MM2H – Malaysia My Second Home

  • Personal Legal Procedures
MM2H – Malaysia My Second Home

What is MM2H?

The MM2H, or Malaysia My Second Home, visa programme is a programme to encourage foreigners from all over the world who fulfil specific criteria to live in Malaysia.

It’s a long-term social visit pass that allows holders multiple entries for ten years. It can be renewed if you meet all the requirements.

You may stay as long as you wish and leave anytime you want to.

Take note that the duration of the MM2H visa will depend on the validity of your passport. If your passport is only valid for three years, you will only be granted an MM2H for three years. It is best to renew your passport before you apply for an MM2H visa.

The scheme was initially proposed by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, MOTAC, and is now overseen by the Immigration Department of the Home Affairs Ministry to promote positive immigration to the country. MOTAC is still responsible for promoting the Malaysia my second home programme.

Bear in mind, this is not a permanent residence permit, and it’s not a direct pathway to permanent residency.  Applying for permanent residency is a lengthy and complicated process.

You may, however, apply for permanent residency after a certain period in Malaysia under the MM2H.

Who may apply for the MM2H programme?

Citizens of all countries that Malaysia officially recognizes as a country, regardless of religion, gender or age.

The visa holder may apply to bring his or her spouse, unmarried children under the age of 21 years old, and parents to Malaysia. The visa is only valid for the children until they are 21.

You may also apply to bring one helper with you.

There are even procedures to bring your pet along.

Where can you stay in Malaysia?

MM2H visa holders can reside anywhere in Malaysia except for Sabah and Sarawak.

If you want to reside in Sarawak, you need the MM2H Sarawak version of the visa.

Converting from one to the other is not easy, and it is best to decide where you want to stay, Peninsular Malaysia or Sabah/Sarawak before you apply.

You can, however, reside anywhere in Malaysia with a Sarawak MM2H visa.

Eligibility criteria are different for Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak. The main difference being the age limit.

Take note that you do not have to buy property to qualify for the MM2H programme. It does, however, provide a pathway with certain benefits into the property market if you wish to own property in Malaysia.

Malaysia my second home benefits

Besides the apparent flexibility and freedom of multiple entry residency within Malaysia or Sarawak, holders are also entitled to purchase property in Malaysia.

With a Sarawak MM2H visa, you may buy a residential property at a purchase price of RM300,000 minimum, in designated areas in Sarawak.

Under the Peninsular Malaysia MM2H, you may buy a residential property in Malaysia for the minimum price as set by the state in which you want to buy. The minimum price-range is from RM 500,000 to RM 1,000,000 and is pre-approved by the Foreign Investment Committee of Malaysia.

Many foreigners wanting to own property in Malaysia find the MM2H visa an attractive option into the Malaysian property market. The property may serve as a holiday home or be rented out.

Under MM2H you can apply for a home loan from a bank in Malaysia to buy a property. Granting of the loan will be subject to certain conditions.

Added benefits to buying a property, for example, in Penang, under the MM2H programme is that the minimum purchase price may be lower. You are not restricted to a particular type of property.

  • Non-MM2H foreigners (on other visas) must buy condominiums or gated community properties worth more than RM1m each, or houses, bungalows or villas worth more than RM2m each.
  • MM2H holders can buy two properties each worth at least RM500,000. It can be houses, bungalows, gated communities or condominiums – there are no restrictions on the type of property.

Land is a state matter, and the above rule only applies in Penang.

It is important to check state laws before making any commitments.

Other MM2H benefits include:

  • You may import your personal and household items into Malaysia tax-free. Certain things do, however, require permits/licenses.
  • You may invest in local companies, the share market and unit trusts.
  • The interest earned on bank fixed deposits is tax-free.
  • Offshore generated income or pension, and foreign funds may be transferred tax-free into Malaysia.
  • Subject to specific terms and conditions, you may own and run your own local or overseas business as a Director.
  • Visa holders may apply for their parents to join them as dependents under a renewable long-term visa.
  • Children below 21 years old can study in Malaysia.
  • Visa holders over 50 years old may work part-time up to 20 hours per week. You do, however, need permission from the immigration department. Permission is subject to certain conditions.

MM2H Requirements

Firstly, you need to prove that you meet specific financial requirements and present proof of your financial strength in Ringgit Malaysia (RM).

A certified copy of the latest three months’ bank statements must accompany your application. Also, certified copies of the latest three months’ payslips/income statements or pension slips, whichever is relevant to your situation.

Peninsular Malaysia: If you are older than 50 years old:

  • You need liquid assets worth at least RM 350,000 and an offshore monthly income of RM 10,000.
  • After receiving conditional approval, you need to open a fixed deposit account of RM 150,000.
  • After one year you may withdraw up to RM 50,000. Still, you must maintain a minimum balance of RM 100,000 throughout your stay in Malaysia under the MM2H visa.

Peninsular Malaysia: If you are under 50 years old:

  • You need liquid assets worth at least RM 500,000 and an offshore monthly income of RM 10,000.
  • After receiving conditional approval, you need to open a fixed deposit account of RM 300,000.
  • After one year you may withdraw up to RM 150,000. Still, you must maintain a minimum balance of RM 150,000 throughout your stay in Malaysia under the MM2H visa.

