Permanent residence in Malaysia

Permanent visas and residency programmes

The requirements for obtaining a permanent visa are very straightforward. However, the process can take up to several years. If you fulfill the requirements, opt for the Malaysian residency programme instead.

Foreign nationals who have lived in Malaysia continuously for 5 years, can apply for permanent residency. For foreigners who are married to Malaysian citizens, the period required is 10 years. The application has to be sponsored by a Malaysian citizen. In order to apply, submit the following documents at the Malaysian Immigration Department:

  • Completed form (IMM. 4)
  • Passport covering the period of the last 5/10 years
  • 2 passport-sized photographs of applicant's
  • 1 passport-sized photographs of sponsor
  • Other certificates and photographs of spouses and children (if applicable)

'Malaysia My Second Home' Programme (MM2H)

The MM2H programme was initially established by the Government of Malaysia and allows all foreigners, who fulfill certain conditions, to stay in the country on a long-term visa for at least 10 years (extension is possible). They can enter and leave the country freely without restrictions. Successful applicants can also bring their spouse, their children under the age of 21 and dependant parents above the age of 60 with them. A successful application is linked to certain financial and medical conditions but also to various incentives.

  • Financial requirements: All applicants have to show that they are financially capable of maintaining themselves for the time being in Malaysia. This means in practice that an offshore income of RM 10.000 has to be granted. In addition, applicants under the age of 50 years have to show proof of a minimum of RM 500.000 in liquid assets. The amount of the sum required for applicants aged over 50 years is RM 350.000. Further requirements apply upon approval. Fur further details visit the official website of the Malaysian Ministry of Tourism .
  • Medical requirements: All applicants are obliged to submit a medical report from a registered private clinic in Malaysia. In addition, they are required to purchase a medical insurance scheme.
  • Restrictions: Until recently participants of the MM2H programme were not allowed to work while in Malaysia. These restrictions have loosened now insofar as participants aged 50 and above are allowed to take up part-time employment.
  • Incentives: To name but a few of the many incentives, participants of the MM2H programme are permitted to purchase property and vehicles, to own and run an own business (certain conditions apply) and to have tax exempted remittance on offshore pension funds to Malaysia. They are issued an ID card from the Immigration Department and in many cases they are rather treated as residents than foreigners.

The application form can be downloaded on the MM2H webpage  and can be submitted either directly or through an agent. In both cases a Security (direct applications) or Personal Bond (applications through agent) rate is due. For any further information on fees, requirements and procedure, visit the MM2H webpage .

Further reading

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