As part of the National Economic Recovery plan, Malaysia’s government has decided to reopen the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) Programme; an initiative that encourages long-term stay and incentivises international arrivals. The move is a strong indication that Malaysia is opening its doors to international arrivals.
The MM2H Programme has been co-created by Malaysia’s Home Ministry and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture. It first appeared last year, but was criticised for being too stringent in its requirements. Home Ministry secretary-general Datuk Wan Ahmad Dahlan Abdul Aziz confirmed in August that MM2H is now back, following a pair of Cabinet meetings in July, during which the new and improved requirements were discussed.
“New applications can be submitted beginning October, and this process will be overseen by the Immigration Department,” said the secretary-general early last month. In total, there are nine new conditions for those intending to apply for the programme. Firstly, participants must be in Malaysia for at least 90 cumulative days per a year, to ensure they contribute to the Malaysian economy.
Secondly, they must also have an offshore income of at least RM10,000 a month. This represents a step down from the previous MM2H, which stipulated an income of RM40,000. Applicants should also have a fixed deposit account, containing a minimum of RM1million.
The government has also lowered the age category, to make the programme available to people aged 35 to 49, in addition to the original group of applicants aged 50 and over. As the secretary-general explains, this requirement is so that “only participants who are financially stable and with permanent employment can apply for the MM2H programme.”
According to the programme’s official website, the MM2H Programme is “an initiative by the Government of Malaysia to attract and allow foreigners who fulfil certain criteria, to stay in Malaysia for as long as possible on a 10-year renewable Social Visit Pass with Multiple-Entry Visa.”
Benefits of the long-stay programme include eligibility for investment opportunities in Malaysia, permission to work (part-time), the right to own residential property, permission to study and tax-free income from abroad. The website adds that MM2H is open to all foreigners from countries that have diplomatic relations with Malaysia “regardless of race, religion, gender or age.”
There are currently 57,478 holders of the MM2H passes, as well as their dependents. This number is expected to grow in the months ahead, as more people apply for the MM2H visa, and the government welcomes a new generation of ex-pats to enjoy the delights of long-term stay in Malaysia.