1. Studying in Malaysia

International students must have at least twelve (12) years of education and have undergone a national/international examination recognized by the Ministry of Education for the purpose of admission to diploma or degree programmes.

Tuition fees will depend on the programme and the institution that you choose. Please use our cost calculator to estimate the costs.

For more information regarding the cost of education in Malaysia, please click Here.

For detailed information, please liaise directly with the institutions you are considering.

  • English is widely uses, most of courses are being teach in English.

All international students studying at public or private higher education institutions are allowed to work part-time for a maximum of 20 hours per week ONLY during semester breaks or holidays of more than 7 days at restaurants, petrol kiosks, mini markets and hotels as long as their student passes remain valid. Please note that prior approval from the Department of Immigration is required.

International students are NOT permitted to work as cashiers. In addition, in the hotel sector, international students are NOT allowed to work as singers, masseurs, musicians or GROs (Guest Relation Officers). International students are not allowed to engage in any job or activity deemed to be immoral.

Applications to work part time must be made through the educational institution at which the international students are enrolled. The international student needs to be present with the representative of the education institution at the Immigration Department of Malaysia in order to submit an application for part time work.

You will need to check with the college/university that has accepted you as a student on this matter. The Malaysian government also offers scholarship opportunities to talented students. For further information on these scholarships, you can refer to this link: https://biasiswa.mohe.gov.my/INTER/

Under current rules, except for mobility programmes, international students can only enrol for full-time courses. However, your actual schedule depends your academic course. Students often find ample time in between lectures and coursework to pursue hobbies and other interests.

Travels are quick and easy, so going on a short holiday is a luxury everyone can afford. In between studies, students can also work part-time when they are on a semester break or holiday period of more than 7 days. You can read more on working part-time while studying here.

No, you are only allowed to study one full-time degree at any one time.

You can read here for more information.

2. Living in Malaysia

Whether you choose to live on campus or off-campus, you will find that it is quite possible to live very comfortably within a budget of USD 5,000 per year

We have international offices and international student associations at each university that will support them in adjusting their new life in Malaysia. These include advice and support on financial, safety, finding accommodation etc.

Being very close to the equator, Malaysia has warm, tropical climate with a little bit of sprinkle all year round. Sometimes the monsoon winds bring heavy downpour that is vital to keep the forests nourished, air clean and fresh, and power our agriculture and industry. To escape the heat, locals sometimes head over to the highlands like Genting Highlands in Peninsular Malaysia or Kundasang in Borneo. Otherwise, escaping to the beach is also a popular option where the breeze cools you down while enjoying chilled coconut water.

Yes, once you get your student pass you can open a bank account.

3. Student Pass Application

Yes, this is a mandatory requirement under the laws and regulations of the Government of Malaysia.

Depending on your Institution type, you will have two options to do this:

  • i. Apply for your Visa online.
    Students who have received offer letters from Public Universities and Private Higher Education Institutions (IPTS) only will have the option to apply for their student Visa directly through the Education Malaysia website.
  • ii. Apply for your visa through your Institution.
    The application can also be done through the institution. Once you submit the payment and all required documents to the institution, they will begin the process of applying for your Visa Approval Letter (VAL).Student applying for language centres and skill centres will have to submit application via the institution.

Generally, education institutions have different intake dates for various courses/programmes. Kindly refer to your institution for information pertaining to intake dates, recommended application submission dates, fees as well as document requirements.

Refunds are only processed under certain conditions. Please refer to our Refund policy for more details.

Please submit a police report immediately. You will then be required to submit a copy of the police report to your institution and inform them to apply for a new iKad. Please note that there will be a fee charged for the issuance of a new iKad.

You can track your application status on our website to check whether EMGS has received your passport. You can also download the EMGS mobile app to your mobile phone in order to get automatic notifications.

4. Visa Approval Letter & Student Pass

A visa is required to gain entry into Malaysia. Some countries are exempted from this requirement. Please check with the nearest Malaysian Embassy/Mission.

It should take 14 working days upon receipt of a complete application and payment. Since the Visa Approval Letter (VAL) is issued by the Immigration Department, the 14 working days is at the discretion of the Immigration Department.

To obtain an entry visa, you are required to visit the nearest Malaysian Embassy in your home country along with

  • your offer letter from the Malaysian education institution
  • the Visa Approval Letter issued by the Immigration Department of Malaysia
  • all other relevant documents and forms duly completed
  • payment as outlined by the Malaysian Embassy for the application of an entry visa.

