Saturday, December 10, 2016

Other ways to live and stay in Malaysia for expatriate

If you want to establish yourself permanently in Malaysia then you can consider joining the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme. When you comply with the requirements of this programme then it is possible to live in Malaysia for a minimum of 10 years based on a multiple-entry social visit pass. With this programme there are many benefits such as a local bank account, a health insurance and a mortgage so that you’ll be able to buy a house. However the financial requirements are quite strict:

  • Applicants aged below 50 years are required to show proof of liquid assets worth a minimum of RM500,000 and offshore income of RM10,000 per month.
  • Applicants aged 50 and above may comply with the financial proof of RM350,000 in liquid assets and off shore income of RM10,000 per month. Those who have retired are required to show proof of receiving pension from government approved funds of RM 10,000 per month.
  • New applicants who have purchased properties worth at least RM 1 million qualify to place a lower fixed deposit amount upon approval.

Read more about the MM2H programme at the official MM2H website

Tourist Visa


Malaysia has very easy going rules on tourist visas. Citizens from most (western) countries can stay in Malaysia for a maximum of 90 days when in possession of a tourist visa. This tourist visa is obtained on arrival at Kuala Lumpur International Airport or at the border with Thailand or Singapore.

Read more about entering Malaysia on a Tourist Visa

Live in Malaysia without employment (visa run)

Visa run Malaysia - Many stamps in passport
Even without a permit there are many foreigners that stay in Malaysia for a longer period of time. Although they do not have a work permit and are not joining the MM2H programme, they are still able to stay in Malaysia for years. They do visa runs to renew their tourist visa before the 90 days expire. People that stay in Malaysia on a tourist visa have to leave the country before the end of that period. Doing a visa run usually means you leave the country for a couple of days and then return again for a new stamp in your passport (another 90 day tourist visa).

Malaysian immigration officers are always alert to spot people that work in Malaysia illegally. This is an offence and could imply that you are not allowed into Malaysia anymore. It would not be smart to quickly cross the Thai border and then return to Malaysia or to fly or take the bus to Singapore only to return the same day. The chance that immigration officers will ask you tricky questions is bigger in those cases; you risk not being able to get into the country again.

Better is to travel for a longer period to a foreign country before returning to Malaysia. A short holiday of a week or two weeks to Bali, Thailand, Sumatra, Cambodia or Vietnam should be enough to get a new stamp in your passport without any questions asked. Over the years customs have become stricter so after three or four visa runs you might get some inquisitive questions regarding your whereabouts and activities in Malaysia. In some cases you are told to visit immigration HQ at Putrajaya to explain what it is that you are doing in Malaysia. It is important that you do not work in Malaysia and that you never stay longer than 90 days in a row in Malaysia.

Do take into account the fact that this solution is completely at own risk. The author of this article and the editorial staff of Wonderful Malaysia are not responsible in any way for the consequences of following up the information published in this article.

Labuan Company

Labuan financial park
Another option is to live in Malaysia by setting up a Labuan company. This is a company that you set up on the island of Labuan off the coast of Borneo. It is a so-called offshore company. The Malaysian government has made this possible to make it easier for companies to do business in South East Asia. There are many benefits for companies to start a Labuan branch of their international company. An important rule however is that you are not allowed doing business in Malaysia with Malaysian companies. An advantage of a Labuan company is that you will get a work permit for 2 years (in some cases even 5 years). The request of a dependant pass is also very easy once the work permit is granted. The start up costs of a Labuan company is around $4000 in the first year and $1800 for each following year.

You don't need to have paid up capital compared to a Malaysian company. The only criteria around founding a Labuan company is that you need to be at least 27 years, have a passport that is still valid for 2,5 years and you need to have enough academic qualifications. With a Labuan company you can establish yourself in Malaysia and get a mortgage in order to buy a house in Malaysia. The best benefit is that you only pay 3% taxes on your income.

Over the years it has become less easy to set up a Labuan company. Prices have gone up and many countries are seriously looking into those who start a company in Labuan. Do not mistake Labuan with a place where you can evade local taxation laws that apply to your own country of residence. The major advantage is that you can easily get a work permit to settle in Malaysia and you pay almost no tax.

Note: Wonderful Malaysia is an online travel guide. We promote Malaysia as a tourist destination. A Labuan Company is a possible way to settle in Malaysia. We are however not experts in the matter of starting a company in Labuan. You can visit out the following website for more information: simplyoffshore.com.

Other Job Vacancies in Malaysia :






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