Monday 22 Apr 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 15): Malaysia is relaxing some requirements for Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) applications to woo back high-income foreigners into the country, beginning with Chinese citizens before expanding the mechanism to those interested from other countries.

The three categories are differentiated based on how much fixed deposit (FD) is kept onshore, with the “Platinum” category — for those keeping RM5 million in FD — eligible to obtain permanent residence (PR) status.

The “Special Edition MM2H package” will be introduced in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Malaysia-China diplomatic relationship, said the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac).

The other two categories are “Gold” for those with minimum RM2 million FD, with 15-year, renewable multiple entry visa (MEV) for principal and dependants, while the “Silver” category provides shorter five-year intervals for those with minimum FD of RM500,000.

These packages will undergo a one-year trial period, and be subject to "standardisation of criteria and requirements based on current needs".

"The purpose is to facilitate the MM2H application process, which was often criticised as burdensome, by introducing application rules that are clearer and more flexible,” Motac said in a statement on Friday (Dec 15).

The announcement was made following the ministry’s recent visit to China, where discussions and promotional efforts were made “with the purpose of achieving consensus” with the country.

MM2H applicants must be aged 30 and above, and either the principal or the dependent must stay in Malaysia for at least 60 days each year.

After the Covid-19 pandemic, Malaysia has recorded 2,164 MM2H applications from November 2021 to September 2023, with 88% or 1,905 of them approved by the government.

Meanwhile, the Premium Visa Programme (PVIP) saw 57 applications processed, where 28 have been approved while the remaining 29 have been recommended for approval, Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing told the Dewan Rakyat on Oct 16.

The review of MM2H rules was among matters committed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in Budget 2024, in an attempt to increase the arrival of tourists and investors to spur investment activities in the country’s financial markets and property industry.

It was reported that Malaysia saw a 90% drop in MM2H applications after it was reintroduced in October 2021 with stricter rules, including raising its FD requirement to RM1 million (from a minimum of RM150,000), and offshore monthly income to RM40,000 (from RM10,000).

Also introduced at the time was the requirement for RM1.5 million in liquid assets, from between RM300,000 and RM500,000 prior to the pandemic.

The situation was exacerbated by competition from other countries such as Thailand and Indonesia, which also improved their programmes to lure asset-rich foreigners.

Edited ByLiew Jia Teng
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