The Ultimate Guide to Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H)

By Nikita Shankar | Foreign Buyers

If we haven’t already mentioned it, Malaysia is a beautiful, diverse and rich country that’s a fan-favourite for many expats. While the floating crowd in the country can vouch for our high claims, it’s the expats, having lived here for decades, who call this country home. If you have ever thought about settling down, or maybe even planned on staying long term in a specific location, then this is the guide for you. Malaysia My Second Home is the best alternative for those of you who want to make Malaysia their home, and today we will give you the ultimate guide to know everything about the program.

What is it

MM2H is a government run initiative set up to incentivise foreigners to live long-term in the country, provided you meet certain requirements. It’s a great program for those of you who want to settle down in this country for a long period of time (think decades worth of time). It’s beneficial not only to the country, but also to individuals applying for it, and is a hassle-free option for most.

What are the benefits

Clearly, the benefits certainly outweigh the drawbacks. Here’s why:

- With this program, you and your family will be eligible for a ten-year multiple entry visa for Malaysia. There’s no strings attached. You can remain in the country for the duration of the visa, or stay for extended periods of time. Plus, the Social Pass is renewable.

- As a visa holder, you also have the right to purchase any free-hold property in the country.

- The program allows you to import a pre-owned car into the country without any duty. Alternatively, you can also buy a new, locally assembled car without any taxes.

- You can bring in your domestic helper as well.

- What’s more, any income earned from abroad and coming into the country is not taxable. No inheritance taxes in this program!

Spouse & dependents

As we’ve mentioned, this program is most suited for families. Even so, here are some points to keep in mind.

- You will of course, be able to obtain a visa for your spouse as well.

- If you have any children below the age of 21, then they are also eligible for a visa under MM2H.

- However, children above 21 years of age will not be able to receive a visa under this program. They will need to get a separate visa (more on this below).

- Should you have any disabled children (no matter the age) who are dependent on you, then they are eligible to receive a visa.

- This program does allow you to include your dependent parents under the visa scheme. They need to be senior citizens over the age of 60.

What are the requirements

While this program is open to people of all ages and nationalities, when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, there are quite a few requirements you need to qualify for. Good thing there’s this handy guide to help you.

In order for you to be approved for this program, it’s important for the government to know that you are financially stable. Thus, most of the requirements need you to provide financial stability proof.

What You Need Before Applying

If you’re under 50 years of age, here’s what you need to include:

- You need to show proof of owning liquid assets that are above RM 500,000. These include bank accounts, stocks, bonds or mutual funds. This does not include real-estate investment, however. If you’re going to show your current account statements as proof, make sure they’re of the last three months that show a balance of RM 500,000 at least.

- Also show proof that you are earning at least RM 10,000 on a monthly basis from a foreign country.

The rules slightly differ if you’re above 50 years of age. Here’s how:

- You need to show proof of owning liquid assets that are above RM 350,000. Again, these include bank accounts, stocks, etc, but not any property related investments. Bank account statements submitted as proof need to show a balance of at least RM 350,000 for the latest three months.

- The government also needs proof that you have a monthly income of at least RM 10,000 from abroad.

What You Need After Approval

After getting an approval letter from the Government, you’ll have to place a fixed amount of money as a fixed deposit in the country. This amount will vary depending on your age (see Fixed Deposit Choices).

Statistics

Here are some values that really show how popular MM2H is in numbers.

Number of Participants Approved Per Year

Year No. of Participants Approved
2012 3,227
2013 3,675
2014 3074
2015 2211
2016 3347
2017 (February) 563
Total 16,097

Top 10 Participating Countries

Year
Country of Nationality 2017 (February) 2016 2015 2014
China 251 1,512 719 1,307
Japan 32 281 300 428
Bangladesh 53 283 205 250
United Kingdom 26 110 83 117
Iran 3 8 19 17
Singapore 9 93 67 94
Taiwan 17 77 71 83
Korea 30 184 120 137
Pakistan 6 29 31 51
India 6 68 45 42
Others 130 702 550 548
Total 563 3,347 2,211 3,074

How to apply

Applying for the MM2H program is straightforward. You apply for the program, receive an approval letter from the Government, based on which you complete a set of formalities (see the flow chart below). After this you will have an endorsed MM2H stamp on your passport, and a multiple entry Social visit pass. You have two options; one being direct application (without the help of agents) and the other being applying through certified, government approved agents. While both options have their pros and cons, we’ll discuss both of them in depth.

Take note though that the government is known to change applications rules on a whim, so it’s best to always stay updated during the application process.

