The Malaysia My Second Home Programme Guide 2023

7 min read|Last Updated: August 18, 2023|

Malaysia is one of the most popular destinations for foreigners to live and work in Asia. One of the options that foreigners have is the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme, which allows foreigners to live in Malaysia for an extended period of time.

Malaysia Corporate Secretary Liyana

There are certain requirements, terms, and conditions to be fulfilled by anyone who are interested in the MM2H programme. Let’s take a closer look at them.

What Is the MM2H Programme?

Aimed primarily for foreign retirees and working expatriates who are interested in having Malaysia as their second home, MM2H is a housing programme that allows them to stay in Malaysia on a multiple-entry social visit pass.

This was initiated by the Malaysian government and introduced by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture (MOTAC) for those who wish to start a new life in the country.

One can obtain an MM2H visit pass which will be valid for up to 10 years upon becoming part of the MM2H programme and is renewable once the holder fulfils the renewal requirements after it expires.

The validity period can be extended at any time as long as the owner of the visa possesses the necessary documents as well as the financial ability to pay for them. However, the visa does not confer permanent resident (PR) status; neither does it lead its owner’s receiving PR status in Malaysia.

Malaysia Corporate Secretary Liyana

Economic Effects of the MM2H Programme

From the year MM2H programme was introduced in 2002, to the end of 2018, the scheme has generated a total of RM40.6 billion of revenue for Malaysia. The revenue received are mainly from the following:

  • Application and approval fees
  • Purchase of property
  • Medical treatments
  • Bank deposits
  • Tourism
  • Other purchases

The programme has been able to accelerate the country’s economic growth through revenue collection as well as the purchases of services and objects by foreigners who are part of the MM2H programme.

Malaysia Corporate Secretary Liyana

How Foreigners Can Benefit from the MM2H Programme

There are several benefits and incentives from the MM2H programme, including visas. The programme helps foreigners who are willing to come to the country to obtain a renewable 10-year visit pass with multiple entries.

These are some of the features a foreigner can enjoy under the MM2H Programme:

  • A Foreigner can enter and leave the country whenever they choose to do

    • However, they need to be physically present in Malaysia for a cumulative total of 90 days per year
  • Applicants are allowed to bring their children with them as dependants

    • The child (dependant) is 21 years old or younger and unmarried,
    • Dependants are allowed to receive education in Malaysia,
    • However, if any of these children are planning on entering tertiary education in Malaysia, the MM2H social visit pass will have to be terminated and the students will be required to apply for a Student Pass.
      • Ownership of a Student Pass is a requirement imposed by the tertiary learning institutions of Malaysia.
Malaysia Corporate Secretary Liyana
  • Any foreigner who visits the country through the MM2H programme is allowed to purchase a residential home or property
  • No taxation on pensions as well as the ability to receive offshore income including funds transferred into the country
  • Applicants who are over 50 years old are allowed to work part-time for 20 hours a week

    • Requires permission from the Immigration Department in order to do so.
  • Foreigners who are in Malaysia through the use of the MM2H programme are allowed to own and run a company

  • Allowed to apply for a maid subject to the prevailing guidelines of the Immigration Department.

  • They are also allowed to bring a pet into the country, and their parents can also join them as dependants through the use of a renewable visa

Requirements For the MM2H Programme

Citizens from any country are allowed to apply for the MM2H programme. However, there are certain financial requirements which an applicant has to fulfil:

  • 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
  • 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
  • Other requirements include:

    • One-off personal bond payment which costs approximately RM2,000
    • Social pass will also require an annual payment of RM90

Although the financial requirements for MM2H programme increased significantly, the programme is still widely popular due to the benefits the programme offers as well as the general low cost of living in Malaysia.

Restrictions to MM2H Programme

There are multiple restrictions to the MM2H programme as listed below:

  • Requirement to stay in Malaysia for 90 days

    This may not be feasible for business owners who are conducting business activities outside of Malaysia or have other commitments outside of the country.

  • Unable to actively run their Malaysia business under the MM2H programme visa

    While MM2H visa holders are allowed to set up a private limited company in Malaysia, they are not allowed to be involved in the day to day running of the business. A work visa is required for this.

  • Unable to work in Malaysia

    MM2H visa holders are not permitted to work or be employed while in Malaysia. They are to work overseas – this can be quite contradicting to the above restriction on requirement to spend 90 days in Malaysia as there are concerns on what they can do for the 90 days given working is not allowed.

MM2H Sarawak Programme

The MM2H programme is primarily for those who wish to live anywhere in Malaysia with the exception of Sarawak and Sabah.

For those who are looking to live in Sarawak, you have to apply for the MM2H Sarawak programme instead. All applications must be sponsored by a local Sarawak citizen or permanent resident.

Here are the requirements to the MM2H Sarawak programme:

  • Age

    Above 50 years old, unless you are 30 and above and requires long-term medical care in the country or have a child studying there.

  • Income

    Single applicants need at least RM 7,000 of offshore monthly income or have a fixed deposit account of RM 100,000. A minimum fixed deposit of RM 60,000 is required after 1 year.

    For married couples, the income requirement is at least RM 10,000 of offshore monthly income or have a fixed deposit account of RM 150,000. Similar to single applicants, a minimum fixed deposit of RM 60,000 is required after 1 year.

Alternatives to MM2H Programme in Malaysia

For foreigners who are not eligible for the MM2H programme, there are certain alternatives that you can explore.

Why Malaysia’s a Great Destination for Investments

There are plenty of reasons to invest in Malaysia, given its strong GDP per capita and proactive business conditions. Here are some of the reasons why foreigners choose Malaysia as an investment destination:

Corporate tax

The corporate tax in Malaysia is one of the lowest in the world at 17%, including multiple tax incentives for SMEs.

Large consumer base

Malaysia has one of the largest populations in Southeast Asia at 33 million – this means that businesses can tap on this consumer base with growing spending power and middle-income class.

Strong GDP

The GDP per capita in Malaysia is at USD 12,450 in 2022, ranking at 63rd.

You can check out the top business opportunities in Malaysia 2023 in our article here.


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


Is dual citizenship legal in Malaysia?2021-09-13T18:15:51+08:00

In Malaysia, the federal constitution of the country states that dual citizenship is illegal.

The main reason why such is the case is that dual citizenship provides one with both privileges and responsibilities; such status might be abused when a dual citizen decides to use the privileges while avoiding the responsibilities.

Is the MM2H programme connected to either permanent resident status or citizenship status in Malaysia?2021-09-13T18:17:13+08:00

The MM2H programme does not grant permanent resident status to its participants. It also does not enable anyone to become a Malaysian citizen.

Which Countries have the most people living in Malaysia through the MM2H program?2020-04-29T12:03:43+08:00

Many people from all over the world use the MM2H program to live in Malaysia. The seven countries which have the most people who are participating in the program are China, Japan, Bangladesh, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Singapore, and Iran.

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