Malaysia - Regulations on Entry, Stay and Residence for PLHIV

Restriction categories relative to Malaysia

  • Countries with restrictions for long term stays (>90 days)
  • Countries with unclear laws/practices; more information needed
  • Countries deporting people with HIV

Entry regulations Residence regulations Additional information
No restrictions for short-term tourist stays. A full medical check-up (HIV, hepatitis, diagnostic reference levels, drug abuse and pregnancy) is required within one month of arrival and on a yearly basis. Special provisions for migrant workers (domestic staff and low skill workers) stipulate denial of permission to enter, or expulsion, if the HIV test result is positive.

HIV-specific entry and residence regulations for Malaysia

According to the Immigration Act 1995/1963, 8 (3) c in particular, entry will not be granted to those who refuse to perform a medical exam. According to 8 (3) b, entry to Malaysia can be denied to people with mental diseases, as well as to people with infectious diseases whose presence could be harmful to Malaysian society. This also applies to prostitutes (e; f).

Tourists are not required to perform an HIV test in order to enter Malaysia. However, they are also subject to the Immigration Act.

A medical exam, including an HIV test, can be demanded of students who want to study in Malaysia. This depends on the specific requirements of the university in question.

Migrant workers (unskilled or partially skilled) who want to work in Malaysia must first perform an HIV test with a negative result in their home country. After their arrival in Malaysia, they have to undergo a second test. The work permit will only be granted if the negative result is confirmed.

The Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 concerns people in Malaysia who test HIV positive. This law regulates the reporting of positive test results to the Ministry of Health. Foreigners who are thus reported to the Ministry of Health are subject to the Immigration Act.

(Source: 1)
Specific regulations target unskilled migrant workers. A negative HIV test result must be presented on arrival. Test results from the country of origin are accepted. The test must be performed annually in Malaysia. In case of diagnosed HIV, the concerned individual is deported within three days.

Some businesses and universities may also require expatriates to undergo HIV testing. The embassy urges those concerned to inquire about particular guidelines in this respect beforehand. The Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988, Section 10, requires medical staff to report patients affected by infectious diseases to the authorities. This provision is usually respected. According to the Malaysian AIDS Council, only migrant workers are deported, while other foreigners may stay in the country. The AIDS Council advises people not to inform about a potential HIV infection before or when entering the country. Accessing treatment and care in the country is not problematic.

 (Source: 2)

Foreign workers have to present a medical certificate from the medical centre in their country of origin (valid for three months from the date of issuing).

(Sources: 3, 4)

Customs information for international travellers:
Malaysia accepts all medications prescribed for their patients by Australian doctors. If the medication is unusual or requires use of scheduled drugs, such as morphine tablets, or the use of syringes, or is for treatment of HIV infections or drug dependency, then a letter from the prescribing doctor should be sought.

All medications must be carried in the bottles or packets in which they were dispensed with the name of the patient on the label and must carry a description of the contents.

One month’s supply of personal medications can be brought into Malaysia for the exclusive use of that person. If the visitor is travelling beyond Malaysia to other countries, then medication sufficient for the entire journey may be brought into the country.

Non-prescribed items bought over the counter from a pharmacy or chemist must also be carried in the bottles or packets in which they were sold that carry a description of the product. No more than one month’s supply of an item may be brought into Malaysia for the personal use of the visitor.

Never carry loose tablets into the country.

Health food supplements, organic medicines and vitamins may be brought into Malaysia for the personal use of the visitor, but must be labelled and identified.

(Source: 5)


Tourists and visitors are free to enter, except Israeli passport holders. Maximum stay is based on selected countries and to treaties signed. Visa are available on arrival or via Malaysia consular representations abroad. Additional entry requirements are in place due to Covid-19.

Business travellers

The same as for tourists and visitors apply, but business visa allow for longer stays. 

Work permit applicants
The Malaysian Immigration authorities distinguish two migrant categories:

  1. Lower income migrants and housemaids. Their work permit is called Temporary Employment Visitor Pass, bound to the Infectious Disease Control Act. HIV-tests are required when applying for the permit. People testing HIV-positive will receive a counselling session. Immigration authorities and the Ministry of Health refers them to us, and we will connect them to an HIV organisation in their country of origin. They are not allowed to stay in Malaysia.
  2. Higher income migrants and Foreign Knowledge Workers. Their permit is called Employment Pass, which is not bound to the Infectious Disease Control Act. People in this category pay annual tax and are required to pay for their own treatment or medication.

The only case of a deportation we know of was a foreigner who tried to access antiretroviral treatment using a fake Malaysian ID. The reason for his deportation is not his HIV-status but his use of a false ID to access free medication.

(Source: 6)


HIV treatment information for Malaysia

  • no source

    HIV information / HIV NGOs in Malaysia

  • no source

    Global Criminalisation of HIV Transmission Scan

    The Global Criminalisation Scan is an initiative of GNP+. It aims to collect and keep up to date information on national and state level laws criminalising the transmission of or exposure to HIV. It also aims to provide an easily accessible ‘clearing-house’ of resources, research, and initiatives on the subject and to provide a platform for advocacy initiatives.

    Find out more about the scan and the criminalisation of HIV transmission legislation at



    1. Malaysian AIDS Council, through the Embassy of Germany, Kuala Lumpur, August 4 2000, reconfirmed by the Embassy March 27, 2008
    2. Malaysian AIDS Council, through the Embassy of Germany, Kuala Lumpur, March 27, 2008
    3. Ministry of Home Affairs website, Immigration Department of Malaysia,, consulted July 9, 2018
    4. Price Waterhouse Coopers, “Insights from Global Mobility”, July 28, 2016
    5. High Commission of Malaysia website, Canberra, Australia, consulted July 9, 2018
    6. Kuala Lumpur AIDS Support Services Society KLASS, via e-mail, June 4, 2021


    updated: 6/4/2021
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