How to be a Permanent Resident (PR) in Malaysia?

6 min read|Last Updated: May 21, 2024|

Through the years, Malaysia has been growing in stature as one of the top destinations for foreigners to work and live. Migrating to Malaysia can be a daunting task, but the first step is to ensure if you are eligible to be a permanent resident (PR) in Malaysia.

We have also provided alternatives to getting your permanent residency, should you be not eligible to apply.

Permanent Residents in Malaysia

As a permanent resident (PR) in Malaysia, you are granted the rights to live in the country for as long as you wish. This is extremely useful for those who are looking to live in Malaysia long-term and would like to save the hassle of renewing visas after every expiry.

Malaysia Corporate Secretary Ramu

Who Is Eligible to be a Permanent Resident (PR) of Malaysia?

The application process to be a PR is a long process, with the basic requirement of living in Malaysia continuously for 5 years before being eligible to apply for PR.

The 4 ways to be a permanent resident in Malaysia are as follows:

  1. Invest in Malaysia

    One of the ways to be a PR in Malaysia is to invest in the country. In order to attract foreign direct investments to the country, the Malaysian government incentivises investors with the opportunity to be a PR or citizenship. This is the best way to get a PR in Malaysia, especially if you are a high net-worth individual.

    Requirements as an investor in Malaysia:

    • Open a fixed deposit account in any bank in Malaysia
    • Deposit a minimum of USD2 million – only can be withdrawn after 5 years
    • Need a good-standing Malaysian citizen to sponsor you
  2. Be an expert

    If you’re an expert in the fields of expertise mentioned below, you are also eligible to apply for PR in Malaysia. For this route, you will be required to detail why your skillset is valuable to the Malaysian society, and this will be approved by the immigration authorities.The skills of expertise and the governing agencies are listed below:

    Agencies Fields Of Expertise
    Ministry Of Health Health and medical
    Ministry Of International Trade And Industries (MITI) /

    Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (MIDA)

    Industrial, services and manufacturing
    Ministry Of Agriculture And Agro-based Industry Agriculture and agro-based
    Ministry Of Transport Maritime, air and land transportation
    Ministry Of Higher Learning Higher learning
    Ministry Of Science, Technology And Innovation Science, technology, and ICT
    Ministry Of Information, Communication And Culture Information, communication, culture, and arts
    Ministry Of Youth And Sports/Malaysian Sports Council Sports
    Central Bank Banking and finance
    Securities Commission Investment and capital

    Requirements as an expert in Malaysia:

  • Letter of recommendation from the relevant government agencies who govern the field of expertise you are in
  • Certificate of Good Conduct from the country you were born in – this can be obtained from the Malaysian High Commission or your country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Need a good-standing Malaysian citizen to sponsor you
  1. Be a top professional

    Aside from experts, professionals who are working in top Malaysian corporations can apply for PR after 5 years. The company you are working in can recommend you to be a Malaysian PR should you wish to apply.
    Requirements as a professional in Malaysia:

    • Must have top skills that can be contributed to the industry you are in
    • Must be certified and obtain a letter of recommendation by the relevant agencies in Malaysia
    • Certificate of Good Conduct from the country you were born in – this can be obtained from the Malaysian High Commission or your country’s
    • Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    • Minimum 3 years of work in the company
    • Need a good-standing Malaysian citizen to sponsor you
  2. Attain points through Malaysia’s points-based system

    One of the most unique ways to attain your PR in Malaysia is through their point-based system which has 7 criteria that measures your eligibility, which are:

    • Age
    • Qualification
    • Duration of stay in Malaysia
    • Familiarity with the Malaysia Institute
    • The value of investments
    • Working experience in Malaysia
    • Proficiency in Bahasa Malaysia

To be eligible for PR application, you must score at least a minimum of 65 points out of 120 points.

Malaysia Corporate Secretary Ramu

Alternatives to Being a Permanent Resident in Malaysia

If being a PR is not on your mind, or you do not qualify to apply as a PR in Malaysia, there are a few alternatives you can take.

  1. Employment Pass
    • For individuals who possess specific skill set in a technical or managerial position
    • Minimum validity period of 2 years
    • Divided into 3 categories – Category I, II, and III.
  2. Temporary Employment Pass (TEP)
    • For individuals with a monthly drawn salary of less than RM5,000
    • Applicable for employees with an employment period of less than 2 years
  3. Professional Visit Pass (PVP)
    • For skilled foreign worker who intend to provide service to a company in Malaysia on behalf of a foreign company
    • Usually for a short-term attachment
    • Issued for a minimum of 6 months
    • Must not exceed 12 months

If you’d like to know more about the differences between these 3 work passes, you can check out our Malaysia working visa guide!

Aside from the 3 work visas, the last alternate is the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme. Under the MM2H programme, holders can stay in Malaysia on multiple-entry social visit pass, and this is valid for up to 10 years. Renewal for the MM2H pass can be done if the individual fulfils all the criteria.

The requirements for this programme are as follows:

  1. Those who are younger than 50 years old must have:
    • Minimum liquid assets of RM1,500,000
    • Minimum offshore monthly income of RM40,000
    • A fixed deposit account in Malaysia which contains at least RM1,000,000
  2. Individuals who are 50 years or older must have:
    • Minimum liquid assets of RM1,500,000
    • Minimum offshore monthly income of RM40,000
    • A fixed deposit account with a Malaysian bank which contains at least RM1,000,000
    • For retirees, there is a requirement to show proof of receiving pension from government RM10,000 per month
  3. Other requirements include:
    • One-off personal bond payment which costs approximately RM2,000
    • Social pass will also require an annual payment of RM90

Setting Up a Company in Malaysia

Another alternative to PR in Malaysia is to set up your own company in Malaysia. This usually means that you have legitimate reasons to be in the country, and your employment pass or visa will stand a higher chance of approval if you fulfil the requirements.

By being in Malaysia for an extended period of time, your chances for PR application in future is also much higher as you are seen as a contributing member of its economy


Come down to our office or get in touch virtually for a work visa assessment.


How much does the application of PR cost?2024-03-14T18:24:02+08:00

The cost for application is RM40.

Can I purchase properties as a PR of Malaysia?2024-03-14T18:24:09+08:00

There are different regulations for every state, however you can only buy certain types of properties with a minimum price tag. It is recommended that you seek out local clarification from property agents/ agencies in Malaysia who can further advise based on the property you are interested in.

Who is the Immigration Department of Malaysia?2024-05-21T16:34:43+08:00

The Immigration Department of Malaysia (IMI) is the official department under the Ministry of Home Affairs who oversees all immigration activities – from issuance to renewal of visas, and more.

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