Saturday, 12 January 2019

15-day visa exemption to resume

PUTRAJAYA: The online system for Chinese and Indian tourists to apply for a 15-day visa exemption is set to resume on Tuesday after being suspended since this Jan 1.

It will help facilitate arrivals from both countries.

The Electronic Travel Registration and Information (eNTRI) was suspended after media reports about weaknesses in the system.

The Home Ministry confirmed that the government decided to extend the 15-day visa exemption from the two countries until Dec 31.

In a statement yesterday, the ministry said the eNTRI facility to exempt Chinese and Indian tourists from visa requirements for a 15-day period was first introduced on March 1, 2016 for Chinese tourists.

It was then widened to include Indian tourists on April 1, 2017.

In addition, the ministry also implemented an online visa application (eVISA) from March 1, 2016 for applications from tourists who wished to visit Malaysia for a maximum period of 30 days.

“Following reports of weaknesses involving eNTRI, the government has suspended its implementation to enable upgrading and improvement be made to the system. The suspension also allows checks on the security aspect of the facility be looked into.

The suspension of the system raised concerns among players in the tourism industry of a drop in tourist arrivals from China.

The ministry said it would ensure visa applications via eNTRI as well as eVISA would be without any hitch to facilitate the entry of tourists, without compromising the country’s security.

According to Tourism Malaysia figures, the top five countries in terms of tourist arrivals to Malaysia from January to September last year were Singapore (7.83 million), Indonesia (2.44 million), China (2.28 million), Thailand (1.43 million) and Brunei (1.06 million).
-thestar online.

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