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Malaysia is now rolling out the proverbial welcome mat to visitors from Australia, New Zealand and more from March 1, expanding access to the automated immigration gates at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).
As of today, those arriving from seven countries deemed ‘low risk’ can utilise the e-gates at both the main KLIA terminal and the KLIA2 hub favoured by low-cost airlines such as AirAsia, Jetstar Asia and Scoot, provided they fulfil the requirements of the country’s Social Visit Pass – an entry permit for stays up to 90 days for purposes such as business and tourism.
Among the newly-approved nations are Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, along with the United States, United Kingdom, Brunei and Saudi Arabia.
Visitors will also need to submit a Malaysia Digital Arrival Card (MDAC) within three days of their arrival.
Until now, the e-gates at KL have only been accessible to Malaysian nationals. However, in an effort to ease congestion at the busy hub, where upwards of 20 aircraft can land during a span of 10 minutes, the Government has expanded the use of automated gates.
Announcing the move, Malaysia’s Home Affairs Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the e-gates would initially be open to international travellers only during ‘peak arrival periods’ typically between 3pm and 11pm.
Outside those hours, Saifuddin said, international travellers will have to go through manual clearance at the immigration counters.
Kuala Lumpur is the key entry point for most Australians, with Malaysia Airlines offering direct flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth to Kuala Lumpur.
Additional reporting by David Flynn