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On March 19, 2020, the State Department issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory – Do Not Travel. The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. U.S. citizens who live abroad should avoid all international travel. Many countries are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and implementing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, closing borders, and prohibiting non-citizens from entry with little advance notice. Airlines have cancelled many international flights and several cruise operators have suspended operations or cancelled trips. If you choose to travel internationally, your travel plans may be severely disrupted, and you may be forced to remain outside of the United States for an indefinite time frame. For additional information, please see the full Travel Advisory.
The U.S. Embassy Kuala Lumpur has cancelled consular appointments from March 17, 2020, onward. We will resume routine services as soon as possible, but are unable to provide a specific date at this time. If you are a U.S. citizen with an urgent need for service, please contact us at KLACS@state.gov, but please know that we are extraordinarily limited in what we can provide. More information on COVID-19 in Malaysia can be found here.
Malaysia has implemented entry and movement restrictions on all foreign nationals in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. For up-to-date numbers on COVID-19 cases in Malaysia, please consult the Ministry of Health’s website.
On June 7, 2020, the Prime Minister announced the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO), which will be in effect from June 10, 2020 until August 31, 2020. For additional FAQ on the RMCO, please see below.
Foreign citizens, including U.S. citizens, may depart Malaysia during the MCO.
Malaysian Entry and Exit Requirements:
Under travel restrictions announced on March 16 and extended several times, all foreign nationals, with very limited exceptions, are restricted from entry to Malaysia until August 31, though this end date may be further extended at the discretion of the Malaysian government. Please see the FAQ below for additional details on the exceptions to this policy, and note that all travelers MUST have explicit, written permission from the Malaysian authorities prior to traveling to Malaysia. Any travelers permitted to enter Malaysia during the MCO will be subject to COVID-19 testing and a mandatory fourteen-day self-quarantine. Please see the section on Quarantine Information below for further details.
Foreign nationals may transit through the international terminals of Malaysian airports as long as they are not required to pass through immigration while in transit.
Foreign nationals are permitted to depart the country; however flight options are limited. Malaysian citizens with a foreign residence permit, including U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents, are allowed to depart, but may not be able to return until the MCO is lifted. All travelers 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.
Additional travel restrictions apply for travel to the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak, which have local autonomy over immigration at domestic and international ports of entry. The requirements for entry listed below may change with little notice.
Foreigners may not enter Sabah without prior approval, which must be requested in advance from the Sabah State Secretary (Setiausaha Kerajaan Negeri Sabah) at firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information on traveling to Sabah, please contact Sabah Immigration directly.
Foreigners with valid visas or work permits who entered Malaysia BEFORE the MCO began on March 16 may enter Sarawak without quarantine, but must request advance permission from the Sarawak State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC). Foreigners with valid visas or work permits who entered Malaysia DURING the MCO will be subject to a mandatory fourteen day quarantine in a government facility at their own expense, and must first request advance permission from SDMC. For additional information on traveling to Sarawak, please contact SDMC directly.
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).
Malaysia has designated specific hospitals in each state to process suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Information regarding COVID-19 in Malaysia can be found at the websites of the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Health, as well as Ministry of Health social media accounts:
The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with Doctor On Call, has set up a platform to disseminate information on COVID-19 in Malaysia, including a list of designated public hospitals in each state that are equipped to screen for COVID-19*.
*Please note: The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the entities or individuals whose names appear on this platform. Inclusion on this platform is in no way an endorsement by the Department or the U.S. government. The information on the platform is provided directly by the local service providers; the Department is not in a position to vouch for such information.
- COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov
- CDC Page on COVID-19 in Malaysia
- Malaysia Country Information and Malaysia Travel Advisory
FAQ on March 18 – August 31 Movement Control Order (MCO)*
From March 18 to June 9 the Malaysian government implemented a general prohibition of movement and mass assembly within Malaysia including religious, sports, social and cultural activities.
On May 4 the federal government began relaxing some of the nationwide restrictions over commercial and social activities under the Movement Control Order (MCO). On June 7, the Prime Minister announced the implementation of the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) from June 10 to August 31. Under the RMCO, additional sectors of the economy may reopen. Interstate domestic travel will be allowed, and will no longer require prior police authorization with the exception of travel to and from designated COVID-19 “red zones”.
The Malaysian government may implement further changes with little or no advance notice. Please contact the appropriate local authorities directly with any additional questions. U.S. citizens should carry a copy of their passport and visa with them at all times.
I am a U.S. citizen in Malaysia. Will I be permitted to depart Malaysia?
Guidance issued by the Malaysian Prime Minister’s office indicates that foreigners are allowed to leave Malaysia but cannot return to Malaysia during the duration of the MCO.