Applying yourself

Directly applying for yourself is a viable option for most. You save on the agent fees, plus the requirements are pretty straightforward. Here’s what you’ll need to provide if you’re going to apply directly to the MM2H centre:

- One letter of application. This is basically a cover letter stating your reason for joining the MM2H program

- One copy of your resume. This needs to include information on your academic and work experience, plus areas of expertise.

- One copy of the MM2H application form. Dependents (spouse, parents, children) need to fill out individual forms.

- One original copy and two photocopies of IM.12 Form. This is the Social Visit pass form. Again, dependents need to fill out individual forms.

- Four passport-sized photographs

- One copy of your passport (this includes all pages)

- Letter of good conduct issued by the government of your home country. This can be issued by the police department or the embassy of your home country.

- Fill out the self-declaration health form (RB 1) for you and your dependents

- One certified copy of your marriage certificate (if it applies to you)

- One certified copy of your child’s birth certificate (if it applies to you)

- Certified copies of bank statements dated for the latest three months

- Certified copies of pay slips or income statements dated for the latest three months

You will also need to place a security bond with the government if you are accepted. This is refundable at the end of the MM2H program period or when you terminate your visa. The amount would depend on your nationality, with amounts ranging from RM 200 to RM 2000.

Applying through an agent

Applying through an agent is, of course, an easier process. But this also means you will have to shell out some agent fees as well. According to the MM2H centre, the maximum fees an agent can charge you is limited to RM 10,000.

Each agent may have a separate application process, and it’s best to check with individual agents regarding this. Usually, if you plan an applying through an agent, you will need to submit a personal bond instead of a security bond. Your selected agent will provide you with the necessary information.

Choosing an agent

It’s best to always select an agent who is legally registered under the MM2H centre. Some of the well-known agents include Alter Domus, My Expat (MM2H) and Henry Butcher. You can find the whole list of registered agents here.

Here’s a handy flow chart to help you visualise the application process.

Fixed deposit choices

As mentioned above, as part of the requirements, you’ll also need to put in a fixed deposit amount into any bank within the country.

· Fixed deposit amount if you are below 50 years of age

The required amount would be RM 300,000. After one year, you can remove up to half of the sum (which would amount to RM 150,000).

· Fixed deposit amount if you are above 50 years of age

The required amount would be RM 150,000. After one year, you can withdraw part of the amount (the minimum value in the fixed deposit account should not go below RM 100,000)

Withdrawing Part of Your Fixed Deposit

With Government approval, you can withdraw part of your Fixed deposit after one year. You can use this money to purchase a house, a car, for educational purposes or for medical expenses.

Lowering the amount of Fixed Deposit

In some cases, it is possible to lower the basic fixed deposit sum. To do this, you need to have previously purchased a property in Malaysia valued at RM 1 million or more. In your application letter, make sure you mention this in order to lower the fixed deposit amount.

MM2H fees

The fees for MM2H would vary depending on whether you are going to apply directly or through a registered agent. When applying directly or through an agent, the fees would include RM 90 per year for the renewal of the Social Visit Pass. This pass needs to be renewed on a yearly basis for each individual dependent.

Applying Directly

- RM 90 for Social Visit Pass

- Security bond (depending on nationality)

- Fixed deposit amount (depending on your age)

Applying through an agent

- RM 90 for Social Visit Pass

- Agent fees (cannot exceed RM 10,000)

- Personal bond amount

- Fixed deposit amount (depending on your age)

Checking application status

Throughout the whole application process, you can check up on the status using the online portal here.

Studying in Malaysia

Studying in Malaysia is a great option. The country promises world-class education and it does not fail to deliver. However, here’s what you need to keep in mind if your children plan on studying here.

Children below 18 years of age

In order for your child to study in a primary or secondary education institution, you will need to apply for a permission to study. The documents required to apply to the MM2H centre would be:

- a letter of intent stating the reason for application

- an acceptance letter from the education institution

- a completed Student Personal Data Form (available at the MM2H centre)

- one copy of your child’s passport (all pages)

The processing period is stated as being 7 working days.

Children above 18 years of age

After the age of 18, children are no longer considered dependent and so need to obtain their own visa if they plan on continuing in Malaysia for studies. If your children are studying in a private institution in the country, then it is possible for them to obtain a student visa. They need to apply for this through their place of study. Check out Education Malaysia for further information.

Buying a house

While it’s not a requirement to purchase a house, it is possible for foreigners to invest in property in Malaysia. Bear in mind though that certain states have put a minimum property purchase value for foreigners. You can read through our article on this and other guidelines for foreign buyers here.

