How do I go to Malaysia
Malaysia: Visa and Entry (2020)
Here you can find out everything you need to know about entering Malaysia. Important information about the visa, the length of stay and the costs as well as an overview of the embassies and consulates.
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Table of Contents
Visa Malaysia - All options
Would you like to explore the most beautiful destinations in Malaysia? Then you should take care of a few organizational things in advance. In addition to travel health insurance, health care and a good travel credit card, this includes the question of how Visa and entry into Malaysia are regulated.
The following applies: Regardless of whether it is a package holiday, backpacking in Malaysia or a guided tour of Malaysia - the conditions are the same for all tourists.
Note: The entry requirements for Malaysia have changed over and over again in recent years. The information in this article is as of January 2020. All information is checked regularly. Nevertheless, the information is without guarantee. Legally binding information is only available directly from the embassies. If you notice any changes, we look forward to a short message. You are helping us and other travelers.
Due to the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19), many countries have changed their entry regulations or have completely banned entry. Here you will find a continuously updated overview on the subject of coronavirus in Southeast Asia and Malaysia.
Malaysia: Entry without a visa
Entering Malaysia couldn't be easier. Germans, Austrians and Swiss are not required to have a visa, which means that you will receive a residence permit in the form of a passport stamp upon entry.
This is even valid for a full three months instead of the 30 days customary in other countries. The residence permit is free of charge. To get this, you fill out your arrival and departure card before entering the country (on the plane or at the border).
Business trips, internships and the like: which visa is required for Malaysia?
There is no separate business visa or internship visa. In this case, a single entry visa must be applied for at the Malaysian embassy in advance. Before submitting an application, it is best to contact the embassy and ask them which documents are to be submitted.
Important note about your passport
Your passport must be valid for at least six months at the time you enter Malaysia. Danger! The temporary passport is not accepted in Malaysia!
Children need their own children's passport.
All tips for your trip to Malaysia
Inspiration: Most beautiful destinations ✭ Pictures ✭ Backpacking in Malaysia ✭ Book a round trip ✭ Flights: Cheap plane tickets, domestic flights ✭ Travel planning: Malaysia packing list, best travel time, visa & immigration, money & finances, best travel credit card, travel guide ✭ Traveling with children ✭ Health : Vaccinations, first-aid kit, travel health insurance ✭ On site: Find hotels, excursions & tours, transport, train tickets, bus tickets, ferry tickets ✭ Our Malaysia Facebook group
To the Malaysia blog
Interesting facts about visas
How long is the Malaysia visa valid?
The residence permit for Malaysia is valid for three months. After the three months have expired, you must leave the country in any case. There is no visa and no standard process for a stay of more than three months. If you expressly wish to stay longer in Malaysia, it is advisable to contact the embassy in Berlin and discuss the project there.
If you are already in the country and cannot separate, you must also contact the immigration authorities and inquire about the possibility of an extension - but expect that this will be denied you.
Under no circumstances should you exceed your permitted length of stay without a permit. An overstay is not a trivial offense in Malaysia either.
Extend Malaysia visa: information on re-entry / Visa Run
There is no official way to extend the three month residence permit. If you are in Malaysia and this is your express wish, contact the immigration authorities there and ask.
Maybe you will get an extension, maybe not - there are different experience reports and no official statement from the authorities.
Of course, one could now come up with the idea of running a visa run or a border run for Malaysia. In that case, you would leave Malaysia for a few days in order to get a three-month residence permit again when you re-enter. This procedure was still common practice in Southeast Asia a few years ago, but is now being viewed more critically by the authorities.
You can try, but there is of course the possibility that entry will be refused. Again, there is no official information and mixed experience reports.
By the way, we are currently talking about long-term stays. There are no known reports of travelers re-entering Malaysia on a vacation combining multiple countries.
Do I need an onward or return ticket for Malaysia?
Theoretically yes. The possession of a return ticket is not as meticulously checked as in other countries, but according to the Ministry of Home Affairs in Malaysia, travelers must be able to prove their departure.
Special feature: Visa for Sarawak
Contrary to much misleading information on the Internet, you do not need a separate visa for the state of Sarawak - but you will get a separate residence permit. So you don't have to worry about a special visa beforehand. However, it is important to know that you can only stay in Sarawak for 30 days, not three months. You can find more travel tips for Sarawak here.
The best travel credit card for Malaysia
You can save a lot of money on your travels with the right credit card. Here you can find out which cards you can use to withdraw cash free of charge worldwide and pay in local currency at no additional cost. And who is currently the only provider who reimburses you for third-party fees at the machine, for example in Thailand or Vietnam.
Here is the credit card comparison
Entry by air: At which airports in Malaysia can you enter?
