Malaysia Student Visa

Complete guide to applying for a visa to study in Malaysia

International students who want to pursue further education in Malaysia will need a Malaysia Student Visa.

Any foreign national who wants to enter Malaysia needs to obtain a Pass pertaining to their purpose of travel. As such, the type of Pass you need to study in Malaysia is a Malaysia Student Pass.

The term Malaysia Student Visa and Malaysia Student Pass are often used interchangeably, and by all definitions, they mean pretty much the same thing.

This article will detail the process and requirements of obtaining a Malaysia Student Visa.

The Requirements for a Malaysia Student Visa

When you apply for a Malaysian Student Visa (ie. your Visa Approval Letter) to the Immigration Department, you must attach the following documents:

  • One picture of yourself, with 35mm x 45mm dimensions and a white background.
  • A copy of your passport, showing the following:
    • Your personal information
    • Issuance and expiry date. The passport must be valid for at least 12 more months.
    • All the previous visas you have obtained.
    • The page which states any amendments (extensions, clarifications of name, and previous passport numbers).
  • Pages of all the pages of your passport, only if you are from one of the following countries:
    • Iran
    • Iraq
    • Libya
    • Somalia
    • Sudan
    • Syria
    • Yemen
  • The letter of acceptance from your Malaysian educational institution.
  • Previous academic certificates and transcripts.
  • Medical certificate, proving you are of good health. You must undergo a pre-arrival medical screening at a registered clinic overseas.
  • Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate, if you are from a country or you recently travelled to a country that is at risk of Yellow Fever transmission.
  • A Personal Bond, which all foreign students have to sign as an effort to ensure they will not violate the Immigration laws of Malaysia. If you do not violate any laws, the bond will be returned.
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency. You must undergo an English Language test and attach the certificate which shows you have an acceptable level of English. Malaysia accepts certificates from the following tests:
    • IELTS (International English Language Testing System)
    • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
    • PTE – Academic (Pearson Test of English)
    • CAE (Cambridge English: Advance)
    • CPE (Cambridge English: Proficiency)
    • MUET (Malaysian University English Test)
  • If you are from Sudan: A No-Objection Certificate (NOC) which your institution must apply for at the Sudanese Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.
  • If you are from Iran: A Letter Of Eligibility (LOE), which your institution must apply for at the Iranian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

How to get a Malaysia Student Visa?

The process of getting a Malaysia student visa is divided into the following steps:

  1. Getting accepted into a Malaysian educational institution.
  2. Applying for a Visa Approval Letter (VAL).
  3. Applying for a Malaysian entry visa (if you are a Malaysian visa-subject national).
  4. Appearing at the immigration checkpoint in Malaysia (after you travel).
  5. Registering at your educational institution.
  6. Getting your Student Pass at the Malaysia Immigration Department.

How to apply for a Malaysian Student Visa Approval Letter (VAL)?

Once you are accepted into a Malaysian educational institution, you have two options of how to apply for a Visa Approval Letter:

  • You can apply yourself via the Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS) website, or
  • you can entrust the application to your university.

In order to apply, you must obtain all the required documents which prove that you meet the eligibility to receive a student visa for Malaysia. Then, you must create an account on the EMGS website.

Since the application is done online, you have to upload electronic copies of your documents.

You also have to pay a visa processing fee, which changes depending on the country, as well as a personal security bond.

If your visa is approved, you will receive the Visa Approval Letter (VAL) via email. You must print it and keep both the electronic and version printed version with you.

Malaysian Entry Visa for Foreign Students

After getting a Visa Approval Letter, certain nationals also need a visa to enter Malaysia.

The type of entry visa required for a Student Pass is a Visa With Reference, which means you must have authorization from the Malaysian Immigration Department (ie. the Visa Approval Letter (VAL)).

Who needs Malaysian Student Entry Visa?