I am a U.S. Citizen in Malaysia and my passport is with Malaysian Immigration. Can I get it back?
We recommend that you contact the Malaysian Immigration office that holds your passport directly to inquire whether your passport may be returned. If you are not in possession of your U.S. passport and have an urgent need to travel, please contact us at KLACS@state.gov.
I am a U.S. Citizen in Malaysia and my Malaysian visa is about to expire. Can I get it extended?
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 the Immigration Department’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. U.S. citizens with specific questions or concerns may also contact the Immigration hotline at 03-88882010 or the Malaysian Government call center (MyCGG) at 03-8000-8000. We understand that Malaysian Immigration is experiencing a high call volume and U.S. citizens have reported difficulty accessing scheduling websites and that many appointment slots are full. Please be patient as Malaysian Immigration is experiencing a high demand for its services and is implementing procedures to promote social distancing.
The U.S. Embassy cannot make appointments with the Malaysian Department of Immigration on your behalf. Permission to enter and remain in Malaysia is at the decision and discretion of the Malaysian Immigration Department. Neither the U.S. Government nor the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur can intervene on your behalf when you apply for a Malaysian visa or apply for an extension.
Special Passes (e.g. dependent passes, employment passes, MM2H, etc.)
We have been advised that holders of Special Passes which expired between January 1, 2020 and the end of the RMCO (August 31, 2020) may depart Malaysia within 14 working days from the date that the RMCO ends with no additional processing required, provided they possess a valid passport. Those wishing to remain in Malaysia must apply to extend their passes within 30 working days after the RMCO ends.
Ninety-day Social Visit Passes (Tourist Entry Stamps)
We have been advised that holders of 90-day social visit passes (tourist visas) which expired between January 1, 2020 and the end of the RMCO (August 31, 2020) may depart Malaysia within 14 working days from the date that the RMCO ends, with no additional processing required, provided they possess a valid passport. Malaysian Immigration strongly encourages all social visit pass holders whose passes have expired to depart Malaysia as soon as possible.
The U.S. Embassy is aware of an Immigration press statement indicating that foreigners with expired visas who choose not depart Malaysia within 14 working days after the end of the RMCO should obtain proof from their respective embassies regarding their justification for not being able to leave the country, or else face Immigration enforcement action.
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 online form.
I am a U.S. citizen who is a long-term Malaysian resident/pass holder. Will I be able to enter Malaysia?
Guidance issued by the Malaysian Prime Minister’s office indicates that the current travel restrictions under the RMCO include holders of Malaysian visas, including holders of the temporary working pass, student pass, expatriate pass and certain dependent passes. If the pass expires while the pass holder is outside of Malaysia, please contact the nearest Malaysian Embassy or Consulate for guidance.
Spouses and Children of Malaysian Citizens
Foreign spouses and minor children of Malaysian citizens may be admitted to Malaysia, on the condition that they can prove the legitimacy of the relationship AND they hold a long-term dependent pass. For spouses and minor children who do not yet hold a long-term dependent pass, please contact Malaysian Immigration directly to determine what options you may have.
Expatriate, Skilled Worker, and Knowledge Pass Holders
On July 11, Malaysian Immigration issued updated guidelines on their website for expatriate, skilled worker, and knowledge worker pass holders and their dependents to request permission to return to Malaysia during the RMCO. These guidelines also include instructions for pass holders currently in Malaysia who wish to depart and then return to Malaysia.
For additional information, please contact the Expatriate Services Division at 03 8000 8000 (Malaysian Government call center) or email@example.com
Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) Pass Holders
The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) has issued updated guidelines s 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 Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture
- providing proof upon arrival in Malaysia that you have tested negative for COVID-19 within the 3 days prior to entry, and
- agreeing to a 14 day home quarantine and use of the MySejahtera mobile application.
For further information, please contact MOTAC at +60 3 8891 7189 (COVID-19 hotline), +60 3 8891 7424/7439 (MM2h department), or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am a Malaysian citizen and U.S. Legal Permanent Resident who wants to travel to the U.S. Will I be permitted to depart Malaysia?
Guidance issued by the Malaysian Prime Minister’s office indicates that Malaysian citizens who are permanent residents of other countries or hold long-term visas from other countries are permitted to leave on the condition that they do not return to Malaysia prior to the end of the MCO. Supporting documents will be required by Malaysian Immigration upon departure. Please refer to information published by the Malaysian authorities for further details about travel restrictions applicable to Malaysian citizens.
What activities are permitted under the MCO?
The National Security Council’s website provides a regularly updated list of businesses and social activities that remain prohibited under the MCO.