U.S. Embassy Kuala Lumpur – Health Alert (September 29, 2020)

U.S. Embassy Kuala Lumpur
Health Alert

September 29, 2020

 

Event: COVID-19
Location: Malaysia

From 27 September 2020 to 10 October 2020, all individuals arriving to Peninsular Malaysia from Sabah will be required to undergo enhanced screening, including COVID-19 testing upon arrival and mandatory quarantine until a negative COVID-19 test result is issued by the Malaysian Ministry of Health.

On August 28, 2020, the Prime Minister announced an extension of the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) through December 31, 2020.

On September 18, the Immigration Department of Malaysia announced that foreign travelers with long-term passes may now enter Malaysia with approval by the Immigration Department of Malaysia.  This announcement softens some of the September 7, 2020 restrictions for some travelers, which prohibited all foreign nationals from 23 countries, including the United States, from entering Malaysia.  According to the September 18 announcement, holders of the following passes may apply for entry permission: “Residence Pass-Talent (RP-T) and their dependents,  Employment Pass (Category EP I, II and III), Professional Visit Pass (PVP), Dependent Pass to expatriate for all categories, Long Term Social Visit Pass (LT-SVP) to expatriate for all categories, and Foreign Maid to expatriate for all categories.”  The Director General of Immigration may consider appeals to enter Malaysia on emergency and compassionate grounds.  Please refer to the Expatriate Services Division Website for more information, including instructions to apply for permission to enter Malaysia through the MyEntry Portal.

Any travelers permitted to enter Malaysia during the RMCO are subject to COVID-19 testing and all travelers are required to undergo a mandatory fourteen-day quarantine at a facility designated by the Malaysian government.  The full cost of testing and quarantine must be borne by the traveler.Please see the Quarantine and Testing section below for further details.

Under the RMCO, some restrictions were lifted, including the requirement to obtain a police permit and Embassy letter for interstate travel.  The Malaysian Ministry of Defense instituted a mandatory mask requirement effective August 1, 2020.  Failure to comply with any of the RMCO restrictions, including the mask requirement, may result in a fine of RM 1,000 (USD $235) or more, and/or jail time.

 

Quarantine and Testing Information
Any travelers permitted to enter Malaysia during the RMCO are subject to COVID-19 testing and a mandatory fourteen-day quarantine at a facility designated by the Malaysian government at the traveler’s expense.  Travelers who test positive are transferred to a designated government hospital for treatment; there are no exceptions to this mandatory hospitalization and at this time there no private hospitals authorized to treat COVID-19 patients.  Travelers must download the MySejahtera application and may be asked to wear a wristband for identification and monitoring by the authorities.  For additional information on quarantine requirements, please contact the Malaysian National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA).

 

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 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 scheduling limited appointments for U.S. passports, Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA), and exceptional notarial services.  Please complete this form  https://bit.ly/2SPVSFf to request an appointment.

For approved full-validity passport or CRBA applications, we estimate the documents will be available for pickup within 2-3 weeks.  Once your documents arrive, you will receive an email with collection instructions.

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
The U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur encourages all citizens with visas that have expired during the MCO or RMCO to depart Malaysia as soon as possible to comply with immigration requirements.

Malaysian Immigration stated that the standard operating procedures in place as of August 29 are effective through the end of the extended RMCO on December 31, 2020.  U.S. citizens have reported conflicting guidance from various Immigration offices and officers.  The U.S. Embassy reminds citizens that all questions regarding immigration policy must be directed to Malaysian Immigration.

During the RMCO, the Government of Malaysia has opened immigration services by appointment only.  U.S. citizens with specific questions or concerns may contact the Malaysian Government call center (MyCGG) at 03-8000-8000 or refer to the FAQs at the Immigration Department of Malaysia.

Malaysian Immigration strongly encourages all social visit pass (tourist) holders whose passes have expired to depart Malaysia as soon as possible.  United States citizens whose social visit pass (tourist) expired after January 1, 2020 can depart Malaysia within 14 working days after the RMCO period ends without undergoing any immigration processing or penalties.  U.S. citizens still stranded in Malaysia after 14 working days following the end of the MCO must visit immigration within 30 working days to request an extension.  There are no guarantees that requests for extensions will be approved.

Long-term passholders (such as expatriate pass or spouse visas) whose passes expired before or during the MCO must visit immigration and apply for an extension in the usual manner.

If your renewal or extension request is denied, you may be subject to immigration fines, immediate deportation, or other enforcement action.

While the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur cannot intervene on your behalf when you request an extension 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.  Permission to enter and remain in Malaysia is at the decision and discretion of the Malaysian Immigration Department.  If you require such a letter, please complete: https://bit.ly/2Wd64te

 

Sabah and Sarawak
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.  For additional information about traveling to Sabah or Sarawak, contact the local immigration authorities directly.  In addition, the Malaysian Ministry of Health announced on September 26 that all individuals arriving to Peninsular Malaysia from Sabah will be required to undergo enhanced screening, including COVID-19 testing upon arrival and mandatory quarantine until a negative COVID-19 test result is issued by the Malaysian Ministry of Health.

 

Exit and Reentry Requirements for Pass Holders in Malaysia
Exit and return to Malaysia during the RMCO will only be granted on a case by case basis for emergency cases and medical reasons.  For further information, please visit the Expatriate Services Division website.

 

Expatriate and Skilled Worker Pass Holders
We encourage pass holders to review the Expatriate Services Division website orcontact the Expatriate Services Division at 03 8000 8000 (Malaysian Government call center) or esdhelpdesk@imi.gov.my for the current regulations regarding your specific situation.

 

International Students
According to the September 16 announcement on the Expatriate Services Division website, foreign students holding long-term passes may apply for entry permission to return to Malaysia.  You MUST have formal written approval from the Malaysian Government before you attempt to re-enter Malaysia.

 

Malaysia My Second Home Holders (MM2H)
According to the September 16 announcement on the Expatriate Services Division website, MM2H holders may apply for entry permission to return to Malaysia.  The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) issued on its website to MM2H visa holders seeking to re-enter Malaysia.  You MUST have formal written approval from the Malaysian Government before you attempt to re-enter Malaysia.

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

 

COVID-19 Information
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 moved away from its previous Global Level 4 Health Advisory – Do Not Travel and each country will return to issuing its own advisory based on local conditions once again.  As of  August 6, 2020, Malaysia is listed as Level 3 – “Reconsider Travel”.

 

Actions to Take:

 

Assistance:

Please note that due to technical issues, there is currently no way for STEP registrants to unsubscribe themselves from receiving these messages.  Please email us at KLACS@state.gov if you wish to unsubscribe, and we will manually process your request.  You may continue to receive STEP messages for a short time, we appreciate your patience and understanding.