Malaysia My Second Home

Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H): Frequently Asked Questions

Posted on Posted in MM2H, Penang, Retirement

In my years sharing advice on the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme, I have encountered the same questions many times. I have compiled these FAQs into a list to help individuals like you who might be considering MM2H.

Read on to find out more about Malaysia My Second Home and whether you qualify for it!

 

1) Do I need Malaysia My Second Home to purchase a property in Malaysia?

No, you don’t. Not unless you want to benefit from the lower purchase threshold on properties in certain states. Foreigners can purchase property subject to the land/property guideline of the state in which the property is located without MM2H.

 

2) How do I qualify for Malaysia My Second Home if I’m under 50 years of age?

You need to demonstrate that you have the means. This is basically a financial requirement.

a) At the application stage, show proof through your last three bank statements (prior to the application date) that you have:

  • the cash equivalent of RM500,000/- anywhere in the world. For avoidance of doubt, this means a fixed deposit, current or savings account and not shares or bonds.
  • an income equivalent to RM10,000/- per month anywhere in the world.

b) After you receive the letter of approval, you must place a further RM300,000/- into a fixed deposit account in a Malaysian bank. This money needs to remain in the account for the duration of your permit. Once the money has been transferred, you can get your MM2H approval stamp in your passport.

If you fully own a house or apartment in Malaysia worth RM1,000,000/- or above with no mortgage, the fixed deposit can be reduced to RM150,000/-.

 

3) How do I qualify for Malaysia My Second Home if I am over 50 years of age?

a) At the application stage, show proof through your last three bank statements (prior to the application date) that you have:

  • the cash equivalent of RM350,000/- anywhere in the world. For avoidance of doubt, this means a fixed deposit, current or savings account and not shares or bonds.
  • an income equivalent to RM10,000/- per month anywhere in the world.

b) After you receive the letter of approval, you must place a further RM150,000/- into a fixed deposit account in a Malaysian bank. This money needs to remain in the account for the duration of your permit. Once the money has been transferred, you can get your MM2H approval stamp in your passport.

If you fully own a house or apartment in Malaysia worth RM1,000,000/- or above with no mortgage, the fixed deposit can be reduced to RM100,000/-.

 

4) Can I withdraw the fixed deposit under Malaysia My Second Home lien?

As a general rule, the fixed deposit should not be withdrawn until the termination of the MM2H permit. However, one year from the approval date, part of the deposit may be withdrawn if it is for medical expenses, your children’s education, or for the purchase or reimbursement of a house. Individuals under 50 years of age can withdraw up to RM150,000/- and individuals over 50 years of age can withdraw up to RM50,000/-.

 

5) How long does the Malaysia My Second Home application process take?

Upon the submission of a complete application, a decision is given in approximately 4 to 5 months.

 

6) What are the benefits of Malaysia My Second Home?

There are multiple benefits for the Malaysia My Second Home programme.

  1. You will have permission to remain in Malaysia for up to 10 years. This includes multiple entries. However, please note that this duration is restricted by the expiry date on your passport. Once you have renewed your passport, you will be able to have the remainder of your MM2H term endorsed on it.
  2. Dependants such as your spouse, parents (over 60 years) and children (under 21 years) can accompany you.
  3. Land and property are governed by individual states. In general, foreigners are restricted to owning certain types of properties at certain price levels. On the island of Penang, for example, foreigners can only purchase apartments and houses above RM1,000,000/- and RM2,000,000/- and above respectively. In contast, MM2H holders can purchase up to two residential houses (excluding commercial properties and shophouses) or apartments at the lower threshold of RM500,000/-.
  4. You can purchase a tax-free (up to RM150,000/-) car.
  5. You can employ a foreign maid, subject to the current immigration guidelines on maids.

 

7) What happens when a Malaysia My Second Home participant passes away?

If a MM2H participant passes away and his/her spouse wishes to stay in Malaysia, they must apply to the MM2H department and request to be named as the main participant. The fixed deposit must also be changed into his/her name upon approval. Depending on the dispositions in the participant’s will, the spouse may be required to show financial evidence that he/she has the means to continue under the MM2H programme.

