Why Do Malaysian Passports Have A 6-Month Validity Before Expiring & Other Facts To Know

Take note before you travel!

Cover image via SAYS

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About to travel soon? Make sure your passport is valid longgg before you board that plane.

When travelling, the last thing you want to forget to bring is your passport, let alone an expired one.

Here are some other things you should know about the Malaysian passport before you travel:

1. You are required to have a new application when visiting 33 countries from 2024 onwards

As of July, the Malaysian passport ranks as the 11th most powerful passport in the world (a climb from its previous ranking at 14th place). With this, you are able to travel to 180 destinations out of 227 visa-free places globally.

However, starting 2024, Malaysians are required to apply for a new application known as the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) if they want to visit these 33 countries:

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You can apply for ETIAS online, which costs EUR7 (approx RM35.59). Find out more information here.

2. The Malaysian passport is valid for travelling six months before its expiry date

In other words, you should check that your passport is valid to use six months BEFORE it expires. Not three months, not two months, and most definitely, not the day before your flight, cruise, bus, or train ride to a foreign country.

If you find that it's within that six-month timeframe and your trip is coming up, you will need to renew your passport immediately or apply for an emergency travel document. 

The reason your passport is valid for six months is to prevent you from overstaying in a foreign country. Some countries have a three-month validity requirement instead.

The six-month validity rule is stated on the last page of your passport.

Image via SAYS

3. Several countries no longer stamp passports manually

Don't be alarmed if you're wondering why your passport has no stamp and looks like you didn't enter or exit a specific country.

Travel customs have changed in recent years, with some countries no longer issuing stamps as everything is done electronically. Immigration officers can just log into their computers and check your records from there.

The digital move is said to help reduce lines at immigration checkpoints, and to make it smoother and more efficient for travellers.

4. The Malaysian passport is valid for all countries except Israel

It's stated pretty bluntly on the front page of each Malaysian passport that it can be used in all countries, except for travelling to Israel. But why?

Image via SAYS

Malaysia does not recognise Israel as a country, and therefore, has no diplomatic relations.

According to this article, several other countries and states also do not have diplomatic relations with the state of Israel. The reason for this is due to the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian dispute over borders.

However, you can still visit Israel for a number of reasons. An official at the Kementerian Dalam Negeri tells CILISOS that Malaysians can visit Israel for:
1. A conference
2. A meeting
3. Religious reasons (only for Muslims and Christians)

In case you've wondered, there's a reason why we're told to not smile with our teeth when taking our passport picture:

Instead of queuing for long hours, you can now renew your passport online or at a kiosk:

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