You will need to liaise directly with your university for the submission of a complete set of documents. Should you decide to make an online application on the website, you will be able to upload your

  • Offer Letter
  • Passport Pages
  • Passport photo
  • Academic Transcripts
  • Medical Examination Report

There are 2 payment options

  • Through your education institution: Contact your institution to advice on the correct way to send the payment to them in order for the payment to be made to EMGS.
  • Online payment using a Visa or MasterCard on the educationmalaysia.gov.my website. Please note that if you select this payment method, there will be a 3% Convenience Fee added to the total amount requested for your application. Online payment method is only applicable for students enrolling in Public or Private Universities and have made an online application via EMGS website.


Please make sure that if you are applying online, you obtain advice from your institution about the correct selection for the following items;

  • Type of Insurance
  • iKad delivery method
  • EMGS Endorsement or Self Endorsement
  • VAL delivery method
  • Institution Name and Campus


Please use our cost calculator to estimate the costs

A student pass is a multiple entry visa which gives you permission to remain in Malaysia for the purposes of study at an approved institution on an approved course.

For students who are making new applications to Public & Private Higher Education institutions -, students have the option to apply for a Student Pass that covers the entire duration of their course (subject to sufficient passport validity). For Renewal applications, the student pass will be issued on an annual basis. When making an application, it is recommended that the passport validity should be [duration sought + 12 months].

For students enrolling in Language Schools and Skills Training Centres, the Department of Immigration issues Student Passes for a maximum of 12 months or, if the course duration is less than 12 months the Pass will be for the duration of the course.

A MEV is issued to allow you to make any number of journeys / entries into Malaysia.

Yes, you will be required to submit a security bond deposit known as a “personal bond”. Please note that this amount is set by the Government and varies depending on your country of origin. This fee is paid to your educational institution as a form of security. EMGS does not collect this amount, however, we do require a form from your institution showing that the amount has been paid to them. Please contact your college/university for further details.

This depends upon the Malaysian Embassy in your home country. However, it typically does not take more than 3 working days.

Once you arrive in Malaysia, you will be required to attend post arrival medical screening within 7 days. Your institution will accept your passport for the purposes of arranging for the student pass/sticker endorsement. From the day your passport is submitted at our front desk, the process should take 14 working days. Please note that this timeline is at the discretion of the Immigration Department.

You are required to communicate with your institution to clear your overstay at the Malaysian Immigration Department. Penalty fees may apply, and these fees are at the discretion of the Immigration Department. Subsequently, you will need to apply for a special pass to ensure that you have a valid pass throughout your stay in Malaysia.

You are only required to submit your passport once you are in Malaysia. EMGS will only accept passport submissions from education institutions. Once you arrive in Malaysia, please submit your passport to your institution. Kindly ensure that you have a valid pass that allows you to remain in Malaysia while we process the endorsement of your Student Pass.

Please communicate with your previous institution to request for a cancellation of your previous application.

Yes, you are required to apply for a student pass. Students are only permitted to study in Malaysia if they are holding a valid student pass. You can request your institution to apply for an extension (renewal) of the student pass to cover the remaining period.

No, you are not required to exit the country; however you are required to shorten the pass and apply for a special pass.

Please check your pass and see if you are exempted from the student pass requirement. If not, you are required to apply for a student pass. Kindly contact the Immigration Department for further information.

It is mandatory for all international students to enter Malaysia before the expiry of the VAL since the VAL is issued with six (6) months validity, which is sufficient for international students to enter the country. Even if you have obtained a valid Single-Entry Visa (SEV) but entered Malaysia after the expiry date of the VAL the Malaysian Immigration Department may not proceed with the student pass endorsement.


In this situation that your VAL is expired, the Immigration Department does not extend the validity of the VAL. As such, you are required to apply for a new VAL prior to your entry into Malaysia. Kindly contact your institution to cancel the expired VAL and request EMGS to close the current application and submit a new application for VAL.

We only accept cancelation requests from institutions. Please contact your institution to request further assistance.

An eVAL is an Electronic Visa Approval Letter which will be issued as a soft copy through the EMGS system instead of a physical VAL. The eVAL can be emailed to the student as a PDF or downloaded through the “Track application” page in the website; so students no longer need to wait for the VAL to be posted to them by their institution.

The eVAL is available for all students applying to study in Malaysia at Public (Universiti Awam – IPTA) and Private Institutions (Institut Pengajian Tinggi Swasta – IPTS), Colleges, Language Schools as well as Skills Training Centres.

