Thursday, June 9, 2016

Visa-free travel for Malaysians to US in 18 months, Zahid Hamidi says

In 18 months, Malaysians may not need a visa to visit the US. Based on the announcement by the Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

The Immigration Department is working to upgrade its systems to comply with US guidelines and the programme is expected to be completed by end of next year.

Once complete, Malaysia will be the 38th country where its citizens would not need to apply for a tourist visa to the US for visits 90 days or less, the minister added.

“During President Obama’s visit recently, he estimated that the process would take a year-and-a-half but we are confident with the current system at the Immigration Department here, we will only need to upgrade a couple of things and we are confident we can implement it within a shorter amount of time,” Ahmad Zahid told reporters after the Home Ministry’s monthly assembly here.

He said some of the areas to be improved in the Advanced Passengers Screening System (APSS), and to have a scanner for all documents.

During his speech earlier, he also said the visa-waiver will start off with “officials” first, then businessmen, and finally tourists.

Hopefully this will happen and Malaysians don't have to go to the US Embassy to apply for Visa that could take up to months to get approval if nothing goes wrong. It is a hassle at the moment especially when urgent business travel is suddenly required but the necessary visa is not on hand to make an immediate travel arrangement.

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