Visa to Study in Malaysia: Fees, Application Process, Requirements and Malaysian Student Pass

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    Anam Shams

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    Geographically diverse and culturally rich, Malaysia is a study destination of choice with its UNESCO world heritage sites and unique Malaysian offerings. Established for its affordable, high-quality standard of living and thriving economy, Malaysia has grown to be a key economic player and an attractive destination for students. As per EMGS reports, the Malaysian government is targeting to welcome 250,000 international students by 2025. One of the major factors influencing the massive student influx in Malaysia is the fact that the Malaysian student visa is easier to procure when compared to other countries. There are over 9,000 new international student applications with EMGS for entry in January and February next year.

    • A striking feature with regards to Malaysia student pass procurement is the fact that unlike other countries students need not appear for an interview to get their visa to top universities of Malaysia.
    • Visa to study in Malaysia is termed a Malaysian student pass.
    • For the Malaysia visa application, students need to start off with the application process 3 months prior to the course commencement.
    • In most cases, the Malaysia visa application is taken care of by the University of the student itself, though there are other ways as well.

    Malaysia student Visa validity: 12 months

    Malaysian Student Visa renewal: 6 weeks before the visa expiry date

    Guidelines For International Students Travelling To Malaysia

    According to the Ministry of Security Cluster, Malaysia students who have already received the offer letter from schools and universities and meet the eligibility criteria were allowed to entry from January 1, 2021. Though restrictions are in place for students from UK considering the new strain of the COVID-19 virus. 

    • International students aiming to study in Malayasia have to adhere to the standard operating procedure laid down by National Security Council.
    • Covid-10 test should be taken a maximum of three days prior to visiting Malaysia.
    • Must undergo Swab test after entering the country.
    • 10 days of quarantine is necessary at gazetted places by the government even if the test s negative.
    How to Apply for Visa in Malaysia

    How to Apply for Visa to Study in Malaysia?

    As per the institution type, students can apply for a visa in two ways:

    Apply for Study Visa in Malaysia Online:

    • Only students who have offer letters from Public Universities and Private Higher Education Institutions, can apply for a visa directly
    • Where to apply: Education Malaysia Website
    • Processing time: 14 days

    Apply for Study Visa in Malaysia through Institution

    • After submission of required documents and payment (varies for each institution), they will start the process to get the Visa Approval Letter (VAL) for the applicant
    • If applying for language and skill centers, it is mandatory to submit an application through the institution

    Malaysia Visa Fees

    • A personal bond fee to the institution. The fee varies from USD 48 – USD 480
    • Student Pass is USD 14 per year or part of the year.
    • Visa fee (varies according to the country of origin and does not exceed USD 12)
    Malaysia Student Pass Categories

    Malaysia Student Pass Categories

    Depending upon the institution of your choice, you will fall into different categories made by the Malaysian Immigration Department.

    Category How to apply?
    Foreigner in government/private schools Apply at the state immigration office via school For students coming in from People Republic of China (PRC), application to be submitted from the university directly to the student pass department of immigration headquarters at Putrajaya
    Foreigner at Public Higher Education Institutions Apply at state immigration office via institution Applicants from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan have to apply directly to the Department of Immigration headquarters in Putrajaya
    Foreigner at Private Higher Education Institutions/Training Centers Apply for Malaysia study visa online on the Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS) website via the institution
    Foreigner in language centers Apply via institution to Department of Immigration headquarters in Putrajaya
    Holder of dependent pass (Expatriate) Application to be submitted to Expatriate Service Division, Immigration Headquarters in Putrajaya, or at all relevant State Immigration Office
    Documents Required

    Documents Required for New Student Pass Application

    As per the norms laid out by Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS) the documents mentioned below are an absolute necessity on the off chance that you wish to study in Malaysia.

    • Passport size photographs with white background (35mm x 45 mm)
    • A copy of the passport: Passport data page which shows the candidate's names, face,s and essential details.
      • All pages with Visa information on them.
    • Offer letter: a copy of the offer letter or acceptance from the university or college you applied to.
    • Health declaration form
    • Academic Certificates and transcripts of studies previously undertaken
    • If a student I coming from a country with a high risk of yellow fever, necessary inoculations are required before coming to Malaysia.
    • Personal Bond: The immigration department requires all educational institutions in Malaysia to sign a personal bond on behalf of the candidate for a specified sum. Students have to lodge a specified amount for this purpose. 
    • No objection certificate (NOC) is required from students coming from Sudan whereas Letter of Eligibility from students of Iran. 
    • English Language requirement: When students apply for the Visa Approval Letter (VAL), students need to demonstrate their competency and efficiency in the English language. Exams for Studying in Malaysia are:
    Photo Guidelines

    Passport Photo Guidelines 

    To avoid any untoward issue with law enforcement officials, students applying for Malaysian Visa need to adhere to the guidelines. 