If the spouse does not intend to stay in the country, then the executor or administrator can request to have the MM2H visa terminated. Two letters will then be issued – one to the immigration authorities and one to the bank, asking to release the fixed deposit.

Of course, having a Malaysian will helps this process along immensely.

Note:

I have heard through the grapevine that the MM2H department is considering increasing the financial requirements for MM2H to RM600,000/- regardless of age. Fixed deposit requirements may also increase to RM500,000/-, and there may be submission charges and increase in levies per year for the MM2H visa.

Changes, if approved, are predicted to apply in around six months’ time. I do urge those of you who are considering MM2H to apply earlier rather than later.

Got more questions? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!

Author: Sam Choong

Sam Choong is a lawyer practising in Malaysia. His areas of practice include estate planning, wills and UK inheritance tax for expats residing or seeking to retire in Malaysia.

47 thoughts on “Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H): Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Does the requirements for a MM2H Visa require that you have RM 500,000 in a bank account in addition to the RM 10,000 per month income or can it be either. (not clear)

    1. Hi David,

      Thanks for the clarifying question. I am assuming that you are under 50 yrs old. Please advise if that’s not the case as the thresholds are different. The requirements are divided into pre-approval and post approval. Prior to the approval, when you submit the application, you need to show that you have the equivalent of RM500,000/- (in cash in a current account or foxed deposit anywhere in the world) on top of the monthly RM10,000/- (anywhere in the world). After approval, we need to then deposit RM300,000/- into a bank account in Malaysia. Hope that clarifies!

  2. I am over 50, from Bangladesh. I have the last three months (and years preceding that) 10000 PM salary and the 350000 RM in banks. The problem is, from Bangladesh, it is difficult to transfer fund ex-Bangladesh unless for business. Please advise.

    1. Hi Sohel,

      This is a great question but it’s also a difficult one for me to answer because my area of practice centres around Malaysia My Second Home and other immigration matters pertaining to Malaysia. Although the Taka is freely convertible I believe the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act 1947 which is also referred to as the FERA is very restrictive on Bangladeshis bringing out funds earned within the country for investment abroad. Your best bet is to chat with a good financial consultant or accountant in Bangladesh. That said, Bangladeshis are one of the top holders of Malaysia My Second Home which is understandable seeing that there is a lot of shared values and culture. I have had the privilege of visiting Dhaka & Chittagong and I immediately felt at home in both cities! I wonder if you could email me at Sam@ckylegal.com and I’ll see if I can be of some help.

  3. I consider to apply MM2H because I consider to retire soon. For financial asset as well as income, I believe I met all the requirement

    As it seems we need to wait for 4-5 months for approval, Can I retire after 3 months later or I must wait until I get visa approval first.

    Please advise

    1. Hi Colemen,

      How are you doing…

      If I may clarify what you mean by “retire”? The MM2H application process is briefly as follows:

      i) First you submit the application (at this stage you can be in Malaysia on a normal tourist visa or outside Malaysia);
      ii) About 3 months later, the decision is communicated to you;
      iii) You then need to open a bank account in Malaysia and place the mandatory fixed deposit and do your health check;
      iv) With the fixed deposit certificate, the health check & the letter of approval, you will then need to submit your passport for the approval to be stamped onto your passport (you will at this stage need to be in Malaysia).

      Hope that helps! Please feel free to ask if I have not answered your question correctly.

      Best
      Sam

      PS. As mentioned in my previous answer to Sven, do think about putting in your application soon.

  4. Hi Sam
    Have you heard any news regarding increasing of financial requirements for Mm2H?
    I am 57 and planning to move Malaysia next summer.

    1. Hey Sven,

      That’s a very timely question. My colleague spoke to someone quite high up at the immigration department a few months ago and he mentioned there is a recommendation to the decision makers at MM2H for the financial threshold to be increased. We are monitoring this closely and one of my MM2H associates who runs down to Putra Jaya (Immigration Headquarters) weekly is telling us this will be imposed soon. In fact, the tax free car incentive will be withdrawn from 1st January 2018 onwards. So you see the trend. We’re therefore advising people who are keen to apply to do so ASAP. Since you’re planning to move to Malaysia next year perhaps you could consider putting in your application this year.

