E-visas now available for business travelers

19 Jun 17

MALAYSIA

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Malaysia’s e-visa program is now available for business travelers. The program covers nationals of 10 countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Montenegro, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Serbia and Sri Lanka.

What does the change mean? E-visas are valid for a single entry for 30 days. While they may be used for business purposes, travelers are advised that because the change is recent, there may be some uncertainty. Therefore, they should continue to apply for consular visas unless they are traveling on an urgent basis.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: E-visas.
  • Who is affected: Nationals of the 10 countries covered by Malaysia’s e-visa program.
  • Business impact: Business travelers may use the e-visa for limited business activities.
  • Next steps: The e-visa application is online. Those applying for a business e-visa must select “e-VISA”not “e-NTRI,” which is only for tourists.

Background: Recently, Malaysia confirmed that e-visas may be used by business travelers. Permitted activities on a business e-visa, as with a consular business visa, are limited to:

  • Visiting a current project site or factory floor for informational purposes with no hands-on work.
  • Attending contract discussions.
  • Attending seminars.
  • Auditing company accounts.
  • Journalism.
  • Factory inspections.
  • Carrying out investment opportunity surveys.
  • Sport competitions.

BAL Analysis: E-visas are often subject to greater scrutiny at Malaysia’s entry ports, and because the business e-visa is a recent change, applicants are advised that the safest option is to apply for a consular visa if possible and apply for an e-visa only for urgent travel.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Malaysia. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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