Malaysia’s entry requirements stipulate that German citizens can stay in the country for up to three months without a visa. The entry requirements of Malaysia allow you to easily enter with a German passport and stay in the Southeast Asian country for up to three months. 

It is recommended to be able to present a place of residence and a return ticket – but this is not necessarily a requirement for entry.

Separate rules apply to the state of Sarawak in the north of the island of Borneo. You will receive a total of 30 days for this region to fully relax between jungle worlds and beaches.

What do you need to enter Malaysia?

You need a valid passport to enter Malaysia. The paper should be valid for at least six months after your stay. You also need enough free pages. A temporary document is not accepted by the border authorities. In the past, there were also rejections due to damaged passports – for example with torn pages or a worn cover.

Most regions of Malaysia do not require a visa. You can stay on the mainland for up to three months. You will receive a stamp and a migration card in the passport upon arrival. The latest departure date is set here. 

Sometimes it is required to prove the willingness to return by means of an air ticket. Sometimes you can just say that you want to travel to neighbouring countries like Indonesia or Thailand by train or bus. Special entry requirements for Malaysia apply to the state of Sarawak in northern Borneo.

Upon arrival, you will receive a visa that is only valid for 30 days. This period is completely sufficient to explore the famous volcanoes of Borneo, the jungle world and the colourful diving areas. 

Since 2011, you have to expect to have your fingerprints taken on entry. As a rule, only the index fingers are recorded, which are then added to the register of the Malaysian border authorities. Children under the age of twelve are exempt from this rule. 

With the three-month residence permit, it is not possible to work on site. Anyone who violates this can expect high penalties. Visa that is valid for more than three months must be purchased at the Malaysian embassy or one of the consulates before starting your trip. In some cases, extensive evidence of the reasons for such a long stay is required – for example, employment contracts.

What are the important customs regulations in Malaysia?

It is particularly important to observe criminal law regulations upon entry. As soon as you cross the border, you will receive a paper informing you that the death penalty can be imposed on drug trafficking. The possession of the smallest quantities is already considered a trade.

Accordingly, you should definitely refrain from importing narcotics into Malaysia from abroad. This is particularly the case at the border between Thailand and Malaysia. 

If you carry medication – especially psychoactive substances – with you, you should have a doctor’s international certificate issued as a precaution.

As a rule, it is sufficient to be able to present the document in English. Additional restrictions apply to the importation of pornography, weapons and ammunition. Homosexual acts are prohibited by law in Malaysia, but there are not always consequences for foreign visitors. However, same-sex couples should preferably not show any signs of affection in public. 

You can bring up to 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars to Malaysia for your own use.

Alternatively, 225g tobacco is allowed. Alcoholic beverages are limited to 1l, regardless of whether it is beer, wine or high-proof spirits. Gifts may not exceed a value of 200MYR, equivalent to around € 40. All cash with an equivalent value of over USD 10,000 must be declared to customs without asking. 

The import of milk and meat products is prohibited to prevent the spread of animal diseases. When importing and exporting leather and animal products, please pay attention to the international animal and species protection regulations. In particular, goods made from elephants, crocodiles and snakes can be confiscated on the border with Malaysia. 

In reality, the provisions are rarely enforced – quite in contrast to Germany. On the return journey with animal products, especially leather goods, ivory and snakes soaked in alcohol, there are considerable penalties and confiscation of the prohibited goods.

Important information for the return journey

When returning to Europe, you should consider the travel allowances on products bought in Malaysia. This is € 430 for sea and air travel. Be sure to keep the receipt with you, as the price of the goods is otherwise estimated by German customs. With a value of up to € 700, import fees of 17.5% of the purchase price apply. 

Caution is required with branded goods that are often counterfeited in Southeast Asia. Importing copied Rolex watches or Armani clothing can cause significant customs problems. For luxury goods, the travel allowance on the return trip is 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g tobacco, 1l of high-proof spirits with more than 22% by volume or 2l of low-alcoholics. In addition, 16 litres of beer and 4 litres of wine are allowed.

