Through the years, Malaysia has been growing in stature as one of the top destinations for foreigners to 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.

Permanent Residents in Malaysia

As a 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.

NOTE: A PR and a Malaysian citizen hold similar rights, except that as a PR, you do not have the rights to vote or engage in any political activity in Malaysia.
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Who Can Apply to be a Permanent Resident 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 PR in Malaysia are as follows:

  • 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    • Deposit a minimum of USD2 million – only can be withdrawn after 5 years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
  • 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:

AgenciesFields Of Expertise
Ministry Of HealthHealth and medical
Ministry Of International Trade And Industries (MITI) /

Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (MIDA)

Industrial, services and manufacturing
Ministry Of Agriculture And Agro-based IndustryAgriculture and agro-based
Ministry Of TransportMaritime, air and land transportation
Ministry Of Higher LearningHigher learning
Ministry Of Science, Technology And InnovationScience, technology, and ICT
Ministry Of Information, Communication And CultureInformation, communication, culture, and arts
Ministry Of Youth And Sports/Malaysian Sports CouncilSports
Central BankBanking and finance
Securities CommissionInvestment 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
  • 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
  • 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.

FUN FACT: Did you know that as a PR in Malaysia, you are eligible to enjoy the benefits of a local company if you wish to start your own company in the country?

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.

  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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!

NOTE: The type of work pass you are eligible to apply for is dependent on your job type and skills.


How much does the application of PR cost?2021-09-15T18:18:53+08:00

The cost for application is RM40.

Can I purchase properties as a PR of Malaysia?2021-09-15T18:15:55+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?2021-09-15T18:15:21+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.

2021-10-01T17:27:08+08:00September 15, 2021|

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