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Moving to Kuala Lumpur?

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Kuala Lumpur at a Glance

Visa Requirements for Kuala Lumpur

Selamat Datang to Kuala Lumpur! Moving to Kuala Lumpur is the dream of many expats, who enjoy staying in this lively city in the Klang River Valley. InterNations shows you how to secure the right visa, how to find your way around in the Malaysian metropolis, and much more.

Visa Types

There are two types of visa for expats relocating to Kuala Lumpur:

Single-entry visas are valid for up to three months. Expats traveling to Kuala Lumpur on this visa type usually come to Malaysia for a social visit or a short-term business project. Nationals of Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, the EU member states, South Korea, Turkey, the US, and various other countries do not need a visa at all. (Please contact the nearest Malaysian diplomatic mission to check if this applies to you.) For a long-term move, however, a single-entry visa is not sufficient.

Instead, a multiple-entry visa, which is valid for three to twelve months, may be of better use. If you want to move to Kuala Lumpur on a multiple-entry visa, you need to prove that you have sufficient funds as well as a valid return ticket. For a stay which exceeds 12 months, you will receive a pass (i.e. a work or residence permit), depending on the purpose of your move to Kuala Lumpur.

Visa Application

Your reason for moving to Kuala Lumpur also determines whether you need a visa with or without reference. Visas without reference apply to social visits. However, students, foreign employees, and dependents require a visa with reference.

To apply for your visa, please submit the following paperwork to the nearest Malaysian Embassy or Consulate well in advance of moving to Kuala Lumpur:

Keep in mind that you only have to provide a bank statement if you apply for a visa without reference. The original approval letter from the Department of Immigration Malaysia, however, is required only if you plan on settling in Kuala Lumpur and therefore require a visa with reference.

Visit Passes

Short-term and long-term visit passes are handed out to foreign visitors upon their arrival in Kuala Lumpur. They apply to different activities such as social visits, attending seminars or closing business deals. To receive a long-term social visit pass, your visit should not be shorter than six months. Foreign spouses and children of Malaysian citizens or permanent residents may receive visit passes for up to five years.

You will receive a professional visit pass if you possess special qualifications or skills and need to move to Kuala Lumpur for a work assignment of twelve months or less. You have to apply for this pass from outside the country.

Employment Passes

If you would like to work in Kuala Lumpur for more than a year, you have to receive approval from the Expatriate Committee and/or other regulatory government agencies for your stay. It’s probably easiest to ask your Malaysian employer’s HR department or an immigration lawyer to help you with the paperwork. Then, to apply for an employment pass, you need to submit the following documents:

You have to submit your application documents personally or by mail to the Expatriate Committee in Putrajaya. Contact the Official Immigration Department of Malaysia for more information regarding your visa and employment pass.

InterNations Expat Magazine