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MM2H - do you consider MY your permanent base or just a 2nd home?

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Old Feb 2nd 2018, 7:00 am
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Default MM2H - do you consider MY your permanent base or just a 2nd home?

I am applying for MM2H but the more I read about it, the more doubt I have.

It seems that many applicants want to retire in Malaysia via MM2H program, meaning that they want to treat Malaysia as their permanent home. However, MM2H is a 10-year social visit visa, and the renewal is neither automatic nor guaranteed. A monthly income (currently RM10,000) is required for the application. Personally, I think that many successful applicants will have problem meeting the financial criteria upon renewal (i.e. every 10 years), especially in case financial requirements will be made tougher than now.

Could you share your view and/or insight about what you want from this program, as well as what you think MM2H program is meant for? In particular for those who have sold their properties, established a new home in Malaysia and hoping to retire permanently there, do you worry that when the time of renewal comes, you may not be able to fulfill the criteria and asked to leave the country?

Last edited by Pat in europe; Feb 2nd 2018 at 7:04 am.
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Old Feb 2nd 2018, 8:05 pm
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Default Re: MM2H - do you consider MY your permanent base or just a 2nd home?

Hi Pat in europe - Interesting questions.

We took MM2H 4 years ago (we were British expats living in The Netherlands) with no intention of living in Malaysia (to start off with anyway). Rather, because we're permanently travelling, we wanted somewhere where we could open bank accounts and also a PO Box as we have no fixed address. Under MM2H it's possible to do these things without proof of address and KL is a great hub for flying to different countries.

Within the next few years we're considering spending 6 months in Penang, 6 months in Langkawi and maybe also in Melaka with a view to seeing if we would actually like to eventually settle down in Malaysia. At the moment Bali seems more likely.

As far as renewal goes. I believe that up until now the financial criteria didn't change for renewals. As you say, it could in the future but if we were to worry about everything that might happen, we wouldn't take a chance on anything.

It will be interesting to hear from those permanently settled in Malaysia and also what your eventual decision will be.
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Old Feb 3rd 2018, 8:17 am
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Default Re: MM2H - do you consider MY your permanent base or just a 2nd home?

Originally Posted by Pat in europe View Post
Could you share your view and/or insight about what you want from this program, as well as what you think MM2H program is meant for? In particular for those who have sold their properties, established a new home in Malaysia and hoping to retire permanently there, do you worry that when the time of renewal comes, you may not be able to fulfill the criteria and asked to leave the country?
I think that your first question ("what the program is meant for?") should be asked to the Malaysian government. The Ministry of Tourism is praising it highly every now and then. But they are the ones who provide this visa. I don't know what other Ministries think about this program.
About your second question ("worry about fulfilling requirements at renewal?"): yes, I do worry about that. Not just because of the current income requirement (the 10kRM/month could become a bottle neck for me). But I also notice that rules are being changed on short notice, without pre-announcement and without using reasonable transition periods. So I try not to worry about it and see how the situation is by the time I will have to go through the reneweal process. I will have to deal with the rules that apply at that time, not by the renewal rules as they are now.

Originally Posted by Fenella View Post
As far as renewal goes. I believe that up until now the financial criteria didn't change for renewals.
This is not entirely true, from what I have read on this forum. Those who took up MM2H in the very early start of the program could get it by only placing a fixed deposit. There apparently wasn't an income requirement at that time: you could bypass that by placing the fixed deposit. There are people who came with that procedure and were forced to show monthly income when they applied for renewal under the current rules.
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Old Feb 3rd 2018, 8:52 am
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Default Re: MM2H - do you consider MY your permanent base or just a 2nd home?

Originally Posted by Fenella View Post
... if we would actually like to eventually settle down in Malaysia. At the moment Bali seems more likely.
Thanks for sharing.
By the way, how easy is it to stay "permanently" in Bali?
I will submit my MM2H application soon. Right now, I plan to stay there permanently, but still have to think about Plan B in case renewal problems will come up one day.
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Old Feb 3rd 2018, 9:05 am
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Default Re: MM2H - do you consider MY your permanent base or just a 2nd home?

