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No US Travel Visa for Malaysians


You may have already heard about this or may not but in 18 months or somewhere late 2017 or even early 2018, Malaysians may not need a travel visa to visit the US or the United States of America. 

This news comes after the Malaysian Immigration Department has been actively working to upgrade its systems to comply with US guidelines and the visa-free travel to the USA program is expected to be completed by late 2017.

This news was also officially announced by the Home Minister of Malaysia - Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

No US Travel Visa for Malaysians

With no US visa required for Malaysian travellers, Malaysia will be the 38th country where its citizens would not need to apply for a tourist visa to the US for visits of 90 days (3 Months) or less.

The home minister also highlighted that the process to ensure this will take around 18 months as of June 2016 but the main issue is complying with the strict US immigration guidelines and if everything moves smoothly, the process could even be done in a shorter time than planned. 

One of the main areas that need to be improved lies in the Advanced Passengers Screening System (APSS) which requires a scanner for all travelling documents.

The minister has also mentioned that this visa-free process will initially start with government officials travelling, and the next stage is for the business travellers while the final stage will be the general tourist to the USA.

Disney World in Florida, one of the most popular tourist attractions here - Image from xtns.org
The United States has been one of the preferred travel destinations for Malaysians, especially for the long year-end holidays but the strict visa application has made it less attractive and with the news that there may be no US travel visa for Malaysians in 2017, this will definitely open up the interest for Malaysian to visit the USA. 

Popular tourist destinations in America for Malaysians include Florida in the East Coast USA as there is the Walt Disney World, Magic Kingdom, Sea World Orlando, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Universal Orlando and the world-famous Epcot Center to name a few. Florida and Orlando provide the ultimate adventure for family travellers from Malaysia. More info from Visit Florida.

The famous Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles - Image from Dimitry Rogozhin (Wikipedia)
Another popular destination in the US for Malaysians is also the West Coast USA where Los Angles and Las Vegas are located at.

These cities attract all kinds of travellers with its amazing wide variety of entertainment, lifestyle and adventure.

Los Angeles or LA would be the main port of entry where visitors can find top tourist spots of Santa Monica, Hollywood, Universal Studios and an amazing selection of entertainment and nightlife. Get more info from Discover Los Angeles.

Las Vegas City - Image from WalpaperStone
Over in Las Vegas which is a five-hour drive from Los Angeles, visitors will experience the Californian countryside before entering one of the most amazing cities in the world.

At Las Vegas, endless entertainment awaits all kinds of travellers, not forgetting the world-class casinos, theme parks and attractions. More info on Visit Las Vegas

One of the things that most Malaysian travellers to the US will do is rent a car in Los Angeles and drive to Las Vegas to overnight there for a day or two before heading to San Francisco on an eight-hour road trip and spending a couple of days there before heading back to LA.

This way, you get to see three main areas on the West Coast USA in a week which is what travellers want.

Along the way, you see the beautiful Nevada desert, and some travellers even make a photo stop at the Hoover Dam which is only a 45-minute drive from Las Vegas.

Hoover Dam, one of the must-visit places in Nevada - Image from Wikipedia
For Malaysians planning to visit the US, you can get more information from the official US Embassy Malaysia Website as everything you need to know is found there, from Visa Application, Jobs in the US, Studying in the US and so on.

For your added information, the US Embassy in Malaysia is also located along Jalan Tun Razak in Kuala Lumpur.

Conclusion

With the announcement of the visa-free entry to the US for Malaysian, there will be much interest in travelling to the USA among Malaysians.

This will also be popular during the Matta Fair where many travellers will start to inquire about Matta travel packages to the United States and this would most definitely increase tourism arrivals to America from Malaysia.

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5 Comments

Princess said…
Visa free process will initially start with government officials traveling, and the next stage is for the business travelers while the final stage will be the general tourist to the USA.
Anonymous said…
This is not true. Malaysia still must meet requirements other than APSS before it qualifies for the U.S. Visa Waiver Program. There is no way to know whether it will meet the requirements of the program within 18 months.

More important that that, if Malaysia does meet the requirements, they will be met for all Malaysians. Preferential treatment will not be given to government officials or business travelers over Malaysian citizens.
Anonymous said…
。U.S.Visa Waiver Program requirements APSS what's the meaning of it.please describe
Ovide said…
Soooo, what will happen to entering the visa-waiver program with the new Trump administration, and with the #MuslimBan, considering 60% of Malaysians are Muslim? Malaysia can meet all the technical requirements it can, but it cannot (and should not) change the religion of the majority of its population. Until it is true, I would not bet on Malaysia entering the visa-waiver program (unless of course the Malaysian government promises to promote visiting the Trump Hotel in Las Vegas among its citizens ;-) ).
Anonymous said…
It's not APSS.

It's APIS standing for Advanced Passenger Information System, whereby the traveller must key in everything about his passports and pre-travel authorisation prior to entering the United States (current practise).

If and when US becomes visa-free for Malaysian, then what we need to do is complete the ESTA prior to travel (passing ESTA Electronic System for Travel Authorisation is mandatory). It is similarly what Singaporeans need to do to enter US , or something that we are familiar with - Malaysian need an ETA to enter Australia. It is not a visa, rather a travel authorisation.

Visa free does not mean guaranteed entry. You can still be denied entry, or banned.