Expat Guide

Malaysia My Second Home: A Beneficial Programme for Expat Parents

Published by SchoolAdvisor | Jan 13, 2022

Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) is an excellent option for international families to live in Malaysia. Learn more about the benefits of MM2H and how you can apply for the programme!

Malaysia My Second Home

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

If you are planning to move to Malaysia and would like to send your child to study in the country, you might want to consider Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme! 

Malaysia is a country with a multicultural society and world-class education. In terms of the quality of education, Malaysia ranked second among other Southeast Asian countries, after Singapore. 

There are many benefits that you can gain by applying for the MM2H programme.

Here, dive deeper into MM2H and what this programme offers applicants.

What is Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H)?

Malaysia My Second Home logo

Launched in 2002, MM2H is a programme promoted by the Malaysian Government to allow foreigners and expatriates who fulfil certain criteria to stay in Malaysia on a renewable Social Visit Pass with Multiple-entry Visa. 

This programme is open to citizens of all countries that have diplomatic relations with Malaysia, regardless of race, religion, gender or age. Applicants are allowed to bring their spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 as dependents. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA), only eligible applicants that do not have any criminal record are allowed to join this programme.

The MM2H programme was halted in 2020 due to Covid-19. However, it resumed in October 2021 with several improvements and stricter conditions. The programme is now managed by the Immigration Department of Malaysia, instead of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC). Nevertheless, MOTAC will continue to work with Tourism Malaysia to promote Malaysia as a long-term stay destination, particularly for retirees and high-income individuals.

Permission to Study

MM2H Programme

Photo by Javier Trueba on Unsplash 

Parents are encouraged to apply for the MM2H programme as it has many benefits and incentives. One of the benefits includes schooling opportunities for dependents under 18-years-old. The principal applicant may request “Permission to Study” from the MM2H Immigration Unit for children aged under 18. However, it is subject to terms and conditions. Dependents under 21 can also further their studies at local universities and colleges. 

If you would like to register your children into private colleges and universities, they are required to have a Student Pass.  In order to apply for the Student Pass, dependents who are enrolling in a university or college must first terminate their MM2H Social Visit Pass. You may refer to the guidelines here

What are the requirements?  

The Government had introduced 10 new and improved requirements and conditions that balance both security and economic aspects after considering several views from ministries and agencies.

The Government also agreed to introduce and limit the number of applicants, which is not more than 1% of the Malaysian population. The objective of the new policy improvement is to regenerate Malaysia’s economy based on Malaysia's National Recovery Plan (NRP). 

The new requirements are as below: 

1) Participants need to be in Malaysia for at least a cumulative 90 days in a year. 

  • This is to ensure the applicants of the MM2H Programme spend and contribute to Malaysia’s economy either in the form of rental or purchase of real estate, health services, insurance, education, food and beverage expenses, domestic tourism and other aspects, which can generate income for the locals. 

2) Applicants should have an offshore income of at least RM 40,000 a month.

  • This new criterion was introduced as the Government aims for more quality, prosperous and highly-income participants.
  • The Government is also concerned about expenses to be incurred for children’s education at international schools. The children must live a lifestyle that suits their standard of living. 

3) Applicants must own fixed savings account with at least RM1,000,000 and a maximum withdrawal of 50% is allowed on the principal value for the purpose of purchase of real estate, health and children’s education. 

  • Previously, applicants must own a fixed savings account of at least RM150,000 for applicants aged 50 and above and, RM300,000 for 50 years old and below. 

4) The age requirement for eligible participants is divided into 2 categories

  1. 35 to 49 years old 
  2. 50 years old and above.
  • The Government introduced the age category of 35 to 49-years-old in order to select participants that have quality traits with stable income. The Government also prioritises those who have a fixed career. 
  • However, to ensure participants in category 35 to 49-years-old are able to meet the programme’s objectives, additional conditions are imposed: 
  1. Participants are to be in Malaysia for at least a cumulative 90 days in a year. This condition needs to be fulfilled by either applicants or their spouse; and
  2. For each dependent which consists of the applicants’ spouse, children, as well as their parents and parents-in-law, RM50,000 for each dependent must be added to the ownership of a fixed savings account (as mentioned in the third requirement). Withdrawal of 50% is permitted for the purpose of education, health expenses and property purchase. 

5) The duration for Long-Term Social Visit Pass is only 5 years instead of 10 years. However, it can be extended for another 5 years, subject to conditions, as long as participants are still interested in an extension. 

