Early August, the Home Ministry Secretary-General, Datuk Wan Ahmad Dahlan Abdul Aziz had announced that the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme which was previously suspended for more than a year now, is set to resume in this October.
However, revisions were being made to the terms of the programme and these terms were seen to be unfriendly to these expatriates.
The MM2H was introduced back in 2002 as an effort to promote the country as a desirable place of residence for foreign citizens by granting them a renewable multiple-entry visa.
However, it comes with a set of requirements and they were a minimum monthly income for an applicant was RM10,000, the minimum fixed deposit was RM150,000, and the minimum liquidity requirement was RM350,000 with a yearly visa fee of RM90 and a duration of 10 years, as per the previous ruling.
Despite the requirements, Malaysia only issued 48,471 MM2H visa to the expat community, including their dependents between 2002 and 2019. It was also reported that this programme has brought approximately RM40.6 billion to our nation between 2002 and 2018.
The scheme is finally set to resume and accept new applicants starting October 2021, however, this time, there had been a drastic change to conditions which resulted in an uproar from the expat community in Malaysia and foreign investors.
The drastic changes include:
- An increase in minimum monthly income from RM10,000 to RM40,000,
- An increase in minimum fixed deposit from RM350,000 to RM1 million,
- An increase in minimum liquidity requirement from RM500,000 to RM1.5 million,
- An increase in yearly visa fee from RM90 to RM500,
In addition, the duration of the MM2H visa has been reduced from 10 years to 5 years.
Meanwhile, the government said that the new ruling will apply to all existing MM2H visa holders, regardless of whether their passes have ended or will end, and not just new applicants.
On the other hand, Datuk Wan Ahmad said that the government has introduced a higher barrier to mitigate local “concerns” on foreign citizens and to stimulate the economy.
“The government understands the rakyat’s concerns and worries about foreign citizens entering the country through the MM2H programme, which is feared to increase the flood of foreigners in Malaysia.” he said.
That’s not all about it too. He added that the government has agreed to set a ceiling number for the number of participants (the principal and their dependents) at any one time and they would not be more than 1% of the population of Malaysia.
After the announcements made, there were an uproar from multiple parties, including the expatriate community and Malaysians.
Many said the new requirements announced by the Government on the MM2H programme were unfair and discriminatory.
It is also reported that this has led to potential expats and even those currently under the programme give up their plans on moving to Malaysia under the MM2H programme and had looked for other countries to call home.
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