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Immigration, Customs and Embassies in Penang

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On this page I describe the Entry Requirements for visitors to Penang, including Customs, Immigration and Visa Requirements for entering Malaysia. Also listed here are the foreign embassies in Penang. It is only relevant to those who arrive by international flight at the Penang International Airport and the small number who arrive by cruise ship disembarking at Swettenham Pier. If you are coming by bus, train or domestic flight, you should have cleared customs and immigration at the point of entry before reaching Penang.

Arrival Cards

Recently, the Immigration department has done away with filling up of the Arrival Cards (aka Landing Cards) for visitors coming from outside Malaysia, so do not be surprised if the flight attendant do not pass them around. They are not required anymore, as of early April, 2008. Should this Arrival Card be reintroduced, be sure to keep the small Departure portion in your passport to be returned when you leave the country.

International flights to Penang touch down at the Penang International Airport (PEN) located in Bayan Lepas, on the southeast corner of Penang Island. At the airport terminal, follow the clearly marked signage for international arrivals. International clearance is on the left (southward) side of the airport terminal, while domestic clearance is on the right (northward) side.

Both manual as well as automatic immigration clearance are in operation. The automatic gates are for Malaysians arriving from overseas using passports with electronic strips. Insert your passport, closed and face-up, into the docket. You will be advised to press your thumb to the sensor for clearance. I find that if the sensor often fail to register if my thumb is too dry. Although the automatic gates are supposed to speed things up, whenever the manual counters are empty, I prefer to hand my passport to the immigration officer - I find that it is faster than fiddling with the automatic gates.

For international visitors, use the manual counters to clear immigration. Just the normal process which happens in every international gateway.

Visa Requirements

Citizens of Commonwealth countries (except India), Ireland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, San Marino and Liechtenstein do not need a visit to enter Malaysia. Citizens of Austria, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Tunisia, United States, Germany, France, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Finland, Luxembourg and Iceland do not need a visa for visits not exceeding 3 months. Citizens of Asean countries (except Myanmar) may enter Malaysia for up to one month without a visa. Apart from the citizens of Brunei and Singapore, visas are required for longer stays. If you are staying longer than that, please check with the Malaysian embassy or consulate for your respective country. Make sure you do not overstay, as there's a fine of up to RM10,000 (and imprisonment up to 5 years) for overstaying.

Having cleared immigration, you proceed to the carousel to collect your baggage. Then you pass through customs, which will x-ray your luggage as you move out. From there you proceed to the Arrival Hall.

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Embassies in Penang




  • Australian Consulate in Penang
    1-C Lorong Hutton, 10050 Penang
    Tel: +60 4 263 3320, Fax: +60 4 263 3320
    Email: [email protected]


  • British Honorary Consulate in Penang
    Tel: (60) (4) 227 5336 (Rob Hawkins)
    Fax: (60) (4) 227 2336
    Email: [email protected]


  • Consulate General of Japan
    Level 28, Menara BHL,
    No. 51 Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, 10050 Penang
    Tel: (604) 226-3030 Fax: (604) 226-1030


  • Indonesian Consulate General in Penang
    467 Jalan Burmah, 10350 Penang
    Tel: (04) 2274686; 2277412; Fax: (04) 2275887
    Email: [email protected]


  • Royal Danish Consulate in Penang
    2nd Floor, Standard Chartered Bank Chambers
    2 Lebuh Pantai, 10300 Penang
    Tel: 4-262 4886 Fax: 4-261 4963


  • Thai Consulate General in Penang
    1 Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman
    10350 Penang
    Tel. (60-4) 2268029, 2269484
    Fax:(60-4) 2263121
    E-mail : [email protected]
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