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Malaysia: changes to student visa medical screening

International students are no longer required to take a pre-arrival medical screening to receive a Malaysian student visa in a bid to improve processes and increase numbers, Education Malaysia Global Services has announced.

Students will no longer need to undertake pre-arrival medical screening for Malaysia. Photo: Meimei Ismail/UnsplashStudents will no longer need to undertake pre-arrival medical screening for Malaysia. Photo: Meimei Ismail/Unsplash

If a student is found unsuitable, the financial burden will be on them to leave the country

The change, which took effect on 1 June as part of revisions to the Health Screening and Insurance Guidelines for International Students, now requires the submission of a Health Declaration Form indicating a student is of suitable health to undertake their studies.

“It is our responsibility to communicate to these students about our health regulations”

While the revisions will change pre-arrival screening, students will still be required to undertake post-arrival medical testing at a registered EMGS clinic within seven days.

If a student is found unsuitable for studies, the financial burden will be put on them to leave the country.

“We hope that international students and agents welcome this change in immigration procedure as it fast-tracks their ability to start their education journey in Malaysia sooner,” said executive director of ELS Malaysia Sean Chee.

“That being said, we also hope that international students are mindful of the consequences if they fail their medical checks after arriving in Malaysia.”

Speaking with The PIE News, Chee said that while the move is positive overall, he warned Malaysian institutions should not see the relax in the protocol as an opportunity for carte blanche international student recruitment.

“It is our responsibility to communicate to these students about our health regulations, manage expectations and safe-keep their wellbeing while in Malaysia.”

Several international education policy reviews are currently mooted in Malaysia, and The PIE understands that the education ministry is looking to increase autonomy for HEIs.

The country is currently targeting 250,000 international students by 2025, and recently launched a new video campaign featuring prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, encouraging students to consider Malaysia as their study destination.

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