Malaysia cancels visa waiver for North Koreans

6 Mar 17



What is the change? Following the murder of Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korea leader Kim Jong-un at Kuala Lumpur Airport, Malaysia has announced that it will cancel its visa waiver for North Korean travelers beginning today.

What does the change mean? North Koreans will be required to apply for and obtain a visa prior to travel to Malaysia.

  • Implementation time frame: March 6.
  • Visas/permits affected: Visitor visas.
  • Who is affected: North Korean nationals.
  • Impact on processing times: Affected travelers will need to apply for visas at Malaysian missions before travel.

Background: Malaysian police have reportedly identified several North Korean nationals involved in the killing, including an embassy official, and deported three other North Korean nationals on Friday. On Saturday, Malaysia expelled North Korea’s ambassador. Malaysia has also increased border checks in search of the suspects.

BAL Analysis: The incident has created a rift between two countries that have longstanding economic ties. The cancellation of the visa waiver will add to visa processing for North Korean nationals traveling to Malaysia. As visa waivers are reciprocal agreements, North Korea may cancel its visa waiver for Malaysian nationals in response.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Malaysia. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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