Importing a car or buying a car

One major selling point for this program is the fact that you can either purchase a car within the country or import a foreign car into Malaysia without any taxes. Yet again, there are some limitations.

If you plan on buying a new locally assembled car, then here’s what you need to know:

- The purchase of the car must be done within two years after your visa has been approved. The duty exemption clause only applies for the first two years. If you fail to buy a car within two years, then you’ll have to shell out extra money for added taxes on the car.

These are the documents you will need:

- A copy of the MM2H approval letter from Immigration Department of Malaysia

- One copy of the front and back pages of your passport.

- One copy of the MM2H multiple entry visa page on your passport.

- One copy of the car purchase order from the vehicle dealership.

- Submit the chassis and engine number of the vehicle.

- One copy of the price quotation from the vehicle dealership.

- One copy of any bank statements, fixed deposit statements or salary slips (of the past three months).

- One copy of the Sales and Purchase agreement of a property purchased under your name, or a tenancy agreement in your name.

If you decide to import your car from another country, then these are the rules:

- The car needs to be pre-owned for at least 36 months before you can bring it into Malaysia.

- The car also needs to come from your last domicile country or the country of your origin.

- Again, the car needs to be brought into the country within two years in order to be excluded from duty charges.

- You need to obtain an Approval Permit from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry to bring the car into the country.

These are the documents you will need:

- A copy of the MM2H approval letter from Immigration Department of Malaysia

- One copy of the front and back pages of your passport.

- One copy of the MM2H multiple entry visa page on your passport.

- One copy of the vehicle registration card. Please translate it into English if it is in a foreign language.

- One copy of the Approval Permit from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry.

- One copy of any bank statements, fixed deposit statements or salary slips (of the past three months).

- One copy of any bank statements, fixed deposit statements or salary slips (of the past three months).

- One copy of the Sales and Purchase agreement of a property purchased under your name, or a tenancy agreement in your name.

All these documents need to be certified by a Malaysian Government Officer or a Commissioner of oaths. They need to be uploaded into the tax exemption online portal. In order to apply for a tax exemption, you need to make an account on Digicert. Here you will receive a unique ID and password which you can use to log onto and make an application at the tax exemption online portal here. The application approval may take up to 14 working days.

In both cases (be it local purchase of a new car or importing of a pre-owned car):

- the maximum tax exemption is RM 150,000.

-Also, the car can only be sold forward or transferred to another person after a minimum of 5 years.

- The tax exemption is valid for only one car

Importing a second car

If you want to bring in a second car, then you need to make a special application with the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. Here’s how you do it:

- You need to get a letter from the Ministry of Tourism confirming that you are currently a holder of an MM2H visa.

- Using this letter, apply to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry to obtain a special Approval Permit.

- Once you get the Approval Permit, your car is set to come into the country.

- At the entry point into the country, the customs officials will decide on the duty payable on the car.

Getting a job

One of the many reasons why the Government needs proof of your financial stability at application is because you cannot work in Malaysia under this program.

However, it is possible to work on a part-time basis if you are above the age of 50. You need to follow through with certain requirements, such as:

- A cover letter from the company

- An offer letter from the company

- An application letter from the company

- Any recommendation letters

- Copy of the company’s business licence

- One copy of your passport (all pages)

- Completed DP 10 form (available in the Immigration Department)

Submit these documents to the MM2H centre. From there, the MM2H Special Committee will approve your request. This process takes about 45 working days.

Applying for a helper

Bringing in a helper is possible via employment agencies or direct application. You can bring in one foreign national helper so long as you comply with the legal regulations. These include:

- Completion of certain forms such as:

  • Domestic Helper’s Application Form
  • Letter of intention stating reason for helper
  • An approval letter from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (this applies only if your helper comes from the Philippines)
  • A medical report done in the helper’s home country
  • One copy of the helper’s passport and approval letter
  • One copy of your passport (this includes identity pages and the MM2H visa page)
  • Two original documents of the Employment contract (stamp duty of RM 10)
  • One copy of your property Sales and Purchase Agreement or one copy of the tenancy agreement
  • One copy of your utilities bill. This includes electricity, water or internet/television
  • One copy of your marriage and/or birth certificate

- You need to place a personal bond with the government as well. The fees depend on the country of your origin and your monthly salary.

- In order to apply for a foreign helper, you need to either have children below the age of 15 or parents who are sick or dependent on helpers.