Originally Posted by SushiFan View Post
I think that your first question ("what the program is meant for?") should be asked to the Malaysian government.

About your second question ("worry about fulfilling requirements at renewal?"): yes, I do worry about that.
Thanks for the reply.
Sure, the government should have a clear answer to the intention of the program. But right now, I don't know if there is anything cleared said or published anywhere. They have been advertising MM2H to attract people to stay in Malaysia and spend money. But whether the intention is to grant a permanent 2nd home for foreigners (it does not seem to be the case, as it is a social visit pass and the program is under the Ministry of Tourism) or only for as long as the successful applicants have plenty of money to spend, I really don't know. I don't think the government will want to clarify such points either.
Also, from what I have read about the development of the MM2H program, things have not been well thought or organised, with short-notice policy changes as you have mentioned.

But right now, MM2H is still a good plan for me and I will submit my application. If my application is successful, I still need a Plan B in case problems come up upon future renewals.
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Old Feb 3rd 2018, 11:07 am
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Default Re: MM2H - do you consider MY your permanent base or just a 2nd home?

I suspect that they will be selective in non-renewal. If it got out that the renewal was a "will o' the wisp" then they'd have massive flight from the program and a Public Relations disaster.

Another possibility for Plan B is that if you are for some reason turned down for renewal in Peninsular Malaysia you could reapply anew in Sabah or Sarawak. Provided that you didn't have some issue with illicit activity (anti-Government political activity) and that you met whatever criteria that applied in those states it might pass through their separate immigration systems.

I think that other countries in SE Asia have less secure programs in terms of time before renewal. All have various proofs of income requirements or large fixed deposits. Indonesia gives you a 1 year, annually renewable visa (limited to 5 years...afterwards). In the Philippines they give you a SRRV Visa which costs about US$1500!!! and is renewable annual for a PRA fee of US$360. In Thailand you get an annual visa and there is a 90-day reporting requirement and substantial bank account requirement. I see people living in all these nations long-term, though one can never think that one is a permanent resident. That's true in Malaysia as well...but I think that one can be assured that one won't be as frequently subjected to arbitrary immigration policies once admitted. But who knows???
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Old Feb 3rd 2018, 11:55 am
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Default Re: MM2H - do you consider MY your permanent base or just a 2nd home?

Originally Posted by Pat in europe View Post
By the way, how easy is it to stay "permanently" in Bali?
Hi Pat. I live 'permanently' in Bali....but it isn't as easy or straightforward as the MM2H.

If over 55 a retirement visa is available. It does require a registered agent to apply as they become the sponsor should the retiree commit to anything that the Indonesian Gov't outlaws.
The agents can charge whatever they can screw for but I know some that are 'honest' and cost around $800/year inclusive of Gov't fees.
Initially, for the first 3 years, it is a temporary visa issued annually (called a Kitas). Thereafter, a 5 year permanent visa is issued (Kitap) and when that 5 years expires it is renewed forever....but expensive.
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Old Feb 3rd 2018, 12:59 pm
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Default Re: MM2H - do you consider MY your permanent base or just a 2nd home?

Does anyone have any info on mm2h for Sabah ? I can find nothing whatsoever online after extensive searching, only the names of agents but no info on requirements...
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Old Feb 3rd 2018, 10:13 pm
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Default Re: MM2H - do you consider MY your permanent base or just a 2nd home?

Originally Posted by Davita View Post
Hi Pat. I live 'permanently' in Bali....but it isn't as easy or straightforward as the MM2H.

Thereafter, a 5 year permanent visa is issued (Kitap) and when that 5 years expires it is renewed forever....but expensive.


Hi Davita, can you expand on "expensive"? - Thanks!
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Old Feb 3rd 2018, 10:47 pm
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Default Re: MM2H - do you consider MY your permanent base or just a 2nd home?

Originally Posted by Fenella View Post
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Hi Davita, can you expand on "expensive"? - Thanks!
Hi again Fenella...
I don't want to hijack this MM2H thread with Indonesian info so, if you don't mind, I'll start a thread on the sister-site (Indonesia) and present all the info I know.
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Old Feb 4th 2018, 1:33 am
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Default Re: MM2H - do you consider MY your permanent base or just a 2nd home?

