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.
Entry and Exit Requirements:
Under travel restrictions announced on March 16 and extended on March 25, all foreign nationals, with very limited exceptions, are restricted from entry to Malaysia until April 14, though this end date may be further extended at the discretion of the Malaysian government. Foreign nationals may transit through Malaysian ports of entry as long as they are not required to pass through immigration within Malaysia while in transit. All those arriving in the country from international destinations, including Malaysian citizens, are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine and health inspection. Foreign nationals are permitted to depart the country; however flight options are increasingly limited. Malaysian citizens with a foreign residence permit, including American Lawful Permanent Residents, are allowed to depart, but will not be able to return until after April 14. 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.
From March 18 to April 14 the Malaysian government has implemented a general prohibition of movement and mass assembly within Malaysia including religious, sports, social and cultural activities. All houses of worship and business premises will be closed, except for supermarkets, public markets, grocery stores and stores and department stores selling everyday necessities. All schools and universities, both private and public, will also be closed. All government and private services except those involved in essential services such as water, electricity, power, telecommunications, postal, transportation, fuel, finance, banking, health, pharmacy, fire, port, airport, security, retail and food supply will also be closed. Interstate travel within Malaysia will be restricted and may require preapproval by the Royal Malaysian Police. See additional FAQ on the restricted movement order below.
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, and these states are also observing the same restrictions as the federal government through April 14. All travelers from Peninsular Malaysia will required to undergo a 14-day quarantine upon arrival within Sarawak and Sabah.
Screening points are present at all international entry points, including air, land, and sea routes.
The state of Sabah has canceled all flights from China and South Korea. Sabah has imposed temporary restrictions on all foreign nationals and non-Sabah residents from entering the states. Long term visa holders may be admitted but will be required to self-quarantine at home for 14 days.
The state of Sarawak has canceled all flights from China. Sarawak has imposed temporary restrictions on all foreign nationals and non-Sarawak residents. Long term visa holders may be admitted but will be required to self-quarantine at home for 14 days.
Travelers presenting fevers or other symptoms may be subject to quarantine. Malaysia has designated specific hospitals in each state to process suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases. Quarantine will generally last 14 days. Asymptomatic passengers otherwise considered high risk may be asked to self-quarantine at home for 14 days.
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-April 14 Restricted Movement Order*
*The Malaysian government may implement changes to the restricted movement order with little or no advance notice. Please contact the appropriate local authorities directly with any additional questions.
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 restricted movement order.
I am a U.S. Citizen in Malaysia and my passport is with Malaysian Immigration. Can I get it back?
Guidance issued by Malaysian Immigration indicates that Immigration offices are on minimum staffing and may not be able to finalize visa processing or return passports until the restricted movement order is lifted. 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 urgent 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?
Guidance issued by Malaysian Immigration indicates that Immigration offices are on minimum staffing and may not be able to assist with visa processing until the restricted movement order is lifted. We recommend that you contact your local Malaysian Immigration office directly with this question. The only guidance we have received from the Malaysian Immigration Department is that holders of visas/passes that expire during the Movement Control Order (MCO) may depart Malaysia provided they posses a valid passport. Additionally, any requested extensions must be applied for within 14 days after the end of the MCO. We note, however, that Malaysian Immigration does not typically allow holders of the 90 day social visit pass (short-term tourist visa) to renew or extend this pass. 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. We recommend that you review the information on the Malaysian Immigration Department’s website at https://www.imi.gov.my/index.php/en/
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 include holders of Malaysian visas, including holders of the temporary working pass, student pass, expatriate pass, dependent pass and MM2H pass. If the pass expires while the pass holder is outside of Malaysia, the pass holder will be allowed to enter Malaysia after the restricted movement order ends. Only pass holders working in essential services sectors are allowed to return to Malaysia during the restriction period. Theses pass holders must obtain a confirmation letter from their employer to be presented to the Immigration Department at the point of entry and will be subject to health screenings and quarantine.
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 April 14, 2020. 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.
I am a Malaysian citizen and my spouse/child is a U.S. citizen. Is my spouse/child allowed to return to Malaysia during this restriction period?
Guidance issued by the Malaysian Prime Minister’s office indicates that foreign spouses and children of Malaysian citizens may be admitted to Malaysia, on the condition that they can prove the legitimacy of the relationship AND hold a long-term dependent pass. These family members must go through health screenings and quarantine.
If my essential supplies run out, can I go out to buy things and then go back?
Yes. Guidance issued by the Malaysian government directs households to designate only one member of each household who will leave the house to acquire essential supplies and to limit trips as much as possible.