Immigrate to Malaysia

Updated on Monday 27th May 2024

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Malaysia is a popular tourist destination and also a great place to relocate, helped by our immigration lawyers in Malaysia. You can get different types of visas for Malaysia depending on eligibility and validity. Along with student visas, different kinds of work visas like employment passes, temporary employment passes, professional visa passes, and spouse visas are available in this country. Malaysia also welcomes citizens from all over the world to become long-term residents under Malaysia My Second Home Program. You can immigrate to Malaysia by obtaining any of the visas discussed above. Get in touch with our law firm in Malaysia for any legal assistance regarding your plan of immigration to Kuala Lumpur, which is the capital of Malaysia and is situated in the southwestern part of the Malay Peninsula.  They can tell you more about immigration to Malaysia.
 Quick Facts  
Entry visa requirement 


Types of visas available

- single-entry,

- multiple-entry,

- transit

Time frame for obtaining work visa (approx.) 

Around 7 days

Validity of temporary residence permit No more than 1 year
Temporary residence permit renewal requirements

Proof of personal funds, domicile, health insurance

Documents for obtaining a residence permit

- application form,

- entry visa,

- valid passport

Time frame for obtaining permanent residence (approx.)

3 to 12 months

Investor Visa availability (YES/NO)


Start-up Visa Scheme availability (YES/NO) Yes
Sponsorship requirement (YES/NO) Yes
Time frame for obtaining citizenship

After living at least 10 years in Malaysia

Citizenship/Residency by investment scheme availability (YES/NO)


Taxation of foreign citizens

Income tax at a flat rate of 30%

Tax benefits for expats

- exemptions for non-fiscal residents,

- no taxes for employment not exceeding 60 days

What is Malaysia My Second Home Program?

This visa program allows the applicant, her/his spouse, and the dependent children under the age of 21 to immigrate to Malaysia for up to 10 years. But they must comply with the financial and medical criteria of the program. This allows individuals to buy a property that has been approved by the Foreign Investment Committee of Malaysia, apply for state ID cards, invest in the share market and local companies, get tax exemption for foreign-source income, purchase a vehicle and apply for 1 maid (a female domestic servant). Please bear in mind that this program does not allow the applicant to work full-time in Malaysia, but if he/she is over the age of 50 may work part-time.

Our immigration lawyers in Malaysia can facilitate you with your plan of immigration to Penang which is an island located off the western coast of the Malay Peninsula. So, if you have a plan of immigration to Penang, get in touch with our lawyers, they will guide you to all the suitable visas and you can select the program that suits you the best to relocate to Malaysia.

 You can also watch the following video presentation:


Eligibility criteria for Malaysia My Second Home Program

If you want to move to Malaysia by this program, you have to fulfill the following eligibility criteria:
  • The applicant and her/her dependents need to undergo a medical checkup in Malaysia at any registered hospital;
  • The applicant and the individuals dependent on him/her must have valid medical insurance;

The applicants above the age of 50 years must fulfill the following requirements:
  • have a monthly income/pension of at least RM10,000;
  • prove adequate means to fulfill the financial expenses throughout his/her stay in Malaysia;
  • open a fixed deposit in any bank in Malaysia for a sum of RM350,000;
  • he/she may withdraw up to RM 50,000 for certain expenses after one year. But he/she still needs to maintain a balance of at least RM100,000 for the remaining nine years.

The applicants below the age of 50 must fulfill the following requirements:
  • hold liquid assets worth at least RM500,000;
  • have a monthly income of at least RM10,000;
  • open a fixed deposit in any bank in Malaysia for a sum of RM300,000;
  • the applicant may withdraw up to RM150,000 for certain expenses after one year. But he/she still needs to maintain a balance of at least RM150,000 for the remaining nine years.

Our attorneys in Malaysia got your immigration matters completely covered and they will assist you in your immigration to Penang. If you have any ambiguity related to Malaysian permanent residence, please get in touch with our lawyers. You can also discover the following infographic our immigration lawyers in Malaysia have prepared for you:


Work visa in Malaysia

Some work visas, the Malaysian government offers to foreigners, are presented below:
  • The employment pass: this visa is issued to those foreign nationals who are hired by a Malaysian company in a highly skilled position;
  • Temporary employment pass: this type of visa is issued for an employment duration of up to two years;
  • The professional visit pass: this pass is issued to those foreign nationals who are still hired by a foreign company, but want to come work in Malaysia temporarily (up to 12 months);

You can get the eligibility criteria and the application procedure for a work permit from our immigration lawyers in Malaysia. They will guide you in every legal manner and help you with immigration to Kuala Lumpur.

Those interested in getting a residency in Malaysia can choose to collaborate with our local lawyers. They have the necessary experience and can manage the formalities and paperwork. We mention that such a permit has no expiration date and can be obtained approximately 12 months from the date of application. Candidates can also apply for family members. Also, those interested in this status can make investments, but all the details can be provided by our specialists.

Who is eligible to get a spouse visa in Malaysia?