Originally Posted by Davita View Post
Hi again Fenella...
I don't want to hijack this MM2H thread with Indonesian info so, if you don't mind, I'll start a thread on the sister-site (Indonesia) and present all the info I know.
Thanks Davita. Look forward to reading it. You're always a great help
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Old Feb 4th 2018, 2:56 am
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Default Re: MM2H - do you consider MY your permanent base or just a 2nd home?

Originally Posted by RedApe View Post
I suspect that they will be selective in non-renewal. If it got out that the renewal was a "will o' the wisp" then they'd have massive flight from the program and a Public Relations disaster.

Another possibility for Plan B is that if you are for some reason turned down for renewal in Peninsular Malaysia you could reapply anew in Sabah or Sarawak. Provided that you didn't have some issue with illicit activity (anti-Government political activity) and that you met whatever criteria that applied in those states it might pass through their separate immigration systems.

I think that other countries in SE Asia have less secure programs in terms of time before renewal. All have various proofs of income requirements or large fixed deposits. Indonesia gives you a 1 year, annually renewable visa (limited to 5 years...afterwards). In the Philippines they give you a SRRV Visa which costs about US$1500!!! and is renewable annual for a PRA fee of US$360. In Thailand you get an annual visa and there is a 90-day reporting requirement and substantial bank account requirement. I see people living in all these nations long-term, though one can never think that one is a permanent resident. That's true in Malaysia as well...but I think that one can be assured that one won't be as frequently subjected to arbitrary immigration policies once admitted. But who knows???
"In Thailand you get an annual visa and there is a 90-day reporting requirement and substantial bank account requirement. "

You have various options in Thailand. None requires substantial bank balance.
You can go for retirement visa (over 60), deposit 800,000 Thb into an account. You can use this amount to support yourself.
On renewal after 1 yr you need another 800,000. BUT you can show this amount as a monthly pension (approx. 1500 $/month).
Or you apply for non-imm O visa which requires proof of 200,000 Thb in a bank account anywhere or monthly pension as above. No need to import money. Yes, every 90 days you need to report to immigration. Doable by post or agent. Thailand has many longstay visa options for over 50/60. Or if you can afford it, look at Thailand Elite program. IMHO Thailand is very easy to stay longterm.
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Old Feb 4th 2018, 3:53 am
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Default Re: MM2H - do you consider MY your permanent base or just a 2nd home?

Originally Posted by Thairetired2016 View Post
"In Thailand you get an annual visa and there is a 90-day reporting requirement and substantial bank account requirement.� "

Yes, every 90 days you need to report to immigration. Doable by post or agent.
I thought I'd read that you could do this online now?
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Old Feb 4th 2018, 7:34 am
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Default Re: MM2H - do you consider MY your permanent base or just a 2nd home?

Originally Posted by rogerluli View Post
Does anyone have any info on mm2h for Sabah ? I can find nothing whatsoever online after extensive searching, only the names of agents but no info on requirements...
Here you go: http://britishexpats.com/forum/retir...ak-m2h-907269/ This describes what steps to take and what you have to go through.
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Old Feb 4th 2018, 9:07 am
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Default Re: MM2H - do you consider MY your permanent base or just a 2nd home?

Originally Posted by Thairetired2016 View Post
You have various options in Thailand...
On renewal after 1 yr you need another 800,000. BUT you can show this amount as a monthly pension (approx. 1500 $/month).
Thanks for the detail. I though about Thailand as well but language-wise, it is less convenient.
It is interesting to note that in case of retirement visa in Thailand, alternative financial means are accepted, i.e. either a monthly income or sufficient saving.

I wonder whether similar alternatives are allowed under the MM2H program. The problem for me is that I may not have income/pension higher than RM10000 a month, but I may have enough bank saving for the next 10 years sustenance (each cycle of MM2H renewal) assuming a monthly expenditure of RM10000.

Last edited by Pat in europe; Feb 4th 2018 at 9:48 am.
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