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Insider Info: Expat Returning to Malaysia During the Covid Crisis

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Image credit: Mitchel Lensink | Unsplash
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The following is an account documented by a resident expat who holds an MM2H visa detailing their experience upon receiving clearance to return to their home Malaysia in line with the latest announcement of the RMCO.

My experience:

Collected all the documents as per the guidelines effective 2nd June. I only had to show these to the lady checking me in on Qatar Airways (QA) in Heathrow. 

Lounges and duty-free were closed in Heathrow, but QA gave me a GBP20.00 (RM108) voucher (I flew business class) but the only place to spend it was WH Smith. Not everyone working wore masks, but it was a requirement to get in as a traveller –face covering is the correct term. 

Business class on QA on the A350-1000 was superb, as usual. Their personnel wore hazmat suits, masks, and safety glasses. 

At Hamad International Airport, the duty-free was closed but their business class lounge was open and they went to great lengths to try and persuade me to eat in the restaurant. I declined, however.

On the flight to KLIA, we were given a form to fill in with the usual ID requirements, where we were travelling from, flight number, seat number, etc. 

At KLIA, we had to again fill in a similar form, which was in Bahasa, but a translated plasticised form was available showing what to fill in. 

After that, we had to have a swab test and then wait in an area just in front of the immigration desks. After about two hours, the swab test results were available. I was told I would have to self-isolate and a tag, not electronic, was put on my arm.

It also had instructions to fill in an attached paper with your daily condition and a number to call if you developed symptoms. After 14 days, I have to call a number for an appointment to remove the tag. My understanding is that the full weight of the law will be applicable if I remove the tag prior to the period stipulated. 

covid tag through immigration malaysia

While waiting for the swab result, I was chatting to someone who was entering via a spouse visa; as far as I know after he got his swab result, he went straight through Immigration. After I got my result, Immigration told me to go to the other end of the hall to the immigration office. There they took my passport and went away with it, before coming back and going through fingerprint and face scan usual process – they may have been checking if I had properly registered. I then had to go back through normal immigration, who just checked my passport had been stamped. 

While I did download an app for my Malaysian-purpose phone a month or so ago, I was not asked nor informed about possessing it upon my return – despite having to list my phone number repeatedly on various forms.

It is to be noted that I have encountered a woman working for Immigration who has taken photos of my Covid swab result and approval letter. I do not know if these were passed on for approval to QA themselves and/or Malaysian immigration. No one else asked for the documents.  In fact, I proffered them to the lady at check-in, I do not know if she would have asked if I hadn’t – I had a return ticket so it would not have cost them anything if I had been refused entry. 


This expat is now subject to a self-quarantine period of 14 days at their home.

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