Sunday , July 14 2024
You are here: Home / Study in Malaysia

Study in Malaysia

Malaysia Banner

1. Country Overview

1. Country Overview

Malaysia is a well developed economy offering a perfect blend of the eastern and western flavours of lifestyles. Compared to the other countries in the region and elsewhere, the cost of education for international students is kept at a minimum. There are plenty of jobs for international students. Under certain conditions, International Students are welcome to bring in their families to live with them in Malaysia as rents for all types of accommodations are budget-friendly. On the other hand, the rates of essential commodities are also kept in check by the Government with no frequent price hikes. Recent developments in tune with the Governments efforts at making Malaysia a truly meaningful hub of excellence for International Students has opened doors for major international universities, schools and colleges to open their off-shore branches in Malaysia.

The Government of Malaysia has also accordingly simplified entry procedures for International Students to either study in Malaysia’s reputed universities or to gain admission into the campus of reputed universities from the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and many more countries at a fraction of the cost of studying in these countries. Visas for students intending to study in Malaysia are also easy to obtain without facing inordinate delays, cumbersome procedures or paying huge tuition and other expenses.

2. Why Study in Malaysia?

2. Why Study in Malaysia?

Top reason to study in Malaysia

  • An international standard and high quality education, which is closely monitored by the Malaysian Education Ministries
  • Affordable fees and living expenses up to RM 45500
  • Foreign branch campuses of almost every major international university in the world operating in Malaysia.
  • Twining programme offered by such international universities in Malaysia partnering with universities from UK, USA, NZ, Australia etc.
  • Institutes like Nottingham University, Swinburne University of technology, Curtin University, AIMST University, etc., have their campuses in Malaysia.
  • Hassle free visa procedures
  • 50,000 international student population coming from 100 countries
  • International Student are allowed to work part time 20 hours per week
  • Geographically safe environment as Malaysia is not hampered by natural disasters.
  • Wide usage of English, which makes studying and living easy for students.
  • Over 700 private higher educational institutions and Universities in Malaysia.
  • Many American and British Universities have set up their campuses in Malaysia.
  • Malaysian as well as International Students are thus able to study in Malaysia at a much lower cost than studying in USA or UK.
  • All these foreign universities having their campuses and offering courses are approved by the Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia.
  • All courses approved by the country’s Ministry of Higher Education and as such stand approved by any other country’s Ministry of Higher Education world-wide

3. Malaysian Education System

3. Malaysian Education System

Categories of Educational Institutions Governed by the two Ministries in Malaysia:

At Pre-tertiary Level

Governing Authority: Ministry of Education

  • Government and Private Sector Kindergartens – follow the National Pre-school Curriculum
  • Government Schools – follow the Malaysian National Curriculum & National Examination
  • Government-aided Schools – follow the Malaysian National Curriculum & National Examination
  • Private Schools – follow the Malaysian National Curriculum & National Examination
  • Foreign System Schools – i.e. international schools and expatriate schools International schools follow an international curriculum and use English as its medium of instruction while expatriate schools follow the national educational system of other countries using the respective national language of these countries as the medium of instruction. These schools are not bound by the Education Act 1996 but are under the supervision of the Ministry of Education.

At Tertiary Level

Governing Authority: Ministry of Higher Education

  • Government-funded – public universities, polytechnics and colleges
  • Private Higher Educational Institutions (i.e. institutions not funded by government), which include:
    – non-university status institutions such as private colleges
    – university status institutions such as private universities
    – foreign university branch campuses e.g. Monash University Malaysia and The University of Nottingham

Malaysia Campus

4. Costs

4. Costs

Cost of Studies in Malaysia

Tuition fees per year

  • Under Graduate Studies: RM 35000 – RM 40000
  • Post Graduate Studies: RM 40000 – RM 50000
  • Research Studies: RM 58000 – RM 60000

Getting Scholarship & Grants

The Malaysian Government offers the following Scholarships to International Students:

  • MTCP Scholarship
  • MIS Scholarship for Undergraduate studies
  • MIS Scholarship for Postgraduate Studies
  • Commonwealth Scholarship

5. Student life in Malaysia

5. Student life in Malaysia


The different types of accommodation available in Malaysia located close to the Campus come at a budget that suits your pocket. Renting a room starts from RM180 (USD$60) a month. If you want to rent out a two or three bedroom apartment, you should expect the monthly rent to start from RM 2,000 (USD$650) onwards.