Once your student pass has been endorsed on your passport, you will be issued with an i-Kad, a biometric residence permit which bears your photo and other information to verify your identity. A valid i-Kad is the only substitute identification document for foreign nationals recognised by the Department of Immigration in Peninsular Malaysia and MUST BE KEPT WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES. With an i-Kad, your passport can now be kept away at a secure place. However, i-Kad is not a replacement document for international travel or travel in East Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak).

5. Social Pass

No, this is not permitted. International students are only permitted to study full time courses in Malaysia with a valid student pass issued by the Immigration Department.

If you enter Malaysia with a social pass, you will be asked to exit Malaysia and re-enter with a Visa Approval Letter.

It is not recommended for you to stay in Malaysia under a Social Pass while you are waiting for your Visa Approval Letter. This may cause delays in your Visa processing.

It is not recommended for students to be in Malaysia on a Social Pass during the VAL application process. If your social pass expires while you are in Malaysia, EMGS cannot process a special pass for you. We can only process a Special Pass for students if their Student Pass expires.

If you are on a Social Pass and are planning to obtain a Student Pass, you will be asked to exit Malaysia once your Visa Approval Letter is issued. You can then re-enter Malaysia with your Visa Approval Letter and Single Entry Visa (if an SEV is required for your country).

6. Medical Screening

Medical screening is a health check that consists of a general examination by the examining doctor, blood and urine tests as well as a chest x-ray examination.

A medical examination is required for all international students before arrival into Malaysia with the exception of students who are enrolling into Public Universities.

In addition, a Post arrival medical examination is mandatory for international students and you are required to attend and complete the medical examination at EMGS’s approved panel of clinics/hospitals within 7 days from your date of entry into Malaysia. Students enrolling into Malaysia Public Universities can attend the medical screening at clinics located in their universities.

It is a mandatory requirement from the Government of Malaysia to protect the health of Malaysian residents and to reduce the potential burden on the public health service in Malaysia. The Ministry of Education (MOE) has laid down criteria for the assessment of the health condition of international students which must be complied with. The criteria does allow for students to appeal a failed result.

If you fail to attend a Malaysian medical examination within the timeline stipulated by EMGS, your student pass application will be cancelled and no student pass will be issued.

After arriving in Malaysia, you should contact an EMGS appointed panel clinic to make an appointment. You are required to bring along a copy of your passport to the panel clinic for medical screening.


The examining doctor will request that you sign a consent letter before starting the medical examination. Blood and urine specimens will be taken from you at the panel clinic and in the event that the panel clinic has no x-ray facility, you will be directed to proceed to an x-ray centre within the same day for a chest x-ray to be taken.


The examining doctor at the panel clinic shall assess and conclude whether or not you are suitable to remain in Malaysia based on MOE criteria.


Please note that EMGS staff are not permitted to discuss the outcome of your medical screening or your appeal as this information is confidential. All related clarification shall be sought directly from the examining doctor at the panel clinic.

A full list of clinics is available Here.

An appeal must be made at the same panel clinic you visited previously for medical screening. This should be done within 7 days of receipt of the notification that you have failed your medical screening.


You may make an appeal by visiting the panel clinic and submit the duly completed Appeal Letter to the examining doctor. The examining doctor shall provide clarification as to the confirmatory tests required. All costs relating to the appeal shall be borne by you and are directly payable to the panel clinic. The panel clinic will submit the Appeal Letter to EMGS. There are no fees payable to EMGS for your appeal process.


The result of the confirmatory tests will be sent directly to EMGS by the panel clinic and reviewed by the EMGS Appeal Committee. The decision of the Appeal Committee is final and there is no further right of appeal if you are unsuccessful.


In the event that your appeal is unsuccessful, EMGS will proceed with the pass cancellation process. Any immigration fees paid to EMGS will be refunded and any insurance premium for the remaining insured period from the date of pass cancellation will be refunded, provided no insurance claims have been made. Refunds will be made through your education institution and you will be notified of the sum refunded.

Pre- VAL Medical Screening is a series of medical tests required to be performed by students prior to arrival at Malaysia. This test is needed as a means to ensure that the students are fit to study in Malaysia.

Yes, you may proceed to perform your pre-VAL medical screening in Malaysia. If you choose to have your pre-VAL medical screening done in Malaysia, EMGS will only accept medical reports for screening done at an EMGS registered clinic.

Yes. The final decision relating to your medical status still depends on the result obtained from our panel clinic in Malaysia.

EMGS offers insurances from AXA and AIA. If your institution has purchased insurance from us, please click Here for more information on the package selected and the list of panel clinics/hospitals under each insurance providers.

