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Different types of Visas:
There are mainly three broad categories of visa available to visit Malaysia. First one is, Visa without reference, in which visa is approved by the Consulate General of Malaysia for social, tourist or business visits.
Second category is, Visa with reference, in which visa is approved by the Department of Immigration Malaysia or the Ministry of Home Affairs for the purpose of working, study or social visits for a stay more than the allowed period under visa without reference.
Third category is, Transit without Visa (TWOV), which is available only to the citizens of certain Indian sub-continent countries and allow a short 5 days stay in Malaysia.
From a backpacker’s point of view, only first and third categories of Visa are required. So, in this post, I will provide a complete information on the visa requirements of first and third categories for an Indian Citizen.
Note: The most important thing is that Malaysia does not offer an Visa-on-Arrival facility to the Indian Citizens i.e. Aug., 2010.
Available Visa in Malaysia for an Indian Tourist:
Transit without Visa (TWOV): This facility is available to the visitors from Indian Sub-continent who wish to travel in transit through Kuala Lumpur Airport of Malaysia in order to proceed to some specified country of destination. This facility allows a visitor to stay in Malaysia up to 5 days without a visa. TWOV is subjected to certain terms and conditions imposed by the Malaysian Government. The important points to note are:
1. Transit Without Visa (TWOV) facility is available only to the citizens of Indian Sub continental Countries i.e., India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. This facility is also available to the citizens of Myanmar, Bhutan and Nepal.
2. To use this TWOV facility, visitors must have a long-term valid visa for any of these countries: USA, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, China, South Korea, and New Zealand. (For citizens from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka a valid visa does not mean a tourist visa to these country. They must have a long-term visa. The definition of a long-term visa of a 3rd country is employment/work permit, expatriate card, student pass or permanent resident card. It is worth noting that a permanent multiple entry visa (MEV) above does not fall under this category .)
3. This facility is available for up to 120 hours (5 days). It means, a visitor must have confirmed onward tickets to third destination country (specified in point 2) within 5-days of arrival in Malaysia.
4. If your onward ticket is for any other country rather than specified in point 2, but you have a valid visa for any of specified country at the time of entry in Malaysia, then also you are not eligible for this TWOV facility.
5. TWOV facility is available only at Kuala Lumpur International Airport and Low Cost Carrier Terminal of Kuala Lumpur Airport. No other entry point in Malaysia offers this facility. And within 5-days limit your departure must be also from Kuala Lumpur International Airport or Low Cost Carrier Terminal of Kuala Lumpur Airport.
6. TWOV is available only for the passenger of Malaysian Airlines and Air Asia. If you are traveling by any other airline, this facility will not be available. Your departure ticket must be booked with any of these two airlines only. But if you are arriving by Malaysian Airlines, then departure ticket should be on Malaysian Airlines only. (Remember Same Airline Same Airport)
7. Passport or internationally recognized travel document must have at least 6 months validity from the date of entry.
8. There is no extension for TWOV facility. It means 5 days limit can not be extended at all.
9. This facility is available free of charge.
10. If transit is more than 8 hours it is permitted to leave the transit area provided:
a). traveling to or returning from the country which has issued the visa; and
b). traveling on a tour/package arranged by company registered in the third country.
11. Transit between Main Terminal and Low Cost Carrier Terminal is also permitted. When leaving the airport transit area, passports must be valid for at least 6 months from date of arrival.
12. Many travelers reported a lot of confusion on this facility among the airline staff, consulate etc despite of meeting all the criteria of TWOV.
Tourism Visa for Malaysia i.e. Visa without Reference: For the purpose of tourism, an Indian citizen needs a valid visa to enter in Malaysia prior to the departure from India. Without a proper visa, you will not be allowed to board your departure flight from India. However, if your plan to stay in Malaysia is not more than 120 hours (5 days) and you meet the criteria of TWOV, you can also avail that facility.