With the technology advancement, hunting for budget-friendly air tickets and accommodations becomes friendlier; those internet-savvy generations are prone to mining free air tickets or promotions but this does not only stop at the younger consumers, even the retirees are excited about travelling. With the availability and easily-access airports in Malaysia, the citizens of Malaysia can now easily travel to any destinations provided that the Visa (authorization granted by a specific country to enter, stay and leave the country) is readily obtained.
While Malaysian Passport is ranked the 5th most powerful type of Passport in the world (reference: The Passport Index) with visa-free access and visa on arrival access close to 180 countries, there is a list of countries that require visa for Malaysians to access to. But how would you know if the destination that you are travelling to is a Visa-free country or require a specific type of visa?
I recently stumbled upon Traveloka's Travel Visa Guide For Malaysians 2018 and it has all the information required for a globe-trotter. Traveloka is user-friendly website for frequent fliers to mine value-for-money air tickets, accommodations as well as tickets/access to attractions/ activities. The website filters and compares the prices of the air tickets and its travel route options for users; providing the most convenient and cheapest way for travelers to book airline tickets online.
On the Visa Guide, it is so comprehensive that it listed down the types of visa, documents required for visa application and visa-free countries for Malaysians with detailed information such as visa type and the stay-validity (in days). Countries are categorized into continents for easy search.
In the article, it also provides great information on the top 5 popular destinations for that require visa for Malaysians- China, Australia, India, United States and Canada. This visa guide answers questions such as How To Apply For Australian Visa, the branches in Malaysia which you can visit to apply for a visa and many more. While some countries allow online visa application, some do not and would require a physical visit to their visa centers. Not only does the article share on the exact locations of the visa centers, they do advise on the opening hours, documents, costs, visa-processing time required as well as some pro tips just in case you are not aware of them.
Chinese Visa Application Service Center at Georgetown
Starting with China’s visa application, though you may fill in the form online, you are still required to visit their office for the rest of the process. There are 2 offices in Malaysia, 1 in central Kuala Lumpur and the other 1 is in the heart of Georgetown. Depending on the visa that you are applying, it typically costs between RM100 to RM400 and would take a little less than two week to process the application. After reading Traveloka's Visa Guide for Malaysian 2018, I have personally made a trip to the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre in central Georgetown. The officer informed that the application would typically take less than two weeks to approve but subject to the application volume and true enough (as shared on Traveloka’s article), it is best that you apply a month earlier. Another tip to add on… bring along your travel tickets to substantiate your visa application.
Application for Australia Visa is easier and more user-friendly for most Malaysians… you can either visit the Australia Visa Application Centre or apply directly online via Electronic Travel Authority. The online application process is simple and direct… by keying in most personal and travel information, you will be granted the 12-month travel visa (after making payment). The application results will then be informed shortly after you have submitted your application.
Visa application varies for different countries, for India visa application, you would have to fill in the forms online before visiting the visa application center to complete the application process. There are strict requirements for the Passport-sized photos, so do check out Traveloka's Visa Guide for Malaysians 2018 for the detailed information. On top of that, it is also another requirement that applicants must produce return flight tickets to India.
The application for USA visa is probably the toughest with the most application steps to complete. But Traveloka's Visa Guide for Malaysians 2018 have them clearly explained. Applicants must first submit their visa application form online then set up an appointment with the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. Applicants are then required to attend a short interview with the officer. From personal experience, the officers would want to know two things- why are you visiting the USA and when do you intend to return from the USA.
On the contrary, application for Canada’s visa is more simplified as compared to its neighboring country; applicants may apply directly online for Electronic Travel Authority if previously held a Canadian visitor visa in the past 10 years but if this is your first application, then you must apply the visa at the Canada Visa Application Center in central Kuala Lumpur. Worth mentioning is that application for Canadian visitor visa would require collection of biometric data. Find out more detailed information on Traveloka's Visa Guide for Malaysians 2018.