Take note, the withdrawal from the fixed deposits after one year is allowed for the following only:

  • To buy property in Malaysia in the name of the visa holder or his or her spouse.
  • To buy a car for the applicant or the spouse.
  • To pay for children’s education, or;
  • Medical expenses for the family

Monthly income sources can include salary, pension, rental income, investment returns, interest, etc. It must be outside of Malaysia.

Liquid assets refer to cash or assets that can be readily converted to cash. It does not include property.

If you decide to leave the MM2H programme, you may withdraw your entire fixed deposit. You do, however, need prior approval from the Ministry of Tourism.

A Malaysian citizen must sponsor an applicant, but a Malaysia second home agent may act as a sponsor.

MM2H Sarawak eligibility and requirements

To apply for an MM2H in Sarawak, applicants must be over 50 years old.

If you, however, have a child who is studying long-term in Sarawak, or who needs long-term medical care in Sarawak, and you are 30 years or older, you may also apply.

The financial requirements are slightly different, as well.

Married couples:

  • You need to prove an offshore income of at least RM 10,000 per month or open a fixed deposit account of RM 150,00 per couple.
  • After one year you may withdraw up to RM 90,000 to buy a house, car or pay for medical expenses or children’s education.  After that, you have to maintain a minimum fixed deposit of RM 60,000.

Single applicants:

  • You need to prove an offshore income of at least RM 7,000 per month or open a fixed deposit account of RM 100,000.
  • After one year you may withdraw up to RM 40,000 to buy a house, car or pay for medical expenses or children’s education.  After that, you have to maintain a minimum fixed deposit of RM 60,000.

Take note, all applicants for the MM2H Sarawak must be sponsored by a Malaysian citizen from Sarawak or a Sarawak permanent resident. You cannot apply through an MM2H agent.

Other requirements:

  • If you are a couple, a marriage certificate is required.
  • A letter of good conduct from the applicant’s country, such as a police report or a letter from your embassy, must accompany the application.
  • You have to meet specific health requirements and submit a self-declaration of medical conditions— no infectious disease like AIDS, HIV, Malaria, TB or Hepatitis.
  • If you are bringing your children, a birth certificate, showing that you are the parents of the child. If relevant, custody or adoption letters must be included.

There may be other requirements depending on your circumstances. An MM2H agency should be able to assist you with the complete list.

Are there restrictions?

Yes, MM2H holders under 50 years old may not work or be employed while staying in Malaysia. Working overseas is allowed.

Visa holders may not engage in any activity that can be considered sensitive to the local people, or that poses a threat to the security of the country.

Citizens of countries not recognized by Malaysia may not apply.

How do you apply to participate in the MM2H programme?

You can apply directly or through an agent, either from overseas or while in Malaysia.

All applicants must have a Malaysian sponsor. An MM2H agent can act as your sponsor, except for the Sarawak MM2H. Make sure that you use a reputable registered agent. An agent that doesn’t know the process or who disappears halfway through your application is an MM2H problem that you want to avoid.

Steps in the MM2H application process:

Step 1: You apply online and download all the necessary forms and documents.

Step 2: You complete and submit the required documents. If you are familiar with the latest rules, you can do this yourself. Still, most people work through an MM2H licensed agent who is familiar with the process. You will be liable for MM2H agent’s fee.

Step 3: Processing and approval usually take 4-5 months.

Step 4: If approved, you will receive a conditional approval letter from the MM2H immigration unit.

Step 5: Upon arrival in Malaysia, you have six months to submit the remaining documents to the MM2H authority.

  • Firstly, you need to make the fixed deposits in a Malaysian bank and submit the fixed deposit certificates.
  • You need to obtain medical insurance valid in Malaysia and provide proof. This requirement can be waived if the medical cover is rejected due to the applicant’s age.
  • You and all your dependents must go for a medical examination at any private hospital or registered clinic in Malaysia and submit the medical reports.
  • If you have a child who will attend school in Malaysia, you need to apply for a student pass and submit that, along with the student personal data form.

Step 6: You need to pay the applicable fees for issuing your MM2H visa and collect your visa at the MM2H immigration centre.

It is critical to plan appropriately to avoid any typical MM2H problems that could delay or derail the process. For example, failing to have the cash ready to make the fixed deposit soon after conditional approval, and missing the six months deadline, would lead to the approval deadline lapsing.

Is the MM2H programme a good option for me?

Malaysia is known for its year-round warm climate, excellent local cuisine, and friendly people. It is not surprising that many people are considering making Malaysia their second home.

The MM2H programme is designed to promote and encourage positive immigration for Malaysia. Financial strength and liquidity are critical requirements for eligibility.

The bottom line is, if you can’t afford it, the MM2H visa is not an option for you. You will have to go as a tourist for a holiday instead.

For those fortunate enough to qualify financially, there are many benefits and incentives to consider taking part in Malaysia, my second home programme. Once accepted, you are in a better position to buy property in Malaysia than many other foreigners on different types of visas.