After a hiatus of about a year, the Ministry of Home Affairs of
Malaysia ("MOHA") relaunched the
Malaysia My Second Home Programme ('MM2H
Programme') on 11 August 2021.
Based on a media statement issued by the Chief Secretary of MOHA, the salient conditions under the revamped MM2H Programme are as follows:
Condition 1: Minimum period of stay
A participant in the MM2H Programme must be present or reside in Malaysia for a cumulative period of 90 days in each year. According to MOHA, this is to ensure that participants under the MM2H Programme will actually spend money and contribute to the local economy, whether by way of renting or purchasing a property, spending on health services, insurance, education, food and beverage, domestic tourism or other means.
Condition 2: Minimum offshore income
A participant in the MM2H Programme must have a minimum offshore income of RM40,000 per month. This is a four-fold increase from the previous requirement for a minimum monthly threshold of RM10,000.
According to MOHA, the new threshold is more relevant to the Government's objective of attracting participants of better quality, those of means and with high incomes.
Condition 3: Minimum fixed deposit of RM1.0 million
A MM2H Programme participant must have a minimum fixed deposit of RM1.0 million. The participant is permitted to withdraw up to 50% of the principal amount for the purposes of purchasing property, healthcare and children's education.
Under the previous programme, a participant was only required to have a minimum fixed deposit of RM150,000 for applicants who are 50 years of age or older and RM300,000 for applicants who are below 50 years of age.
Condition 4: Age requirement for applicants
An applicant for the MM2H Programme, must fall into either of the following age categories:
- 35 years of age up to 49 years of age; or
- 50 years of age and above.
MOHA explained that the Government is introducing the category for those 35 years of age up to 49 years of age in order to select participants of quality and those who are more stable in terms of income and with an established career.
This requirement is introduced to keep with the times and after seeing the success of similar programmes and the spill over in the economy in the neighbouring countries such as Thailand and the Philippines.
However, to ensure that the applicants in the 35 year of age up to 49 years of age group are able to meet the MM2H Programme's objectives, the following are additional requirements imposed on them:
- the applicant or spouse must be present or reside in Malaysia for a cumulative period of 90 days in each year; and
- for every dependant (i.e. the applicant's spouse, children, parents, or parents-in-law), a sum of RM50,000 per dependant has to be added to the fixed deposit amount mentioned in Condition 3 above. The participant is permitted to withdraw 50% of the principal amount for the purposes of purchasing property, healthcare and education.
Condition 5: Duration of MM2H Pass
The duration of the MM2H Pass and extensions thereof has been reduced to five years (as compared to 10 years previously).
Condition 6: Minimum liquid assets of RM1.5 million
An applicant for the MM2H Programme must prove that he has liquid assets of RM1.5 million, as compared to the previous minimum liquid assets requirement of RM500,000 for applicants below 50 years of age and RM350,000 for those 50 years of age and above.
According to MOHA, this condition has been enhanced to ensure that participants in the MM2H Programme are of financial means and will contribute to the country's economy.
Condition 7: Processing fee
The fee for a MM2H Pass will be increased from RM90 to RM500 for each year of the duration of the pass and a processing fee of RM5,000 will be imposed on the principal applicant and RM2,500 for each dependant. Previously no processing fee was chargeable.
Condition 8: Security Checks
Renewal of passes, change of principal, and change of citizenship of the MM2H Programme participants and dependants will also require participants to undergo security checks.
Condition 9: Certificate of Good Conduct
A participant in the MM2H Programme and his dependants are each required to provide a Letter of Good Conduct. This condition has been imposed to enable increased monitoring by enforcement agencies as an added security measure.
Other key points
Applications under the MM2H Programme will recommence in October 2021 and will be processed by the Malaysian Immigration Department, instead of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
The conditions under the revamped MM2H Programme will apply to all new applications and applications by existing participants for renewal of their MM2H Pass. Existing participants will be given a grace period of one year to comply with the new requirements.
MOHA has also given its assurance that only individuals who are qualified and do not have a criminal record will be permitted to participate in the MM2H Programme.
According to MOHA, there are presently 57,478 persons (including their dependants) who have been approved to participate in the previous MM2H programme. The Government has announced that it will limit the total number of participants (including their dependants) in the MM2H Programme at any one time to 1% of Malaysian citizens.
The new conditions introduced under the revamped MM2H Programme set much higher thresholds than those under the previous MM2H programme. While it is evident that the previous requirements were rather low, it remains to be seen whether the new conditions could be too stringent.
While stakeholders in the industry have welcomed the relaunch of the MM2H Programme, certain stakeholders have voiced concerns on whether the thresholds of new financial conditions have been set too high.1
Some participants under the previous MM2H programme have also expressed doubts that they will be able to meet the new financial conditions and may be forced to leave the country. Some of these participants have urged the Malaysian Government not to impose the new financial conditions on existing participants.2
1 Reactivation of MM2H programme lauded, The Star Online, 13 August 2021; Govt urged to revise MM2H rules, Sunday Star, 15 August 2021; Shareda: Programme conditions are harsh, Sunday Star, 15 August 2021.
2 Government urged to reconsider new MM2H conditions, The Star Online, 13 August 2021.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.