Malaysia to allow visa-free entry to Indian citizens from December 1, 2023

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Malaysia will scrap entry visa requirements for citizens of India and China visiting the nation beginning December 1, Bloomberg reported citing Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim. Indian and Chinese nationals may stay for up to 30 days visa-free, the news agency quoted Anwar as saying in a speech at his People’s Justice Party’s annual congress on Sunday. However, visa issuance would be subject to security screening. 

Malaysia has become the fourth country to announce visa-free entry after Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Thailand. Bloomberg said Malaysia is counting on extra tourist arrivals and their spending to support economic growth. Anwar last month announced plans to improve visa facilities next year to encourage the entry of tourists and investors, "especially from India and China".

Before Thailand, Sri Lanka also approved a proposal to grant free visas to travellers from seven countries for a period of five months till March 31, 2024. These countries are India, China, Russia, Malaysia, Japan and Indonesia. The move is aimed at attracting more tourists to the island nation. "We are expecting to increase tourist arrivals to five million over the coming years," the Sri Lankan tourist ministry was quoted as saying by local media outlets.

Earlier this month, Nguyn Van Jung, Vietnam's Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, called for short-term visa waivers for major markets like China and India to shore up the recovery of the country's tourism sector, Vietnamese news agency VnExpress reported. At present, nationals of Germany, France, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Denmark, and Finland can travel to Vietnam without a visa.

In October, the Thailand government announced that it will allow visa-free entry for tourists from India and Taiwan for a period of six months from November 10 this year to May 10, 2024. "We will provide visa-free entry to India and Taiwan because a lot of their people like to travel to Thailand," Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavision was quoted as saying by news agency AFP