What medical advice should you pay attention to?

The Robert Koch Institute in Berlin and the Federal Foreign Office recommend refreshing all standard vaccinations before starting your trip. In addition, it makes sense to be immunized against polio, hepatitis A and typhoid. If you stay longer in Malaysia and plan trips to remote regions, you should also prevent hepatitis B, rabies and Japanese encephalitis.

If you have a rabies vaccination and are bitten on the spot by a free-range, conspicuous animal, you should still visit a hospital or a doctor. Vaccination should be given within the next three days. Without a previous rabies injection, care is necessary within a few hours. 

In Malaysia, you should minimize contact with stray dogs and monkeys if possible. You can get the vaccinations at your local travel centre or from a trained tropical doctor. You should definitely consult with him.

According to the entry requirements for Malaysia, there are no specific vaccination regulations. Proof of a yellow fever vaccination is required on arrival from risk countries. Most regions of Malaysia are at risk of mosquito-borne diseases. The risk of contracting malaria is limited to some areas, such as Sabah and Sarawak. 

On the mainland, the coastal regions and especially the major cities are malaria-free. Depending on your travel planning, you should choose chemoprophylaxis or a stand-by medication. The latter is only used in the event of an infection and is advisable if you are not planning any off-road and hiking tours in remote risk regions. Be sure to seek advice from a tropical doctor in this regard. 

No prophylaxis against dengue, chikungunya and the Zika virus is available. To prevent infection, you should wear long-sleeved clothing day and night. Sleep under an impregnated mosquito net. It also makes sense to apply repellents, i.e. insect repellent sprays, to skin and clothing.

Safe on-site: medical care and preventive care

In Malaysia, you should follow some basic rules that will benefit your health. Only drink water from tightly closed bottles. Tap water may trigger diarrhoea. It is also important to clean food thoroughly, peel fruit and boil products. On the island of Tioman, you should avoid eating raw or undercooked meat entirely.

Sarcocystosis has been an infection in the past. Avian flu and other forms of influenza can occur periodically in poultry markets. Accordingly, you should avoid contact with the animals. Keeping an eye on the current news situation on the topic is also helpful. 

In the Kuala Lumpur area, there is always smog-like air pollution, the so-called haze. This is mainly caused by forest fires in the area and accumulates in the city centre. The authorities regularly publish a report on the current situation.

If there are high levels of pollutants in the air, you should stay in the hotel room as a precaution, leave Kuala Lumpur or wear a protective mask. The fine substance particles are particularly sensitive to the elderly, people with lung diseases, asthmatics, allergy sufferers and children. The equipment of the hospitals and medical practices is particularly well equipped in the large cities of western Malaysia, i.e. on the peninsula. 

The best medical care can be found in the capital, Kuala Lumpur. Furthermore, in Malacca, Johor and Terengganu expect excellent medical standards. Well-trained doctors also practice in large holiday resorts, for example on the island of Penang.

In emergencies, it also makes sense to travel to highly developed Singapore. In rural areas, and particularly in Borneo, the supply is much worse. You will find only a few clinics here. English is rarely spoken. It makes sense to take a well-stocked first-aid kit with antipyretic and analgesic medication. 

However, many internationally available pharmaceuticals are readily available in the cities. You should definitely take out travel health insurance before you travel. This also applies to medical treatments in Malaysia for a certain period of time.

As a rule, the costs in state hospitals are mostly covered. In most cases, you will have to make advance payments first and get them reimbursed later by your insurance company after presenting the invoices. Often the return transport to Germany is included in travel insurance. Get specific advice and choose the right product for your vacation in Malaysia.

You can enter the mainland of Malaysia with a passport that is valid for six weeks after your stay. You can stay in the country for up to three months without a visa. For the state of Sarawak, Malaysia’s entry requirements require a visa, which you can obtain at the border crossing. This applies to 30 days.

The entry procedure is done comparatively quickly. In most cases, the fingerprints are recorded and registered by the border authorities. In the end, you will receive a stamp in the passport.