U.S. Embassy Kuala Lumpur – Health Alert (October 9, 2020)

U.S. Embassy Kuala Lumpur
Health Alert
October 9, 2020

 

Event: COVID-19

Location: Malaysia

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

 

Conditional Movement Control Order
While general restrictions have been relaxed during the RMCO, specific “red zones” with higher numbers of COVID-19 cases may be intermittently placed under a more restrictive Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).  On October 7, 2020, the Malaysian government announced that the following districts will be under the CMCO for two weeks, beginning October 9:

  • Selangor: Klang District (including Port Klang)
  • Sabah: Sandakan, Papar, and Tuaran Districts

During the CMCO, movement in and out of these districts is restricted to delivery of essential goods and services.  Schools, houses of worship, and non-essential businesses will be closed.  Essential businesses will operate with restricted hours, and only two individuals per household may leave the house to buy groceries and other necessities.

 

Sabah and Sarawak
Additional entry requirements may 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 detailed requirements on traveling to Sabah or Sarawak, please contact the local immigration authorities directly.

Sarawak state authorities announced on October 9 that beginning on October 10, all travelers to Sarawak will be required to undergo the mandatory COVID-19 testing and fourteen-day quarantine at a government facility.  Previously some travelers, including Sarawakians, were permitted to self-quarantine at home.

Additionally, a travel ban from Sabah to Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak and Labuan will be in place from October 12 until October 25.

 

Malaysian Entry Requirements
On September 18, the Immigration Department of Malaysia announced that foreign travelers with long-term passes may enter Malaysia with approval by the Immigration Department of Malaysia.  This announcement softened 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.

On October 8, Malaysian Immigration launched a consolidated portal called My Travel Pass for all categories of pass holders to request permission to enter (or exit and re-enter) Malaysia during the MCO.  Travelers must have formal written approval from the Malaysian Government before attempting to enter Malaysia

International Students
On October 4, Malaysian Immigration announced that the entry of all new and existing foreign students, including those who had already received entry approval, will be delayed until December 31, 2020.

Malaysia My Second Home Holders (MM2H)
The Embassy has not yet received clarification on whether MM2H visa holders are exempted from the September 7 restrictions on entry by U.S. citizens.  Effective October 5, the return approval process for MM2H visa holders is managed by Malaysian Immigration rather than the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture.  Return approval may be requested from Immigration via My Travel Pass.

 

Quarantine and Testing Information
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.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.

We have resumed routine U.S. passport and notarial services. Please review the instructions and then visit our Make an Appointment page to self-schedule your passport or notarial appointment.  To apply for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad and/or U.S. passport for a child not yet documented as a U.S. citizen, please review our instructions here.

Approved passports and CRBAs will be available for pickup within 2-3 weeks.  Once your documents arrive, you will receive an email with collection instructions.

 

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

 

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: