Malaysia is removing entry visa requirements for citizens of China and India.
The Malaysian government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, has announced a significant policy change regarding entry visas for Chinese and Indian citizens. Starting from December 1, Malaysia is removing entry visa requirements for citizens of China and India. Prime Minister Ibrahim made this announcement during a speech at his People's Justice Party's annual congress in Putrajaya.
What will change for Indian travellers?
Visa Elimination: Indian citizens visiting Malaysia will no longer need entry visas starting from December 1.
Visa-Free Stay: Indians can stay in Malaysia for up to 30 days without obtaining a visa.
Security Screening: While visa requirements are lifted, there will still be security screening for Indian nationals visiting Malaysia.
Why did Malaysia take this step?
Prime Minister Ibrahim had previously revealed plans to enhance visa facilities in the coming year to further encourage the influx of tourists and investors, particularly from India and China.
China and India are crucial markets for Malaysia, ranking as the fourth and fifth-largest sources of tourist arrivals, respectively.
Between January and June of this year, Malaysia recorded a total of 9.16 million tourist arrivals, out of which India contributed 283,885 during the same period, solidifying its position as a substantial source of tourists for Malaysia.
The government is hopeful that by simplifying the entry process, it can attract more tourists and increase their spending within the country, thereby contributing to Malaysia's economic development.
Malaysia has become the fourth country, following Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Thailand, to announce visa-free entry for tourists.
From November 10, Thailand has removed the requirement for a visa for Indians, offering a generous 30-day stay. This policy is scheduled to remain in effect until May 10 of the following year, with the possibility of an extension based on demand, as indicated by the Thai government.
Sri Lanka has also adopted the visa-free entry initiative in October, for visitors from seven countries, including India, China, and Russia. Launched as a pilot project, this initiative took immediate effect and extends a warm welcome until March 31, 2024.