PETALING JAYA: While Malaysians are able to travel visa-free to France for periods of less than 90 days, they are strongly recommended to bring along evidence of “hotel booking, travel insurance, and sufficient cash”, said the French Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.
Things get a bit more complicated for those intending to stay with friends or relatives.
In a written reply to The Star, the embassy said that this category of travellers are required to present proof of travel insurance, along with the full address, phone numbers, and a copy of the relative/friend’s identity card.
On top of this, the person also needs a letter of residence (lettre de hebergement) from the relative/friend issued by the Mayor’s office, while proof of sufficiency would be cash amounting to 30 euros for each day of the intended stay, or a credit card.
Children below the age of 18 travelling unaccompanied to France must also produce the documents above together with a letter from parent/guardian with all the relevant information.
According to French Consul Isabelle Cornand, the information found on the embassy’s website is only a reminder of the usual procedure that can be applied at any point of entry to France.
“These conditions aren’t new, and they are the same for other nationalities who don’t need a visa.
“A foreigner entering France must be able to prove he has a place to stay, enough money to live during his stay, and a ticket to go back,” she added, though she did not elaborate on why these requirements were only highlighted now.
The embassy also did not answer how it would treat visitors arriving with bookings for non-traditional lodging options such as Airbnb, where homeowners rent out their rooms or homes.
When contacted, Wisma Putra Consular Division undersecretary Datuk Zulkifli Yaacob said that the notice was an initiative of Wisma Putra.
“There have been a few cases where Malaysians could not produce sufficient proof of their means to stay in France, but most were allowed in after being questioned. Only one person was denied entry,” he said, while confirming the conditions were always part of French requirements.
Following the latest attack in Paris which killed 12 people, France has raised its terror alert to the highest level.