Buses, taxis, a commuter train system and a light rail transit (LRT) system are available, providing easy access to and from the city centre in Kuala Lumpur to other cities in Malaysia.

Travelling by Bus
Depending on the distance, travelling by bus could cost you between 80sen to RM3. Bus stops are very common and that there are many different bus routes. You might have to take more than one bus to get to your desired destination.


there are certain spots with taxi stands. Most taxis will stop at bus stops as well as by the side of the road. Taxis in Malaysia run on metres and the initial charge is RM3.00 upon boarding. It proves economical if three or more passengers go on board. Different charges apply at midnight.


Malaysia is well-connected via several rail lines such as the Monorail, Light-Rail Transit (LRT) and Commuter trains.

There are two different LRT lines:

  • Kelana Jaya Line and the Ampang Line
  • Both lines operate to different locations other than the interchange stations
  • Though these different lines operate separately, at certain interchange locations, the stops are next to each other.
  • Make sure of your destination before you board your rail
  • You will find feeder buses at some stations that rotate around the area of the station
  • The charges for using these feeder buses are separate from your rail fare

KTM Commuter Trains

  • These are very commonly used commuter trains that move within Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya ci
  • They also go further out to the other parts of the Klang Valley


Food and Cuisine

Malaysia being truly Asia offers a delightfully delicious selection of food and cuisine. The fare offered at a wide variety of eating outlets, features food from local Malay, Chinese and Indian cuisines to exotic imported flavours such as western, continental delicacies. Food from from the Middle East, Europe, and Asian countries such as Japan, Korea, Thailand and Taiwan is also available.

6. Application Procedure

6. Application Procedure


There are 3 intakes throughout the year but for university there is mainly one September intake.

Documents Required for Student Visa Application

  • Passport
  • Resume
  • SOP
  • Academic Transcript
  • Proof of English language
  • References
  • Application fees if any

7. Visa guideline

7. Visa guideline

Student Visa

The Malaysia Student Visa is designed for those international students who are neither a citizen of Malaysia nor a permanent resident of Malaysia. As per the Immigration Rules and Regulations of Malaysia, you, as an international student either full-time or foreign exchange student, are required to hold a valid Malaysia Student Pass and Visa to be eligible to pursue your education in Malaysia. To obtain your Malaysia Student Pass and Visa, the government agencies associated in Malaysia includes the Malaysian Immigration Department and the Diplomatic Mission in your country such as the Malaysia High Commission Consulate or Embassy.


Who grants approval in the selection of an Educational Institute to study in Malaysia?

International students who wish to pursue their education in Malaysia are only allowed to study at public or private higher educational institutions which are approved by The Ministry of Higher Education (in Malay: Kementerian Pengajian Tinggi Malaysia) which grants approval to institutions to conduct various courses, and, The Ministry of Home Affairs (in Malay: Kementerian Hal Ehwal Malaysia) which licenses approved institutions to recruit international students.

As an international student in Malaysia, you’ve a wide choice to select from over 400 private higher educational institutions. However, you should remember that out of these 400, only about 216 of these private higher educational institutions are authorized by the Immigration Department to recruit international students for tertiary education. All public universities can recruit international students.

Are Family Members of International Students Allowed to Stay in Malaysia?

Foreign students holding a Long Term Social Pass of 12 month’s duration or according to the duration of study (whichever comes first), are allowed to bring in their certain family members to Malaysia.

Such Family Members include:

Parents of students, spouses, children and parents of students (who come from middle-eastern countries), and spouses and children (immediate family members only) of those students who are pursuing postgraduate programmes.

How to Submit a Long Stay Application?

  • A Long Stay Application may be submitted to the nearest Malaysian Representative Office abroad, together with a copy of the student pass application.
  • For countries that do not have a Malaysian Representative Office, the applicant may enter Malaysia on a Social Visit Pass at the entry point. After entering, the student may then apply for an extension of stay at the State Immigration Office where the educational institution is located. However such an application needs to be made within one month from the date of entry of the student in Malaysia.


