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Is the Singapore Visa Free for Malaysians?

Goh Jun Cheng

Introduction

Singapore and Malaysia have had a long history of close ties and open borders. With Singapore’s rapid development and reputation as an international hub for business and tourism, many Malaysians look to visit the city-state for various purposes.

A common question asked is whether Malaysians can enter Singapore without a visa. In this blog post, we will examine the visa requirements and procedures for Malaysians looking to travel to Singapore.

Visa-Free Entry for Short Trips

Eligibility

The good news is that Malaysian citizens are able to enter Singapore without a visa for social, business, or tourist purposes as long as they fulfill certain eligibility criteria:

  • Possess a valid Malaysian passport
  • Intend to stay for less than 90 days
  • Have a return ticket or proof of onward travel
  • Have sufficient funds for the duration of stay

As long as these conditions are met, Malaysia passport holders can enter Singapore freely through land checkpoints like the Causeway and Second Link, as well as by air.

Duration of Stay

While visa-free entry allows Malaysians to stay in Singapore for up to 90 days, the permitted length of stay is ultimately determined by Singapore immigration officers. They will assess the validity of travel documents and may request proof of onward travel or funds. The standard duration of stay granted is usually 30 days.

Those who need to extend their stay beyond 30 days must apply for a visa. Overstaying without a valid visa is considered a punishable offense.

Restrictions

It should be noted that visa-free entry only applies if the purpose of travel is social, business, or tourist-related. Those intending to work or study in Singapore must apply for the appropriate work passes or student visas even if their stay is under 90 days.

The visa-free facility also does not allow engagement in any activities that may be deemed as paid work. Business travelers attending meetings, for example, must still have the proper documents like Employment Passes.

Long-Term Visas

For Malaysians looking to live, work, or study in Singapore for over 90 days, they will need to obtain the appropriate long-term passes:

Employment Pass

The Employment Pass is for foreign professionals working in managerial, executive, or specialized jobs. The requirements include a minimum salary threshold, qualifications, and professional experience. It is renewable subject to conditions.

S Pass

The S Pass targets mid-level skilled staff. Applicants must meet salary, qualification, skill, and work experience criteria based on a scoring system. It requires a local sponsoring company.

EntrePass

The EntrePass is for eligible foreign entrepreneurs wanting to start and operate a business in Singapore. Applicants must meet paid-up capital, shareholding, and management criteria.

Training Employment Pass

The Training Employment Pass allows workers to undergo attachments, internships, or skills training at Singapore-based companies. Applicants must secure a sponsoring company to provide the training program.

Student Pass

Foreign students pursuing full-time studies at approved Singapore schools and institutes must obtain a Student Pass with their admission letters.

Application Process

Applying for the appropriate long-term passes must be done prior to arrival in Singapore through approved channels. The processing time ranges from 1 week to several months depending on the pass type:

  • Employment passes are applied through the hiring company. Supporting documents like qualifications, resumes, and salaries are required.
  • EntrePass and Training Employment Pass applications must be submitted online along with business plans and supporting documents.
  • Student passes are applied by the school via a system linked to the immigration authority. Students must work with their school’s international student office.

Applicants will undergo further screening and interviews before the pass is approved. Those already in Singapore on social visit passes generally cannot convert to long-term passes without leaving the country first.

Conclusion

Malaysians can enter Singapore without a visa for short visits under 90 days for tourism or social purposes. Longer stays will require applying for appropriate work, business, or student passes before entering Singapore, which can be a lengthy process. Malaysians should plan their trips accordingly and apply for visas early if needed.

References

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore. “Visa Requirements for Malaysians.” https://www.mfa.gov.sg/countries-regions/m/malaysia/visa-requirements-for-malaysians

Immigration & Checkpoints Authority of Singapore. “Passes for Malaysians.” https://www.ica.gov.sg/enter-depart/passes-for-malaysians

Government of Singapore. “Long-term Passes.” https://www.gov.sg/citizen/employment/long-term-passes

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