Malaysia Introduces New Post-Study Visa Option for Degree Graduates

Malaysia has recently rolled out a series of visa reforms under its Visa Liberalisation Plan to enhance the country’s attractiveness to international visitors and students. Among the key initiatives is the introduction of a new Graduate Pass, offering degree graduates the opportunity to extend their stay in Malaysia for up to a year after completing their studies.

Effective December 1, 2023, the Visa Liberalisation Plan includes several measures to streamline visa requirements, including a 30-day visa exemption for visitors from China and India, a multiple-entry visa scheme allowing for stays of up to 30 days, and an extension of visitor visa validity to six months.

The Graduate Pass, also known as the Social Visit Pass, is of particular significance to international students, as it enables graduates of Malaysian degree programs to remain in the country for an additional year. During this period, students can pursue further studies, travel, or engage in part-time employment opportunities.

Education Malaysia has outlined the application process and eligibility criteria for the Graduate Pass, which includes possessing a valid passport with at least 18 months of validity, maintaining health insurance coverage while in Malaysia, and securing a Malaysian citizen as a sponsor. However, it’s important to note that this visa option is currently available only to students from 23 specified countries, including Australia, Canada, the United States, and several European nations.

Moreover, accompanying family members of degree graduates are also eligible to apply for the Social Visit Pass as dependents, provided they meet similar requirements regarding passport validity, health insurance, and sponsorship.

These visa reforms align with Malaysia’s ambition to attract 250,000 international students by 2025, building on the momentum of increased application volumes observed in the first half of 2023. With ongoing challenges faced by traditional study destinations and the evolving landscape of international education, Malaysia is poised to emerge as a prominent player in the global student market, offering diverse opportunities for education and cultural exchange.

For comprehensive details on the Graduate Pass and other visa options under Malaysia’s Visa Liberalisation Plan, interested individuals are encouraged to consult official guidance provided by Education Malaysia.