Documents Required for Submitting a Long Stay Application

  • Form Imm. 55
  • Form Imm. 38 (if applicable)
  • Photocopy of passport/travel document of student
  • Photocopy of passport / travel document of applicant(s)
  • Photocopy of passport / travel document of applicant(s)
  • A verification letter from the educational institution

General Information

Applications for Malaysia Student Passes for International Students are routed through their respective educational institutions in Malaysia.


Apply for your Malaysia Student Pass through an Institution BEFORE you Enter Malaysia

This process involves the following steps:


Step 1: The Malaysian institution of higher education which has offered you international a place to study at their institution will apply for the student pass on your behalf. Such an application will necessarily be made BEFORE prior you arrive in Malaysia to study.

Step 2:
Applications will be submitted by the respective higher educational institution to the Director of Pass & Permit Division, Malaysia Immigration Department Headquarters in Kuala Lumpur (e-Student Pass System). You do not need to apply directly to the Immigration Department under this procedure as your respective educational institution in Malaysia will take care of this issue.

Personal Bond Rates

Your respective higher educational institute while applying for your student pass is required to sign a Personal Bond prescribed under Regulation 18 of the Immigration Regulations 1963. This Bond acts as a guarantee that you the international will comply with the provisions of the ordinance and any regulations made there-under.

Table of Personal Bond* Fee

Country Fee (in RM)

Arab Saudi 1,500

Africa 1,500

British C.I. 1,500

Australia 1,500

Bangladesh 750

Brunei 1,500

China 1,500

Canada 2,000

Europe 1,500

Philippines 750

Germany 1,500

Hong Kong 1,000

India 750

Indonesia 500

Iran/Iraq 1,500

Japan 1,000

Macao 1,000

Myanmar 750

Nepal 750

Pakistan 750

Portugal C.I. 1,500

Singapore 200

S. Korea 1,000

Sri Lanka 750

Taiwan 750

Tunisia 1,500

UK 1,500

USA 2,000

Vietnam 1,500

Thailand 300

Bond Fees for all other countries: RM1,500


Note: As an international student, you’re required to pay the Personal Bond Fee to your respective educational institution. Fee is refundable upon completion of your studies.


Obtaining a Malaysia Student Pass – Required Documents

  • An offer letter or letter of acceptance from the educational institution
  • Student Pass Application Form (Imm.14) in duplicate
  • Two photocopies of the student’s passport/travel document (passport should be valid for at least 12 months)
  • Three passport-sized photographs of the student
  • One photocopy of the student’s medical health examination report
  • Evidence of student’s ability to finance cost of education
  • Personal Bond signed by the educational institution as prescribed under Regulation 18 of the Immigration Regulations 1963 (together with payment of the requisite Fee of the Personal Bond).

Step 3: As a prospective student, you’ll appropriately be informed of your application status by the Immigration Department in Malaysia through your respective educational institution within a period of 7 to 14 days after the application is submitted. The educational institution will send the approval letter while you’re still in your own home country. You should however, have an approved student pass before entering Malaysia.


Step 4: Once your application to obtain a Malaysia Student Pass is approved, you’ll be granted a Student Pass approval, allowing you direct entry into Malaysia.

Step 5: Before leaving your home country for Malaysia, you must inform your respective educational institution of your port of entry (airport), flight number, arrival date and time.


Step 6: Once you arrive at the airport in Malaysia, a representative from the educational institution will receive you at the immigration check-point, and thereafter, a visa will be issued at the entry point in the form of an endorsement on your valid national passport. A Special Pass will be issued at the entry point to refer you to the nearest State Immigration Department for issuance of a Student Pass.

Step 7: Within 2 weeks of your arrival in Malaysia, the educational institution concerned will submit your passport to the Immigration Department. The Department will then affix the Student Pass sticker. This process may take about 6 to 8 weeks.

Note: Students from The People’s Republic of China must obtain their Entry Visa BEFORE entering Malaysia.

Procedure 2 – Post-Arrival Malaysia

At the Immigration Check Point

This procedure involves the following process:

  • The international student soon after arriving at the airport/entry immigration check point in Malaysia, has to show the student pass approval letter. A special pass will be issued to refer the student to the respective State Immigration Department for the issuance of a student pass. A student visa will then be issued to the student in the form of an endorsement on the student’s passport (with a validity period of at least six months).
  • It’s mandatory that the representative of the educational institution be present at the immigration check point to receive and attend to the student.
  • After immigration clearance, the representative will be responsible to transfer the student to the educational institution as well as to report the student’s arrival.

