Sarawak My Second Home Program

I am really a newbie here so forgive simple question.
I'm staying on peninsula on tourist visa at the moment and wondering of applying  for MM2H in Sarawak as conditions are little less. If I apply in Sarawak, can I stay in peninsular? During the process of applying do I have to stay in Sarawak? Thank you in advance.

Great information provided here.

I am 44 years old, can I apply to the Sarawak MM2H?  Or is it only 50 years and older?

I am self-employed (running online business).  Is this considered being employed, and would exclude me from participating in in MM2H?  All my income is coming from US activities and being taxed already there.

I'd suggest you read the first couple of posts. The short answer is that the financial costs of Sarawak M2H are less than MM2H. However, you also need to find a local (meaning Sarawakian) sponsor.
There is no on-line application system and Sarawak does not allow agents, so you would need to be present in Sarawak to submit the application.

Also you need to get a LOCAL Medical checkup and you and your sponsor need to be interviewed at some point (usually within two weeks) of submitting the completed application. If all goes well, you or your sponsor will receive your Provisional Letter of Approval within 2 months.

Once approved you have up to six months to fulfill the fixed deposit requirement (if you take that option) and get your visa.

So one could come for @ two weeks, leave and return between 2- @ 6months to complete the process.

Once you get the visa, there is no requirement that you live in Sarawak, or even live in Malaysia. The visa primarily allows you the right to enter Sarawak/Malaysia without worrying about visa-hopping (and the issues related to that) every 3 months.

The Sarawak M2H is exclusively for those 50 and over...unless one has children in a local school, OR they are undergoing medical treatment.  The MM2H allows people who are under 50, but have much higher fixed account requirements for that age category.

Re On-Line work - if you are not receiving income from a Malaysian source and the money is being banked in a US bank (and taxed there) it would not be considered "working in Malaysia". You could, of course, transfer it to a Malaysian account after confronting the US Banking labyrinth of regulations.

But you cannot get the Sarawak M2H until you are 50.

Thanks for clarifying.  I am still quite a few years from being 50, so I will apply for the MM2H program.

Thanks for the clarification regarding the income from US.  Yeah... I know about the FBAR reporting stuff I have to do as a US Citizen.  I transfer money to China all the time and that can be a pain in the butt sometimes. 

When transferring the needed the funds to Malaysia, how do I categorize the wire transfer?  I am assuming wire USD and then the bank in Malaysia will convert it to RM?  Will I need to be there to convert the funds into RM or can it be done remotely?

Thanks for your detailed responses!

If you are talking about the Fixed Deposit categorize it as savings. For other accounts living or household expenses. The bank will convert it to RM. The FD must be converted. You might consider which bank based upon the two key issues...interest and conversion rate. I found that is really where they gouge you. When I did my normal transfer I found that my rate was 3.90 vs. moneychangers and Transferwise offering 4.0. So for US$10K I received RM39,000 vs. RM40,000. RM1000. At a 4% interest rate/annum vs. 3.5% there is only a RM200 difference per annum. You don't catch up for 5 years.



I don't precisely know what you mean "do I have to be there to convert to RM". I believe you must be here in person to establish your fixed account...and as you likely will require  to complete the fixed account to obtain the MM2H visa you will likely be in Malaysia to complete the funds transfer. Once done you take (or maybe the bank will send) the documents to KL (for MM2H).  You may have to stay up late to deal with a phone call from your home bank to actually initiate the wire transfer. You should talk to your home bank as they may give you some rules, a special password, and discuss their wire fees.

Thanks for the detailed answers.

Yeah, I wire alot of money for business so I can do it all online on my own schedule.  I am sure the rate won't be great, this is how banks make their money.

Hi all, I contacted one of the 4 agents listed and their charge is 10000 RM to do all the visa work and 3000 RM for the sponsor part.
I am 55 and run my own business online, as well as property rental income but the agent is telling me that the only fixed income they will accept is a pension, is this part correct?

If you are referring to the Sarawak MM2H Program...Technically it is supposed to be a "government approved pension". But I've heard that there is some flexibility...for example a FIXED annuity is acceptable. But wages and rental income is not "fixed"...it can fluctuate.

Maybe consider the Fixed Deposit option? You could sell some property or transfer savings and do that at reasonable interest rates.

Technically there are no agents or Middle-Men allowed in Sarawak. You'd be skirting the law and there is some risk that the interview with that "sponsor" and immigration would not go well. They don't know you, after all.

