Visa & i-Kad

Visa & i-Kad



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).


  • Language school students will receive a student pass last for 6 months, renewable thereafter.
  • For certain courses and selected universities, you will receive a visa for the entire duration of your studies, provided that passport validity, insurance coverage and other documents are in order.
  • For other applicants, you will receive a 1-year visa which will require renewal thereafter. Click here to check how to renew your students pass.
  • MYR 1,060 (approximately USD 240) non-refundable visa processing fee, although selected institutions are entitled to rebates.
  • MYR 579 for subsequent document processing, refundable in the event of an unsuccessful application.
  • You will be required to subscribe to a medical insurance plan. For more information about the insurance plans available, click here.
  • You can also calculate your full costs here
  • The entire processing time is about 3 -4 weeks.
  • You can work up to 20 hours a week during school breaks of 8 days or more.
  • Travel around Malaysia.
  • You can rent or purchase a house or a car.
  • You cannot take up a gainful employment or business venture full-time.
  • You cannot take out a loan or have access to public funds.


Age Requirement

Candidates applying for language institutes must be between 18 to 35 years of age as of the date of application. Candidates applying to other higher education institutions are not subjected to any age limit. If you are unsure, do contact us here for more information.

Health Screening

To ensure you have a clean bill of health, you will be required to undergo a pre-arrival medical screening and have the doctor complete the medical screening forms in order to confirm your eligibility to apply for a visa approval letter (VAL) towards obtaining a student pass.

For certain countries (please see the chart for more details), this must be done by one of EMGS-approved clinics who will submit the report directly to EMGS.

Those in other countries can submit all documents together with their visa application. This should include all relevant lab reports and chest X-ray report, all of which must be in English.

Please find below a flowchart on what health screening documents you are required to submit based on your nationality or country of residence.


  • EMGS recommends that all students attend the pre-arrival medical screening at a registered clinic overseas.
  • Students applying to public universities should contact their institution for instructions regarding the pre-arrival medical screening.
  • It is recommended that you receive all vaccinations as prescribed in your medical screening form before arriving in Malaysia.

Yellow Fever

You are required to submit a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate if you:

  • Are coming from a country with a risk of yellow fever transmission.
  • Have stayed in transit within these countries for more than 12 hours .

In addition, you will be required to provide your yellow fever vaccination booklet/card before you can clear Immigration at the port of entry.

Countries or areas denoted as ‘a risk of yellow fever transmission is present’, are defined by the World Health Organization as countries or areas where “yellow fever has been reported currently or in the past, plus vectors and where animal reservoirs currently exist”

English Proficiency Test

As most courses at Malaysian universities are conducted in English, you will need to be competent written and spoken English. English proficiency is therefore a prerequisite for university admission, and you should either meet the minimum passing grade for your applied course or at least IELTS 5.5, whichever is higher, or an equivalent grade with other English test providers.

When you apply for a Visa Approval Letter (VAL) you must demonstrate that you have the required English proficiency by submitting results of one of the following English language tests:

  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System),
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language),
  • PTE-A (Pearson Test of English – Academic),
  • CAE (Cambridge English: Advanced),
  • CPE (Cambridge English: Proficiency),
  • MUET (Malaysian University English Test)

To ensure that your VAL application is as smooth as possible, please ensure that your English proficiency test results are legible. Incomplete documents could delay your application. Failure to meet the required score might also affect your eligibility to receive a student pass for the full duration of your course.

Institution Offer Letter

A copy of offer letter from your higher education institution is required in order to apply for a visa to come to Malaysia. When making an online application, you will only be able to submit it once you have received a letter of acceptance or offer letter from your institution.

Special Clearance

No-Objection Certificate (Sudan)

No-objection certificate (NOC) is only required for students from Sudan. This document must be applied by the institution, and can only be collected from the Embassy of Sudan in Kuala Lumpur by the institution’s representatives.

Letter of Eligibility (Iran)

Letter of eligibility (LOE) is only required for students from Iran. The institution must apply for an LOE at the Embassy of Iran in Kuala Lumpur. Once the LOE application is approved, the embassy will provide the LOE to EMGS directly.

