Retirees from around the world are attracted by the beautiful landscapes, warm climate, delicious food, and affordable cost of living in Malaysia. The beautiful Southeast Asian country is perfect for everyone who enjoys a quiet and relaxing life.
However, to live in Malaysia as a retiree, you will need to apply for a Malaysian retirement visa.
The Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) program is a government-promoted program to allow retirees to live in Malaysia for as long as possible on a multiple-entry social visit pass.
Who Is Eligible For a Retirement Visa in Malaysia?
To qualify for a retirement visa for Malaysia, you must fulfill the requirements below:
- You must be at least 35 years of age.
- You must be able to support yourself during your time in Malaysia.
- If you are under the age of 50, you must have liquid assets worth a minimum of RM 500,000 (appx. USD 118,500) and an offshore income of at least RM 10,000 (appx. USD 2,370) per month.
- If you are over the age of 50, you must have at least RM 350,000 (appx. USD 83,000) in liquid assets and an offshore income of at least RM 10,000 (appx. USD 2,370) per month.
- You must have a clean criminal record.
Can I Bring my Dependents to Malaysia With a Retirement Visa?
Yes, Malaysia permits you to bring your family members with a retirement visa. The family members include:
- Your legal spouse
- Children under the age of 21 (unmarried)
You can apply for a social visit pass for them at the same time you apply for the retirement visa. The application procedure is the same, but you will be asked to submit additional documents for each family member.
Once their visa is approved your family can move in with you and share the same rights as Malaysian citizens (work, study, etc.)
How Much Does a Malaysian Retirement Visa Cost?
The fees for a Malaysian Retirement visa are as follows:
|Dependents (spouse/children)||$300 (for each dependent)|
Benefits of Malaysia Retirement Visa
Obtaining a retirement visa in Malaysia grants you many benefits:
- A ten-year (renewable) visa. Retirees who are accepted into the MM2H program will receive a ten-year visa. After your visa expires, you can apply to renew it indefinitely.
- Tax-free income. Any money you transfer into Malaysia will be tax-free. The tax exemption applies to the payment of offshore pension funds into Malaysia and other foreign funds transferred into Malaysia. The country of Malaysia has regulations about reporting large transfers of money, so you must properly report it.
- You can purchase a house. You can purchase a house priced over $237,000, depending on where you decide to live. However, you will need to receive state approval for any purchase you want to make.
- You can buy or import a car. Participants of MM2H can purchase a new locally assembled vehicle or import a pre-owned private vehicle as long as they follow the terms and conditions:
- The total value for purchasing or importing a new locally assembled vehicle (CKD) or a pre-owned private vehicle (CBU) is $35,550.
- The applications should be made within two years from the approval date of an MM2H visa.
- You can own a business and make an investment. MM2H members are allowed to own their own businesses as Directors. You can also invest in local companies, share markets, or unit trusts.
- You can get a domestic helper. You are allowed to apply for one domestic helper to conform to the prevailing guidelines of the immigration department of Malaysia.
- You have access to education. During this time, you and all accompanying family members can register in private colleges and universities in Malaysia.
How to Apply For a Malaysia Retirement Visa?
Here is how to apply for a Malaysia retirement visa:
- Visit the official website of Malaysia My Second Home program to start the application.
- Print out all the forms on the website and fill them out following the instructions on the MM2H site. The application form must be signed at the end.
- Submit the application to an MM2H Center. You must submit the application forms, along with the required documents, to an MM2H Center either in person or via a courier. Find what documents you need to submit under “Documents Required for a Malaysia Retirement Visa” below.
- Wait for the MM2H visa approval.
Note: You can submit the application yourself through Malaysia My Second Home website. However, you can also hire a retirement agency to help you with the application submission; before hiring an agency, make sure they are licensed by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
Documents Required for a Malaysia Retirement Visa
When applying for a Malaysia retirement visa, you must submit the following documents to support your application:
- Your valid original passport, along with copies of passport pages (visa and entry stamp pages).
- The original and copies of the conditional approval letter.
- The application form for a Malaysia retirement visa.
- One passport-size photograph with a blue background.
- Proof you are financially capable of supporting yourself in Malaysia. You have to submit the three last months’ bank statements, proving you have access to at least RM 350,000 (if you are over 50 years of age) and RM 500,000 (if you are under the age of 50).
