Previously, if you had a Malaysian spouse, you were not eligible for the MM2H visa and were required to apply for the ‘Spouse Visa’. Fortunately, the rules have changed and you may now apply even if you have a Malaysian wife/husband.
No, you do not have to move to Malaysia immediately or even spend a minimum amount of time in the country each year. The visa allows you to come and go as you please.
I am not married but my partner and I have been living together for a long time. Can she apply for the program?
If you are not married, you will have to apply separately and thus you will both need to qualify for the programme.
Unfortunately, having an MM2H visa does not entitle applicants to Permanent Residency and it cannot be converted to PR status. The MM2H visa is a 10-year visa which gives the flexibility for an applicant to come in and out of Malaysia as many times as they like without any restrictions.
The programme does not require any property purchase. According to research by The Expat Magazine, around 20% of applicants who move here choose to rent properties or stay in serviced apartments.
Must foreigners buy new properties only, such as from developers, or can they purchase any property, such as from individual owners (second hand or third hand properties)?
Each state in Malaysia sets its own rules regarding property purchase. Usually any property over RM1,000,000 can be purchased by a foreigner but some states have slightly different rules and some states set lower limits for people with the MM2H visa.
Yes, you have to place the fixed deposit although it can be reduced if you buy a property, have medical expenses, or to pay to have your children educated in Malaysia.
Setting up a business or buying one is permitted, but you are not allowed to become involved in the day to day running of the business. In that case you need to apply for work visa.
MM2H applicants are no longer allowed to import or buy a tax free car.
No. The fixed deposit placement only has to be made by the main applicant. Dependents are not required to place one.
You can only withdraw the Fixed Deposit when you leave the programme. A partial withdrawal is permitted after one year, but those over 50 and above must maintain a minimum of RM 100,000 on Fixed Deposit, and those under 50 RM150,000. A partial withdrawal is only allowed to cover the following – property purchase, car purchase, education of children and medical expenses.
My pension and other income is taxed at source. Even though it is not taxed in Malaysia, I still pay tax in my home country so I receive no financial benefits.
If your country has a double tax agreement with Malaysia (such as the UK and Germany), then you can register with the tax authorities in Malaysia, even though you have no tax liability in this country. You can then show this to your home country’s tax authorities, who may authorise your pension to be paid tax free.
Overseas income is not taxable in Malaysia although it may be taxable in the country from which is it paid. Some MM2H-ers have managed to obtain exemption from their home country taxes on the basis of taking up residence in Malaysia. Any income earned in Malaysia is taxable in Malaysia. There is no inheritance tax in Malaysia. Foreigners are liable to a 30% real property gains tax in Malaysia if they sell within 5 years of acquisition and 5% thereafter.
There is no tax on the interest from the Fixed Deposits which are placed for under RM 100,000. For this reason the banks will usually split your Fixed Deposit into placements which are individually less than that amount.
You may keep the interest on the Fixed Deposit. Interest paid to foreigners varies from bank to bank, but is currently around 3.0%.
Once you have obtained the MM2H approval and you have a bank account in your home country, then you can sometimes arrange to open an account with their branch in Malaysia. Otherwise you can open one when you arrive here and advise that you are joining the MM2H programme.
Is it allowable, once you have been conditionally approved, to enter the country and go to a local bank to deposit cash and open an account?
Most clients will open their FD account once they arrive in Malaysia. Setting up the FD account is simple but transferring the money from your home country to the bank account here can take several days. Due to immigration law, you are only allowed to bring a certain amount of cash with you so make arrangements for this.