Indian passport holders do not get an On Arrival Visa in Malaysia. However if you have made a last-minute plan and do not have sufficient time to apply for Visa in India, then you have a chance if your trip first involves a visit to Singapore or Thailand. Please read each point carefully if you decide to go for this option as there are lots of ‘catches’ before you can avail VOA facility. Also note that getting a VOA is much more expensive than applying in India, so only go for it if you don’t have much time in hand.
Malaysia is celebrating year 2014 as Malaysia Year and the government has made special arrangements for citizens of India and China to get On Arrival Visa for a very limited time. Indian nationals can get Visa On Arrival in Malaysia if following conditions are satisfied(as stated on Malaysia Embassy website) :
1. They have to come from a third country namely, Singapore and Thailand, and has a valid visa from those countries;
2. The travelers can only apply VOA at these air checkpoints:
a. Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA);
b. Lower Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT, KLIA);
c. Penang Airport,
d. Sultan Ismail Airport, Senai, Johor Bahru;
e. Kota Kinabalu Airport, Sabah; and
f. Kuching Airport, Sarawak.
3. Duration of stay is 7 days for each entry with no extension;
4. Have a confirmed return ticket; and
5. Carry USD 1000 cash money.
6. Pay VOA fee of RM 330 or equivalent to USD 100 per person;
7. Priority will be given to groups or family tourist, businessmen or investors;
Here is the URL from embassy site stating the above rules (http://www.kln.gov.my/web/sgp_singapore/requirement_foreigner)
Here are some of the inputs based on my personal experience :
1. Unfortunately not many people are aware of this rule in India. I was stopped at immigration in India for almost half an hour as the officer who checked my documents was not aware of this rule. I explained him that it is mentioned on embassy website itself and I had also confirmed with embassy over the phone, still he didn’t allow me before he consulted his boss and few other people in immigration office. So be prepared for questioning and let them know confidently that VOA is available for year 2014. You can redirect them to embassy website.
2. You will need to have all documents ready with you at all immigration points – India, Singapore/Thailand and Malaysia.
3. Your Singapore Visa will be checked again at airline counter when you are departing from Singapore as they will make sure your Singapore visa has not expired.
4. If you are traveling by Air Asia, then you will land at KLIA2 which is terminal for low-cost carriers. Once you move towards immigration counters, at your left hand side you will see an immigration office where you can get VOA. You can ask airport staff if you are not able to locate it.
5. For Visa fees its better if you can carry Malaysian currency (RM) as the official demanded for RM when I wanted to pay in USD. I had RM with me as well and was no mood to ask them why USD is not acceptable :), so I paid in RM although as per rules USD should be acceptable as well.
6. First your visa fees will be collected along with your passport. Then you will be provided with a visa application form to fill up. You will need to have a passport size photograph with you to be affixed with form.
7. The whole process took around half an hour for me. This is where I understood the meaning of point no. 7 about priority. They processed Visa for groups first so I had to wait for extra time though I had reached earlier.
8. They didn’t ask me to show 1000 USD as stated in rule – may be because I didn’t have a blank passport. As per rules stated you need to have cash with you. When I had called embassy before my travel to confirm this point, they cleared stated you will need to carry cash only.
9. Apart from waiting part, rest of the process was very smooth without any hassle.
10 Visa is issued only for 7 days so check your return date carefully. They will also verbally confirm with you about your return date and then check your return ticket.
As stated earlier getting VOA is much more expensive than getting in India with several criteria to be satisfied. However many of us make last-minute plans so this option can be useful in those situations. Also Indian staying in Singapore or Thailand can take advantage of this. Once again note that VOA rules may be revised again after 2014 is over as this facility is provided in conjunction with Malaysia Year to promote tourism for year 2014. So it looks like this is limited period offer :).
For next 3 and half months you definitely have Visa Power – Go Get It 🙂