If you attend the Medical Screening at any of our overseas EMGS registered clinics, EMGS does not require you to submit any documents since your medical result will automatically be updated onto our system.

The Medical Screening results are valid for 180 days from the date of the medical screening.

If you are under treatment for a particular disease, the doctor examining you at the time of EMGS medical screening will assess the severity of your medical condition and decide on your suitability to study in Malaysia based on the criteria set by Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE).

7. Pass Renewal/Shortening/ After Degree Completion

You will need to surrender your original passport to the education institution. They will then organize for your pass to be shortened by the Department of Immigration. You can also shorten your student pass through EMGS and It should take approximately 5 working days to process. Please note that this is at the discretion of the Immigration Department.

You will need to get your student pass transferred to the new passport. Please contact your institution to make the necessary arrangements for the transfer of your student pass.

A student pass renewal application must be submitted by the educational institution to EMGS no later than 6 weeks prior to the current pass expiry date.

The validity of a student pass is twelve months otherwise it will be issued for the duration of the duration of the programme, if the duration is less than twelve months.

If you need to extend your student pass then you must make an application for renewal to EMGS via your institution. Please ensure you apply with sufficient time for processing. It is highly recommended that you submit your application at least 6 weeks before the Student Pass expiry date. You may be required to submit supporting documentation or an explanation letter if the extension period you request exceeds the duration of the course you are studying.

It should take 14 working days upon receipt of a complete application and payment, provided all the EMGS requirements are met within the stipulated timelines. Since the student pass is issued by the Immigration Department, the 14 working days is at the discretion of the Immigration Department.

Yes, however your current student pass would need to be cancelled by the Immigration Department of Malaysia. A release letter from the existing institution and an offer letter from the new institution would have to be submitted in order to process a new student pass application. You will then have to regard this application as a new application for study in Malaysia and make the appropriate application through the new education institution to EMGS. An explanation letter will be required and the final decision to approve the application is at the discretion of Immigration.

In the event that your new application is within six (6) months of your previous application, you will not be required to obtain a fresh Malaysian medical screening report. In case of doubt, your existing Malaysian medical screening report shall not be dated more than 180 days from the date of your new application.

You may apply for a shorter extension. Please note that you will need to apply for a new passport and transfer your student pass to the new passport before you can renew the student pass again. In order to transfer the Student Pass, your institution will be required to submit an application to EMGS. A fee will apply for transferring a student pass.

You are required to liaise with your institution to clear your overstay at the Department of Immigration and apply for a special pass.

EMGS accepts your passport 3 months prior to expiry of your student pass.

8. Dependant Pass

You are allowed to bring your dependants only if you are studying full time in Malaysia on a course/programme that is more than twelve (12) months long. Approval of your dependant pass application is at the discretion of the Immigration Department of Malaysia.

Please note that EMGS will process dependant passes for students enrolled in Public and Private Universities only. Postgraduate students from all countries are eligible to apply for a dependant pass. With regard to undergraduate students, students from 17 countries are eligible to apply for a dependant pass. Please find the complete list HERE. Please notify your university if you intend to bring your dependants since the application will be made through your institution.

Your parents, spouse and your children can be your dependants.

The dependant pass application should be made through your education institution. The student pass application will be made through EMGS and the dependant pass process can only commence once the Principal’s student pass has been issued. You need to submit a separate application for each dependant.

The processing fee for a dependant pass application is RM 250. The dependant pass fee is RM90 and the Multiple Entry Visa fee varies depending on the nationality of the applicant. A Journey Performed Fee of RM500 is also applicable.

9. Change Of Course Or University

If you wish to transfer to another education institution, you will need:

  • a release letter from the current college/university and
  • an offer letter from the new college/univers

These documents are required to support your application for a new student pass sponsored by the new college/university. Your current college/university will arrange for your existing pass to be shortened prior to the issuance of the release letter. You are allowed to change university or course only twice.

The student pass is not transferable to the new institution. This means that you have to apply for a new student pass.

A ‘variation’ application is any application where a student wants to change a course or institution while at the same level of study (e.g. Bachelor’s/Masters/Phd). A variation is different from a progression application in that it happens before the student completes their current programme of study. Applications for a higher level of studies upon completion of the current studies are known as ‘progression’ applications.

Please refer to the institution for further information – adding or dropping classes does not always mean a change of course. If it does then the institution will refer to EMGS on your behalf.

A student is allowed to change a university or course twice. A 3rd application by the student would be rejected.

You are required to obtain an offer letter from the new institution/faculty; and a release letter from the previous institution/faculty. The new institution/faculty will then submit these and other application documents to EMGS.