I know that the temptation is there but is it worth the risk of getting black-balled by immigration?

The paperwork is actually a breeze, and not very difficult at all, provided you qualify. You would have to come to Sarawak anyway to establish the fixed account (if doing that option) and undertake the health check and interview. Immigration expects you to submit the application in person.

Thanks, appreciate the information. The fixed deposit looks like the only for me, not a major issue as the amount is not a huge one to tie up. Trying a couple of connections to see if I can get a sponsor though. I am currently doing visa runs from Penang where I am based, currently back in Australia for Xmas/New Year but it would be nice to have this in place so as to not worry about these runs :)

When they mention Certified copy of passport / travel documents (all pages), does this include all the pages that show previous visa stamps?

Cheers

You need to have all pages with visa stamps copied (likely to demonstrate that you haven't been to Israel). You only need to pay for one document certification. The Commissioner of Oaths should be able to do this.

Thanks. With the sponsor, is it just a case of signing forms or do they also have to do an interview?

As noted in #50 and the original post describing the procedure BOTH the applicant and the sponsor are interviewed, outside the presence of the other. This I believe is to determine how well the applicant is known to the sponsor at to determine if the sponsor is merely acting for an agent (illegal in Sarawak).

Hi Cinnamonape,
Thank you very much for your sharing of MM2H Sarawak program.
I am in KL now with visit pass and have my intention to apply MM2H to Sarawak by myself.

After learning from all the related web sites and reading your valuable informations here, I still have  a few questions which I need to understand clearly.
I called MM2H Sarawak, but 5 different departments gave 5 different phone numbers which had no answers or the officers don't know about the program.
So I decided to ask you with my urgency.
I hope you read my message and can answer to my questions if you don't mind.

Here are my questions

Q1. Do I prepare all of same required documents(Cover letter, Resume, Application form etc)which are shown on MM2H Malaysia(Penisula)?

Q2. According MM2H Sarawak web site, I must be in Sarawak during processing period. Do I have to live in Sarawak with a mailing address until I get MM2H VISA?
I am living in KL now.

Q3. I have my passport which expires in April 2024. Do you think it is enough long to get 5 year visa?

Q4. I am here with Visit Pass.  Can I change to
"Single Entry Visa" here in KL through immigration like you did ?  If yes, when should I apply for changing?
I must leave on 12 March 2018.
What docunent do I need to apply it?

Q5. If you don't mind to answer, I would like to ask how you found your sponsor and if you paid "Security Bond" to your sponsor.

Q6. Could you please share the procedure of submission and timeline of yours processing in detail for my reference?
Because I have 2.5 months time here, I need to save the time and make it done as quick as possible.

Thank you for your time and kindness.

I am looking forward to hearing from you ASAP.
Have a nice day!

Zemma88

tried Googling the Sarawak Property Programme ,came up with threads from 4 yrs ago on another website,but no Official pages.

Hi Zemma,
I'm outside the country now  (I'll be returning @ January 15th) but I think I can answer most of your questions from the USA.

Zemma88 :

Q1. Do I prepare all of same required documents(Cover letter, Resume, Application form etc)which are shown on MM2H Malaysia(Penisula)?

Here are all the application forms you and your sponsor will need, plus a checklist. I think you don't need to worry about the "Letter of Personal Conduct". I've spoken with half a dozen recent applicants and they were not required to submit it.

https://mtacys.sarawak.gov.my/upload/fi … 0One-1.pdf


Zemma88 :

Q2. According MM2H Sarawak web site, I must be in Sarawak during processing period. Do I have to live in Sarawak with a mailing address until I get MM2H VISA?
I am living in KL now.

You do not need to be in Sarawak for the whole period. But you do need to submit your application personally. Generally your interview will be within a few days. I suggest staying at least a week for submission, getting your health check, and getting the documents Chopped (notarized) by a Commssioner of Oaths. You also must submit your sponsors information and the (RM10) Stamp-Tax form that states your sponsor is willing to guarantee to pay the Personal Bond if you are expelled.

They may interview the sponsor at some time thereafter.  You can have them contact your sponsor when the process is completed and you pay the fee and pick up the visa. Generally the process is completed within two months after submission.

You may use your hotel address/phone.

Zemma88 :

Q3. I have my passport which expires in April 2024. Do you think it is enough long to get 5 year visa?

