Market intelligence for international student recruitment from ICEF
15th Dec 2021

International students permitted to return to Malaysia if they adhere to strict rules

Short on time? Here are the highlights:
  • Current and international students are welcome to fly into Malaysia but must submit to rigorous protocols regarding testing and quarantine
  • Students who fail to comply completely with rules risk being deported
  • Students from eight Africa countries are currently banned from entering Malaysia given the Omicron epidemiological situation in their region

In Malaysia, international students already enrolled with Malaysian institutions from most countries are welcome to return to the country provided they follow an extensive series of rules. The consequences for not adhering to the rules are serious, and there are reports of students being denied entry on arrival because of incomplete paperwork or other procedural issues.

Students from eight African countries (listed here) are currently not allowed to fly into Malaysia because of high Omicron infection rates in those areas.

Requirements for continuing students who are permitted to enter include:

  • Taking a RT-PCR COVID-19 test three 3 days before travelling to Malaysia;
  • Taking another PCR test upon arrival, on Day 10, and possibly Day 18;
  • Quarantining for 14 days “or any period stipulated by the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH)” upon arrival to Malaysia at an approved quarantine station – this may be extended to 21 days “depending on the risk assessment on the 14th day of quarantine”;
  • During quarantine, not leaving their rooms;
  • Undergoing another PCR test to be able to leave quarantine;
  • Paying for all testing and quarantine fees.

For a full list of requirements and FAQs, please visit this Education Malaysia webpage.

If students wish to return to their homes due to any fears about the pandemic situation in Malaysia, they are permitted to, again provided they adhere to official rules about travelling procedures.

Dependents of students are not allowed currently to accompany students to Malaysia.

Students face deportation if they do not comply with rules

The Malaysian government is very serious about monitoring returning students, writing,

“There has been an increase number of International Students that have been denied entry into Malaysia due to non-adherence to the requirements set by the Government of Malaysia. These students are subsequently issued with a notice of ‘Not To Land’ (NTL) upon arriving in Malaysia and are deported back to their country of origin.”

Rules for new international students

Education Malaysia also sets out the requirements for new international students coming to Malaysia:

  • New International Students are required obtain approval by the Director General of the Malaysian Immigration Department via EMGS prior to their entry into Malaysia.
  • These New International Students are not required to apply for the Travel Authorisation as it is issued together with the Electronic Visa Approval Letter (eVAL). The expiry date of the Travel Authorisation is valid for 6 months and co-terminus with the expiry date of the eVAL.
  • New International Students must ensure that the Travel Authorization and the eVAL are still valid at the point of entry into Malaysia.
  • In an event where the eVAL and the Travel Authorization has expired, the International Student must apply for an eVAL extension via their Education Institution. Once the eVAL extension request has been approved by the Malaysian Immigration Department, a new Travel Authorization will be issued in accordance to the validity of the extended eVAL.

For additional background, please see:

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