Please note that you need to shorten the current student pass and apply for a Visa Approval Letter (VAL) under the new institution/faculty. For the complete document checklist, please click HERE.

The requirement to leave the country depends on the type of the pass you are holding at the time of application, as well as the type of institution you are transferring to or from. For further clarification please contact us via email or call.

A release letter is required for all international students applying to change institute.

Please refer to the Enforcement Division Department of Higher Education (Bahagian Penguatkuasaan Dan Inspektoran Jabatan Pengajian Tinggi) to obtain a supporting letter.

10. Document Checklist

You are not required to submit your resume as it is not part of the EMGS checklist. Please click HERE to find the document checklist

If your application has been created through your institution, you will need to submit the additional required documents to them before they can proceed to submit it to EMGS.

However, if your application is made online directly by yourself through Education Malaysia website, you can submit the additional required documents directly to EMGS through additionaldoc@emgs.com.my

EMGS will only accept additional documents from the e-mail address registered under the student’s application or from the institution’s email address. Any other e-mail addresses used to send additional documents will not be entertained.

11. Single Entry Visa (SEV) Requirements

This information is available on the EMGS website

Please refer to the link below;


Applicants are required to obtain a Single Entry Visa (SEV) from their home country. In the event that they plan to obtain the SEV from a country other than their home country, they need to provide a document to show that they hold a long term pass in that country.

Kindly refer to the Immigration Department’s website for the SEV requirement by country. If your country is on the list of countries which require an SEV to enter Malaysia, you can obtain the SEV from any neighbouring country.


The process is the same as when you receive a physical VAL. You should print your eVAL and submit it together with other required documents to the Malaysian Embassy/Mission from where you will be applying for an SEV.

The document requirements may vary between different Malaysian Embassies. Please contact the Malaysian Embassy for the exact requirements and procedures.

12. VAL Cancellation / Amendment Process

Kindly liaise with your previous institution and request that they cancel your active pass with EMGS or directly at the Immigration Department.

Even though the VAL has expired, it is still active in the Immigration system. As such you are required to liaise with your institution and request that they cancel the expired VAL.

You need to obtain a police report and liaise with your institution for further assistance.

The process is the same as when you receive a physical VAL. You should print your eVAL and submit it together with other required documents to the Malaysian Embassy/Mission from where you will be applying for an SEV.

The document requirements may vary between different Malaysian Embassies. Please contact the Malaysian Embassy for the exact requirements and procedures.

13. Special Pass

Please contact your institution and request that they apply for an overstay Special Pass for you.

The new institution is required to apply for the Special Pass for you.

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Sarah Azreen Abdul Samat

Sarah has over 22 years of experience in corporate finance transactions involving equity issuance, mergers and acquisitions, fundraising, corporate restructuring, and corporate valuation, amongst others. She began her career in investment banking with Malaysian International Merchant Bankers Berhad in 2001 after obtaining her professional qualifications from PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Later in her career, she joined other investment banking institutions in Malaysia such as AmInvestment Bank Berhad, Maybank Investment Bank Berhad and RHB Investment Bank Berhad.

Presently, Sarah sits as Non-Independent Non-Executive Director of Reneuco Berhad and Independent Director of Pharmaniaga Berhad. She is currently the Executive Director of 3p Capital Advisers Sdn. Bhd., a company licensed with the Securities Commission Malaysia to provide advisory services to the capital market players.

Tuan Haji Ismail Bin Mohamed

Tuan Haji Ismail Mohamed sits on the Board of Director for Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS). He obtains his Bachelor Degree in Business Administration from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).

Prior to sitting on the EMGS Board, he was also appointed to be the Board of Director to KEJORA from 2013 to 2018, and several companies such as Permodalan Darul Takzim Sdn Bhd, Perbadanan Usahawan Johor Sdn Bhd, PIJ Holding and Ranhil SAJ Sdn Bhd. Tuan Haji Ismail Mohamed also co-founded Pertama.

He started his career by setting up a company and being the founder of JYBB Enterprise. His career came to prominence when he became the co-founder and the Chief Executive Officer of Pertama Polyerethane Technology (M) Sdn Bhd and subsequently became the Special Officer to the Minister of Education in 2013.

Ismail Mohamed is acknowledged for his expertise in Agriculture and Agro-based industry, landing him being appointed as the Chairman of the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Committee of the Johor State, the Chairman of Agro KEJORA and the Chairman of the Johor State Agriculture, Agro-based industry, Entrepreneurial Development and Cooperatives Committee.