Malaysia

Finding a Visa

The best site for information on a broad range of available visas is the Malaysian Investment Development Authority site. The official government Immigration Department site is also very comprehensive and compared with the sites of many countries easy to follow. It has both English language and Bahasa Malaysia (Melayu) versions. It is the Ministry of Tourism that promotes the visa program of most interest to retirees. This is known as the Malaysia My Second Home program. This is not a program that confers permanent residency on an applicant. Instead it grants a ten year multiple entry visa which is renewable for a further similar period. The only major restriction on those who successfully obtain this visa is the very common one which prevents the holder from working in Malaysia.

There are two age-based variations concerning the financial requirements for obtaining this visa. The differences concern the amount of the necessary deposit in a Malaysian bank and the income reqirement. Freedom of use of half of the required capital deposit accrues after a year. There is also a lower, concessional, deposit amount dependent upon the value of property purchased in Malaysia.

The "Malaysia My Second Home" (MM2H) scheme also provides for incentives with respect to such things as house purchase, car purchase, domestic help, education, tax, business and investment. There is also the possibility of working on a part time basis subsequent to moving to Malaysia. Details of all of these matters is available on the Malaysia My Second home site.

All applicants must fulfill the usual range of additional conditions with respect to health and good character and they must be able to provided as appropriate copies of passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates. Again the full requirements are specified on the MM2H site.

Full details of this unusual retirement scheme can be seen via the links at the "Resources" tab on this site and in the book "How to Retire in Malaysia" by Les Johns. The book can be purchased directly from this site.

Getting Help

Applications for the MM2H program can be submitted in person or via an agent licensed with the Malaysian Ministry of Tourism. A list of such agents is available at the MM2H site. Not all of the agents have a web site but a typical agent is “Aspire” at http://aspiremm2h.com.my/about-us/ where the services and fees can be seen. Not all agents specify their fees but costs of the order of RM10,000 should be expected. It may well be a good idea to venture a personal application initially. There is always the fallback of going to an agent if problems arise. Most documents in the English language are acceptable but they have to be certified in the Malaysian embassy or consulate in the applicant’s country of citizenship or residence.

In general Malaysia’s “Malaysia My Second Home” program is one of the best in the world so far as ease of application is concerned. The local use of the English language make Malaysia and ideal choice for retirees from any part of the English speaking world. Although a Muslim country there is none of the religious extremism displayed in many such places. Freedom of religious practice is enshrined in the constitution. Malaysia, one of the Asian Tiger economies, is a stable progressive country with improving parameters in most areas of human endeavour.

To save research time intending retirees can refer to the links at the "Resources" tab on this site and to the book "How to Retire in Malaysia" by Les Johns. This book is available directly from this site.