Difference Between A Malaysia Visa And Pass

You might need to apply for a visa in advance if you wish to visit Malaysia.

The holder of a Malaysian visa is permitted to enter Malaysia without going through immigration at the port of entry. Just because you have a visa for Malaysia does not mean you will be permitted entry; the Immigration Officer can grant or deny entry.

However, there is a difference between a Malaysian visa and a pass.

A Malaysian Visa allows the holder to travel to Malaysia, whereas the Malaysia Pass indicates the purpose of the travel. Some Passes you receive at the port of entry upon arrival, while others, you have to receive before you can apply for a visa, such as an Employment Pass. As such, the Malaysia Passes are divided into the following:

  1. Malaysia Transit Visas. You need to apply for a transit visa if you have to enter Malaysia to board another flight on your way to a third country.
  2. Malaysia Tourist Visa. You will need to obtain a tourist visa for Malaysia if you plan on entering the country for tourism purposes and fall under the Malaysian visa regime.
  3. Short-Term Social Visit Pass, which you receive upon arrival to Malaysia. You will receive this Pass if you are traveling for a short-term purpose, such as visiting family/friends, tourism, a business trip, attending a seminar, entering an exam, partaking in a sports competition, etc.
  4. Employment Pass allows you to work in a Malaysian company/organization. The Expatriate Committee (EC) or another Malaysian authority has to approve your position in the company before you can apply.
  5. Dependant Pass, which is issued to the dependents of Employment Pass holders (spouses, children under 18, or elderly parents)
  6. Visitor’s Pass (Temporary Employment). You have to apply for this pass before you travel if you have found an employer in Malaysia and want to take up work in an approved sector or as a Foreign Domestic Helper.
  7. Visitor’s Pass (Professional). You must apply for this Pass if you want to offer professional services in Malaysia for a short period or to undergo training.
  8. Long-Term Social Visit Pass, which is issued to foreigners who want to stay in Malaysia for longer than six months and fulfill the requirements. However, you cannot work or become self-employed with this Pass. If you are the spouse/partner of a Malaysian citizen, you can receive this Pass for up to 5 years, which is why it is also known as the Spouse Visa for Malaysia.
  9. Student Pass, also known as the Malaysia Student Visa. If you want to pursue studies in Malaysia, you have to apply for a Student Pass before you travel.
  10. Residence Pass, which is issued to highly qualified foreigners who will work in Malaysia for up to 10 years. You can only apply for the Residence Pass if you have already worked in Malaysia for at least three years before the application.
  11. Malaysia My Second Home Program, allows foreigners to retire in Malaysia.

In addition, Malaysian visas are also divided into Malaysia Visa Without Reference and Malaysia Visa With Reference.

How To Apply For Malaysia Visa
How To Apply For Malaysia Visa

What difference between a Malaysia Visa Without Reference and a Visa With a Reference

Depending on the purpose of travel, there are differences between the Malaysian Visa Without Reference and the Visa With Reference.

Without requesting previous approval from a Malaysian authority entity, the High Commission of Malaysia issues Malaysia Visas without References. This visa is often a single-entry visa and is provided for social or touristic visits.

Prior approval from the Malaysian Immigration Department is required before the Malaysia Visa With Reference can be issued. You will get this kind of visa if you want to go to Malaysia to work, join a family member, or continue your education.

How Many Times Can I Enter Malaysia With a Visa?

The Malaysian government issues the following categories of visas depending on the number of entries:

  • Malaysia Single Entry Visa, which is valid for a maximum of three months from the issue date and allows the holder to only travel to Malaysia once. This type of visa is usually for social visits/tourism purposes.
  • Malaysia Multiple Entry Visa, which can be valid anywhere from three to twelve months from the date it is issued. As the name suggests, the holder can enter Malaysia multiple times while the visa is valid. This type of Malaysia visa is usually given for government or business purposes. However, you cannot stay longer than 30 days on any entry.

How to Extend a Single Entry Visa in Malaysia?

It is not possible to extend a single entry visa to Malaysia, which has a 30-day maximum validity period. And a Social Visit Pass cannot.

If you want to stay in Malaysia for longer than your Pass is issued, you have to leave the country and apply for the necessary Malaysian Visa/Pass.

However, an extension of a Social Visit Pass may be feasible in unusual instances, and only after examination on a case-to-case basis. For instance, you might be granted an extension for your Social Visit Pass if you get sick, have an accident, or return home to a dangerous situation (like a war).

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