A couple of years ago, during our trip to Cambodia and Vietnam, we had a little bit of an adventure right at the start. We were flying Air India Express from Chennai to Kuala Lumpur and Air Asia from Kuala Lumpur to Siem Reap. This means that we land at KLIA terminal and shift from KLIA to KLIA2 which is the low-cost terminal from which Air Asia operates and then take our next flight from there. Preethika and I assumed that since we were just “transiting”, we wouldn’t require a Malaysian Visa. That was our big fat wrong assumption.
Long story short, the Malaysian immigration authorities gave us two choices:
- I can pass through immigration since I had a valid US visa, but since Preethika didn’t hold one, she’d have to buy a ticket on a full-service airline which flies from KLIA to Siem Reap.
- Go back to India
All this was taking place at around 2 AM local time and came as a huge shocker to us. We tried talking to the immigration officers for a long while, and finally, after speaking to 3 or 4 officers, they were kind enough to stamp her passport with a transit visa for 6 hours, as an exception. We just got lucky.
Now, if we were caught unawares, I’m sure there are many like us around who have similar questions as well, especially since Air Asia has these amazing fares and forces you to fly via Kuala Lumpur. I do hope this post serves as a primer for those having doubts/questions regarding the Malaysian visa process for Indian citizens.
1. Do Indians require a visa to visit Malaysia?
Yes, Indians do require a Malaysian Visa to enter Malaysia, whether it is for tourism or business.
2. What are the various ways in which I can get Malaysian Visa for Indian citizens?
We presume you are talking about a Malaysian Visa for tourism purposes. The Malaysian tourist visa is also called as Visa without Reference (VTR).
As an Indian, these are the following ways in which you can get a Malaysian Visa (VTR):
- eVisa: This is the easiest way to get one. The Malaysian eVisa processing time is 48 hours and once you receive it, all you have to do is take a printout on an A4 sized paper and get going. Apply for Malaysian eVisa.
- Apply via VFS: A standard procedure which involves submitting your passport and submitting appropriate documentation.
- eNTRI: That stands for Electronic Travel Registration & Information. eNTRI is an online registration facility provided by the Government of Malaysia to facilitate the entrance of Indian Nationals into Malaysia under the Visa Waiver Programme. An eNTRI Note will be issued as proof of the registration and it is required to be presented upon arrival in Malaysia. This is currently valid until March 31, 2018.
3. How much does a Malaysian Visa cost?
The below table should help you understand the costs and validity better.
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4. What is this Malaysian Transit Visa? Is it applicable to me?
The Malaysian Transit Visa is called “Transit Without Visa” or TWOV. This facility is available to the visitors from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh. Myanmar, Bhutan and Nepal who wish to travel in transit through Kuala Lumpur Airport in order to proceed to some other specified country of destination. The TWOV allows a visitor to stay in Malaysia up to 5 days without a visa.
It is, however, subject to a few terms and conditions. Mentioning a few key points below.
- To take advantage of the Malaysian Transit Without Visa facility or TWOV, visitors from the Indian Subcontinent must have a long-term valid visa for any of these countries: USA, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, China, South Korea, New Zealand.
- The TWOV facility is available for up to 120 hours (5 days). In simple words, this means that the applicant must have confirmed onward tickets to a third destination country as mentioned above within 5 days of arrival in Malaysia.
- TWOV facility is available only at Kuala Lumpur International Airport and Low Cost Carrier Terminal of Kuala Lumpur Airport. Your departure within 120 hours must also be from Kuala Lumpur International Airport or Low Cost Carrier Terminal of Kuala Lumpur Airport (Entry and Exit should be from the same Terminal).
- TWOV is available only for passengers of Malaysian Airlines and Air Asia.
- The TWOV is non-extendable.
- If transit is more than 8 hours, you are permitted to leave the transit area provided:
- You are travelling to or returning from the country which has issued the visa, and
- You are travelling on a tour/package arranged by a company registered in the third country.
5. I would be going to Bali from Chennai and flying Air Asia, so my transit is through KLIA2 both ways. Would I need a Malaysian Transit Visa?
If each way is a single PNR, or your whole trip is under a single PNR (which means the baggage that you check-in will be collected directly in Bali), then you wouldn’t require a Malaysian Transit Visa or a Malaysian Visa for that matter.
However, let’s assume that you have separate tickets (and hence separate PNRs) for Chennai – Kuala Lumpur and Kuala Lumpur – Bali legs for eg., AND if you have check-in baggage which has to be manually collected and checked in again, then you require a Malaysian Visa of some sort. That is because you will be crossing immigration counters in Kuala Lumpur to collect your baggage and that technically is entering into Malaysia.
Do you have any other questions regarding the Malaysian Visa for Indians? Feel free to ask us in the comments and we’ll try and help you as much as we can.