It's almost 2019. Let's assume that you get the Visa approved May 2019. You would be given a visa good for the term of your Visa -April 2024. Obviously you might want to renew your Passport before the old one expires. So you can  transfer the remaining time onto the new Passport and reapply for a Sarawak M2H (let's say February, 2024) and  have the new passport carry that visa too.

But ask at Sarawak immigration on how to renew so that your visa remains valid as you change to a new passport.

Zemma88 :

Q4. I am here with Visit Pass.  Can I change to
"Single Entry Visa" here in KL through immigration like you did ?  If yes, when should I apply for changing? I must leave on 12 March 2018. What docunent do I need to apply it?

I'm a bit confused. I received a Single Entry Visa (RM6) through Sarawak Immigration but had to pay the "Journey Performed Fee" of  RM500. If you could arrange the sponsor, and all the forms in the appropriate time this would be paid when you receive your Sarawak M2H visa.

If you cannot find sponsor, and complete the documentation within the term of your current visa you would have to leave and return. If you go back to your home country  (Canada?) you would apply for the Single-Entry Visa there (RM6) and pay no Journey Performed Fee. Or you return on a Visit Pass for another three months, and apply again at that time.

Zemma88 :

Q5. If you don't mind to answer, I would like to ask how you found your sponsor and if you paid "Security Bond" to your sponsor.

I knew the husband of my sponsor for six years. I did not pay them the Security Bond.

If you do not now a sponsor then you have to find someone who is willing to act as the guarantor for the Security Bond.   https://www.mm2h.com/forms/personal-bond.pdf

The Bond that they must promise to cover is listed in the above link by nationality of the applicant. For Canadians it is RM2000. This is no small sum for Sarawakians. Hence it is difficult to find casual friends willing to be a sponsor. But sometimes the Personal Bond is paid up-front.

Zemma88 :

Q6. Could you please share the procedure of submission and timeline of yours processing in detail for my reference?
Because I have 2.5 months time here, I need to save the time and make it done as quick as possible.

https://mtacys.sarawak.gov.my/upload/fi … CEDURE.pdf

The difficulty will be finding a sponsor (who must be a Sarawakian citizen and not affiliated with the Ministries of Tourism, Health or Immigration) in the brief time-frame you have. In addition they INTERVIEW the sponsor to see how well they actually know the applicant. I assume this is to determine if the sponsor was obtained by an agent or intermediary. Or if the applicant has paid someone they don't really know to act as a sponsor.

I have suggested that some applicants develop a relationship with potential landlords who might sponsor them if they rent property from that landlord. That, of course, assumes that the applicant will live in Sarawak.

I also suggest that applicants make this a one year process...an initial visit to acquaint oneself with Sarawak (and Malaysia) and to make contact with potential sponsors. Then a year later, once a sponsor relationship has become well developed, the actual application visit of two months.

Hi Cinnamonape,

Thank you very much for your kind answers.
Regarding changing to Single Entry Visa, I understood that I am not allowed to apply for MM2H visa with Visit Pass after reading your informations.

So I am still confused if I have to change it or not.

I am still not clear about which document I don't need to prepare.
I will upload the image file. I hope you can take a look if I understand what I must prepare, what I don't need to prepare.

Thanks a lot.

Zemma

I am an American, you (I assume) are Canadian.

You entered on a Tourist PASS (3 months). You must have a Single Entry VISA to receive the MM2H VISA.

I had two options to get the Single Entry Visa. 1) To leave the country, return to the US, and apply for the Single Entry Visa there. These come through two ways.
http://www.imi.gov.my/index.php/en/visa … -visa.html

My understanding is that Commonwealth Countries do not require a Visa.

http://www.imi.gov.my/index.php/en/main … untry.html

2) The other option was to obtain a Single Entry Visa by paying the Journey Performed Fee (RM500+6). I opted to do this rather than return to the USA and get the Single Visit Visa there.

Most Malaysian embassies and consulates are confused over why one would need the SocialVisit Visa when (they believe) you can get a 3 month Visitors Pass. One has to tell them it's because Sarawak requires it.

Re which documents you need to prepare. There is a checklist attached to the file I posted. The only one you don''t need to obtain is a "Statement of Good Behavior". Sarawak does no require this.

The Health Certificate is filled out in Sarawak by a Government-licensed Physician. Most people are being directed to the Clinic Mesjid on Jl. Mesjid.
The Personal Bond statement is done in Sarawak and submitted first to the  Inland Revenue Board (Hasil) for the stamp tax, and then to Immigration. It needs the signatures of the Sponsor, yourself and witnesses (Sarawakian). Obviously it needs to be completed in Sarawak.
If you can get you pay slips/Bank statements notarized by the bank that is okay, or you can get them stamped by a Commissioner of Oaths in Sarawak that is okay.  Passport copies (all pages) need to be stamped in Sarawak.