6 Steps to Study in Malaysia

Step 1


Processing Time: 14 business days from the date of submission

  • A student can initiate a visa application online with EMGS or delegate it to the university or an agent.
  • Please ensure that all remaining documents are in order.
  • Complete all relevant/remaining examinations and competency tests to ensure that you meet the eligibility or a Malaysian student visa.
  • Ensure your passport has at least 18 months of validity.
  • Factor in some time to go for your compulsory medical screening and prepare documents, medical reports or certificates to be uploaded with your application.
  • Provide information as accurately as possible.
  • You will be required to make an initial payment for visa processing (actual amount varies, please check the fee calculator below). Any unutilised amount will be refunded.
  • If your visa application is refused, you will be notified in writing.

For a complete list of all required documents, please click here.

Ensure all documents are updated according to the requirements which can be found here.

Calculate your application fees here.

Upload your passport photo here.

Find out more about medical insurance plans available here.

Basic document required:

  • Letter of offer
  • Academic results
  • Pre-arrival medical report
  • Passport pages
Step 2

Issuance of Visa Approval Letter (VAL)

Processing time: 14 business days from the date of submission

  • Electronic VAL will be issued by the Immigration Department of Malaysia for all approved applications.
  • Please keep both one printed and one soft copy of VAL accessible at all times as  this is the most important document during the whole process.
  • You can track your application status here.
  • If there were any issue, you can contact us to see if there is any way we can help to address the matter accordingly.
Step 3

Single Entry Visa (SEV)

Processing time: 1 to 3 weeks for hard copy, 48 hours for e-Visa

  • Individuals from qualifying countries can get visa-on-arrival (VOA) upon arrival at the Malaysian border.
  • Individuals from countries that require a pre-arrival visa must apply for a single entry visa (SEV) from their home country’s Malaysian embassy or consular office, or if a Malaysian mission is not present there, at the nearest neighbouring country.
  • Individuals from visa-required countries on the following list can apply for an e-Visa which takes 48 hours to process.
    • China
    • India
    • Sri Lanka
    • Nepal
    • Myanmar
    • Bangladesh
    • Pakistan
    • Bhutan
    • Serbia
    • Montenegro.

You can apply for an e-Visa anywhere around the world except from Malaysia and Singapore.

Apply for eVisa:

Step 4

Travelling to Malaysia

  • Individuals must present a valid passport with an appropriate length of validity, VAL and relevant paperwork at the immigration checkpoint at the Malaysian border.
  • It is compulsory to present a hardcopy of VAL at the immigration checkpoint in order to receive the correct visa-on-arrival (VOA) stamp.
  • If you are from non-qualifying countries, please present either the previously-obtained SEV or e-Visa together with VAL to avoid delay.


List of countries which can get a visa on arrival (selected Commonwealth countries):

Antigua & Bermuda Netherland, Australia, New Zealand, Bahamas Papua New Guinea, Barbados, Seychelles, Belize, Singapore, Botswana, Solomon Island, Brunei, South Africa, Canada, St Kitts & Nevis, Dominica, St Lucia, Fiji, St Marino, Gambia, St Vincent Grenadine, Grenada, Swaziland, Guyana, Switzerland, Ireland, Tanzania, Jamaica Tonga, Kenya Trinidad & Tobago, Kiribati, Gilbert Isl Tuvalu, Lesotho, Uganda, Liechtenstein, United Kingdom, Malawi, Vanuatu, Maldives, Western Samoa, Mauritius, Zaire, Namibia, Zambia, Nauru, Zimbabwe

Step 5

Registration at Institution

  • Check in with your international student office and make arrangements for accommodation if need be.
  • Look for a Point of Contact (POC) for the duration of your studies to ensure your documents are in order.
  • Keep your institution and EMGS informed of any changes to your address or emergency contacts.


Students must complete a medical screening within 7 days upon arrival in Malaysia at any EMGS-registered (panel) clinic.

Step 6

Issuance of Student Pass and i-Kad (Student Pass: 10 business days)

  • Make photocopies to ensure that all documents are recorded. It is also advisable to keep a soft copy at a secure place.
  • When receiving the Student Pass (sticker on passport) and i-Kad (foreign national identity card), please ensure that all your details and documents are in order before accepting as it will take a while to receive a new set.
  • For students who have received your i-Kad, you can safely lock up your passport as you can use your i-Kad as proof of identification and study.

i-Kad is an identity card for non-Malaysian citizens who have a valid resident status in Malaysia. It will only be issued upon the issuance of a student pass.

For more information, click here.

*Students are required to complete Step 4 to 6 within 1 month