Obtain Citizenship in Malaysia

Updated on Wednesday 31st January 2024

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Foreigners interested in how to get citizenship in Malaysia should know in the first place that they need to give up their prior nationality because the country does not accept dual citizenship. We present you with a few important aspects that highlight how citizenship in Malaysia can be acquired, helped by one of our Malaysian lawyers. Our experts can help foreigners move to Malaysia.
 Quick Facts  
Ways to obtain citizenship in Malaysia  Citizenship by naturalization after permanent residence for more than 10 years in Malaysia 

Documents for citizenship application in Malaysia 

 - application form C,

- valid ID,

- entry permit for Malaysia,

- documents for spouse and children,

- birth certificate

Knowledge of Malay language as a requirement (YES/NO) 


 Age requirements for citizenship application  Over 21 years old
 Living requirements in Malaysia (YES/NO)


Residence or direct citizenship option 

Based on a points system in Malaysia 

Direct immigration with family members 

Yes, spouses, children, parents, and grandparents are accepted into the program. 

Health insurance and other medical requirements 

A health insurance with validity in Malaysia is solicited, alongside a medical examination made in the country. 

 Citizenship processing time (approx.)

 Around 3 months

Additional financial requirements for family members (YES/NO)  YES 
 Is citizenship in Malaysia application possible for minors?

Yes, the parent or the guardian is in charge of the application, documents, and representation of the minor. One of the parents must be Malaysian. 

 Dual citizenship permitted

Malaysia does not accept dual citizenship. 

 Reasons to choose Malaysia

- great business opportunities,

- affordable costs of living,

- optimal choice for digital nomads 

Personal income tax rate 

It ranges between 24% and 30%, depending on the registered income in Malaysia. 

Visa-free travel to other countries (approx. number of countries)  Around 140 

How to get citizenship in Malaysia – Short steps to consider

If you decide to apply for citizenship in Malaysia, it is recommended to have a clear picture of the eligibility criteria that stand at the base of the entire process. First of all, only foreign citizens over 21 years of age can apply for citizenship in Malaysia. Other eligibility criteria need to be respected at the time citizenship application is made:
  • Foreigners living for at least 10 years in Malaysia can apply for citizenship.
  • Proving knowledge of the Malay language is another important requirement for Malaysian citizenship application.
  • In terms of documents, the personal identification documents, birth certificates, entry permits, specific forms, and identity cards of Malaysian recommenders are solicited.
The National Registration Office in Malaysia verifies and accepts the documents of foreigners applying for citizenship in this country. Instead of dealing on your own with the relevant formalities, you can discuss with our lawyers in Malaysia and discover the legal services tailored to your needs in this direction. This way you have the guarantee that the application is correctly made and there are no chances of rejection. Find out more about how to get citizenship in Malaysia in 2024 from our specialists who can also help you relocate to Malaysia.

According to Malaysian Nationality Law, all persons born in Malaysia between 31 August 1957 - and 1 October 1962 received citizenship by birth, no matter the origin of the parents. However, after this date, persons born in Malaysia must provide proof of Malaysian parents, particularly one of them.

Foreigners in Malaysia can buy properties in Malaysia at a minimum price of MYR 1 million to apply for citizenship. However, state approval is required, which can take up to 6 months. Candidates will then follow the residence permit and citizenship requirements.

You can discover information on this topic in the following infographic:

Obtaining citizenship by having a Malaysian parent

Even citizens born outside Malaysia and having a Malaysian parent can apply for citizenship. The requirements are simpler compared to the ones imposed on foreigners in Malaysia because the applicants are not restricted by having at least 21 years of age and should have only elementary knowledge of the Malay language.

Some of the conditions to apply for Malaysian citizenship refer to having medical insurance in the country, some medical tests too, and a police clearance certificate showing there is no criminal record.  The medical tests should be made in Malaysia. The police clearance certificate must be issued in the country of origin. 
If you find yourself in this situation, you can receive legal assistance from our law office in Malaysia. We have a dedicated team of experts with experience in this field who can offer legal assistance and representation for citizenship applications in Malaysia. The same team can help you relocate to Malaysia.

One should note that Malaysian citizens can vote in UK elections because Malaysia was a former British colony. Having a Malaysian passport, therefore, comes with varied benefits.

You might want to watch the following video presentation:


Is it hard to obtain citizenship in Malaysia?

Citizenship in Malaysia can be obtained relatively fast if all the conditions imposed are respected. The legal support and guidance of a Malaysian lawyer will prove helpful for foreigners interested in this topic. Some legal aspects need to be completely understood at the time the application is prepared.

Even though the citizenship application process is not complex, in some cases, the government might reject a few of them. Specific verifications are made in this sense, and candidates also need to demonstrate knowledge of the Malay language.

We mention that Malaysia does not recognize dual citizenship. As such, getting the Malaysian citizenship means renouncing the original nationality. Additional information about the procedures involved can be discussed with our local lawyers with experience in immigration matters.
More details about how to get citizenship in Malaysia can be discussed with our specialists. They can help you immigrate to Malaysia in 2024.

Getting permanent residence in Malaysia

The permanent residence shows that you have the right to live in Malaysia for an indefinite period. It is important to note that this kind of residence permit is issued after living for at least 5 years in Malaysia. There are other aspects related to permanent residency in Malaysia that you should pay attention to:
  • Having permanent residence in Malaysia means that there is no need to renew the visa.
  • Living in Malaysia for at least 5 years without interruptions is mandatory.
  • Getting married to a Malaysian citizen grants permanent residency in Malaysia.
  • Foreigners with permanent residence in Malaysia can start their own businesses in this country.
  • There is no need for a work permit if permanent residence in Malaysia is granted.

Foreigners interested in obtaining permanent residence in Malaysia can get in touch with our Malaysian attorneys for legal advice. Also, extra details about how to get citizenship in Malaysia can be provided by our team. We are here to help you immigrate to Malaysia in 2024.

Short facts about immigration in Malaysia in 2024

Malaysia is one of the biggest economies in Asia and a great business destination for foreigners. In terms of immigration, many foreigners enjoy the advantages offered by Malaysia like a great healthcare system, education, and excellent standards of living. Here are some facts and figures about immigration and the population of Malaysia:
  1. According to statistics for 2020, there are more than 3,48 million immigrants in the country.
  2. More than 32 million citizens are living in Malaysia.
  3. Malaysia represents around 0.42% of the total population of the world.
Interested in more aspects of citizenship in Malaysia in 2024? Feel free to contact our law firm in Malaysia and ask for legal advice. Our specialists can tell you more on this topic and about how to move to Malaysia.