The Employment Pass in Malaysia grants eligible foreign workers in approved business roles the ability to work and live in the country for up to 5 years on a bonded employment contract. Generally, the pass is applied for in cooperation with your Malaysian employer, hence a valid working contract and proof of employment is needed. Upon issuance, the pass will only be valid for the company under which you have applied. Changing companies will require you to reapply for a new pass so this means that you will not be able to be under any employment until you acquire the new pass.
As Malaysia is continuously on its track of economy transformation, the country provides a better place of investment for foreigners. This transformation has drawn in more expats to consider investing in Malaysian properties.
Whether you are an expatriate or foreigner living in Malaysia with a valid employment pass, buying properties here is possible. The differences between a local and foreign buyer lie in the amount that an expatriate needs to have in their savings as well as the purchase price of the property. There is no limit on the number of properties a foreigner can purchase, and aside from certain rules and regulations, the whole buying process for a foreigner is the same as a local buyer.
Minimum Property Purchase Price for Foreigners
The Malaysian property market is open to foreigners for purchase, as long as they follow the regulations, where the minimum purchase price for a foreigner is RM1 million in Malaysia, and RM2 million within certain locations of Malaysia.
For instance, a foreigner purchasing a property in Malaysia will be subjected to the minimum RM1 million price cap, while certain locations such as the Penang Island has a minimum price cap of RM2 million for a foreigner.
Types of Properties Permitted for Foreigners
Foreign ownership of property is liberal here as they can even own 100% of the property and foreigners are permitted to own all types of property in Malaysia except the following:
- Any properties valued less than RM1 million is most major states (as minimum purchase price is RM1 million)
- All properties built on Bumiputra reserved lands. Bumiputra refers to a Malay individual or aborigine inthePeninsular Malaysia.
- Properties which are allocated to Bumiputrainany development project as determined by the State Authority
- Low and medium cost residential properties as defined by the State Authority.
- Most agriculture lands which are available onlyforMalaysians
With that said, foreigners can easily own a bungalow, terrace house, landed property, condominium, studio unit, industrial property, commercial property, and agricultural or industrial land (except Malay Reserved Land).
Also, in law, there is no limit to the number of properties a foreigner can own in Malaysia provided that they comply with the above-mentioned requirements.
Ways to Finance the Purchase of Properties as a Foreigner
Generally, there are 2 ways to finance the purchase of properties in Malaysia as a foreigner.
The first way is to bring in your own money from your home country to finance the purchase. This is the easiest and direct approach as non-Malaysians are allowed to keep accounts with banks in Malaysia without any restriction on the amount of Ringgit held in the accounts.
Another way is to take up a loan with a bank in Malaysia. With sound credit ratings, most foreigners should have no issue in obtaining the Margin of Financing (MOF) of 70% with banks here. This might be even higher depending on the banks and financial standings of the applicants. In Malaysia, the average interest rate of mortgage loans is currently between 4% and 5%.
Don’t leave your Employment Pass application to chance
There is always a risk when an application does not go smoothly. In Paul Hype Page & Co, we deal with numerous Malaysia work visa applications on a daily basis and this degree of engagement provides us with deeper insights on the application process. As our liaisons work closely with the Malaysian government and the Immigration Department of Malaysia, we are in good position to discern the requirements and will ensure your visa application is completed with best chance of success and within the shortest time frame.