When you are preparing to move to another country, it can seem like a daunting task. As an international student who is about to travel to Malaysia, you will have many questions. To ensure that your arrival in Malaysia as an international student is smooth and hassle-free, we have created this guide to help you understand the essential steps you will need to go through, the documents you need to prepare and the necessary approvals that you must have. Our admission advisors will help you each and every step of the way and ensure that your arrival in Malaysia is smooth and easy.
Student Visa Approval
Before you arrive in Malaysia as an international student and start university, you must apply for and receive approval for a student visa from the Malaysian Immigration Department. Until your visa application has been approved, you should not make any arrangements to enter Malaysia. The Immigration Department of Malaysia is responsible for issuing and extending entrance visas and establishing immigration regulations. Visa approvals are not automatic and strict criteria must be met; there are also distinct criteria for various nationalities.
The application for your student visa processing and approval must be applied in Malaysia. Your admissions advisor will guide you on the documentation procedures and all the necessary steps that you have to undertake from your side. The entire application processing will essentially be done from within Malaysia. You must prepare some Visa documentation and send it to your advisor directly. The student Visa is processed in Malaysia by two governmental bodies. The first is EMGS, Education Malaysia Global Services, and the second is the Department of Immigration Malaysia.
Both departments will review the Student application and, upon meeting all the requirements, will issue the approval letters. So as an international student, you will receive two approval letters, the first one will be the EMGS approval letter, and the second one will be the Visa Approval Letter.
If you want to know more about the Student Visa application procedures, you can read our complete Guide For International Student Admissions in Malaysia.
When your student visa application is successful, you will receive the Visa approval letter on your registered email address from your advisor. The E-Visa approval letter is valid for six months from the date of issue. That basically means that you will have six months from the date of approval to enter Malaysia.
Please note that the approval letter is connected with your specific program and the university. If you decide to change your program or the university, you must reapply for the Student Visa.
Ideally, you must enter as soon as possible after receiving your approval letter to avoid any issues. If you have to delay your arrival due to any scenario, you must discuss it with your advisor or the university first to ensure it does not create any issues.
Single Entry Visa
After receiving your E-visa approval letter, the next step for you is to collect the Single Entry Visa. If your country is listed in the Single Entry Visa required list, you must collect an entry visa before you travel to Malaysia. You can check the details on the EMGS website here. Alternatively, contacting your advisor or the Malaysian embassy is also advised to re-confirm before travelling to Malaysia.
This application for a Single Entry Visa can be made via two pathways. You can either visit your nearest Malaysian embassy and apply for the entry visa there, or you can apply for it online at the Malaysian Visa website here.
Generally, the required documents will be the same for both options. If you have applied at the embassy, your Visa will be issued on your passport booklet directly. On the other hand, if you apply via the website, you will receive the Visa approval to your email address. You must take a printout of the Visa approval and carry it with you when you travel to Malaysia.
Do note that the single entry visa is not your final student visa. This Visa essentially allows a student who is travelling for the first time to Malaysia to join their university to enter the country. Once you have arrived, you will need to complete the post-arrival processing, after which you will need to submit your passport to your university administration department. They will submit it for further processing so that a multiple entry visa sticker is issued on your passport. For the first year, the validity of the multiple entry visa will be for one year. The student Visa will be renewed on a yearly basis, subject to guidelines.
Notify The University
Once you get your eVAL and Single Entry Visa, you can get ready to fly to Malaysia. The next step is to confirm your flight and communicate your travel plans to the university to ensure a timely airport pickup. Your next major task will be to begin making arrangements for your trip, and one of the most crucial things to do is to gather the paperwork you’ll need to pass through immigration when you arrive in Malaysia. Before leaving, you must ensure you have all the essential documents and items with you.
We’ve made the following list of things to check off to help you prepare for the important paperwork.
Pack Your Bags
You should now have completed all necessary paperwork and documentation. The next order of business is bag packing. As an international student, travelling to a new country on your own is one of the most thrilling experiences a person can have. So, before you start packing, consider some of the following advice that will come in handy after you arrive in Malaysia.
The Malaysian Ringgit, abbreviated MYR or RM, is the monetary unit of Malaysia. The Ringgit currency consists of RM100, RM50, RM20, RM10, RM5, RM1, 50 sen (cent) coins, 20 sen, 10 sen, and 5 sen coins. It would be best to have sufficient finances to cover your expenses for at least the first two months of your study.
For instance, you should carry around RM 1,000 in cash. As an international student travelling to Malaysia, you are encouraged not to carry a large amount of money with you in cash. To avoid carrying significant amounts of money, we recommend that you either get a traveller’s card and load funds into that or carry a credit card so that in case you require access to additional funds, you can easily get access to that.
Once your post-arrival processing has been completed, you will be able to open a bank account in Malaysia. Until then, you can utilise either cash or a card that you carry with you when travelling to Malaysia.
What To Pack
Moving to a new country for university means packing more than you would for a trip. A persistent worry is never feeling confident that you’ve thought of everything and won’t forget something. Because each airline has policies on what passengers may and cannot bring on board, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the terminal’s baggage restrictions before leaving for the airport. Making sure you haven’t packed anything that could set off alarms during security checks can make your journey smoother.
