Departure to Kuala Lumpur

Passport, Visa & Permits to Kuala Lumpur

Home > Expat Guides > Asia > Malaysia > Kuala Lumpur

Applying for a visa for Malaysia can be a long process and patience is needed. Whether you need a visa depends on your reason for coming to Malaysia, how long you are staying, and nationality. To apply for a visa go to a Malaysian embassy or consulate in your home country. You will have to pay a fee which greatly varies from country to country.

Upon arrival in Malaysia you will be required to present proof of sufficient financial funds to stay in Malaysia for the period intended as well as a valid return ticket. In addition, you will be asked to fill out an Arrival/Departure Card which is available at all entry points. Malaysia consists of two separate land masses, the peninsular West Malaysia and East Malaysia. To travel from one part to another, all travel documents are required.

This section is intended for reference only. We strongly recommend that you contact the embassy directly for the most up-to-date information that pertains to your specific situation.


You must have a valid passport to travel abroad. A passport is an official government document that certifies one's identity and citizenship. The process and cost associated with getting a passport can be high, so start the process at least six months before you plan to leave. Your passport must be valid 6 months beyond your intended stay. Minors are allowed to travel on their parents' passports up until aged 15 years.


A visa is a stamp or endorsement placed by officials on a passport that allows the bearer to enter the country. This permission is called "entry clearance".

Who needs a visa for Malaysia?

If you are traveling to Malaysia as a tourist or for business purposes, you may not require a visa and will receive 90 days on arrival either from the airport or overland point. Countries that do not require a visa include most countries of the European Union, the USA and many Commonwealth members. Citizens of Afghanistan, Israel, Serbia and Montenegro, however, cannot enter Malaysia without approval from the Malaysian Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA or Kementerian Dalam Negeri).

For specific information on whether you need a visa and country requirements, consult the MOHA's visa requirements by country.

Visitor Visa for Malaysia

Single entry visa: This visa allows only one entrance into the country and has a validation of 90 days. It is usually issued for the purpose of social visits.

Multiple entry visas: This visa ranges from 3 to 12 months and is issued for business or governmental purposes. To obtain a multiple entry visa, the applicant has to prove they have sufficient financial funds to cover their stay and a valid return ticket.

Transit visa: Aimed for travelers who only transit Malaysia on the way to another country and lasts only for 120 hours.

The application can be found online or at the nearest embassy.

Long Term Social Visit Pass

These passes are issued for temporary residence. This is for foreigners who are children and spouses of Malaysian nationals or permanent residents, and for immediate family members of foreign students or foreigners coming to Malaysia for medical treatment. For further information and the respective document requirements, go to the website of the Malaysian Immigration Department .

Student Visa for Malaysia

Foreign students who wish to study at a Malaysian university or language school have to apply at the respective Malaysian educational institution prior to entry. Once they receive an offer letter they must submit:

  • Form IMM. 14 (in duplicate)
  • Letter of support from the relevant regulatory agencies (MOE / MOE / DSD / PPD)
  • Letter from IPT / IPS to the applicant
  • Two (2) passport copies
  • Two passport-sized photographs

A Student Pass costs RM 60.00 per year.

Foreign students are allowed to work, yet only in restaurants, petrol stations, and hotels. However, if the academic performance is not satisfying, the permission will not be renewed.

Information about the student pass on the Immigration Department of Malaysia site.

Work Visas in Malaysia

For a foreign national to obtain a work permit,

  • Passport should be valid for at least 18 months
  • Applicant must be 27 years or older (exception in IT sector, where required minimum age is 23)

A work permits is usually issued for periods between 6 months and 5 years.

Types of Work Visa in Malaysia

Depending on the type of job and skills, different working passes are issued when obtaining a work permit.

Employment Pass: This pass is issued to employees with specific skills, usually for technical or managerial jobs. The minimum period is usually 2 years. Requirements & application for Employment Pass for Malaysia

Temporary Employment Pass: Issued for employment for less than 2 years or for jobs with a monthly salary less than RM 5000. Requirements & application for Temporary Employment Pass

Professional Visit Pass: Issued to foreign nationals who remain employed by the company in the home country but are required by a Malaysian company to provide certain services for a period up to 6 months. Requirements & application for Professional Visit Pass for Malaysia

As for employers, any information regarding the visa process, requirements or the necessary forms, can be viewed on the official website of the Malaysian Immigration Department.

