The process of applying to enter Malaysia as an international student is simple. You will join more than 122,000 other international students from 160 countries . The popularity of Malaysia as a higher education destination continues to climb steadily as the country offers an increasing variety of high quality courses at it universities and colleges.

According to the United Nations Educational, Science and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Malaysia is among the most preferred tertiary education countries among international students. UNESCO's International Students Mobility Survey 2014 ranked Malaysia as the 12th most preferred education destination in the world.


The Process of Becoming an International Student in Malaysia

Now that you are considering becoming an international student in Malaysia’s higher education institutions, you may be wondering where to begin in applying to study in this country. The chart below outlines the steps involved in preparing you to become an international student in Malaysia. There is no centralised system for international student application. As such, you’ll need to apply directly to the higher education institution(s) you are considering. For where and what to study in Malaysia, is a great place to start in exploring your options.

Good To Know:

  • At present, there are over 500 private higher educational institutions approved by the Ministry of Higher Education in Malaysia but only about 200 of these institutions are given permission by the Ministry of Home Affairs (in Malay: Kementerian Dalam Negeri Malaysia) to recruit international students. Do make sure that the institution you’re interested in is authorised to enrol international students like you.

  • All 20 public universities in Malaysia are allowed to recruit international students although not all programmes are open to international students.

  • International students are allowed to pursue only full-time courses at public or private higher educational institutions (such as universities and colleges) as well as private educational institutions (such as international schools, skills training providers and language centres).

  • Before applying for a course, you should consult the student counsellors or representatives of the institution on the most current list of programmes offered and its entry requirements (including English proficiency). 

  • All foreigners who wish to study in Malaysia at any level of education in Malaysia are required to have a student pass from the Department of Immigration Malaysia.

  • Make sure that you’re able to finance the entire duration of your studies in Malaysia. Part-time work is limited to 20 hours per week during semester breaks.

  • It is possible to work after graduation under a new immigration policy. Graduates in critical and high technology areas can obtain employment pass for a period not exceeding two years (please refer to Immigration Department for more information) .


Study Abroad and Processes in Becoming an International Student in Malaysia

1. Identify your reasons to study abroad.

2. Identify the right institution and course; find out if you meet the admission requirements; search our website for more information.

3. Submit application to study forms, relevant documents and application fee directly to selected institutions.

4. Application to institutions is either accepted or rejected. Successful candidates will receive letter of offer from institution(s).

5. Decide on the best offer if you have received more than one offer. Accept the offer and pay the relevant fees.

6. Find out from your institution the requirements for application of Student Pass and Entry Visa. You can also log onto Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS) website for more details.

7. Applying for a Malaysian Student Pass/Visa - the education institution will apply for a student pass (Visa Approval Letter, VAL) for you while you remain in your country. Alternatively, you can apply your student pass online via EMGS website.

8. Once you receive the VAL (your institution will send to you by post), you can prepare to come to Malaysia. However, you need to check with the Malaysia embassy/consulate in your home country on the visa requirements to enter Malaysia. If you are from a ‘visa-required’ country, you’ll need to apply for a Single Entry Visa to enter Malaysia.

9. Ensure you have all the necessary documents such as a valid passport, VAL, single entry visa (if applicable) and funds, and prepare to come to Malaysia.

10. Meet your institution's representative at airport's immigration check point to help you for custom clearance.

11. Enrol at the institution.


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