      1. Does this mean that once the application is submitted, the current terms and conditions apply? I am very interested in applying with my wife and have been researching MM2H for the past 4 months. It seems like the right retirement programme for my wife and I. I have even completed the stacks of forms!

        Can you please advise on this as it’s a very important aspect for us?

        1. Hi John,

          1) I believe you are referring to the anticipated increase in the financial threshold. I can’t be sure whether there will be retrospective effect although I believe you should be “grand fathered” if the approval is before the new financial guidelines. The best advice would be to make the application as soon as possible.
          2) Please be mindful that MM2H recently introduced an online form generation system. If you submit the old forms it may or may not be processed and the application may be delayed at this critical time when everyone is trying to get their approvals prior to the anticipated revision.

  5. Hi Sam, are MM2H holders allowed to study at Malaysian universities, e.g., do a masters or PhD program? What about at private schools like Cordon Blue or at a Malay language school? I’ve only seen info on education for children and dependents. Thanks!

    1. Hi Martin,
      Interesting question! I believe there’s no restriction for the main applicant to attend such courses. You can’t work but I see no reason why you can’t attend classes provided the institutions are happy to accept you. Hope that helps!

      Best
      Sam

      1. Thanks Sam, on further digging I was told by the government that I’d have to change to a Student Pass and give up my MM2H if I wanted to study at a university, but that studying Malay or short courses like cooking are OK on the MM2H. Thanks again!

  6. Hi Sam,

    I am planning to move to Malaysia via MM2H programme. My wife is now pregnant and the expected due date is in January 2018. I noticed some benefit (e.g. tax free car incentive) is going to discontinued and not sure if other conditions are going to change. What’s your suggestion about the MM2H application? Is it more reasonable to apply in next year? or I can add new family members into the MM2H visa during the pre-approval stage?

    Rgds,
    Sam Ling

    1. Hi Sam,

      Yes, there are a few changes to the conditions (estimated by end of 2017) to the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme, the financial requirements are going to increase. I presume that you are under 50 yrs old and as such, they are increasing the financial requirement from RM500,000 to RM600,000. Subsequently, the FD to be place after approval will be increased to RM500,000 instead of RM300,000 currently.

      In respect of the future addition to your family (congratulations in advance), yes, you may add new dependents, but only after you have obtained your approval.

      We, of course, would advise that you apply now, in order to be able to submit with lower financial requirements.

      My colleagues email to you some information on Monday.

  7. Hi – i am currently retired at 66 and have liquid capital in excess of the threshold by a lot but my income from government sources is less than 10000rm per month. is there anyway around this issue?

    thank you.

    1. Great clarifying question. If i may ask, do you have any other source of income that we can add on to this government sourced income? For instance, regular income from other investments such as fixed or time deposits interest, share dividend, REITS, property rental etc? Or annuities/insurance paid annually which we can show the immigration which can be averaged out over the year on a monthly basis. Hope that helps. You’re welcome to chat direct with me at Sam@ckylegal.com if you like. Again, please bear in mind the possible increase in the financial thresholds which is expected shortly.

  8. My wife and I are planning to move to Malaysia on MM2H. As a married couple is that one application or two, also for the financial bond one of us is older than 50 and one younger than 50 so how does the financial bond get calculated?

    1. Hi Philip,

      Thank you for your question.

      As a married couple, you would be the main applicant, and your wife can come in as your dependent (or vice versa). Presumably, the one older than 50 years old would be the main applicant, for the benefit of the lower financial threshold.

      The financial bond depends on your nationality, the amount differs.

      My colleagues will drop you an email soon with more detailed information on MM2H. We have heard that the financial requirement thresholds are increasing very soon, so we urge you to apply soonest you can.

    1. Hi KH,

      We’ve actually succesfully help former Malaysians apply for MM2H so I would say there’s no problems. Hope that helps.

      Best
      Sam

  9. Hi Sam,
    My husband and I are planning on applying for the mm2h visa once our youngest finishes high school in a couple of years and buy a condo in Penang so we can winter in Malaysia. In the meantime, the family back home (Perak) is urging us to purchase the family property ($90,000 Malaysian ringgit). My question is, if we paid the purchased amount, what are the chances that we can have the deed transferred to our names once we get our visa in 2 years? Is there a minimum amount for the properties that we want to purchase in Penang and Perak?