Permanent Visas and Residency Programs for Malaysia

Permanence Residency in Malaysia

Foreign nationals are eligible for permanent residency if they:

  • Have lived in Malaysia continuously for 5 years (unless applicant has spent 5 years under a student or tourist pass) OR
  • Spouse of a Malaysian citizens for 10 years. The application has to be sponsored by a Malaysian citizen OR
  • Individual Investor with minimum US$2m Fixed Deposit in Malaysia (High Net Worth Individual)

In order to apply, submit the following documents at the Malaysian Immigration Department:

  • Completed form (IMM. 4) - 2 sets
  • Passport covering the period of the last 5/10 years
  • 2 passport-sized photographs of applicant's
  • 1 passport-sized photographs of sponsor
  • Other certificates such as Marriage certificate and Birth certificate for spouses and children (if applicable)

'Malaysia My Second Home' Program (MM2H)

The MM2H program allows all foreigners who fulfill certain requirements to stay in the country on a long-term visa for at least 10 years with the option of extension. People can enter and leave the country freely without restrictions and bring a spouse, dependent parents above the age of 60, and children under the age of 21.

MM2H visa holders are not allowed to work while in Malaysia. However, participants 50 and above are allowed to take up part-time employment.

Applying for MM2H

Financial and medical conditions are required for a successful application. All applicants have to show that they are financially capable of maintaining themselves for the time being in Malaysia. This means in practice that an offshore income of RM 10.000 must be shown. In addition, applicants under the age of 50 years have to show proof of a minimum of RM 500.000 in liquid assets. Applicants aged over 50 years are RM 350.000.

All applicants are obliged to submit a medical report from a registered private clinic in Malaysia as it's required to purchase local medical insurance.

Required Documents:

  • Letter of Application (Cover Letter from applicant)
  • Copy of resume by the main applicant which include the following information: Academic qualification, working experiences, skills or expertise acquired
  • One (1) copy of MM2H Application Form (Note: Applicant and all the dependents have to complete the Form individually)
  • Three (3) copies of IM.12 Form (Social Visit Pass) - One (1 ) original copy & Two ( 2 ) Photostat copies
  • Four (4) coloured passport size photographs;
  • Copy of Passport/Travel documents (all pages) with certification on the pages
  • Letter of Good Conduct from your relevant government agency (The police authority of the applicant's home country or The Embassy of the applicant's home country based in Malaysia provided that the LGC issued by the Embassy has made a reference to the respective police authority and the LGC must be attested by the Embassy)
  • Self-declaration on your/dependents health conditions 
  • Certified copy of Marriage Certificate ( if accompanied by spouse ) and Certified copy of Birth Certificate/legal documents (if accompanied by children/adopted children/step children/parents )
  • Certified copy(s) of latest 3 months' bank statement /other related financial document (s) to indicate the financial capability to support stay in Malaysia

You may also apply through an agent.

Any foreign citizen granted with Permanent Resident status will be issued and Entry Permit and Identification Card (MyPR).

MyPR Card

The MyPR Card provides permanent residents with identification. Cards cost RM 40.00.

Applicants should be made at the National Registration Department of Malaysia ( NRD) headquarters.

Headquarters - National Registration Department Malaysia
Ministry of Home Affairs
No.20, Precinct 2
Federal Government Administrative Centre
62551 Federal Territory of Putrajaya

Telephone: (1MOCC): 03-8000 8000

Citizenship in Malaysia

Malaysia does not allow dual citizenship. Apply for the Malaysian citizenship at the National Registration Department of Malaysia. Forms and requirements can be found on their site.

Citizenship by Naturalization in Malaysia

If you are a foreign national, with no Malaysian origins whatsoever, you can obtain Malaysian citizenship by: naturalization. Requirements:

  • Over the age of 21 years
  • Resided in Malaysia for more than 10 years
  • Can show a use and understanding of Bahasa Melayu
  • The documents required to apply for Malaysian citizenship are the following:
  • Application form C
  • Identity card
  • Birth certificate
  • Entry permit
  • Identity cards of two Malaysian backers
  • Supporting documents from spouse or children (if any)

(All photocopied documents should be accompanied by the originals.)

Note that many expatriates have applied for citizenship without receiving it. 

Citizenship by Registration in Malaysia

This applies to people who were either born outside or within Malaysia provided that at least one parent was Malaysian at the time of birth.

In order to register, the applier must be:

  • Under the age of 21
  • Elementary knowledge of Malay

Further information and documents required can be obtained at the website of the Malaysian National Registration Office.

Update 3/06/2015


Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Pinterest Addthis

Recommended Service Partners

International Movers

When you move internationally you are taking a big step. Lots of things are changing and you have a million things to think about and take care of. If you are able to select a top of the line moving company that moves for a modest price, it can take a big weight of your shoulders in busy times.

Our network of international removal companies can move your furniture & possessions to Malaysia and anywhere overseas.

Filling in the form at the bottom will allow you to request up to 5 quotes from various moving companies. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.

Do you have comments or personal information to communicate about this article? Add your comment.

Go to the Forum to talk more about passport, visa & permits to Kuala Lumpur, departure.

Find more definitions and general answers on expatriation issues in the Expat FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).