You need a Malaysian Visa With Reference if you are from one of the following countries:

  • Argentina
  • Austria
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Chile
  • China
  • Croatia
  • Cuba
  • Czech Republic
  • Egypt
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Guinea Republic
  • Hong Kong (C.I / D.I)
  • Hong Kong SAR / BNO
  • Hungary
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kosovo
  • Kuwait
  • Lao PDR
  • Lebanon
  • Liechtenstein
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar
  • Nepal
  • Netherland
  • Nigeria
  • North Korea
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Rwanda
  • Samoa
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • St Marino
  • Sweden
  • Syria
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Nations
  • United States of America
  • Uzbekistan
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam
  • Western Samoa
  • Yemen

If you are not on the list above, you can travel to Malaysia visa-free and get a Malaysia Visa On Arrival (VOA) after presenting your Visa Approval Letter.

How to apply for a Malaysian Student Entry Visa?

You can apply for an entry visa for Malaysia through one of the two following ways:

  • In person, at a Malaysia Representative Office abroad (Embassy/Consulate). The Malaysia visa application process is as follows:
    • Find the nearest Malaysian Embassy/Consulate and check their website for opening hours/requirements.
    • Download and complete the Malaysia visa application form.
    • Gather the required documents and submit them along with your passport, two copies of the Malaysia visa application form, and a copy of your VAL.
    • You will receive your visa in the from of a sticker affixed to your passport.
  • Only nationals of the following countries can apply for a Malaysian visa online:
    • China
    • India
    • Sri Lanka
    • Nepal
    • Myanmar
    • Bangladesh
    • Pakistan
    • Bhutan
    • Serbia
    • Montenegro

After you arrive in Malaysia

Once you enter Malaysia, you must appear before the immigration officers at the point of entry and request to enter. You must have your printed VOA, your entry visa, and any other supporting documents with you.

Next, you have to register at your educational institution and undergo a medical screening within seven days of arrival. The screening must be done at a clinic which is registered with EMGS.

After you have registered and undergone the medical screening, you can request to get your Malaysia Student Pass and i-Kad.

Malaysia Student Pass and i-Kad

Once you have registered at your educational institution, you can request your Malaysia Student Pass at the Malaysia Immigration Department. The Student Pass is in the form of a sticker on your passport, endorsing your stay in Malaysia for the purpose of studying.

You can submit your passport at your school so they can arrange for you to receive your Student Pass.

Additionally, after you receive your Student Pass, you will also get an i-Kad. The Malaysian i-Kad is a foreign national identity card, proving that the holder has a valid resident status in Malaysia.

What is the Malaysia Student Pass processing time?

Overall, the entire process from applying for a Malaysian Student Visa Approval Letter (VAL) to receiving your Student Pass takes 4-6 weeks.

The Visa Approval Letter processing time is 14 days. The Malaysian entry visa processing time is between one and three weeks (unless it’s an eVisa, which is processed within 2 days).

How long is a Malaysia Student Pass valid?

The validity of your Malaysia Student Pass depends on your course of study.

If you are enrolled in a language school, your Student Pass is issued for 6 months, but it can be renewed.

For most courses, you will receive a 1-year Student Pass, which you can renew accordingly.

For certain courses, you may receive a Student Pass which will remain valid for the entire duration of the course.

Malaysia Student Pass renewal

If you need to renew your Malaysia student pass, you can renew it through the EMGS website. In order to renew your Malaysian Student Pass you need a CGPA of at least 2.0 and overall attendance of at least least 80%.

You must submit a copy of your passport (biodata page and any visa pages) as well as any educational transcripts and certificates you have received.

The other requirements for renewal match the entry requirements into your educational institution.

Malaysia Student Pass cancellation

If you decide you don’t want to pursue your studies in Malaysia any more, you will have to request from your school to submit a Malaysia Student Pass cancellation request with EMGS.

You cannot submit a request for Student Pass cancellation yourself.

Can you work with a Malaysia Student Visa?

No, a Malaysian Student Pass does not allow the holder to work during the school your. You can only work during school holidays which are at least seven days long. Even then, you may only work part-time (up to 20 hours a week.)