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COVID-19 Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Kuala Lumpur (June 24, 2020)
June 24, 2020

Health Alert  –  U.S. Embassy Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Location:  Malaysia

Event:  COVID-19

Countries around the world are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and implementing travel restrictions, mandatory quarantines, and border closures with little advance notice.  U.S. citizens should be prepared for additional travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice.  Travelers should closely monitor the situation in Malaysia and other transit countries before travel.

On June 7, 2020, the Prime Minister announced the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) effective June 10, 2020 through August 31, 2020.  Under the RMCO, additional restrictions have been lifted, including the requirement to obtain a police permit and Embassy letter for interstate travel.

Consular Services
If you are a U.S. citizen with a life or death emergency (e.g. victim of a violent crime, arrest, reporting a death of a U.S. citizen) you may reach us at +60-3-2168-5000 or via email at: KLACS@state.gov.

Please note that all routine Consular Services at the U.S. Embassy Kuala Lumpur remain suspended.  We will resume routine consular services as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date at this time.

Although routine consular services remain suspended, we are currently scheduling limited emergency appointments for U.S. passports, Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA), and very exceptional notarial services.  Please complete this form at: https://bit.ly/2SPVSFf to request an emergency appointment or to request pickup of an already issued passport or Consular Report of Birth Abroad.

Please note that passport agencies and centers in the United States have resumed limited services for printing and shipment of Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA) and full-validity passports (10-year passports for adults and 5-year passports for children under the age of 16) to some Embassies and Consulates overseas, including the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.  For approved applications, we estimate that the full-validity passport or CRBA will be available for pickup within 2-3 weeks.

We will announce further resumption of services via alerts to registered U.S. citizens in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) and on our Embassy’s website.

Malaysian Immigration Services
Below is the guidance we have received from the Malaysian Immigration Department.  However, we note that this guidance has been received over the phone, and has not been posted publicly on Immigration’s website.  We have also received reports that U.S. citizens continue to receive conflicting guidance from various Immigration offices and officers.  We stress that all questions regarding Malaysian Immigration policy must be directed to Malaysian Immigration directly.

During the RMCO, the Government of Malaysia has opened limited immigration services by appointment only.  United States citizens whose passes expired after January 1, 2020 seeking to depart Malaysia may do so within 14 working days after the RMCO period ends on August 31,2020 without undergoing any Immigration processing or penalties.  There should be no expectation that 90-day social visit (tourist) passes will be extended due to the global pandemic, and Malaysian Immigration strongly encourages all social visit pass holders whose passes have expired to depart Malaysia as soon as possible.

 U.S. citizens seeking renewal or extension of passes that have expired after February 1, 2020 must apply within 30 working days after the RMCO period ends on August 31, 2020 at immigration offices nationwide.  However, please note that if your renewal or extension is denied, and you have remained in Malaysia more than 14 days after the end of the RMCO, you may be subject to immigration fines or other enforcement action.

On May 12, Malaysian Immigration published an updated FAQ at their website requesting that foreigners who hold social visit passes that expired before or during the RMCO and who are unable to depart Malaysia must present themselves at nearest Immigration Offices within the stipulated 30 working days and provide a supporting letter from their respective embassy.

While the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur cannot intervene on your behalf when you apply for a Malaysian visa, we are issuing letters that ask Malaysian Immigration to consider the COVID-19 pandemic and our advice to avoid all international travel.  The U.S. Embassy CANNOT certify or validate your specific or personal justification for remaining in Malaysia and reminds U.S. citizens that permission to enter and remain in Malaysia is at the decision and discretion of the Malaysian Immigration Department.  If you require such a letter, you may request one from the U.S. Embassy by completing this form:  https://bit.ly/2Wd64te

U.S. Citizens with specific questions or concerns may contact the Malaysian Government call center (MyCGG) at 03-8000-8000.

The U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur encourages all citizens with visas that have expired during the MCO to depart Malaysia as soon as possible to be in compliance with Immigration requirements.

Travel Letter from the U.S. Embassy
It is our understanding that U.S. citizens and foreign nationals traveling to the United States who wish to depart Malaysia during the Recovery Movement Control Order no longer need to obtain police permission or a letter from the U.S. Embassy to present to the Royal Malaysia Police while traveling to the airport during the RMCO.  However, we have not confirmed this is the case nationwide and therefore, we will still provide this letter upon request at https://bit.ly/2Wd64te.  For additional information and instructions on travel requirements for your state, please consult local police.

U.S. Citizens Returning to Malaysia
On June 23, 2020 the Expatriate Services Division (ESD) of the Department of Immigration issued updated guidelines on their website for expatriate, skilled worker, and knowledge worker employment pass holders and their dependents to request permission to return to Malaysia during the RMCO.

In addition, based on recent news articles and our verbal understanding from immigration, spouses and children of Malaysians may be permitted to enter, with prior permission from the Immigration Department.  For additional information, please contact Immigration or the nearest Malaysian Embassy/Consulate.  The U.S. Embassy urges U.S. citizens to ensure they have all of the necessary requirements fulfilled and have received formal approval in writing before booking flights and commencing travel.

Malaysia My Second Home Holders (MM2H)
The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) issued guidelines on its website to MM2H members seeking to re-enter Malaysia.  The requirements include: registering your details with MOTAC; applying for approval to re-enter Malaysia from the Director General of Immigration Malaysia; providing proof upon arrival in Malaysia that you have tested negative for COVID-19 within three days prior to entry; and undergoing a mandatory 14 day self-quarantine upon arrival in Malaysia.

You MUST have formal written approval from the Malaysian Government before you attempt to re-enter Malaysia.

For further queries or advice on the arrangements, please contact MOTAC at +60 3 8891 7189 (COVID-19 hotline), +60 3 8891 7424/7439 (MM2h department), or email mm2h@motac.gov.my.

Quarantine Information:
Any travelers permitted to enter Malaysia during the MCO will be subject to rapid COVID-19 testing upon arrival.  Those who test positive will be transferred directly to a designated government hospital for treatment, while those who test negative will be required to complete a mandatory fourteen-day self-quarantine.  As of June 10, 2020, this quarantine may be completed at home rather than in a designated quarantine facility.  Travelers will be required to download the MySejahtera application and will be issued a wristband for identification and monitoring by the authorities during their self-quarantine period.  For additional information on quarantine requirements, please contact the Malaysian National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA).

COVID-19 Information
Malaysia has confirmed cases of COVID-19 throughout the country.  For more information regarding COVID-statistics in Malaysia, please review the Malaysian Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Portal and visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 – Avoid Non-Essential Travel– Notice for Malaysia.  The State Department has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory – Do Not Travel.

Actions to Take: