Malaysia is rolling out the proverbial welcome mat to visitors from Australia, New Zealand and more from February 1, expanding access to the automated immigration gates at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

As of Wednesday, those arriving from seven countries deemed ‘low risk’ can utilise the KLIA e-gates, provided they fulfil the requirements of the country’s Social Visit Pass – an entry permit for stays up to 90 days for purposes such as business and tourism.

Among the newly-approved nations are Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, along with the United States, United Kingdom, Brunei and Saudi Arabia.

Until now, the e-gates at KLIA have only been accessible to Malaysian nationals. However, in an effort to ease peak hour congestion at the busy hub, where upwards of 20 aircraft can land during a span of 10 minutes, the Government has expanded the use of automated gates.

Malaysia’s Home Affairs Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail confirmed the change via a Facebook post on January 26, while also announcing the establishment of a quick response team designed to assist immigration officers during peak times.

In addition, those arriving into the southern city of Johor Bahru from Singapore via the Tusa and Woodlands checkpoints can also utilise the e-gates. Visitors will need to submit the Malaysia Digital Arrival Card (MDAC) within three days of travel.

Kuala Lumpur is the key entry point for most Australians, with Malaysia Airlines offering direct flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth to Kuala Lumpur.

As previously reported, Malaysia has essentially returned to business as usual since the pandemic, with the country’s delectable foodie scene and hospitality two of many good reasons to visit.