MALAYSIA has introduced e-visa facilities for travellers from China since January 2, 2016, but the process has proven troublesome as applicants risk losing their passports, opined some Malaysian agents.
Applications must be made online, then after five working days and upon confirmation, the applicant will have to send their passport to a visa centre in China and pay RMB$50 for it to be couriered back to them. The visa fee remains at RMB$80 and processing costs RMB$120.
Mint Leong, secretary-general of the Malaysian Inbound Tourism Association, said that the old system was safer as travellers could get travel agents to handle their visas for them.
“Now there is the danger of the passport getting lost in the post. We are not seen as being tourist-friendly at all. If the system is not improved soon, we will lose market share to neighbouring countries,” she said.
John Chan, business consultant, Kris International Traveltours, opined: “The introduction of e-visa is a step in the right direction. However, the application process needs to be improved. A shorter approval process is needed, and safety and security procedures must be factored in.
“The Australian visa application procedure is a good benchmark. It is an efficient system where application procedures are hassle free, response is fast and applicants can print out the approved online visa themselves.”