Malaysia has recently joined the growing list of countries offering visa-free entry to Indian citizens, according to an announcement by Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim. Starting from December 1, both Indian and Chinese visitors can travel to Malaysia without the need for a visa.
Previously, Indian tourists had to obtain a Malaysian tourist e-visa for INR 3,799 per person. Under the new arrangement of visa-free entry, Indian travellers can stay in Malaysia for up to 30 days, although security screenings for Indian nationals will still be in place.
This visa-free initiative aims to boost tourism and attract more investors from India and China, recognizing them as significant markets for Malaysia. The streamlined entry process is expected to facilitate smoother travel experiences for visitors exploring Malaysia, known as one of the premier tourist destinations in Asia.
Before Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Thailand had already implemented visa-free entry for Indians. However, Sri Lanka and Thailand’s visa-free provisions for Indian citizens are currently set to expire on March 31 and May 10, 2024, respectively. Malaysia’s move reflects a broader trend of countries adopting more accessible entry policies to promote tourism and economic engagement.
Malaysia grants visa-free entry to citizens of China and India.
Starting December 1, travellers from India and China can enter Malaysia without a visa and stay for a maximum of 30 days. Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, while announcing this update, mentioned that the visa waiver is an added benefit to the current exemptions granted to Gulf nations and other West Asian countries. However, it is important to note that the exemption is contingent upon rigorous security screenings.
All tourists and visitors to Malaysia will undergo initial screenings, with security considerations being a separate matter. Individuals with criminal records or deemed to pose a terrorism risk will not be permitted entry, clarified the prime minister. The Prime Minister emphasized that the oversight of security forces and immigration authorities governs such matters.
The privilege of a 30-day visa-free entry is presently extended to eight ASEAN countries for activities like social visits, tourism, and business.
Malaysia’s move aligns with the decisions taken by Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam in implementing comparable visa waivers.
Starting from December 1, Malaysia will allow citizens of China and India to enter the country without a visa for stays of up to 30 days, as announced by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim. The Home Affairs Ministry of Malaysia stated on Monday that this visa exemption will be in effect until December 31, 2024.
China and India represent the fourth and fifth-largest sources of tourists for Malaysia, with 9.16 million tourist arrivals recorded between January and June of the current year. This decision comes as part of efforts to boost tourism, especially considering the impact of the pandemic on travel. Similarly, other Asian countries, such as China and Thailand, have also implemented measures like visa-free entry to stimulate tourism.
List of countries Indians can go to without a Visa:
Sri Lanka has implemented a visa-free entry program for visitors from India and six additional countries, including China, Russia, Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia, and Thailand. This initiative will be in effect until March 31, 2024. The objective behind this move is to enhance tourism in the island nation, with the Sri Lankan tourist ministry expressing the goal of increasing tourist arrivals to five million in the coming years, as reported by local media outlets last month.
Recently, Vietnam revealed its consideration of allowing visa-free entry for both Indian and Chinese nationals as part of efforts to boost tourism. Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh suggested the possibility of waivers for visitors from economically prosperous nations such as Australia, Canada, the United States, and the remaining 20 European Union members.
At present, citizens from specific European countries already benefit from visa-free access, while others have the option to acquire e-visas with a validity of 90 days and the flexibility of multiple entries. Vietnam has not made a formal announcement regarding the visa-free entry.
Thailand has initiated a policy offering 30-day visa-free entry to visitors from India and Taiwan, effective from November 1. This provision is set to continue until May 10, 2024.
Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavision stated that the decision to grant visa-free entry to individuals from India and Taiwan is motivated by the considerable interest of their citizens in travelling to Thailand.
According to the official website of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, some other countries that allow Indians to visit without a visa include Barbados, Bhutan, Dominican Republic, Fiji, Haiti, Hong Kong SAR, Kazakhstan, Maldives, Nepal, Niue Island, Qatar, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Senegal, Sri Lanka, St. Lucia, and The Cook Islands.