The most common entry point for international students bound for Malaysia is the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

Other entry points: Other International airports include Kota Kinabalu International Airport (Sabah); Kuching International Airport (Sarawak) and Penang International Airport (Penang) though some students also enter Malaysia via land routes from Singapore, Thailand or Indonesia.

Inoculations prior to arrival: Students from yellow fever endemic areas such as Africa, Central and South America are required to obtain the necessary inoculations before coming to Malaysia.

Procedure 3 – Affixing the Student Pass Sticker and Student Pass/Visa Fees

The special pass issued to the international student is valid for 14 days. Thus, the educational institution is required to submit the student’s passport within this period, to the State Immigration Department to enable a student pass sticker to be affixed inside the student’s passport. This endorsement indicates factors such as the visa type, duration of stay in Malaysia, number of entries permitted into Malaysia and the validity of the student pass which is usually one year.

Fee for Student Pass: The fee for a student pass is RM60.00 a year or part of a year.


Fee for Student Pass and Student Visa: Fees may be in the range of RM15 to RM90. This largely depends on the student’s county of origin.


Payments: All payments of fees, issuance of student passes and visas as well as renewal of student passes can be done at the respective State Immigration Departments. All international students will be issued an I-Kad by the Immigration Department after they obtain a student pass sticker.

8. Work Permits for Students

8. Work Permits for Students

Can International Students WORK Part-time While Studying in Malaysia?

Yes. As an international student studying at public or private higher educational institutions, you are ALLOWED are to work part-time in Malaysia.


Working Part-time is subject to the following conditions:

  • You’re allowed to work for a maximum of 20 hours per week only during semester breaks or holidays of more than seven days.
  • Places of such work are identified as restaurants, petrol kiosks, mini markets and hotels
  • You may work only as long as your student pass remains valid.
  • You’re not permitted to work as cashiers, in the hotel sector, or as singers, masseurs, musicians or GROs.
  • You’re not allowed to engage in any job or activity deemed to be immoral.

Application to work part-time: You must submit your application to work part-time through the educational institution at which you’re studying. You need to be present with the educational institution representative at the Immigration Department when submitting your application.

Extending Your Student Pass/Visa

Your visa/pass has to be renewed or extended if you have not completed your study programme on the date of visa/pass expiration. To extend your student visa/pass, you must submit your application for extension to your IS Office including all the required documents, at least one and a half months before the expiry date stated in your student pass/visa.


Renewal may be refused if you have any of the following:

  • Poor record of class attendance; or
  • No course selection in the current semester or next semester, whichever is applicable.

Transfer to another Institution

If you wish to transfer to another approved college/university in Malaysia, you’ll have to obtain an approval of transfer from the Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia. You will have to have your existing student pass from the previous institution cancelled. The new institution will then obtain a fresh student pass on your behalf from the Immigration Department. The student pass is not transferable (to any other student friend of yours).


Cancelling Your Student Pass

In case you wish to withdraw from a course of study to return home or to go to another country, you must seek help from your IS Office which will help you with all the immigration procedures and cancel your student pass. This will prevent you from facing any problems later when you wish to re-enter Malaysia in the future.

Step by Step Route to your Malaysia Student Visa Application

Step 1: Register with SIEC Education

Step 2: Get your Registration Kit.

Step 3: Submit all the required documents.

Step 4: Our Immigration Consultant reviews your Forms, Documentation & Petition Filing.

Step 5: Then, the Immigration Consultant offers assistance with regard to other requirements such as selecting the most appropriate college/university in Malaysia, and prepares and finalizes your Application/File.

Step 6: You will then receive a FINAL ORIENTATION from our Consultant.

Step 7: Your documents are submitted along with your other information such as biometric fingerprints.

Step 8: Our Consultants will proceed ahead on updates and follow up with the Consulate.

Step 10: Visa Interview Preparation (if required).

Step 11: Pre-Departure Advice: Our Consultant will give you expert advice, guidance and useful tips on travelling, studying, accommodation, assistance in getting overseas travel insurance, and settling down in Malaysia.

Step 12: Assistance in your Part-Time Job Search in Malaysia while you study

9. Frequently Asked Questions

9. Frequently Asked Questions

10. Universities and Colleges

10. Universities and Colleges