    • The photograph must be in color and identical and not black and white, against a white background.
    • Professionally taken against a white background with dimensions of 45 mm height and 35 mm width. 
    • Free from reflection or glare of spectacles, with modest clothing.
    • Digital enhancements are not acceptable and the photograph must be free from shadow and clearly visible. 
    • It should be taken with nothing covering the face, in sharp focus-free from redeye. 
    • When submitted manually the photograph must contain each person's full name on the back of each photograph. 
    Medical Screening Guidelines

    Medical Screening of International Students in Malaysia

    As there are costs involved when international students require health services. As medical insurance is compulsory for international students the costs are covered when one visits hospitals and clinics listed in the insurance plan. Most of the university campuses to have health centers that treat comm0on ailments. International aspirants applying for Visa to Study in Malayasia have to undergo the following medical screenings: 

    • New International Students: students have to attend the medical screening at a panel clinic within 7 days of arrival date.
    • International students applying for Visa Renewal: In such cases, students are not required to attend an in-country medical screening
    • International Students applying for Variation or Progression: Students applying for a change in course or institution or progressing to a higher level of education will be required to attend the in-country medical screening at an EMGS panel. This is to be done if the last medical screening was done 90 days prior. 

    Things to keep in mind before applying for Visa to study in Malaysia

    • For a few countries, yellow fever certificate is needed
    • Medical insurance is compulsory for students entering Malaysia
    • The medical examination needs to be conducted
    • Stick to application deadlines to study in Malaysia and apply for Visa to study in Malaysia at least 3 months before the commencement of study program.

    Students coming from UK, Japan, the US, Australia, South Korea, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Turkey do not have to submit their Medical Exam report. They can submit their Declaration of Health Status.  All Iranian students coming to Malaysia for study needs to submit a Letter of Eligibility (LOE) which they can obtain from their respective institution.

    Perks are given to Student Pass holder

    • Students pursuing their masters and Ph.D. in Malaysia are allowed to bring their dependents.
    • Dependents only include: Spouse, children, mother, and father
    • Documents required for a dependent pass:
    Form Imm. 38
    Form Imm. 55
    Copy of Student Pass holder passport
    Copies of dependents passport/documents
    Confirmation letter from universities/college
    Health insurance
    Proof of relationship (marriage certificate, birth certificate or letter from the embassy) certified by the embassy office)
    Any other relevant documents
    • Student Pass holders and their dependents will get a Multiple Entry Visa (MEV) during the course of study to go to the home country and then return.
    • VOAS (Visa on arrival for students) is given by the Immigration Department of Malaysia for students coming from specific countries.
    Fees for Malaysian Visa

    Student Visa Fees for Malaysia

    Student Visa application for Malaysia fees differs as per course type and type of institution for which the student is seeking to enroll. Moreover, medical insurance is a compulsory aspect of any student visa application. In addition to Visa, students in Malaysia are required to obtain an I-Kad which is the official Malaysian identity card. Below tabulated is the fee for Visa to study in Malaysia as per course and institute. It is to be noted that the medical insurance fee is not included in the same: 

    Type of Malaysian Institute Type of Course Fee
    Private Higher Education Institute New Application RM 1.560
    New Application for Short Course RM 1,060
    Private Education Institute New Application RM 1,060
    New Application for Short Course RM 810
    International Accreditation Centers New Application RM 1,060
    New Application for Short Course RM 810
    Public Higher Education Institute New Application RM 1,560
    New Application for Short Course RM 810

    Explore Scholarships for International Students in Malaysia

    Reasons for Student Pass Rejection

    Reasons for Malaysian Student Pass Rejection

    The acceptance rate of Visa to study in Malaysia is 90% which is much higher than countries like the USA and UK. This is one of the reasons why many international students prefer Malaysia as their study abroad destination. Even though the country is extremely popular amongst international students and more than 100000 students flock in each year to study, the Malaysian Immigration Department may reject a student pass application on the grounds of:

    • Insufficient funds in the bank
    • Invalid Letter of Recommendation
    • False documents
    • Criminal history
    • Documents in the regional language
    • Unsatisfactory academic records
    • Inconsistent program choices
    • Bad language/communication skills

    Note: Students can request the reason for rejection and they will be sent a letter along with the reasons for rejection.

    Unlike another study abroad destinations like the USA or UK whose visa application processes feel like a burden, entering Malaysia is pretty uncomplicated. Mostly, student pass applications are accepted in Malaysia. There have been very few cases where a student pass application was rejected. If a student is planning to study in Malaysia, he should know that getting a Malaysian student visa is not as difficult as it seems to be.


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