By Moustafa Daly
The Malaysian government will soon ease restrictions on its residency by investment program, Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H), after a review found it unpopular.
The announcement, made by the Minister of Tourism Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing, said that a final thorough review is underway, with the finalized version of the investor visa program set to be published by mid-December. He explained that the revised MM2H is aimed at attracting 10,000 to 15,000 applicants annually.
As of now, applications to MM2H are suspended in anticipation of the new requirements.
“The previous MM2H, which has been stopped since October 2023, has [financial] requirements that are way too high; these requirements will soon be lowered,” explains Roselind Moey of Alter Domus, a consultancy agency that was the first to get a license to work with MM2H clients.
The offerings of the revamped MM2H will be tailored to different segments, explains Moey. “There will be one for pensioners who will enjoy lower requirements but also less benefits. The top tier will have many other benefits but we don't yet know the full details."
What are the anticipated new requirements for Malaysia’s program?
The program, which was last revamped in 2021, currently requires applicants to place a fixed deposit of at least RM1 million ($215,000) in a Malaysian bank, have offshore monthly income of RM40,000 ($8,600), and reside in Malaysia for at least 90 cumulative days a year.
However, these restrictive conditions have led to the program’s dwindling popularity in the past two years, with application volume dropping by 90% over the past year as per government figures.
While the final version of the program is yet to be announced, reports have predicted that the 90-day rule will be scrapped, and the fixed deposit is set to be reduced to possibly as low as RM700,000 ($150,000).
Moreover, the government is expected to set a fixed consultancy fee for interested applicants to ensure fairness, while also planning to review all consultancy agencies licensed to advise MM2H clients.
“The existing MM2H consultant agents will not get automatic recognition,” said Tourism Minister Sing. “Their backgrounds will be thoroughly checked, with unsuitable agents weeded out.”
As such, all existing MM2H consultancy agencies will be asked to resubmit their license applications.
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