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Malaysia joins Thailand, Sri Lanka to grant visa-free entry to Indian citizens

This new policy is set to kick off on December 1, as announced by Malaysia's Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.

If you’ve been thinking about planning a trip to Malaysia, you’re in luck. Malaysia will be waiving visa requirements for visitors from China and India. This new policy is set to kick off on December 1, as announced by Malaysia’s Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim. Similar to policies recently enacted by Sri Lanka and Thailand, the step is expected to benefit tourism and the nation’s economy. 

“Chinese and Indian nationals will enjoy a visa-free stay of up to 30 days, subject to security screening,” said the Prime Minister during a speech at the annual People’s Justice Party’s congress, as reported by Bloomberg.

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The main aim of this development is to attract more tourists and their valuable spending, thereby giving the Malaysian economy a significant boost. As a reminder, Indian citizens are currently eligible for visa-on-arrival in Malaysia but with a condition. They must be coming from Thailand, Indonesia, or Singapore and have a valid visa for these transit countries and confirmed return tickets to India. 

As per the Bloomberg report, Anwar had hinted earlier about plans to enhance visa facilities in the coming year, focusing specifically on tourists and investors, particularly from India and China. 

In a related move China, on November 30, declared that they will permit citizens of six countries, inclusive of Malaysia, to enter China without a visa from December 1 for a whole year long. Exciting right? These travelers can enjoy up to a blissful 15 days in China without needing a visa. 

Thailand too has joined the club by abolishing visa requirements for visitors from India and Taiwan. Indian citizens can now enjoy a visa-free vacation in Thailand for up to 30 days, starting from November 10, 2023, until May 10, 2024. 

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Following suit, Sri Lanka has also rolled out a visa-free entry policy for Indian visitors and those from six other countries, adding China, Russia, Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia, and Thailand. 

According to the latest Passport Index by Henley and Partners 2023, Indian passport holders can travel to up to 57 countries without a visa. This includes countries offering facilities like visa-free travel, visa-on-arrival facilities, and Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA). 

  • Bhutan
  • Hong Kong
  • Barbados
  • Fiji
  • Micronesia
  • Niue
  • Vanuatu
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Haiti
  • Jamaica
  • Montserrat
  • St. Kitts and Nevis
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Kazakhstan
  • Macao (SAR China)
  • Nepal
  • Senegal
  • Tunisia

The new entries on this list, Sri Lanka and Thailand, earlier provided visa-on-arrival facilities to Indian citizens. 

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