What happens if I overstay my Malaysia Visa?

iVisa | Updated on Jul 28, 2022

Malaysia being a blend of cultures with increasing diversification over the years has been a popular destination for many be it for a holiday destination, employment prospects or even for settlement in its evergreen land.

However, many often, during their stay in Malaysia, end up overstaying their Visas for all sorts of various reasons. Here in this guide, we will list out the important points to note with reference to having overstayed your Visa in Malaysia and what to do should you be caught in that predicament.

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Malaysian Immigration Stance on Overstaying your Visa

Section 15(1)(c) of the Malaysian Immigration Act 1959/63 (“IA”) clearly sets out that:

  • “A person shall not remain in Malaysia after the expiration of the period of any Pass relating to or issued to him”.

What is the penalty for breaching S.15(1)(c) IA?

Section 15(4) IA sets out that:

  • “A foreigner who stays in Malaysia exceeding the expiry date or cancellation of his or her Pass and who is in breach of S.15(1)(c) IA shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine of not less than ten thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to both.”

What to do if you have overstayed your Visa?

  1. Upon realizing that you have overstayed your Malaysian Visa, immediately head to the Malaysian Immigration Enforcement Division explaining your situation to them while presenting the following documents as well:

    • Passport / Travel Document (all pages must be intact);
    • Police report (in the case of a lost/missing passport);
    • Any evidence of overstaying; and
    • Plane/Bus/Ferry ticket (departs within 7 days and not longer than that).
  2. If you are an employee of a Malaysian employer then your Malaysian employer would need to come along with you to the Malaysian Immigration Enforcement Division and in addition to the documents abovementioned, they would also need to provide the following:

    • Cover Letter (for Company);
    • Business License / Registration of the Company;
    • Identity Card (NRIC/Yellow Card/Employee Card);
    • Memo references from the relevant authorities (e.g. MIDA, MITI, etc.) if applicable.

Bear in mind that it is still up to the Malaysian Immigration Department to decide on whether to allow you to leave (if your reason for overstaying is **deemed acceptable **) or in bringing charges against you for the offence of overstaying. Should they choose the latter option then you would have to seek legal representation.

The Malaysian Immigration Department takes the offence of overstaying very seriously as can be seen by their strict stance and so foreigners are reminded to constantly be updated on their Malaysian Visa expiry date and to make preparations or take measures to ensure compliance with it.

What can be done if you have to stay past your Visa expiry date?

In the event that you realize you WILL overstay your Malaysian Visa, but it HAS YET TO HAPPEN then you might consider applying for the Malaysia Special Pass, subject to fulfillment of its conditions and approval by the Malaysian Immigration Department.

The Malaysia Special Pass is a temporary pass that allows foreigners to extend their stay in Malaysia past the expiry date of their existing Pass due to ‘special’ circumstances. A few examples of these circumstances are illnesses, accidents, conflicts in a foreign national’s home country, etc. The Malaysia Special Pass must also be applied in not less than seven (7) days before the expiry date of the foreigner’s existing Pass (e.g. Employment Visa, Tourist Visa, Student Visa, etc.).

Generally, there are three common instances whereby the Malaysian Immigration Department will grant a Special Pass:

  1. Pending Approval of an Employment Pass (or other related passes)

    • This applies to scenarios where foreigners are in the midst of renewing their work pass (or other related pass) and they may apply to remain in Malaysia via a Special Pass for another 30 days beyond the expiry date of their current Pass, while awaiting the decision of their renewal application.
    • Usually, to apply for a Special Pass under this ambit, foreigners would need to provide evidence that they have already submitted their application to renew their current Visa within the time period and are still pending the outcome of the application.
  2. Making Arrangements to Exit Malaysia

    • For the Special Pass to be granted under this condition, it is only for situations whereby Foreigners need to extend their stay in Malaysia by less than 30 days and foreigners would need to submit the following documents for approval:
      • Original Passport / Travel Document;
      • Photocopies of all pages on the passport;
      • A copy of the current Pass;
      • Reserved flight ticket within the next 30 days;
      • Typed letter explaining the reason for requesting the Special Pass.
    • This is not an exhaustive list of requirements and the Malaysian Immigration Department may from time to time request further documentations they deem relevant and necessary.
  3. Completing In-Country Immigration Process

    • This is for situations where foreigners have yet to complete an in-country immigration process and might be given the Special Pass for a 30-days period to remain in Malaysia and during this time, they need to complete any immigration formalities to rectify their status in Malaysia.

While a Special Pass might be an opportunity or avenue for a foreigner to extend their stay in Malaysia past the stipulated expiry date on their current Pass, it must be noted that it is discretionary and requires strong justification and appropriate supporting documents to demonstrate the need for it. It should be viewed as a last resort rather than as a first option to be relied upon.

We will recommend the following measures to prevent the offence of overstaying:

i) Apply for a Visa extension well before your current Pass’s expiry date (e.g. Student Passes are to be renewed no later than 6 weeks before the expiry date of the current Student Pass);

ii) Ensure your outbound ticket from Malaysia is before your Pass’s expiry date;

iii) Apply and obtain the appropriate Visa before entering the country.


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