Indians will soon be able to travel to Malaysia without having to obtain a visa!
This good news has been confirmed by the Prime Minister of Malaysia. However, there is a catch.
Read on to find out all the details!
Malaysian PM Announces 30-Day Visa-Free Entry To Malaysia
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim of Malaysia has announced that, as of December 1, the country will be extending a 30-day visa-free entry to citizens from India and China, aligning with recent moves by Thailand and Sri Lanka to encourage tourism through such provisions.
Mr. Ibrahim highlighted that this visa waiver is an additional feature complementing existing exemptions for Gulf nations and other West Asian countries, including Turkiye and Jordan. However, he emphasized that the exemption is contingent upon thorough security screening, stating that individuals with criminal records or potential terrorism risks will be denied entry.
He stated, “Initial screenings will be conducted for all tourists and visitors to Malaysia. Security is a different matter. If there are criminal records or the risk of terrorism, they will not be allowed to enter.”
The Prime Minister clarified that matters related to security are under the purview of security forces and immigration. The 30-day visa-free entry is already applicable to eight ASEAN countries for social visits, tourism, and business purposes.
Malaysia Aims For 16.1 Million International Tourist Arrivals
In its tourism objectives, Malaysia aims for 16.1 million international tourist arrivals, with an expected tourism receipt of RM 49.3 billion. India is a significant contributor to Malaysia’s tourism sector, with 324,548 Indian tourists in 2022. The first quarter of 2023 witnessed a substantial increase to 164,566 Indian tourists compared to 13,370 during the same period last year.
Tourism Malaysia, an agency under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture Malaysia, reported that there are currently 158 weekly flights with 30,032 seats connecting India and Malaysia through various airlines, including Malaysia Airlines, Batik Air, AirAsia, and IndiGo.
This decision by Malaysia mirrors actions taken by Sri Lanka and Thailand. Sri Lanka implemented a visa-free entry initiative for visitors from India and six other countries, effective until March 31, 2024, with the goal of attracting five million tourists.
Similarly, Thailand lifted visa requirements for visitors from India and Taiwan, allowing Indians to travel without a visa and stay for up to 30 days from November 10, 2023, to May 10, 2024.