Mm2h alternative visa for foriengers

Any alternative visas available for foriengers?

To live in Malaysia. No motive to work. Only retirement.

Pls suggest better options as mm2h is expensive.


In South East Asia, there are Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines and more recently Indonesia. Thailand retirement visa is not cheap but still cheaper and easier to get than MM2H. Philippines is probably the cheapest. Indonesia is not cheap but this may change. Cambodia doesn't really have a long term retirement visa - but it is possible to get one-year retirement visa and renew every year until they change the rules.  There are pros and cons in each country. Malaysia has the advantage of its population knowing some English - very important to Westerners. Philippines same advantage but loses out to Malaysia in terms of safety and infrastructure.  In Thailand and Cambodia, life can be difficult if you don't speak their language.

Outside of South East Asia, there are many countries cheaper than MM2H.  Mostly in Latin America.  And even some in Eastern Europe.

@immersed we prefer Malaysia only

Back in 2008, my agent was the Chairman of the agents organization for MM2h, and as I had already invested more than RM1 million in property, I ended up only needing to place RM60k in a fixed deposit account. I didn't really need to prove an income of Rm10k per month either. There's no way you could do that nowadays, but it is worth finding a good agent that will do his utmost to help you. Finally I got bored living in Malaysia after 12 years and move to Indonesia where I have been for the past 8 years.

I don't think there is a cheaper alternative to the MM2H program, otherwise everyone would be doing it, but I might be wrong. In anycase, if MM2H is too expensive and you aren't able to retire in Malaysia, then where will you choose?

Some people talk about the Sabah or Sarawak or East Malaysia MM2H, as it used to be easier and cheaper, but I know nothing about it, and as recently discussed here in this forum, there are currently issues with it if you want to live on the mainland.


I have been living in Malaysia for 12 yrs now and am on the last 3 years of a talent corp visa (freelance technical expert type)..

as far as I know, these are your options:

  1. create/buy a company that makes money within 2 yrs.  It should allow you a renewable director visa.
  2. if you have a Malaysian spouse, you get a renewable yearly spouse visa.
  3. move to Sarawak, MM2H requirements are the same they were in the mainland 3 yrs ago.
  4. wait until the government revises the terms as they have indicated they would do but who knows when.
  5. get a technical consulting job here, work 3 years, pay taxes for 3 years, apply for 10-yr talent pass visa, you then have 10 years to figure out how to extend it or start a company.

@wyngrove60 Are you still in Indonesia?

Yes, I am living in Indonesia.

Since you appear to be of retirement age (over 50) and do not intend to work in Malaysia I'd suggest that you look into the Sarawak MM2H program

It is vastly more affordable in terms of financial requirements vs. MM2H. There are also different financial requirements for single applicants vs. couples.

While it is ambivalent as to whether one can actually reside in Peninsula Malaysia there is only the stipulation that one spends 30 Days/month in Sarawak each year and there is no property requirement for those over 50.  One can freely travel anywhere within Malaysia or outside. One CAN (optionally) purchase landed property over RM600,000 (US$133,333) or a strata property at any price level.

Essentially  the financial requirements for SMM2H are two:

1) a Fixed Deposit in a Sarawak bank branch of RM150,000 (single = US$33,333) or RM300,000 (couple =US$66,666). There is limited ability to receive remuneration from the Fixed Deposit for purchase of property or car, or for medical expenses, or for children tuition/educational expenses to attend a Sarawak-based school. One must retain 60% of the FD in the bank throughout the term of the visa after allowable withdrawals (i.e. US$20,000/US$40,000). One will gain interest on the account and can place that in a separate savings account.

AND 2) one must demonstrate enough income to live on through foreign salary/pension of RM7000/mo (single) or RM10,000/mo (couple).

The SMM2H is a 5 year+5 year visa pass that only requires (for that first extension)  that one prove that one continues to have the minimum foreign income/pension and Fixed Deposit requirement, pass a new health check, continue to have a host/agent, and meet any special terms that your special age class requires (i.e. those under 50 have some additional requirements).

Alternatives: A) The Sabah MM2H program has not yet been fully and formally announced, although it appears to be more similar to the Sarawak MM2H rather than the Federal MM2H. It may have a property purchase or rental requirement. It will reportedly be finally announced by the end of September 2023. The property/developer community seems to be driving the push for the program but don't realize that they actually would benefit more from people who enter the program and evaluate the different properties and decide later (an optional property purchase) rather than being required to jump into a property purchase as a mandatory condition BEFORE obtaining the visa. It's a short-sighted approach, IMHO. Perhaps they'll come around.

B) Visa Hopping on the 90-Day Tourist Visa. This may work for some nationalities and people who are flexible. Essentially it requires a stay outside Malaysia for a period of time to meet the concerns of the immigration officer on duty that one is not residing in Malaysia. Some say that one should not accumulate 182 days within the country, others state that visiting several countries on the stay outside of Malaysia will suggest one is simply a nomadic tourist. Others believe that there are better entry points or that entering at a different point than one departed Malaysia benefits being able to re-enter.

C) There is the belief that the current Federal Government will reverse or revise the Federal MM2H to one that is more affordable and less onerous, particularly for retirees. This is because the current (revised Fall 2021) program  has been unsuccessful and even resulted in heavy attrition of current recipients (renewal/withdrawal loss of about 80% of the 2013 recipients).

D) There is some discussion in the cabinet of allowing an easy 90-day extension of the Tourist Pass. That would double the stay period to 180 Days. Likely there would be  fee. It's unclear if the pass would allow multi-entry capability. For those wanting to use Malaysia as a base for travel that might be quite helpful if it IS a multi-entry extension. It would not allow acquisition of tax residency however.

E) The DE Digital Rantau Pass. A one-year program that allows digital nomads with regular contract work to reside in Malaysia. One time renewal possible.