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New entry requirements for foreign visitors to Malaysia: Malaysia Digital Arrival Card (MDAC) implementation

Starting 1 December 2023, all foreign arrivals in Malaysia must complete the Malaysia Digital Arrival Card (MDAC) online three days prior, per the country’s Immigration Department.

This initiative aims to optimize immigration clearance, benefitting both travelers and authorities for increased efficiency.



MALAYSIA: Effective 1 December 2023, all foreigners entering Malaysia are required to complete the Malaysia Digital Arrival Card (MDAC) online three days before their arrival, according to an announcement by the Immigration Department of Malaysia.

The MDAC aims to streamline the immigration clearance process and enhance efficiency for both travellers and authorities.

In a series of announcements on its official Facebook page, the Immigration Department highlighted key details of the new entry requirement.

The MDAC must be submitted online, and the form includes essential information such as the traveller’s name, nationality, passport details, email address, and mobile phone number.

Additionally, individuals must specify their date of arrival, date of departure, mode of transport (air, land, or sea), and last port of embarkation.

While the MDAC is mandatory for most travellers, there are exceptions for three categories of individuals.

Those transiting or transferring through Singapore without seeking immigration clearance, Malaysian permanent residents, and Malaysian Automated Clearance System (MACS) holders are exempt from the MDAC submission requirement.

Registration and submission for the MDAC are available on the Immigration Department’s website at

Automated immigration clearance for eligible visitors from ten countries

Visitors from ten specified countries—Australia, Brunei, Germany, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the United States, and the United Kingdom—enjoy an added benefit.

If they meet specific conditions, such as submitting the MDAC three days before arrival, they are eligible to use auto gates for immigration clearance at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), Terminals 1 or 2.

To utilize the auto gates, visitors must present both their passports and the completed MDAC to the immigration officer upon arrival.

However, first-time visitors to Malaysia from the specified countries are not eligible to use the auto gates on their initial trip. They are required to submit the MDAC three days before arrival and enroll and verify their passports at the manual counter manned by Immigration personnel.

Once successfully enrolled, visitors can use the auto gates for subsequent arrivals and departures.

It’s important to note that MDAC submission remains a prerequisite for every visit, ensuring a systematic and secure entry process.

The MDAC website provides an infographic detailing the conditions for using auto gates, including the requirement for passports to have a validity period of six months or more.

The implementation of MDAC aligns with Malaysia’s commitment to embracing digital solutions for border control and ensuring a smooth entry process for international travellers.

In related news, Singapore discontinued the use of physical white arrival cards in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, marking a shift towards digital entry documentation.

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