How to Enter Malaysia

Do I need a passport or visa to enter?

o enter Malaysia, your passport must be valid for at least six months. You do not need a visa to enter Malaysia if you are coming for business or tourism for stays of 90 days or less. When you arrive, immigration officials will place an entry stamp in your passport to specify the number of days you can stay. Though immigration officials generally give 90 days, it's not a guarantee, so you should check the stamp in your passport after you enter. Generally, these entry stamps are known as social visit passes (visas) and can be extended for two months. When arriving by air, travelers to Malaysia are electronically fingerprinted upon arrival and again on departure. While in Malaysia, you should carry your passport with you at all times. More information on the time you will be allowed to stay in Malaysia can be found on the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs' website.

If you travel into the eastern Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak (on the island of Borneo) from peninsular Malaysia, or between the provinces of Sabah and Sarawak, you will be required to show your passport to immigration authorities to enter these parts of Malaysia. These states have their own immigration authorities who will determine if you can enter and for how long. You should pay attention to the amount of time you're allowed to stay and be careful not to exceed it. Entry stamps issued by Sabah and Sarawak immigration officials are also valid for other parts of Malaysia.

If you have Israeli entry or exit stamps in your U.S. passport, you should not encounter difficulty at Malaysian Immigration. However, U.S.-Israeli dual nationals have been denied entry after presenting their Israeli passports to show exit stamps from their last destination. Therefore, it is important that U.S.-Israeli dual nationals use their U.S. passports to depart the last country on their itinerary prior to arriving in Malaysia.

For more information on the latest entry procedures and requirements, contact the Embassy of Malaysia, 3516 International Court NW, Washington, DC 20008, telephone: (202) 572-9700. You can also contact the Embassy via email. Alternatively, you may contact the Malaysian Consulate in New York, telephone: (212) 490-2722; or the consulate in Los Angeles, telephone: (213) 892-1238. Visit the Embassy of Malaysia's website for the most current visa information.

Visa Overstays: Malaysian immigration authorities routinely detain foreigners who overstay their social visit passes (visas). If the overstay is detected upon departure, a fine or detention and legal proceedings may be imposed. In light of the arrests of several U.S. citizens in connection with immigration sweeps conducted by Malaysian police and immigration authorities, you should carry your passport (containing the Malaysian entry stamp and associated sticker) with you at all times. Depending upon the nature of the violation, detentions may last from a few hours to several weeks, pending a formal hearing. You should check your visa status periodically while in Malaysia and strictly follow immigration laws and regulations. The U.S. Embassy has confirmed reports of U.S. citizens being detained by RELA (a nation-wide paramilitary civilian organization under the the Ministry of Home Affairs) and/or immigration police authorities conducting sweeps for illegal immigrants in Kuala Lumpur and environs.

Special Travel Circumstances in Malaysia

Currency: Currency exchange is readily available; international bank-to-bank transfers may take several days and require adequate identification. Credit cards are accepted throughout the country, but you should be aware of the risk of fraud by criminal syndicates. ATMs can be a safer means of obtaining Malaysian Ringgit. You should note that personal identification numbers (PINs) in Malaysia are 6 digits long, and that some travelers have reported having difficulty retrieving cash from ATMs using 4-digit PINs. Western Union money transfers are available through various Malaysian banks and the post office. See Western Union's website to find a Western Union location and address in Malaysia.

Customs: Malaysia's customs authorities enforce strict regulations concerning the temporary importation into or export from Malaysia of items such as firearms, narcotics, medication, business equipment, currency and books, other printed material, and video and audio recordings which might be considered obscene or in any way harmful to public interest and cultural property. You should contact the Malaysian Embassy in Washington, D.C., or one of Malaysia's consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements. Please see our information on customs regulations.

Dual Nationality: Malaysia does not recognize or permit dual nationality. If Malaysian authorities learn that you are a U.S. citizen and also a citizen of Malaysia, they may require you to immediately renounce U.S. citizenship or forfeit Malaysian citizenship. If you are a dual U.S.-Malaysian citizen you should consider this issue seriously before traveling to Malaysia. See our dual nationality flyer for more information.


You are responsible for ensuring that you meet and comply with foreign entry requirements, health requirements and that you possess the appropriate travel documents. Information provided is subject to change without notice. One should confirm content prior to traveling from other reliable sources. Information published on this website may contain errors. You travel at your own risk and no warranties or guarantees are provided by us.

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