- Proof that you are a pensioner, such as a pension verification letter (if applicable).
- Proof of medical insurance for your stay in Malaysia.
- Letter of good conduct from the relevant authority in your country (e.g. the police).
- Intention letter for individual/agency representative letter for MM2H company (if applicable).
- Any other required documents regarding your identity and address.
Note: All documents should be translated into English by the Institute of Language and Literature or the Embassy or Consulate General of Malaysia abroad.
After the Retirement Visa Is Approved
After the Malaysian Department of Immigration approves your Retirement visa application, you must travel to Malaysia and collect your Conditional Approval Letter in person. Other requirements after your Malaysian retirement visa is approved include:
- You and your dependents must submit a medical report from any private hospital or registered clinic in Malaysia.
- You must have medical insurance coverage valid for Malaysia from any insurance company.
- If you apply yourself, you must make a direct security bond, which ranges from RM 200 to RM 2,000 (appx. USD 47 to USD 470) depending on your nationality. For applications via licensed companies, the company must provide a personal bond for their clients.
Fixed Deposits for Retirees in Malaysia
After your Malaysian retirement visa is approved, you must make a fixed deposit in a Malaysian bank to prove you can maintain yourself financially. The deposit depends on your age:
- Over the age of 50: You are required to open a fixed deposit account of RM 150,000 (appx. USD 35,550).
- After a one-year period, if you fulfill the fixed deposit criteria, you can withdraw up to RM 50,000 ($11,850) to purchase a house for the education of your children in Malaysia and for medical purposes.
- You must maintain a minimum balance of RM 100,000 ($23,700) from the second year onwards and throughout your stay under the MM2H program.
- Under the age of 50: You are required to open a fixed deposit account of RM 300,000 (appx. USD 71,100).
- After one year, you can withdraw up to RM 50,000 (appx. $11,850) for house purchasing, your children’s education, and medical reasons.
- You must also maintain a minimum amount of RM 150,000 (appx. $35,470) from the second year onwards and during your stay in Malaysia under the retirement program.
Can You Work in Malaysia With a Retirement Visa?
Yes, you are allowed to work with a Malaysia retirement visa. Holders of the retirement visa from the age of 50 and above who have specialized skills in certain approved sectors can work for up to 20 hours per week.
However, the decision on whether to approve the part-time job for you will depend on the approving committee’s view on whether a Malaysian can perform the job or not.
What Is the Duration of a Retirement Visa for Malaysia?
The Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) program grants retirees a ten-year multiple entry visa. The visa is automatically renewed after the expiration date at the end of the first ten years.
Can I Become a Permanent Resident in Malaysia with a Retirement Visa?
Unfortunately, having a retirement visa does not entitle you to Permanent Residence in Malaysia, and you cannot convert it to PR status. However, the MM2H visa is issued for ten years, it is renewable and permits you to enter and depart Malaysia as many times as you like without any restrictions.
Best Places to Retire in Malaysia
Malaysia has a lot to offer to retirees, from beaches to jungles, fantastic cuisine, and low living costs, to numerous beautiful places for retirement.
Here are some of the best places for retirees in Malaysia:
Known as the Pearl of the Orient and “The Island of Pearls,” Penang is characterized by many beautiful landscapes. The diverse and cosmopolitan society likes to celebrate. Penang offers you healthcare through numerous public and private hospitals.
Kota Kinabalu is perfect for retirees who enjoy living in coastal areas, and it is one of the cheapest cities in the world for expats to live in. You will have time to explore the lush rainforests, the crystal clear waters, stunning mountains, and the city’s architecture.
Kota Kinabalu has a quality health system with a diverse range of healthcare facilities.
A sophisticated city that offers the right commodity for a happy retirement, Kuala Lumpur is one of the most visited cities in Asia. It is perfect for retirees that want to spend the rest of their lives in a diverse environment, surrounded by culture and architecture.
The historic city is known for its historical buildings and structures, museums, multi-religious society, and beautiful landscapes.
Melaka houses a number of government and private hospitals and health clinics all over the state, providing uniform and equivalent healthcare to its residents.
If you like tasting local food and coffee Johor Bahru is perfect for you. The city has three public hospitals, four health clinics, and thirteen Malaysian clinics. So healthcare will not be a problem for you.