Monday, 21 March 2011

Visas

One of the big plusses for me with Malaysia is their visa programme. For those able to meet the criteria (see here) the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme as far as I can see is quite unbeatable in terms of what it offers. I won't go into the specifics as these of course can change over time but the main points for me are:
  • A ten year renewable residence visa
  • Minimal costs involved for what you get (albeit the criteria are getting more demanding)
  • The ability to purchase property without strings attached (subject to minimum rates)
  • No tax on pensions remitted to Malaysia
There are other 'incentives' which are publicised too such as tax free importation of a car (cars seem to be quite expensive and but I'm not sure I'd use this incentive option) and the ability to work part-time etc.

At the time of writing you can either apply for the visa yourself or use a recognised agent such as Joy Stay (which seems well thought of and popular). I pondered using an agent for a long time, costs are actually not too bad but you do need to put in a lot of effort yourself in getting the documents together which you will need to do whether you use an agent or not. The fee for a single applicant using Joy Stay is, at the time of writing, 3,300 MYR (Malaysian Ringgit) which, again at time of writing is £666. With self application you do need to pay a 'Security Bond' of 1,500 MYR but you do get this back if ever you decide to leave the programme.

I intend to go the self-service route and will post and overview of the main points that I have discovered, and any others that surface, closer to the time the application is made and hopefully approved. I won't reiterate the terms and conditions or the details of documents required as these are posted on the official Malaysian MM2H site and may change over time. What I will do though is post any specific details around what worked and did not work for me in getting the visa.

I must say that one of the most useful sites I found in terms of the MM2H application is the MM2H forum mentioned in a previous post. Membership of this consists not only of people interested generally in MM2H and Malaysia but also of those who have been, and are going, through the process of MM2H visa application. For me it is an essential read for any applicant and thanks must go to Scott for his efforts on this site and for the help he has given me personally.

Some useful links:

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