- Your helper needs to come from a country that is approved by the Government. These countries include Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, India, Vietnam and Laos.

- The helper needs to be female, and between the ages of 15 and 45.

- The helper also needs to complete a medical examination that deems her fit for work.

The entire process can take seven working days.

Bringing in pets

We understand that pets make up quite a big part of many families so it’s important to bring them into Malaysia without any hassle. Make sure you understand these regulations before your pet comes in:

- You can check this website in order to make sure your pet is approved to come into Malaysia. Certain breeds of dogs are not permitted into the country such as the Pit Bull and the American Bulldog.

- Complete Application Form A to get an import permit for your pet. You need to submit this to the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) at Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry.

- After receiving an import permit (which should take about a day to process), your pet is ready to come into Malaysia.

- Your pet may also need to undergo a quarantine period after coming in Malaysia. Check with DVS department beforehand.

PropertyLife Tip: Many condominiums don’t allow residents to keep pets in Malaysia. It’s best to check with the management of the building beforehand to avoid any unwelcome surprises.

Extending your MM2H Visa

After 10 years, if you still want to call Malaysia your home, then here’s what you need to do to renew the MM2H pass:

- A letter of intent, stating your reason for the renewal

- You need to submit your original passport and a copy of it

- One copy of Form IMM. 55

- One copy of Form IMM 38

- The original and a copy of the fixed deposit

- The original and a copy of a confirmation letter from the bank

- The original and a copy of the conditional approval letter

- The original and a copy of the healthy insurance taken out.

- An original medical Report (RB II Form)

You need to submit these documents in person to the MM2H centre in Putrajaya. The processing time is around 14 working days.

Terminating your MM2H Visa

Any time during the 10 years, if you want to cancel your MM2H visa, then this is possible. Here’s what you need to do:

To withdraw the fixed deposit, you need to submit the following documents to the MM2H centre in Putrajaya:

- A letter of intention, stating the purpose of withdrawal

- One copy of your passport identity page and the MM2H visa page.

- One copy of the conditional approval letter

- One copy of the fixed deposit certificate

- One copy of the return flight ticket

To terminate the Social Visit pass, submit these documents to the immigration department in Putrajaya:

- A letter of intention stating purpose of termination

- The authorisation letter received from the MM2H centre stating that you can withdraw the fixed deposit.

- Your original passport

- The original and a copy of the return flight ticket.

Once you obtain the approval letter and terminate your visa, you can head over to the bank to withdraw any remaining fixed deposits. Make sure you carry along your original passport (showing the cancelled Social visit pass), your original fixed deposit certificate and the approval letter from the MM2H centre.

In all this mayhem, don’t forget about your refundable security bond! Here’s how you can collect it:

Submit the following documents to the MM2H centre in Putrajaya:

- Security Bond Refund Upon Termination Form

- A letter of intention, stating the purpose of the refund

- The original security bond receipt

- One copy of the identity and social visit pass pages in the passport

- any bank statements

- One copy of the conditional approval letter

- One copy of the termination letter (which you should have received during the cancellation of the fixed deposit)

- One copy of the return flight ticket

The whole termination process should take about two weeks.

Here Are Some Things To Keep In Mind

Make sure any copies of documents are certified by a legal entity. This includes government officials, representatives, embassies, high commissions, solicitors, and advocates.

If you need to have a stamp duty on certain documents, you can have them done at the Stamp Duty office in the Inland Revenue Board.

Most of the time you’ll need to present the required documents in person at the headquarters.

The MM2H headquarters are located in Putrajaya.

MALAYSIA MY SECOND HOME CENTRE (MM2H)
Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia,
Level 1, No. 2, Tower 1,
Jalan P5/6, Presint 5,
62200 W.P. Putrajaya,
MALAYSIA

mm2h@motac.gov.my

TELEPHONE
+603 8891 7424
+603 8891 7427
+603 8891 7434
+603 8891 7439

And there you have it…The A to Z of MM2H and all that it offers for a pleasant stay in Malaysia. We hope you found this guide helpful. We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments down below!

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About the Author

Born in India, raised all over the world, I’m currently based here in Malaysia, truly enjoying this Asian enclave. Starting off as a fiction writer for many online publishing sites, I’ve moved on to following one of my major passions: Copywriting. For more than a few years now I’ve worked with companies to create some great web content, particularly in the real-estate field. From reviewing property developments to writing home improvement articles, I do believe the property world is my calling. When I’m not holed up behind a computer screen, you can find me reading a good book, gallivanting across the globe or merely listening to some tunes on my iPod.