MM2H New Rules Implement Soon

MM2H requirement has never change since 10 years ago and recently the government intent to increase the requirement. The changes has been mentioned by Minister of Tourism 3-4 years ago and recently there are few meetings with MM2H agents to finalize some changes.

Following are some changes that will make:

1. No more category of above 50 or below 50.
2. Liquid assets to show increase to RM 600,000 during application. Previously RM 500,000 for below 50 years old applicant; RM 350,000 for above 50 years old applicant.
3. Applicant age 60 and above no need to show monthly income.
4. Fixed deposit increase to RM 500,000. Previously RM 300,000 for below 50 years old; RM 150,000 for above 50 years old.
5. Participant allowed to withdraw RM 250,000 after 1 years with conditions.
6. Annual visa fee increase to RM 270. Previously RM 90
7. RM 1,000 application processing fee to pay to MM2H Department. Previously FOC.
8. RM 150 processing fee per transaction for immigration department. Previously FOC.
9. Tax free car revoked.
10. Spouse parents allowed to include.
11. Parents visa from extended to 12 months from previous 6 months.

At the moment no confirmation on when this new requirement will implement yet.

Latest update from March 2017

My husband and I currently live in Thailand and are considering relocation to Malaysia under MM2H.  This announcement is troubling, esp. the part about increasing the fixed deposit to RM 500,000.  That would be a deal-breaker for us.  We don't want to take that much out of our 401K retirement savings and move it to Malaysia.

Any news on whether this proposal will be accepted?  If it is enacted after we relocate to Malaysia under MM2H, would the previous requirement be "grandfathered" or would MM2H participants be expected to bring in more funds to top off their fixed deposit to RM 500,000.  What has been the history in the past when changes were made?  Were exisiting MM2H holders grandfathered?

At the moment still no confirmation from government side. Still follow the current requirement which just need to deposit 150k for those above 50 years old.
Apply as soon as possible while haven't implement the new rules.

Thank you for your quick reply, Patrick.  Will they "grandfather" those who come into MM2H at the current requirement or require all current MM2H visa holders to top-up their deposits to the new level.

Thailand has a history of "grandfathering" those on retirement visas whenever they've upped the requirement for in-country bank deposit.  It would be good to know that this is the history in Malaysia, too. 

Of course, I realize history is no guarantee of future performance, but it would be nice to know the history in Malaysia like I do for Thailand.

NancyL :

this announcement is troubling, esp. the part about increasing the fixed deposit to RM 500,000.  That would be a deal-breaker for us.  We don't want to take that much out of our 401K retirement savings and move it to Malaysia.

I wouldn't do it, the income tax on that size of withdrawal would be the deal breaker, that and only earning only 3% on that large amount of my nestegg. Don't know (actually have a good guess) the motivation for the proposed change, but at least for most Americans, who have the bulk of their savings in tax deferred retirement accounts the program doesn't work anymore.

Yes, that's exactly the problem.  We already have about U.S.$25,000 on deposit in Thailand that presumably we'd be able to move to Malaysia and coming up with another $10,000 isn't a big problem, but we'd have to cash out 401K savings if the requirement was moved to RM500,000 and it would push us up into a higher tax bracket that year.

As it is, our financial adviser wants us to make the move this year, but wait until next year to buy a car to to spread out the 401K withdrawals.  That is if we relocate to KK.  (Don't need a car now, public transport is good in Chiang Mai)

As it is, I'm having a hard time figuring out how to apply for MM2H ourselves for Sabah state.  Great online application for western Malaysia

and Sarawak seems to have their act together for D-I-Y application … w/221/279/  Not exactly online application, but enough info for a D-I-Y effort.

But nada for Sabah state, despite a serious afternoon with Google.

The reason for the change is always the same, to attract the wealthier people and reject the poorer people. When the program started it was not really reasonable but it could at least attract a wider and diverse group. But as the country depleted its funds through scandals and waste, it had to be made up somewhere and that was on the backs of expats, among others. The govt looks for cash any possible place it can be found and for that reason alone I'll never join MM2H.  If I choose to retire here I'll do it another way. Most people just think about how to meet the requirements without giving a thought to the fact they are actually handing over assets to total strangers (who are not even on your side) that run the risk of never being returned.