The spouse visa or Malaysian Long-Term Social Visit Pass is available to the foreign national spouse of a Malaysian citizen, foreign nationals who are seeking medical treatment in Malaysia and one companion, or to the family members of Malaysia Employment Pass Holders:
  • Unmarried children over 21 years of age;
  • Common-law spouse;
  • Parents or parents-in-law.

You may seek any information about a Malaysian spouse visa from our local lawyers if you are planning to move to Malaysia. Our immigration lawyers in Malaysia can also provide assistance in the study visa procedure.

If you would like to collaborate with our corporate lawyer in Malaysia, we suggest you get in touch with our team as soon as you need legal advice. Commercial litigation might seem quite complex, which is why legal support is highly recommended. On the other hand, you can benefit from our support if you are interested in mergers and acquisitions in Malaysia. Moreover, we guide corporate restructuring if you are interested in this endeavor.

Obtaining a visa for Malaysia

Visa for Malaysia can be obtained quite easily, especially if you are considering specialized help from our immigration lawyers in Malaysia. Let's review the main formalities for obtaining a Malaysian visa:
  • Visa with reference is intended for those who accepted jobs in Malaysia. The Department of Immigration is the institution that makes the checks in this regard and expresses its agreement.
  • The passport must be valid for at least 6 months.
  • Specific visa application forms must be completed by candidates.
  • Details of personal income and return tickets are required.
  • Those who immigrate to Malaysia for work purposes must present an employment contract.

We remind you that our immigration lawyers in Malaysia can handle the paperwork for a visa and a residence permit, so you can call on our specialists with confidence. We are here to simplify things and assure you that you will not face any rejected visa applications.

How to obtain a residence permit for Malaysia

Those who relocate to Malaysia must also apply for a residence permit. Here are qualified, professionals, high net worth individuals, talented or highly skilled individuals who have accepted jobs in various fields, but also the wives of Malaysian citizens. In addition to the standard formalities required, there is also a Malaysian sponsor who the Immigration Department will verify before the residence permit is issued. Moreover, professionals must prove that they have at least 3 years of experience in the field in which they work with the help of a certificate of competence.

A residence permit for spouses of Malaysian citizens is issued if certain conditions are met. Among them, the applicants must have a sponsor, and this is the husband, to prove their qualifications and to have basic knowledge of the Malay language. But for all the details you can contact our immigration lawyers in Malaysia. Legal advice is offered to those who want to know more about immigration to Malaysia.

Residency by investment in Malaysia

Foreign nationals have the opportunity to obtain residency in Malaysia with the help of investments. Malaysia My Second Home or MM2H is a program dedicated to those who want Malaysia to be their new home.

The Immigration Department in Malaysia is also the institution that verifies the documentation and agrees with the applications of the candidates. However, there are certain conditions that must be met to receive residency by investment in Malaysia, and among them, a deposit of at least RM 1 million in a bank account that guarantees residency for 5 years, plus a contribution of RM 50,000 for each member of the family.

Foreign nationals over the age of 50 can obtain a residence permit by investment in Malaysia if they open a deposit of at least RM 300,000. Those over the age of 60 who want to retire and retire in Malaysia can do so if they can prove that they have a stable income of at least RM 10,000, but also a deposit of RM 150,000.

Everything you need to know about MM2H can be found at our immigration lawyers in Malaysia, so feel free to contact us and get full legal services.

Why is Malaysia a good destination to immigrate

Malaysia has been voted the favorite destination of Muslims in search of peace and good living conditions. However, foreigners from all over the world consider Malaysia an optimal choice to start a new life. The weather is warm all year round, and the beauty of this country is recognized all over the world. Diversity, multiculturalism, and the possibility of rapid integration into communities are other issues to consider when choosing a relocation Malaysia.

From a business point of view, Malaysia ranks third in the world for the startup market and offers excellent business conditions compared to other countries. That is why Malaysia is the host of many international businesses, established in the form of branches or subsidiaries and which enjoy a pleasant tax system, incentives that support start-ups, and a young, experienced and multilingual workforce.

The education system is one of the best in the world, with prestigious colleagues, preferred by a large number of foreigners. The costs are affordable, even though Malaysian universities compete with many other top universities in the world. So, if you are looking for a work-life balance, then Malaysia should be on your list if you are planning to move from your country of origin. Our immigration lawyers in Malaysia can present you more details about this country and the conditions to move there.

Number of immigrants in Malaysia (2005-2019)

Please find below the number of individuals who immigrated to Malaysia from 2005 to 2019:
  • In 2005, about 1,918.5 thousand individuals migrated to Malaysia;
  • In 2010, the immigrant’s number in Malaysia increased to 2,417.4 thousand;
  • In 2015, the number of immigrants in Malaysia was 3,280.68 thousand;
  • In 2019, about 3,430.38 thousand people immigrate to Malaysia.

If you are in a quest to immigrate to Malaysia, you can contact our lawyers without any hesitation. Our immigration lawyers in Malaysia can provide you with legal assistance with your plan of immigrating to Kuala Lumpur.