Malaysia decided to abolish tourist visas for travellers from China and India during the Visit Malaysia 2020 event in a move to boost tourist arrivals next year with an envisioned target of 30 million international arrivals.
Offering free visas to Chinese and Indian travellers have long been a target for Malaysian authorities as they recognise the beneficial effect on tourist arrivals from a statistical point of view. However, it also comprises risks of having tourists from those countries overstaying to seek a job.
According to the 2018 Auditor-General’s Report which was revealed earlier this month stated there was no exit records for more than 95% of Chinese and Indian tourists who visited Malaysia using eNTRI visa- an electronic visa system. However immigration department said that figures were not accurate due to a different recording of exits. Chinese and Indian arriving through the eNTRI are not recorded the same way when exiting. According to immigration ‘only’ 23% of Chinese did not had an exit record with a similar number for Indians.
However, in a move to turn the Visit Malaysia 2020 into a successful event, tourists from China and India will be able to visit Malaysia without needing a visa next year. During the entire year, tourists from these two countries can to visit Malaysia for up to 15 days, provided they register via the electronic travel registration and information system – either individually or through travel agencies in their respective countries. The visa will be valid for three months following registration and cannot be extended.
More restrictions apply: entrance and exit from Malaysia would have to be through designated airports or through authorised immigration control posts.This includes Sultan Iskandar building in Johor, Johor Bahru railway station, Johor Immigration control post at Kompleks Sultan Abu Bakar, Tanjung Kupang, Johor; Padang Besar, Perlis; Bukit Kayu Itam, Changloon, Kedah; Sungai Tujoh, Sarawak; and the Immigration control post at Tedungan in Limbang, Fifth Division, Sarawak.
Upon arrival, tourists will also have to produce proof of sufficient pocket money, credit card or bank card, and produce their travel itinerary in Malaysia. Tourists from China and India can re-apply for the same short-term visa 45 days after leaving Malaysia, but may not apply for any other passes under the Immigration Regulations 1963.