Malaysia to Offer Visa-Free Entry to Indians and Chinese

  • 28 Nov 2023

Close on the heels of similar moves by Sri Lanka and Thailand, Malaysia's Prime Minister has announced that Indians and Chinese citizens will enjoy visa-free entry for up to 30 days, starting from December 1.

  • The exemption, aimed at boosting tourism, will remain in effect until December 31, 2024.

Key Points

  • Prominent Announcement: Prime Minister disclosed the visa-free entry initiative during his address at the People’s Justice Party congress.
  • Top Source Markets: India and China are among Malaysia’s top five source markets for tourism, with 91 lakh tourist arrivals recorded until June this year.
  • Duration of Exemption: The visa exemption, applicable to both Indian and Chinese travellers, will be in effect until December 31, 2024.
  • Tourism Statistics: The Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board revealed a decline in tourist arrivals due to the pandemic, with around 5 lakh arrivals from China and 2.8 lakh from India until June 2023.
  • Post-Pandemic Recovery: Malaysia is optimistic about its post-pandemic recovery and aims to welcome 1.5 crore foreign tourists in the current year.
  • Significant Indian Diaspora: Malaysia houses a 29 lakh-strong overseas Indian community, including Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) and NRIs.
  • Security Clearance: The 30-day visa exemption for Indian and Chinese travellers is subject to security clearance. Initial screenings will be conducted, and individuals with criminal records or terrorism risks will be denied entry.
  • Outbound Travel Trends: India emerged as the largest source market for outbound travellers in Asia in 2022, with top destinations including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, USA, Singapore, and Thailand.
  • Diaspora Travellers: A significant portion of outbound travellers from India comprises diaspora travellers.