For a hassle and worry free rendezvous with Malaysian hospitality and its colourful culture, festivals and events, it is imperative that travellers familiarise themselves with the country’s entry requirements and other prerequisite before booking flights to Malaysia.
Packed with a plethora of captivating attractions spread out across wonderful places like Kuala Lumpur, Penang, and Langkwi – Malaysia makes for an excellent tourist destination. Like any overseas destination, Malaysia has certain entry requirements concerning visas and passports, and lone travel with children. Before paying for their airfares to Malaysia, travellers should also get acquainted with matters like foreign currency and the health scenario.
British nationals planning to visit Malaysia as tourists can board their flights to Malaysia without obtaining a visa in advance. Usually, travellers are permitted to stay for a period of three months when they arrive. However, someone visiting on a non tourist purpose requires a visa. Similarly, visas are also required for stays beyond three months.
It is strongly recommended not to overstay one’s visa or violate any of the rules concerning entry. Overstaying one’s visa will result in a penalty. In fact, even getting detained by the authorities and getting deported later on is a possibility. The Malaysian authorities are aggressively pursuing a drive against illegal immigration. Therefore, work permits and other immigration documents are being inspected very minutely.
Malaysian High Commission in the UK
High Commissioner: HE Datuk Zakaria bin Sulong
Address: Malaysian High Commission, 45 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8QT
The office functions from Monday to Friday and the timings are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Travellers, who need to sort out visa and consular related work should visit from 9:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
UK citizens going from Peninsular Malaysia to East Malaysia, which is sometimes called Malaysian Borneo and covers the states of Sabah and Sarawak are required to carry their passports for entering East Malaysia.
Usually, visitors with a validity period of less than six months on their passports are denied permission to enter Malaysia.
Dual nationals planning to catch flights to Malaysia need to be aware of the fact that dual nationality is not recognised in Malaysia. So, travellers carrying two passports of different nationalities may not be allowed to enter. Dual nationals should use the passport on which they exited the last country visited by them.
Exchange Control Laws
One does not require prior approval from the authorities for exporting or importing currency up to 1,000 Malaysian Ringgit per head. There is also no cap upon exporting or importing foreign currency notes and or traveller’s cheques.
However, one has to declare the amount to customs authorities, while at entry or exit if the amount of currency carried exceeds the equivalent amount of USD 10,000. Getting caught not declaring the amount or declaring a false amount can result in losses that far exceed the savings that one makes by diligently booking tickets for cheap flights to Malaysia. Penalties include three year long prison sentences or fines that can go up to RM 1 million or both.
Travelling with Children
Certain countries require documents proving parental responsibility from visitors travelling alone with children. These documents can include a letter of consent provided by the other parent, birth certificates, or some other kind of documentary evidence proving the accompanying adult’s responsibility for the child. Without these documents, the authorities may not allow entry into the country or stop the child from leaving the country. Usually, Malaysian authorities don’t ask for such proof. However, before going about booking cheap flights to Malaysia, travellers should seek official clarification on such issues from the Malaysian representation in the UK.
All government hospitals in Malaysia may not be comparable to UK standards. However, by and large emergency medical care in most hospitals is of a good standard. Private hospitals are more expensive than government ones. Even services at government hospitals are not free of cost.
Travellers with asthma, bronchitis, and other breathing ailments should make note of the fact that the country periodically faces the problem of bad air quality due to high levels of smoke haze. Further information is available on the Malaysian Department of Environment’s website.
It is unadvisable to bathe in rivers or under waterfalls as Leptospirosis or Weil’s disease has been on the rise in Malaysia since 2010. Contact with contaminated water increases risk of infection manifolds.
As per the estimates of the 2010 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic the UNAIDS/WHO Working Group 100,000 people aged 15 or more in Malaysia are infected with HIV. The prevalence of HIV in Malaysia is estimated to be approximately 0.5% in the adult population, while it is 0.2% in the UK. Travellers are advised to observe all necessary precautions against HIV and other STDs.
It is necessary to be up to date on all necessary vaccinations before visiting Malaysia. Detailed information on vaccinations and other health issues can be obtained from by calling NHS Direct at 0845 46 47 or accessing the websites of NHS Scotland’s Fit For Travel and National Travel Heath Network.