    1. Hi Liz,

      Some technical questions. Land laws are regulated mainly by the respective state where the property is located. As for Perak, I am assuming that you are NOT Malaysian so the minimum price threshold is RM350,000-00 and above for MM2H visa holders as opposed to RM 1 million for non–MM2H visa holders. So the answer is No, you won’t be able to register that property in your name.

      As for Penang, the minimum price for foreigners is RM500,000-00 and above (maximum 2 units) for MM2H visa holders as opposed to RM 1 million for strata title and RM 3 million for landed property for non-MM2H visa holders.

      In the meantime, we are made to understand that the financial threshold for qualifying for MM2H is about to increase so you may wish to start your application soon to avoid this threshold increase.

      Best
      Sam

  10. Hi,
    My husband and I are both below 50 years and our source of income is through investments. We don’t have a regular monthly paycheck but we do have enough money for the investment. Do we qualify to apply?

    1. Hi there,

      Can I ask how much you have in terms of cash ie. current account or fixed deposit? And how much is your income through these investments over the past year or ideally 2 years? You can email me privately at sam@ckylegal.com

      Best
      Sam

    1. Hi Kev,

      Absolutely, you can rent. MM2H, in a nutshell, is a visa for people who wish to live in Malaysia long term. It has very little to do with property purchase. In some states like Penang, Perak & East Malaysia it lowers the financial threshold for purchase of property by foreigners. Hope that helps. As usual, may I remind you to submit your application soon before the anticipated tightening of conditions.

      Best
      Sam

  11. Dear Sam,
    Thank you very much providing important information regarding MM2H through your website. I am keen to move to Malaysia with my wife and kids but just not sure which route to take. Do you or your colleagues only provide support in terms of MM2H or you can provide information regarding work permits or other means ( such as investor visa’s if any ) in Malaysia? Please let me know.
    Thanks.

    1. Hi Waheed,

      How are you doing!

      Glad you find the information helpful. The area of practice of my law firm includes corporate & commercial advice along with immigration, so absolutely we can advise you on other methods of staying in Malaysia. Malaysia My Second Home or MM2H is not the only means of staying in Malaysia although it is quite popular because it suits the circumstances of a lot of people. There are other means although it depends on your needs and your qualifications.

      We’re celebrating Deepavali in Malaysia today & my team is on leave. So, off the cuff, I am not aware that Malaysia offer schemes such as those available in Australia, Portugal or Singapore where for a large amount of investment placed in these jurisdictions, the investor is granted a investors visa or a PR. PR or permanent residence status in Malaysia is highly difficult to obtain. Nonetheless, if you drop me a message at my work email (sam@ckylegal.com) we can explore the possibilities.

      Chat soon.
      Sam

  12. Hey Sam,
    I work for an Australian Government fire service and will be taking a pension from my superannuation provider. Does that allow me to qualify under the Government pension rule for MM2H?

    1. Hi Peter,

      It depends whether you are asking to utilise this pension as the RM10,000 income pre-approval or as the RM150,000 Fixed Deposit pledge post-approval.

      For the Australian Government pension to be utilised to qualify for the RM10,000 income, yes it can be utilised to show income, you would have to support the bank statement with a letter from the Australian Government stating that this pension is from the Government.

      For the pension to be utilised in replacement of the RM150,000 FD pledge post approval, beginning May this year, our MM2H department has removed this option and as such, even while receiving a Government pension of RM10,000 or more, you would still be required to pledge the RM150,000 FD in a bank in Malaysia.

      Hope the above clarifies. You may email me at sam@ckylegal.com if you would like further clarification.

  13. Hi Sam, I am an over 50 years U.S. banker and have been a fan of MM2H for many years. Although I have another 5 years to retire, I am eagerly waiting to apply for the program and as part of that process planning to visit KUL in next few months. Would it be a good idea and will you be available for a face to face chat on this while I am in KUL?

