Going through Malaysian Customs in Johor fast with Iskandar Malaysia's Automated Clearance System (MACS)

Dec 7, 2014 1:28:00 AM / by Vu Long Tran

If you're frequently passing through Johor-Singapore, you may not have realised but there is a pass you can apply for that allows you to skip the normal immigration and go through a different automated immigration called, "MACS".

MACS stands for Malaysia Automated Clearance System (MACS). Malaysia Automated Clearance System (MACS) has been developed to cater for fast-track immigration clearance for non-Malaysian investors, business persons and professionals.

It is basically like the automated clearance system that you use at the airport (if you're a Singaporean Citizen, Singaporean Permanent Residents or a Singaporean Employment Pass holder). The only downside as I have seen it so far, it is only available in Iskandar (Johor Bahru, Johor) Malaysia.

MACS used to be available only to applicants who are involved with the development of Iskandar (Johor) Region Projects. For the past few years it has been expanded and now is available to all Singapore citizens, Singapore Permanent Residents and holders of Singapore Long Term Visit Pass (including Employment Pass holders). 
Where to apply?

I have been using this for the past couple of years and applied on the Malaysian side of immigration (the immigration at the causeway crossing at Woodlands-Johor). It is called, "MACS One Stop Center", so if you ask around on "where to get MACS", they will show you.

About the MACS pass:
Each pass only lasts a year. It's useful only really if you travel from Johor-Singapore often a this saves getting immigration stamps in your passport, and instead using the RFID (Radio-frequency identification) details in the MACS pass placed into your passport. It takes about 15-30 minutes to process, depending on the queues. 

Note - this just fast tracks immigration but doesn't replace Visa requirements:
MACS is simply a form of fast-track facilitation and does not act as an immigration pass or visa. Visitors are still required to obtain visa (if applicable) and will be issued with relevant immigration pass. Singaporean Frequent Travellers are still required to obtain the relevant long term immigration pass.

Happy travelling!

Further resources:

Vu Long Tran

Written by Vu Long Tran

Solutions Engineer APAC. ex-@Forrester consultant. Writing on #cloud #howto guides and #tech tinkering!