About 13 years ago I opened a good-sized FD at Public Bank and just let it be. Problems like 1MDB have been gnawing at me for a while and I thought it better to have a hard asset here, nothing represented by a piece of paper in a bank. Last Friday I went to close it and they did everything possible to dissuade me. When I got angry and started to lose it, they offered to close it by paying a few hundred RM per month instead of a lump sum. I'm sure thats not even legal to propose. Its absurd. On Tuesday, I'll go to KL from Penang to close it outright and im fearing i'll have to get the police and then a lawyer. Who knows.

Stop thinking and worrying about requirements, think instead about who you are giving assets to and how to get them back when you want out, while remembering you have no special rights here, if any at all (I cant think of any.) This is still the third world with its own jungle justice. Be careful, this is your life at stake, and there wont be anyone around to help you when things go bad and when it can be rightfully said that nobody forced you to dive in.

Even if RM500,000 was reasonable, (it isnt), consider what you are getting in return. Not much. For RM500,000, we are talking countries here, Dominica will give you citizenship and a passport, and so will Ecuador for a lot less. But here? The right to buy a car? And for that, no collateral is offered for your "loan" to the government? Uh, no. Almost 18 years here, i never met anyone i'd trust enough to give that money to, so im highly suggesting to think thrice about MM2H plans.

I've had FD's with several banks in Malaysia and played with FD's for a long time, and when it came to closing them I've never had that kind of problem or experience that you've had. All I needed was to bring my passport and that was it, they'd close accounts and put the money into my savings or current accounts or transfer it to other banks, whatever I wanted done. Even if I'd lost my original FD Certificates, they'd debit me a relatively small amount as a penalty or replacement charge.

For buying a car, about 8 years ago I bought a car for RM91k. If I didn't have the tax-free discount then it would have cost me RM145k, so the advantage is there. The only other advantage as I see it is that you and your family can enter and leave Malaysia easily whenever you like (prior to that we entered on tourist visas) and at KLIA2 you can be fast tracked through immigration.

However, most of the other stuff you talk about I completely agree with you. I think MM2H is no longer an interesting proposition. If you have the finanaces required for MM2H then perhaps consider living somewhere else.

We're not exactly newbies to retiring overseas.  Hubby and I have been in Thailand for nine years and have $25,000 tied up in a Thai bank to justify my retirement visa.  I've seen some retirees have trouble getting their funds back (not many) because the individual bank managers are "graded" on how much is on deposit in their banks.  I've seem much bigger problems with overseas heirs trying to claim the accounts because the retirees never bothered to execute Final Wills.  This money isn't a "loan" to the Thai gov't any more than the funds on deposit in Malaysia is a loan to the Malaysian gov't.

I'd like to focus on my questions:  what has been Malaysia's history in the past when they've changed the rules with MM2H?  Do they "grandfather" the requirements for existing visa holders or force them to up their deposit accounts, too?

And does anyone know how to get started on a D-I-Y MM2H application for Sabah state?

I can't answer your question because this is new territory, they haven't changed the rules this much since the program began. Best guess, and it's a guess only, is that if your in the program the rules won't kick in until you renew. But that could be a HUGE problem if you've set up a new life here and all of a sudden you need to find a large amount of money.

However it's anyone's guess as to how they grandfather folks already in the program given the desire to bring in foreign capital for reasons given.

Hi Guys
can anyone tell if the changes apply to Sarawak MM2H, as they have a slightly different rules.
As I am planning to start the process this time next year, I have also read that bringing your own car will stop in 2019.
Any advise would be helpful.

Thanks Simon.

Anything can happen in one year. Bringing your car stopped January 2018 from the Ministry concerned, also tax relief on locally assembled car purchase - It waits to be seen if Sarawak is somehow exempt?

Some interesting tax free car stuff for Sarawak from last July - file:///C:/Users/diane/Downloads/MM2HEM_26.07.17MetNon-Met.pdf

This info is currently online - … itions.pdf

The information above is dated August 2017. There is also a new application procedure announced … sub_id=179

So far the either/or option about having a Fixed Deposit has become mandatory in Peninsular Malaysia for both the over and under 50s categories, so the question is whether Sarawak is also going to change. It's about maximising tax revenue in lean times.

This is a roundup of the changes which may affect the Sarawak application in future. If you have info about the 2019 import/purchase rules please could you post the souce to help others.  Tq.

The "Federal" - "State" thing is sometimes hard to fathom

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