  14. i am 65 years of age and have business in UAE since 21 years ,and i am interested in MM2H .
    i am a pakistani passport holder. My business will continue in UAE ,being looked after by my sons.
    kindly inform me the detail requirements and expencess and another charges for this to start the formalities.

  15. Dear Sam.
    Thank you for your insights.

    Would be grateful if you may clarify the follwing

    A. CAN YOU DO A FULL TIME JOB

    B. CAN I SEND MY CHILDREN TO UNI WHILE HE HOLDS THIS VISA

    C. CAN I OBTAIN A LLC LICENSE IN DOING BUSINESS

    4. DO I QUALIFY TO AVAIL MEDICAL BENEFITS

    Will appreciate your response

    1. Hi Mr. Saban,

      Great clarifying questions. I get asked these all the time. I shall answer them in the order that they were posed:

      A. MM2H doesn’t allow full time employment although if you have skills which are not readily available amongst Malaysians, you can apply for part time work. This is a separate application from the MM2H visa application.
      B. As for the studies of your children, they can apply to the university and if accepted, a student pass can be applied for.
      C. You can start a company and be a shareholder and a non executive director. The work has to be carried out by Malaysians or foreigners with the relevant work permit.
      D. You will not be able to avail yourself of the benefits provided to Malaysians. However, you can still go to the local hospitals except you will not be charged as a Malaysian. By the way, as a pre-requisite for MM2H application, you will need to have insurance so you will have the coverage you buy.

  16. Hi Sam. If I enter Malaysia on a business visa and then wish to transfer to MM2H is it possible if so what is the procedure. thanks.

    1. Hi Muhammed,

      Can you let us know what you mean by a business visa? Do you have an employment pass applied for you by a company in Malaysia? If so, yes you may but you need to terminate the employment pass prior to applying for the MM2H. If you need the details, please email me at Sam@ckylegal.com.

      Best
      Sam

  17. Hi Sam,
    I am less than 50y. I want to apply for MM2H visa but I am planning to get married next year. What does it take for my future wife to join me? is it easy for her to join me? will it take time ?
    My second question. Is that when and if I get the approval, is there a deadline where i have to make a deposit and move to Malaysia?
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Rachid,

      If you are getting married next year, could you please clarify if you are intending to bring your current fiancee to join you now during your MM2H submission, or if you are intending to bring her to join you under the MM2H programme next year upon your marriage registered?

      My colleagues will send you an email reply to clarify further on this.

      In respect of your second question, the deadline is 6 months from your approval date to place a fixed deposit and come into Malaysia for endorsement of your passport, but you would have the freedom to decide when you would like to move to Malaysia.

  18. Hi Sam,
    I’m keen to move to Penang and set up a tourism company which would bring in business and employ local Malaysians. What would be the best way for me to do this please?

    1. Hi Wendy,

      Thanks for the question. I think this is a great question because a lot of people moving here still want to be active in business. There seems to be two parts to your question. The first is setting up the company and getting a licence for it to operate as a tourism company and the second is getting you the correct permit to stay in Malaysia.

      Firstly, the tourism business is regulated by the Ministry of Tourism (Surprise, surprise!). Their guidelines allow a foreign company (with a 5 year track record in their home country to set up and wholly own a Malaysian incorporated company and get it licenced for inbound tours only. The paid up capital has to be at least RM1,500,000/-. There are, of course, more conditions so this is the summarised version.

      Secondly, you need to think about how you stay in Malaysia. Malaysia My Second Home allows you to remain for a 10 year duration but doesn’t really allow you to work so you will, as you said, need to employ Malaysians to do the work. An employment pass allows you to work in the company set up but this is only for a 2 year duration but renewable. The company applying for the employment pass, however, has to have been set up and running for some time before an employment pass can be applied for.

      Think that’s all for now. Hope that helps. If you need more details including tax and company secretarial stuff, please email me at Sam@ckylegal.com

    1. Hi Roy,

      As far as I know this is a grey area. If you rock up to the Immigration department, which we have done, they will either give you an unclear reply or say you need to exchange your MM2H for a student pass. I’m happy to give you some other suggestions if you email me privately at Sam@ckylegal.com.

      Best
      Sam

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