigration dept: China, India's citizens can't enter Malaysia visa-free if for work, studies

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 2 — Citizens of China and India can only enter Malaysia without having to apply for a visa, if it is for travelling up to 30 days in the country and not for other purposes like working, the Immigration Department of Malaysia has said.

In a series of 10 frequently-asked-questions (FAQs) posted on its official Facebook page yesterday, the Immigration Department said this visa-free policy will allow China's citizens and India's citizens to enter Malaysia without visa during the December 1, 2023 to December 31, 2024 period.

The Immigration Department also said all citizens from China and India would be able to enjoy the 30-day visa exemption, regardless of from which country they depart from to enter Malaysia.

Under this visa-free policy, the Immigration Department said China's and India's nationals can only remain up to 30 days for each entry to Malaysia, and that no extension to their social visit pass would be given at the end of the 30 days' period.

For those who frequently enter and exit Malaysia, they can do so visa-free with the condition they stick to the 30-day limit.

“China's and India's travellers can enter and exit Malaysia without visa with duration of being here for 30 days for each entry. However, entry to Malaysia is still subject to immigration inspection procedures at the country's entry points,” the Immigration Department said in the FAQs.

The Immigration Department said travellers from China and India who wish to work or study in Malaysia would have to use the Visa With Reference in order to enter the country, and cannot use the 30-day visa-free policy to enter Malaysia for such purposes.

As for citizens of China and India who had entered Malaysia under the 30-day visa free scheme and wish to convert this 30-day social visit pass to other long-term visit passes, the Immigration Department said they could do so subject to the conditions and existing procedures to apply for those long-term passes.

In the same FAQs, the Immigration Department said travellers from China and India who already had their visas approved before December 1, 2023 will not have to show these visas at the immigration counter.

“However, these travellers still have to present other required documents for immigration inspection at entry points, in line with existing orders that are in force,” it said.

It also said those who had paid visa fees before December 1, 2023 will not be refunded.

On November 26, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had announced the new policy of 30-day free entry for China's and India's nationals.

The 30-day visa-free scheme for China' and India's citizens is one of five initiatives under Malaysia's new visa liberalisation plan, which was unveiled by Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail on November 27.

Saifuddin Nasution had also listed a series of measures that the Malaysian government would take to prevent overstaying by tourists from China and India who enter under the 30-day visa-free scheme, including monitoring their exit from the country by the 30th day and requiring airlines to check that passengers have confirmed return flight tickets home and confirmed hotel bookings for the duration of their stay in Malaysia.

Other measures that the Malaysian government would take is to increase inspections at places considered hotspots for foreigners in order to remove undocumented migrants, and to also increase enforcement on not just foreign workers but also employers who hire or shelter migrants who lack valid documents.

As part of the control and enforcement measures amid Malaysia’s visa liberalisation policy, Saifuddin Nasution had said the government would explore the mandatory filling up of data at the Malaysia Digital Arrival Card (MDAC) to be integrated with the MyIMMs immigration system to ensure that data on the entry of foreign tourists to Malaysia is recorded.

The Immigration Department yesterday also announced that all foreigners who enter Malaysia from December 1 onwards are required to submit the MDAC before arriving in Malaysia, with the MDAC form online requiring this to be done within three days from entry of Malaysia.

Malaysia’s visa liberalisation plan comes ahead of the Visit Malaysia Year in 2026, where the country is targeting 26.1 million foreign tourist arrivals and an estimated domestic spending of RM97.6 billion.