Clothes: The environment in Malaysia is generally warm and humid throughout the year. It would be best to carry t-shirts, jeans, sandals, or flip-flops. Due to the air conditioning in malls and classrooms, you should pack a sweatshirt or cardigan for indoor use. Please note that while most universities allow a casual dress code, it is best always to double-check your university’s official dress code to help you prepare accordingly.
Other Equipment: The University does not provide cooking utensils, bedding, or blankets with on-campus or off-campus accommodation. You may choose to bring some of these items with you. You can also find these items in various Kuala Lumpur outlets or purchase inexpensive used home items from recent graduates. Shopping in Malaysia is convenient, and you will easily find daily usage and home items from malls and hypermarkets.
Note: The voltage used in Malaysia is 230/240 volts -50hz.
Arriving In Malaysia
Upon arrival at the airport, you must locate the immigration area and, if necessary, approach a uniformed member of airport personnel for assistance. A member of the University staff will be there to assist you with immigration clearance.
Make sure all the necessary paperwork you are required to present at the immigration counter is readily available so you can submit it when requested.
When you arrive at the airport, you will be able to connect with the free Wi-Fi.
You will also be able to purchase a Sim card from the airport. Once you have collected your baggage and exited the customs area, you will see a number of kiosks where you can purchase an activated Sim card. You will need to provide them with your passport and buy a mobile internet plan on the spot. The kiosk staff will help you activate your number. Make sure you have some cash available to pay for the Sim Card and mobile internet.
Universities will usually offer airport pick-up service for new international students arriving in Malaysia for the first time. This service will transport students to either the campus or campus-arranged accommodation. You must notify your advisor and your university with the complete arrival information by completing the airport arrival form and submitting it seven (7) days before your arrival in Malaysia. It is necessary to provide advance notice of your arrival to ensure that a member of the university’s staff comes on time to meet you at the airport.
When you arrive, go to the International Office, and they will direct you to check in to your university accommodation. Proof of accommodation fee payment is required upon check-in. Alternatively, pay in cash when checking in. Collect your keys, a checklist and a form. Go through the checklist when you enter your room. Inspect your room/flat/house to ensure everything is in order.
Make sure to read the terms, rules and regulations in the form. Take time to settle into your accommodation and ensure everything is in order per your requirement and agreement with the university.
After you’ve checked into your apartment, you should go to your university’s international office. The staff at the International Office will help you update your information in their system. Here are three essential things to do when you go to your university’s international office:
Medical Checkup: Once you get to your university’s international office, the staff will help you get a post-arrival medical exam at a panel clinic within seven (7) days. Please note that this is a crucial step for your student visa endorsement.
Check with your university to find out when you need to bring your original passport to get the student pass endorsement.
Once you have completed your medical checkup, you will need to visit the university and submit your passport to complete the Visa endorsement process. The immigration department in Malaysia will add your student visa sticker to your passport. While your passport is with immigration, your university will provide you with a receipt mentioning you are a student and other critical personal information. You must keep the receipt with you at all times, e.g. even when you plan to go around the city, as the receipt acts as proof of your identification and purpose of living in Malaysia.
Induction or orientation refers to the week before the commencement of classes at a university or college. One of the essential aims of orientation is for new students to learn about the academic programmes, student life, etc., at their university. The first step in making a successful adjustment to student life on campus is participating in Orientation Week. To make sure you get the most out of your time at orientation, your university will provide a variety of fun and informative activities. To get you comfortable with your new environment and off to a good start as a student.
Entering a foreign culture that is potentially very different from your own can generate nervousness. Still, it is essential to realise that you are not alone. Malaysia attracts students from all around the world. That means there will be a lot of fresh faces in the classroom, representing a wide range of cultures and worldviews. In the end, this is a great way to get to know your fellow students and learn about other cultures and societies. You’ll get the chance to mingle with your fellow college students and faculty members. As an international student, you will also meet the international office, administration, and other relevant staff members who will play essential roles in your academic and personal development throughout your journey in Malaysia.
You’ll find out about the rules and regulations of your university and the guidelines that international students must follow. Several discussions or lectures covering the university’s regulations will likely be held during orientation. There is a lot of vital information to be covered at the orientation.
You will also be able to collect your identity cards during orientation week. Your student ID has your full name, passport number, the programme of study, unique ID number, and the date it will expire. Your student ID gives you access to, e.g. computer labs, library, printing services, entering classroom or auditorium etc. You must carry your student ID with you at all times while on campus.
Prepare For Classes
Once you’re done with registration and orientation, you should be able to sign in to your university’s computer system and learning portal. Everything you need to know about your programme, from the schedule and fees to the professors and forthcoming events, can be found in one convenient online location. It would be best if you now began familiarising yourself with your schedule and classroom location, as well as the computing, printing, library and other campus facilities. Get to know your assigned professor and the head of the course you’ve signed up for. As you get ready to start your studies, getting to know your classmates, professors, and instructors is a good idea.
Good time management at university or college could consist of little more than sticking to a morning and evening routine and seizing whatever opportunities present themselves throughout the day. Control over time allows you to organise your day, semester, or academic year according to your goals. Developing practical time management skills can be significantly aided by keeping a journal. In addition, it is the ideal way to prepare for the future. Also, taking small steps to manage your time can help you form good habits that will help you stay focused on your goal of studying abroad.