Hi Cinnamonape,

I couldn't open the files on my cellphone.
I am getting clear now.
Thank you very much!!^!^

Zemma

This checklist was on the link that I provided. You need to scroll all the way down to see all the requisite documents.

APPENDIX A
  1. A copy of MM2H Application Form (EACH person on application).
2. A copy of IM.12 Application Form (Social Visit Pass Form) (EACH person on application).
3. A copy of Letter of Good Conduct from the Origin Country. [Not required for Sarawak)
4. A copy of certified copy of passport (EACH person) (all pages).
5. Note: Copy of previous passport is required if applicant has renewed his / her passport in
less than one year. [certified, all pages]
6. Five copies of passport-sized photographs EACH.

B. FROM SPONSOR
7. A copy of Personal Bond Form (MUST Affixed with MYR 10.00 stamp duty by Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia).
8. A copy of BK Form.
9. A copy of Letter of intention from sponsor.
10. A copy of certified copy of sponsor’s identity card.

C. FINANCIAL PROOF
11. A copy of certified copy of Fixed Deposit statement from any local bank in Sarawak [amount to RM 150,000.00 (for couple) or RM 100,000.00 (for individual)]

OR
A copy of certified copy of latest 3 months government approved pension funds (for applicants who are 50 years old and above) [RM 10,000.00 (for couple) or RM 7,000.00 (for individual)].
OR
[/strikeout]A copy of show proof of monthly off-shore income funds (for applicants who are 30 years old and above) [RM 10,000.00 (for couple) or RM 7,000.00 (for individual)].[strikeout]  [This not applicable to Sarawak unless children are in school or under care of physician]

D. OTHER SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

12.A copy of RB II Form and certified copy of Medical Report EACH (separated form for spouse).
13.A copy of certified copy of Marriage Certificate (if accompanied by spouse).
14.A copy of certified copy of Birth Certificate (if accompanied by children/adopted
children/step children).
Important Notes:
 All copies must be certified by Embassy / High Commission / Lawyer / Notary Public / Commissioner of Oaths / Government Officer (Immigration Department)
Where original documents are not in English, translation must be done by qualified translator.
 Medical Report can be carried out at any registered medical facilities within Sarawak, but must only be endorsed by Government Doctors.

Hi Cinnamonape,

Thank you very much for your kindness.

Because I check everything on my cellphone,
I was able to read the required documents on  MM2H web site.
And I became confused after finding Sarawak MM2H program.

What I want to know clearly is that :

Do I prepare everything together and submit them at once?

Especially regarding open a Fixed Deposit Account, I can open it after getting Approval Letter. Right?

I read all of your informations, but I am still not clear with the orders.
Which one first, which one is 2nd... so on

I am very sorry for my confusion and bothering with it.
I wish I could be informed step by step with numbers.

Thank you very much!

Zemma

Yes all documents must be submitted at once except the Fixed Deposit which requires the Conditional Letter of Approval. So you must be "Approved" before you receive that letter. That will arrive sometime after the Committee Meets to review your application.

Then you take that to the local bank and arrange the transfer of funds. You will get the confirmation and bring that back to Immigration. Once that is placed in your file you should be allowed to pay for the Visa.

{Note: I did not go this route. I used the three months pension option and thus received my visa immediately upon approval.}

There is no value in my listing which item needs to be completed or submitted FIRST since they all need to be submitted to make the application complete. Some people foul up something and submit an incomplete package and Immigration tells them, you need to do this again.

This is why you need to find a sponsor...as the submission will not be accepted as complete until you the sponsor submits their documents.Do you have a sponsor yet?

cinnamonape :

Yes all documents must be submitted at once except the Fixed Deposit which requires the Conditional Letter of Approval. So you must be "Approved" before you receive that letter. That will arrive sometime after the Committee Meets to review your application.

The Fixed Deposit account has to be opened before making the MM2H application. I am 100% certain of this because I went to the Sarawak Immigration Dept and they told me so, very firmly. Also the two Kuching bank branches I went to told me the same, as did the Ministry of Tourism.

