SINGAPORE: So you’ve got a booking at a Johor beach resort, planned out your makan and shopping itineraries, and are all ready to cross the border into Malaysia, but…

… you get stuck halfway, only to waste time unnecessarily because you failed to plan to get through immigration quickly. Not to worry, we’re here to help you pass through the process very much smoothly.

Photo: Feepik/ (for illustration purposes only)

So, how long does it normally take for immigration clearance in non-peak hours on weekdays and weekends?

Unofficial data says there may be a wait time in a queue between 10 and 20 minutes. Getting through the counter usually takes another 2 to 5 minutes.


The best time to head to Johor Bahru (JB) on weekdays is during the midday dip between 12 noon and 3pm. Avoid peak hours, as immigration clearance can take between three and four hours, sometimes even more.



On Saturdays, best to go early in the morning (before 8am) or late at night after 10 pm.

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On Sundays, any time before 2 pm is still safe-ish.

Public Holidays

The worst are public holidays and long weekends when traffic can reach epic proportions. We’re talking maybe four to six hours. We advise you to leave not just early but super early to avoid this especially stressful situation.

Image: FB / Complaint Singapore

Read related: The best time to go to JB: Tips & tricks for a fabulous getaway in Johor Bahru

Tuas or Woodlands?

This is probably well known by now, but Tuas is the faster choice as it has less traffic. It is, however, further from many of JB’s fabulous shopping malls, so there is that to consider. Fewer public transport options as well.

And if you’re not going to JB but to other parts of Malaysia—say you’re headed to Kuala Lumpur or Malacca, you definitely want to take the Tuas Checkpoint.

Don’t forget your passport!

To make sure your immigration clearance goes without a hitch, make sure your documents are in order. Your passport will need to be valid for more than six months.

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solo trip to JB
Photo: Freepik/Lifestylememory (for illustration purposes only)

Your possessions will need to be checked as part of immigration clearance, so you may want to pack light, as this will help the process go faster.

We also want to add with the rapid developments in technology; we can expect that immigration will get easier before very long.

Case in point: The immigration self-clearance kiosks at Woodlands Train Checkpoint allow people to get through in seconds! /TISG

Read related: SG’s new system allows travellers to clear immigration while walking through