Malaysia My Second Home Program Review
“Malaysia Truly Asia” is the advertising tagline that millions of us are familiar with, and if there truly is one country where all the colors, flavors, sights and sounds, peoples, cultures, and landscapes of Asia all come together and exist as one in harmony, it’s Malaysia. If you would like to be part of it, Malaysia have their own residency program, and Passport Reviewer checked it out.
Malaysia In A Nutshell
Malaysia is a Southeast Asian dual-region nation located in the South China Sea. Those regions are Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia; Peninsular Malaysia shares land borders and sea boundaries with Thailand plus maritime boundaries with Singapore, Vietnam, and Indonesia. East Malaysia, also referred to as Malaysian Borneo, shares land borders and maritime boundaries with Brunei and Indonesia, and sea boundaries with the Philippines and Vietnam.
Malaysia was granted independence from Great Britain in 1957, and after an initial period of instability found its place in the world, and by the early 1980s Malaysia began establishing itself as the economic powerhouse it remains today. Malaysia’s considerable wealth comes from its expertise in the services industry (finance and banking plus tourism and also medical tourism), regular industry (electronics, construction, oil and gas) and agriculture. Living standards in Malaysia rate high across the board, with excellent education and healthcare. Malaysia’s main commercial partners are Singapore, China, Japan, and the USA. Only 3% of Malaysians are unemployed, and less than 1% of the population live below the poverty line.
In 1999, the Malaysian government launched the “Malaysia, Truly Asia” promotional campaign, which is still going strong today. The promotion proved to be a massive success; Malaysia is the 11th most popular tourist destination in the world, with almost 30 million arrivals per year. Such is Malaysia’s diversity, with beautiful beaches, private islands, rainforests, mountains, plus vibrant cities and towns, it can cater for every form of touristic activity. A recent phenomena is medical tourism, and Malaysian private hospitals now cater to almost 1 million foreign patients each year.
Malaysia is a truly multicultural society, with large numbers of Chinese and Indians as well as a working immigrant population consisting of Asians, Arabs, Europeans and North Americans.
- Official Language: Malaysian (2nd language English)
- Capital City: Kuala Lumpur
- Largest City: Kuala Lumpur (Pop; 2.25 million)
- Surface Area: 330,803 km2
- Religion: Islam, Buddhism, Christianity
- Population: 31.4 million
- Government: Federal Parliamentary
- Legal system: Based on the British Common Law system
- Currency: Ringgit
- GDP per capita: $25,833
- Climate: Tropical rainforest climate, hot and humid throughout the year
Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) Program
Malaysia’s My Second Home program (MM2H) is an international residency scheme developed by the Government of Malaysia and designed to allow foreign investors the opportunity to obtain a long-term visa by making an investment into the country. Applicants will also need to pass a background check, pass a medical test, and purchase health insurance.
Permanent residence status gives an individual a ten year, multiple-entry visa that is easily renewable at the end of the ten year period. There is no minimum residency requirement, so successful applicants are free to leave and reenter Malaysia as they wish. After a period of residency, Malaysian citizenship can be requested, and if the applicant is prepared to forgo their original citizenship, Malaysian citizenship and passport will be granted.
Citizens of any country recognized by Malaysia are free to apply for the MM2H program, and applicants can include their spouse and children below the age of 21. The rules of the MM2H program differ for the main applicants depending on their age:
- Applicants Aged Under 50: Must open a fixed deposit account in Malaysia of RM300,000 (US$ 67,226) and maintain a minimum balance of RM150,000 (US$ 33,613) from the second year onwards and throughout their stay in the country
- Applicants Over 50 or Over: Must either open a fixed deposit account of RM150,000 (US$ 33,613), or provide evidence of a RM10,000 (US$ 2,240) monthly pension from an offshore account. From the second year onwards, the participant must maintain a minimum balance of RM100,000 (US$ 22,408) throughout their stay in the country
- Approved Participant: An approved participant who has purchased and owns property which was bought for a minimum RM1 million (US$ 224,089) in Malaysia may state their intention in letter of application
- Applicants and their families must also submit a medical report from a Malaysia-based hospital or clinic, and must have valid insurance coverage
Benefits Of MM2H Program
- Freedom to travel – There is no minimum stay requirement. Applicants are free to enter and leave anytime
- Parents’ Special Visa – Applicant’s parents aged over 60-year old are eligible to live in Malaysia under a special 6-month social-visit renewable visa
- Tax – An applicant’s foreign-sourced income or pension is not subject to tax if such income is remitted to Malaysia
- House Purchase – An applicant may purchase multiple properties in Malaysia
- Education – Children can receive education up to the age of 18 under MM2H study permit in public or private schools
- Healthcare – Advanced medical facilities are widely available for use Malaysia. Part of an applicant’s medical needs will be covered under the compulsory medical insurance
- Citizenship – For many the ultimate goal will be Malaysian citizenship and its passport. Via the MM2H program this is far easier to achieve
- Malaysian Passport Power – The Malaysian passport grants its holder visa-free access to 164 countries, including Western Europe, much of the Middle East and Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, much of Africa and Southeast Asia
Pros and Cons of Living in Malaysia
Considering Malaysia is only slightly bigger than Britain, it seems to pack the geographical diversity of a large continent into its two locations. From ancient architecture to the deepest darkest rainforests, from breathtaking coastline to super-modern high-tech cities and everything in between, Malaysia truly does have it all.
The country also has everything for the family, from theme parks, jungle trails, land and water sports plus multiple golf courses. Education and healthcare are of an excellent standard and the cost of living and of property is cheaper than an EU county like Spain.
Malaysia is a secular Muslim country, and that in itself could be an issue for some people, including some Muslims. Imported goods are very expensive, especially alcoholic drinks. Traffic in Malaysia’s main cities – Kuala Lumpur in particular – is massively congested.
Passport Reviewer Ranking: B+
If you are prepared to begin a new life in Malaysia and spend at least a few years there, obtaining Malaysian citizenship and ownership of its passport is a very achievable and very positive move, especially if you hail from one of the more restrictive African, Asian or Middle Eastern countries. The Malaysian passport is one of the most powerful on earth, and its access to 164 countries visa-free places it on a par with the best passports of the EU. To say this could prove life-changing to many people is an understatement.
The main downside is that Malaysia does not (for now) recognize dual citizenship, so one would have to be prepared to forgo their previous passport, and declare themselves to be Malaysian, which in the great scheme of things is no such a bad thing to do.