Of all the hurdles that you may have to overcome as an expat, the one that can be the most time-consuming and confusing is without a doubt your visa. What visa do you need? How do you apply for it? Will the visa cover your family? These are some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to life as a migrant. That’s why we have created our handy, informative guides to bring you all of the key information you may need for various aspects of expat life in different countries.This article focuses on the Malaysian MM2H visa. Below, you’ll find out exactly what it is, whether you’re eligible, who else in your family it may cover, and how you can apply for one.
The MM2H visa is the common name for the Malaysia My Second Home visa. This visa scheme was created by the Malaysian government to allow migrants to live in the country on a long-term basis for a stay of up to 10 years. It is essentially a long-term multiple entry visa, which allows successful applicants to leave and enter Malaysia mostly unrestricted, although some restrictions may apply under various circumstances.
While the visa is open internationally, whether you will be able to obtain one depends on your financial income and financial assets, proof of which will be required in your application.
The visa has no restrictions in terms of nationality, race, or gender; it is open to anyone who meets the criteria and comes from a country officially recognised by Malaysia. This means that people from countries such as Israel would not be accepted under the scheme, as that country is not officially recognised by Malaysia.
Eligibility varies depending on age. For applicants under 50, criteria are:
– Having 300,000 Malaysian Ringgits (MR) (which roughly equates to $73,881) in a fixed deposit account in Malaysia with a local branch of a bank. This can include internationally operating banks such as HSBC or Standard Charter.
– Proof of liquid assets of a minimum amount of MR 500,000 (approximately $123,135).
– Proof of offshore income that generates at least MR 10,000 (approximately $2,462.70) per month.
If you are an under-50 applicant, note that after a period of one year, you can withdraw an amount of up to MR 150,000 (around $36,927) from the fixed deposit for various approved expenses, such as to purchase a property, or for dependents’ education. However, a minimum balance of this amount must be maintained from the second year onwards and must last for the duration of your visa.
For applicants over the age of 50, criteria are:
– Opening a fixed deposit account in Malaysia with a local branch of a bank, as stated above.
– Proof that you have sufficient funds to support yourself as well as any spouse or dependent children for the duration of the 10-year visa.
After a year, applicants who are over 50 can withdraw an amount of up to MR 50,000 (approximately $12,309) for approved expenses such as education for dependents or purchasing a property. A minimum balance of MR 100,000 (around $24,618) must be maintained in the account for the duration of your stay.
All applicants should note that they and their spouse or dependents must have valid medical insurance to cover the duration of their stay in Malaysia. In addition, applicants and their families must get a medical report. This can be obtained from any private hospital in Malaysia.
The state of Sarawak in the Malaysian portion of Borneo is slightly different. It will not accept applicants under the age of 50 for the MM2H visa, unless applicants are over 30 and have dependent children who are enrolled in school in Sarawak or are undergoing long term medical treatment.
Those eligible for the Sarakwake programme must:
– Show proof of a form of offshore income (including a government or private pension) that generates at least MR 7,000 (around $1,723) per month for single person, or MR 10,000 (approximately $2,461) for a married couple.
– OR open a fixed deposit account with a local branch of a bank with a minimum amount of MR 100,000 (around $24,618) for a single person or MR 150,000 (approximately 36,927) for a married couple.
After one year, applicants can withdraw up to MR 40,000 for a single person or 90,000 for a married couple from the fixed deposit account for approved expenses (such as education for dependents or purchasing a property). From the second year until the end of your visa, a minimum balance of MR 60,000 must be maintained in the account.
New procedures introduced from the 1st May 2018 state that in addition to the above criteria, a letter of good conduct from China must be submitted. This is applicable to both those from and those who have worked in Singapore, Hong Kong and/or China. The letter must be submitted in English. If it is not issued in English, it must be officially translated by an accredited translator.
Can I Bring My Family To Malaysia Under The MM2H Visa?
Yes, successful applicants will have the opportunity to include their spouse under this visa, as well as any dependent, unmarried children under the age of 21.
Can I Purchase A Property Or Car?
Yes, you can purchase a property or a vehicle in Malaysia whilst under the MM2H visa. You will be permitted to purchase a residential house, but with a minimum price, which will be determined in accordance with the area and has been approved by the foreign investment committee of Malaysia.
Can I Apply For A Malaysian Identification Card?
Yes, you can apply for a Malaysian state identification card, which will allow you to pass through the national section at the airport instead of the foreign arrivals section.
Can I Hire A Domestic Helper?
Yes, you will be permitted to hire a domestic helper in accordance with the guidelines of the immigration department of Malaysia.
Can I Work?
Those who are over 50 may be permitted to work part-time under this visa, but you may have to check this with the immigration department.
What About Tax?
It’s best to read the official, up-to-date guidelines, but generally, internationally-sourced income is not taxable in Malaysia. However, check the tax guidelines with your own country as well, and find out whether you will remain considered a national and so be expected to pay tax whilst residing out of the country. This may depend how much time you spend out of the country and whether you still have a residential home there.
You can easily apply for the visa online on the official government website.
Helpful Tip: Check up-to-date information on the latest procedures on the official MM2H visa government portal.