6) Applicants need to declare at least RM1.5 million of their liquid assets.

  • Applicants must prove that they own liquid assets worth RM1.5million (compared to previous conditions which set the value of liquid assets at RM350,000 and RM500,000 depending on their respective categories). 

7) The ‘pass fee rate’ is increased from RM90 to RM500 per year and the processing fee of RM5,000 is charged for the principal and an additional RM2,500 for each dependent. 

  • The Government has agreed to increase the pass fee rate in line with the facilities and privileges that have been provided. 
  • The increment of the processing fee is aimed at improving the quality of services that will be provided to participants of the MM2H programme. 

8) Both applicants and dependents need to undergo and pass the security screening in order to renew their pass and exchange of citizenship.

9) All applicants and dependents need to submit a Letter of Good Conduct (LOGC). 

  • This requirement is imposed to ensure monitoring done by enforcement agencies can be improved, and at the same time to strengthen security. 

10) Cooperation between the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) as well as travel agents. 

  • Promotional activities of the MM2H programme will be strengthened through the involvement of MOTAC and Tourism Malaysia. 
  • Other than that, all travel agents registered under MOTAC will be promoting this programme based on the guidelines set by MOTAC. 

What are the other benefits of MM2H?

MM2H BenefitsPhoto by Josue Michel on Unsplash 

Other than schooling opportunities for dependents, there are more benefits and incentives that MM2H holders gain upon application. Here, we listed 7 incentives of MM2H. 

  1. A Social Visit Pass with Multiple-Entry Visa will be given to each participant. The pass is renewable, subject to terms and conditions.
  2. Each participant may hire one foreign domestic helper from allowed source countries.
  3. Participants may bring their spouse, unmarried children under the age of 21,  parents and parents-in-law to the country. 
  4. Participants will be having tax free income from abroad which means their earnings from the offshore investment are not taxable (terms and conditions applied).

  5. Participants may purchase as many residential properties in Malaysia as they would like, subject to the minimum price set for foreigners.

  6. Participants aged 50 years old and above are allowed to work 20 hours per week in any critical sector (terms and conditions applied).

  7. Participants will be given opportunities to invest in Malaysia subject to the terms and conditions set by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA).

How do you apply for this programme? 

How to Apply MM2H programme

Photo by Alexander Dummer on Unsplash

You can apply for the programme by following the steps below that were issued by the Government. 

1) Choose the method of application. 

  • You may choose either a direct application or assisted application
  • Fill in the required information via the Check ‘N Track system. 
  • Don’t forget to download the documents and attach them together with the other required documents once complete! 

2) Submit the application. 

  • Once the first step is done, you need to submit the application to the MM2H Centre through the counter or courier. This step is only applicable for direct application.
  • MM2H Centre will issue the MM2H Reference Number once the required documents are provided. The application will be processed in 120 working days by the MM2H Centre, subject to terms and conditions. 

3) Complete remaining conditions. 

  • MM2H Immigration Unit will issue a Conditional Approval letter once the application is approved. 
  • You are given 6 months from the date of the letter to complete the remaining conditions stated in the letter. 

4) Gain endorsement of MM2H Visa. 

  • You should enter Malaysia through any international entry points. 
  • At the MM2H Immigration Unit, you need to hand in the remaining documents and pay the necessary fees. 
  • Finally, the MM2H Immigration Unit will stamp your passport with the MM2H Social Visit Pass (Multiple Entry Visa). 

You can refer to the application guidelines for issuing social visit passes for dependents and other related MM2H affairs.  

Application Guidelines

Photo by mkjr_ on Unsplash 

The National Audit Report 2019 revealed that from 2002 to September 2019, there were 48,471 foreigners from 131 countries who had been approved to participate in this programme.  

In 2018, New Straits Times reported that there were as many as 40,000 applicants from 130 countries. According to the Secretary-General of MOTAC, Datuk Rashidi Hasbullah, Malaysia has received the most applications from China (11,820), Japan (4,618) and Bangladesh (4,018).

In recent years, he reported there is an increase of applications from South Korea, Australia and the United States. MM2H is a wonderful programme for senior citizens as it provides great medical healthcare and a lower cost of living.

The MM2H however, must entertain the policy of immigration that highlights the differentiation of rules between Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia. This is because Sabah and Sarawak are established as special provisions according to Section 64 and 65 of the Immigration Act 1959/63. These acts grant both states the authority to manage the entry of foreigners as well as their period of stay.

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