You need to contact Dr Rosin at MoTaC, tell her the bank you want to open an account with and send a scan/photo of your passport. Then you pick up a letter which she prepares for you. You take that to the bank (one bank also wanted to see the completed MM2H application forms, the other didn't - double check with the bank you choose), and they will open the account. Then you transfer the money over and get a certified bank statement which you submit to Immigration with all the other MM2H forms.

It's a strange way of doing things, different to West Malaysia MM2H, but that's what they want. After you get the MM2H stamp in your passport you show that to the bank and they will allow your account to remain open. If your application is refused, the bank will return the money to source (and you will probably lose quite a bit on the FX charges/rates).

Hi, what bank did you choose and why that bank?

Cheers

Petemac2001 :

Hi, what bank did you choose and why that bank?

Cheers

Actually I haven't started the process yet, but I called in at five banks.

CIMB seemed the most clued-in about the MM2H process and not overly officious. They would allow me to use any address in Malaysia.
OCBC wanted to see a Sarawak address and utility bills, but not necessarily in my name. I can't make any sense of that requirement.
RHB specified that I must own real estate in Malaysia, otherwise the FD would have to be 300K.
HSBC will not touch MM2H.
Standard Chartered will not touch a UK citizen.

I didn't try Maybank but I heard that their minimum FD for a foreigner is 200K. I could be wrong about that, though.

There are other banks, but I think CIMB is a good choice. I was quoted 4.3% for the FD.

Thanks, much appreciated

Petemac2001 :

Thanks, much appreciated

Someone else now told me that RHB will accept 100K FD for MM2H. RHB, 11, Jalan Simpang Tiga 93758 Kuching. But the interest rate is less than CIMB's.

Your information is quite helpful.

Yeah, I thought it a bit odd that RHB would insist on a higher FD (RM300,000) than is required for the Sarawak M2H by the Ministry of Immigration.

Like you I found these banks policies all over the place. I suppose that some simply don't want to hassle the account processing and reporting back to the home country. I also think it depends on the manager one interacts with and whether they had recently been trained/educated about the central banks policies. Applications for FD under MM2H are so rare that they likely haven't handled very many.

I actually found that CIMB Bank (Jl. Abell) managers were actually not very helpful and told me that I could not get an FD until AFTER I had the Visa. They never mentioned getting a letter from either Immigration or MoTAC would clear the path. HSBC - the manager was friendly and willing to assist if I had either the visa or the letter from MoTAC, as did AMBank. Standard Chartered (on Jalan TAR) said NO from the moment I said I was on a MM2H and wanted to open a Fixed Deposit...so perhaps it is not only UK folks.

Turned out that because I was on the pension option, I did not need a FD at all. I established a checking/savings account at Public Bank.

@cinnamonape That's interesting. I think we're talking about the very same CIMB branch and yet we got very different responses. I spoke to a lady manager who seemed to know all about the procedure - I wish I had taken note of her name for future reference.

The inconsistency of many of the banks is somewhat alarming. It pays to double check. What if, for example, some junior clerk sees an incoming transfer for 100K and rejects it because it's a large amount and they don't know about MM2H? Could be stuck in limbo for days.

As for the timing of opening a bank account for the FD option, one of our members here is going through the process at the moment and he/she confirms that the sequence I laid out in post #65 is correct. However, I got the name of the lady at MoTaC wrong - it is Dr Rosalind Ling.

I think that policies re. the Sarawak M2H evolve, almost on an ad-hoc basis. For example, I surveyed a few expats on the program and they said that they received 10 year visas (others said they received only 5 years...like myself). This created an animated discussion amongst the group..."You only received 5 because they don't like you"...Or "You'll get 10 upon renewal"..."I didn't get 10 upon renewal...I got cut back to five years". At some point it appears they changed the standard.

Or f'instance the requirement to have a Letter of Good Behavior from the home country or previous place of residence. Sarawak dropped that requirement.

Then there is the "any qualified" government-approved health clinic. I went to a clinic, with a doctor with a degree from a decent UK College, but six months later the Ministry of Immigration was saying that they were no longer accepting that clinic and started recommending only one...located on Jl. Mesjid. Rather than "government-approved" it became "government-run".

Today a friend told me the Federal government had told Sarawak and Sabah that they wanted all the Immigration services placed under a Central administration and policy. Sarawak immediately said "Hell, NO" and cited chapter and verse of the "16-Point Agreement". I'm sure the bigger issue is the flow of workers from the Peninsula to Sarawak and Sabah without requiring work permits and visas, and not MM2H, but one can see how such things could have follow-on effects.

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