Immigrate to Malaysia from South Africa

Updated on Saturday 11th December 2021

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Citizens from South Africa can enter Malaysia without a visa if they intend to stay in the country for no more than 90 days. If relocation enters the discussion, the immigration rules change for South Africans, a matter where you can discuss with our Malaysian lawyers. The same specialists can help foreigners start a business and relocate to Malaysia.

Entry requirements for South Africans in Malaysia

As mentioned above, nationals from South Africa do not need a visa to enter Malaysia. However, the Malaysian authorities require a valid passport for at least 6 months in order to enter this country. In the case of visa for Malaysia and South Africans who intend to stay more than just 90 days in this country, a visitor visa with single or multiple entries is required. Here are the requirements for a visitor or business visa for Malaysia:
  • One must present a valid passport for at least 6 months.
  • A visa application form needs to be completed with personal information.
  • The immigration authorities in Malaysia ask for a letter of invitation that shows the purpose of the visit.
  • South African citizens must provide financial information for the entire stay.
  • Proof of accommodation in Malaysia is needed.
The formalities for work visas can be handled by our Malaysian lawyers, in collaboration with the company that hires nationals from South Africa. The employment contract is an important part of the work visa application, alongside a letter of invitation. You can discuss all the legal aspects with one of our attorneys in Malaysia if you intend to immigrate to Malaysia from South Africa.

Can I apply for a student visa for Malaysia?

Yes, South Africans can apply for a student visa for Malaysia, and the first thing to consider in this matter is to obtain approval from the Malaysian Immigration Department Director General. This approval is the Travel Authorization Form and can be obtained with other documents stating that you intend to study in Malaysia. Complete legal advice, in this case, can be offered by one of our Malaysian lawyers, so make sure you get in touch with our specialists if you intend to relocate to Malaysia for study purposes.

Types of visas for Malaysia

Visas for tourism purposes, study, conferences, family visits, to join a spouse, for medical purposes, voluntary activities, research, and sports events are available in Malaysia. These types of visas can be valid for 90 days or less, depending on the length of stay. In case of a prolonged stay in Malaysia, a residence permit is required, and South African citizens must register with the local authorities at the time of the arrival in the country. If you want to know more about visas and about how to move to Malaysia, give us a call.

Temporary residence permits in Malaysia

The temporary residence permits in Malaysia are issued in accordance with the purpose of the stay. As such, one can apply for a study permit, business permit, intra-company transfer work permit, exceptional skills work permit, relative’s permit, or medical permit. The basic requirements and more can be discussed with our Malaysian immigration lawyers specialized in immigration, with the mention that South African citizens might need to attend an interview with the Consulate. They can help you move to Malaysia from South Africa.

Is company relocation possible in Malaysia?

Yes, South African company owners can consider relocating the business to Malaysia, with respect to the applicable laws. First of all, the de-registration of the company in the home country is required, and in terms of documents, the declaration mentioning the relocation is required, signed by the owners and administrators. Then, if the relocation is approved, and if the company is registered in Malaysia, the movable assets can be relocated. The entire relocation process of a company in Malaysia requires comprehensive attention, especially related to the required documents for company incorporation in this country.
Here are some facts and figures about the population and immigration in Malaysia:
  • Nearly 3.43 million immigrants were registered in Malaysia in 2019.
  • Most immigrants in Malaysia come from Indonesia.
  • According to, around 32.61 million people live in Malaysia.
  • Malaysia represents around 0.42% of the total population of the world.
  • More than 78% of the Malaysian population is urban.
If you would like to immigrate to Malaysia from South Africa, you can contact our law firm in Malaysia and ask for legal assistance. We have experience in a wide range of immigration matters and we can help you obtain the needed visa, plus the residence permit.