In theory, you can enter all international airports, because the border officials there are able to issue you with your residence permit. Of course, only those airports are relevant that also have international planes that you could theoretically find yourself in. These airports are:
- Kuala Lumpur International Airport
- Kota Kinabalu International Airport (Sabah, Borneo)
- Kuching International Airport (Sarawak, Borneo)
- Langkawi International Airport
- Penang International Airport
To Malaysia by land: which border crossings are the right ones?
There are four relevant border states whose land borders are often used for entry into Malaysia. These are Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Brunei. The nice thing is that at the border crossings to Malaysia you don't just drown in the paperwork of a visa application, but get your residence permit very easily by filling out an arrival / departure card.
You can reach Malaysia via the south of Thailand. If you travel by train, you will pass the Pedang Besar border crossing, which is roughly on the same level as Langkawi.
Bus travelers will likely cross the border via the Trans-Asia Highway in Dannok. Passport controls and the issuing of a residence permit are routine at both border crossings.
If you want to go to the east coast (for example to the Perhentian Islands), you can also cross the border at Sungai Kolok (accessible by train from Hat Yai) in the direction of Khota Bharu.
The land route between Malaysia and Singapore is also very popular. There is exactly one route for long-distance buses, the so-called "Causeway", which leads over the only bridge from Singapore to Malaysia. The Malaysian border town is Johor Bahru.
At first glance, it may seem that Indonesia has no land border with Malaysia - but wait a minute, there is still Borneo. The largest island in the world is divided between Indonesia (Kalimantan), Malaysia and Brunei, so theoretically there are a lot of land borders here. A distinction must be made here between the two Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah.
Sarawak is a special case, because although the state belongs to Malaysia, it is considered a kind of special administrative region that has its own entry requirements. You don't have to worry about anything in advance, but you only get a residence permit for 30 days - not three months! The border crossing from West Kalimantan to Sarawak connects the cities of Entikong and Tebedu.
Sabah can also be reached by land, but it is much more difficult than simply taking a plane to Kota Kinabalu. There are no highways or other easy paths here. If you still need it, you can take a bus or a private driver from Tarakan in East Kalimantan to Tawau in Sabah. Alternatively, there are also various sea routes to Tawau.
Entering or leaving Brunei by land is unusual, as it is much faster by plane or ferry, but it is still possible. There are two land border crossings: Kualah Lurah and Sungai Tujuh.
To Malaysia by water
A speedboat operates between the Thai island of Koh Lipe and Langkawi. You can display the times here: 12go.
There are ferry connections from the capital, Bandar Seri Begawan.
Entry requirements in Malaysia
Since 2011, the state of Malaysia has been collecting biometric data from all travelers in the form of fingerprints. Only children under the age of 12 and diplomats are exempt from this.
Otherwise there are no unusual entry requirements. It goes without saying that the importation and possession of drugs are strictly prohibited and punishable by imprisonment, flogging or even the death penalty.
When buying souvenirs, you should always pay attention to the Washington Convention on Endangered Species.
Embassies and consulates
Malaysian embassies and consulates
Embassy of Malaysia
Address: Klingelhoefer Strasse 6, 10785 Berlin
Web: Embassy of Malaysia
Phone: +49 30 885749-0
Opening times: Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (consular service 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.)
Consulate General of Malaysia in Hamburg
Address: Kajen 2, 20459 Hamburg
Phone: +49 40 37 21 72
Opening times: Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. and by appointment
Consulate General of Malaysia in Frankfurt
Address: Platz der Einheit 1, 60327 Frankfurt am Main
Telephone: 069 87 00 37 0
Opening times: Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. (consular service 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.)
The Malaysian embassy is in Vienna.
The Malaysian embassy is in Bern.
Representations in Malaysia
The German embassy is located in Kuala Lumpur:
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany
Address: 26th Floor, Menara Tan & Tan, 207 Jalan Tun Razak, 50400 Kuala Lumpur
Web: Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany
Telephone: +60 3 21 70 96 66 (mobile phone for emergencies: +60 (0) 12 326 9070)
Opening times: Monday to Friday: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m., Thursday: 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
There is also a consulate general in Penang:
Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany
Address: BMC Sdn. Bhd. Suite 9.07, 9th Floor, MWE Plaza 8, Lebuh Farquhar, 10200 Penang
Phone: +60 4 263 25 66
The Austrian Embassy is located in Kuala Lumpur.
The Swiss embassy is located in Kuala Lumpur.
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About the author
Stefan has been traveling to the countries of Southeast Asia since 2006 and often spends several months there. In 2013 he founded Fascination Southeast Asia and has since written several eBooks and books on the subject (including the insider travel guide “555 Tips for Bangkok”). Between his travels he lives and works in Düsseldorf.
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