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Chng TG • Posted on 7th July 2024

The Next Steps

Thank you for sending an email or WhatsApp message to us about your interest in MM2H. We can help you with the long-term visas we will discuss below, but you need to decide which version you are going to apply. Please read to understand this blog article. It is important. So, what is the next step?


First, you need to know if you are serious in making Malaysia your primary home. If you are planning to stay here over the winter (like three months out of one year), then you can come in and stay using a tourist visa. However, if you come from a country where your tourist visa to Malaysia is only for one month, then you need to get the MM2H visa as you cannot stay here continuously for 3–4 months.


A digital nomad visa (de Rantau) would fit your needs if you

  • plan to stay in Malaysia for one year only (and do not intend extend the visa).

  • must have a job that allows remote work.

  • no plans to bring in parents or parents-in-law

  • has no financial means to meet MM2H requirements.


The downsides for de Rantau are

  • The application takes a few months, and it is difficult to get it (please take into consideration that you spend 1-2 months getting a 12-month visa).

  • You need to pay Malaysian income tax (you need to get an income tax number).


Second, once you have decided to make Malaysia your primary home, you must decide where you want to stay. If you want to stay in Sabah only, then apply for Sabah MM2H. If you want to stay in Sarawak only, apply for Sarawak MM2H. However, if you don't have the financial means to meet the Peninsula Malaysian version of MM2H, you can apply for the S-MM2H; however, please take note that S-MM2H does not have any implied guarantees. If you can meet the new MM2H but do not want to buy a property (you want to rent only) and decide to apply for S-MM2H, please click here to read more: The new MM2H or S-MM2H?


The Peninsula Malaysian MM2H is stated clearly in black and white.

  1. There are no taxes on income or money brought into Malaysia.

  2. In the event of the death of the main applicant, the next of kin can take over the visa.

  3. The visa is renewable, and the MM2H Center needs current valid passports, a medical report, and medical insurance (if not waived). In other words, it is guaranteed that the requirements are grandfathered.


Although we can help you with the new MM2H, S-MM2H, or Sabah MM2H, we would like you to make a correct decision and not be clouded by the "I do not wish to buy a property" thought, which many have. Bear in mind that you have already decided to make Malaysia your primary home, and you have the financial means to meet the new MM2H. S-MM2H does not have a property purchase requirement.


  1. Your rental expenses will be high. If you rent for RM3,000 per month, then it will be RM36,000 a year. That will be RM180,00 for 5 years and RM360,000 for 10 years.

  2. If you decide to buy a property halfway through because you realize that renting is not cheap, then you have gone against the thought that you had when you applied for the visa years earlier. So, why do you want to subject yourself to when Peninsula Malaysia gives you peace of mind?

  3. If you decide to switch over to the Peninsula Malaysian version years later for whatever reasons, you have to contend with and meet the changes on MM2H at that point in time. I cannot tell you what the conditions are for MM2H in 2027 or 2029. It may change, but it will only affect those who apply in 2027 or 2029. The earlier ones are grandfathered.


The bottom line is that if you are someone who is coherent and logical, then you should discard the thought that you do not plan to buy a property here. In Malaysia, landlords can only rent to foreigners with long-term visas, like those on an employment pass, student visa, or MM2H. The number of employment pass holders in Penang and JB is low, so the number of people who can rent will be lower now since MM2H holders are required to buy properties. They are unlikely to rent. Those eyeing the SEZ version, please take note: who are you planning to rent to? Therefore, there is a possibility that the rental markets in Penang and JB will decline and the prices of choice properties will appreciate over time. If you buy at RM1 million and sell at RM1.1 million ten years later, isn't it better than paying RM500,000 for rent over the same time frame?


The other "myth" that I keep encountering is that foreigners do not want to put money in fixed deposits here in Malaysia. Here are some points to note:

  1. The fixed deposit interest rate is market-driven, and it can be as high as 3.5%–4% (currently) per year, tax-free.

  2. The banking system in Malaysia is different from that in the western world. We have Glass-Steagall here, and banks make money from the spread between loans and deposits. Banks have to hold loans to maturity and cannot be sold off. It is safe. No one really talks about the safety of the banks in Malaysia.

  3. A fixed deposit in a bank is a risk-free investment. High returns mean high risk. In 2007, I saw my clients' portfolios decimated.

  4. Since you have planned to retire to Malaysia, you have to denominate your funds in the country of retirement. Why do you want to subject yourself to the uncertainties of international forex? Malaysia has a lot of resources. Food, water, and energy are freely available and cheap. Inflation is low here in Malaysia. Local food will not be impacted much by fluctuating forex. Perhaps your Swiss cheese will be more expensive, but is it a high-consumption item?


Third, SEZ or silver? If you are planning to stay in SEZ, then by all means, apply for SEZ MM2H and stay there. However, if you are attracted to SEZ because of the lower fixed deposit, then please think hard. Please visit SEZ and see if you would like to buy a property there as an investment. It will be as an investment as you will be renting elsewhere in Malaysia. It may not fit your investment needs.


Fourth, if you already bought a property in Malaysia and you have bought it for more than RM600,000 as indicated in the sales and purchase agreement, invoices, receipts, or bank transfer documents, you can use it to meet the property purchase requirement of MM2H. You need to show that you own it as well (perhaps via a recent land title search). The current value of the property does not count. It is the number shown in the sales and purchase agreement that counts.


If you are planning to buy a property, you are given 12 months from the date the MM2H visa is issued and printed on your passport to complete the property purchase and lodge the documents with the MM2H Center. Don't wait until the last minute. You have to start the buying process at least 2 months before the 12 months are up. Please don't buy anything now if you have not bought one yet. Work with us. We have contacts for reliable bankers, lawyers, and real estate agents. We want to ensure smooth application and processing.


The partial withdrawal of the fixed deposit will only happen after the documents are lodged with the MM2H Center; thus, it is on a "reimbursement basis," not "I promise I will buy a property with the money". The details on partial withdrawal have not yet been released by MOTAC. There is a possibility that you may not be able to do a partial withdrawal, especially if the property is already free of mortgage on a property that was purchased before the application of the MM2H visa. It should not be a big worry for most of my clients, when they do a partial withdrawal of the money, the same money is put back into a fixed deposit again. The money is still yours, and you can take out 100% of it (including interest) when you cancel the visa. It is not the end of the world if you cannot do partial withdrawals.


Fifth, if you are not sure if you want to stay in Sabah, Sarawak, SEZ, or other places, please plan to spend at least 2 weeks at each place and decide which one you want to choose.


Sixth, once a decision is made, please send us the details.


  1. Nationality and age of yourself (main applicant), and who will be following you? spouse, children, parents, and parents-in-law

  2. If you have bought a residential property here, then I need to know the address of the unit or the name of the development, the purchase year, the owners, and also the price as indicated in the sales and purchase agreement.

  3. Which plan do you want to apply for? Peninsula Malaysia, Sabah, or Sarawak. Will be platinum, gold, silver, or SEZ.

  4. What are your plans? Apply now or later.

  5. Any other information that we need to know.

  6. How do you know us? Internet? friends?


We will give you a breakdown of our charges and guide you through the entire process.


Thank you,

Toh Ghee Ch'ng


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