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Entry Requirements

Visa vs Permit, General Requirements.


Visa vs Permit

Malaysian Immigration law distinguishes between visas and work or residence permits. With a valid visa, persons can enter and leave Malaysia, whereas a work permit allows a person to work and remain in Malaysia for a specific period of time. Residence permits enable its holder to remain in Malaysia for a certain duration only. Some permits also combine work and residence rights.

Both terms have the following in common: visa and permit both are endorsed in the passport.

A visa can either be a Single-Entry Visa (Visa on Arrival or Short-Term Social Visit Pass) or a Multiple-Entry Visa which is tied to a work or residence permit.

The application procedure depends on the type of visa for which an application has been made.

A permit is a conditional authorisation given to a non-citizen to stay and/or work in Malaysia for a specified period of time. There are different types of permits that come with different privileges.

Permits usually come with a Multiple-Entry or Single-Entry Visa and both permit and the related visa will expire at the same date.

General requirements

Every person entering Malaysia must possess a valid passport or an internationally recognized travel document valid for travelling Malaysia. The document shall be valid for at least six (6) months from the date of entry into Malaysia, if the person is a tourist. For applicants of permits, the passport needs to be valid for at least twelve (12) months from the date of application. Further, only passports can be considered for applications. Refugee/Temporary/Emergency passports are not accepted. 

Tourists and permit holders must ensure that the passport or travel document is endorsed with the appropriate visa and entry or exit stamp date before leaving the immigration counter at the entry points. Certain permit holders may opt for the Foreigner E-Gate once they have registered for it.

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Immigration_Temporary Visas

Temporary Visas

Single-Entry Visa vs Multiple-Entry Visa, Visa on Arrival (Tourist Visa), Short-Term Social Visit Pass, Short-Term Social Visit Pass for Work Purposes (PLS@XPATS), Long-Term Social Visit Pass (Long-Term SVP), Professional Visit Pass (PVP), Visit Pass for Digital Nomads (DE Rantau Digital Pass)

Immigration_Foreign Workers

Work Permits

Employment Pass, Entrepreneur/startup visa for specific tech and IT sectors, Premium Visa (PVIP) for high-net-worth individuals

Immigration_Residency Permits

Residency Permits

Dependant Pass, Resident Pass - Talent, Permanent Residence (Entry Permit), Residence Pass and Spouse Visa, Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H)

Immigration_Work Permits

Foreign Workers

Maid Visa (Foreign Domestic Helper, FDH), Foreign Worker's Permit, Special Pass

Immigration_Visa and Permits

Malaysian Visas and Permits at a Glance

A summary of every visa and permit in Malaysia

Immigration_Foreign Professionals

Foreign Professionals

Employing Foreign Professionals in Malaysia, Employing Foreign Workers in Malaysia, Sending Staff to Malaysia or Hiring Foreign Interns



Transfer Endorsement (ToE), Rejections