Through the Malaysia–My Second Home Program, foreigners can buy real estate in this country. You have to spend a minimum of $40,000, but what you buy is up to you…
International Living Postcards– your daily escape
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Two years ago, the Malaysian government launched “Malaysia–My Second Home” (MM2H), replacing the former “Silver Hair” program first introduced in 1987. MM2H provides incentives for foreigners, particularly retirees, to live permanently in Malaysia. Successful applicants initially receive what is, in effect, a five-year visa with unlimited entry/exit privileges. There is no minimum annual residence requirement. After the first five years, visa holders can apply for permanent residency. While there is no guarantee it will be granted, they can expect automatic renewal of their original visa providing they continue to meet its conditions.
To qualify, married couples aged over 50 years (only one of the spouses need be over 50) must either make a fixed deposit of $40,000 in a local bank or prove that they have a joint, regular monthly income of $2,700. For single applicants over 50, the requirement is a fixed deposit of $26,500 or a monthly income of $1,850. Partners in same-sex marriages or relationships are also treated as singles for compliance purposes. Applicants under 50 years of age, whether married or single, must make the same fixed deposits. In addition, they must also show the same monthly income. Official guidelines state that these amounts are the minimum and applicants should provide assets statements or other documents evidencing a strong financial position.
Other conditions include possession of medical insurance, a current medical report from a Malaysian physician, and clearance from police in the home jurisdiction. Once all documents are available, the Immigration Department usually issues approval within 30 days.
Within six months after approval, MM2H residents may bring in household effects duty-free and import or purchase one vehicle locally, tax free. Saving on auto taxes can amount to thousands of dollars on expensive models. Other benefits include exemption from Malaysian income tax on pension and other income remitted into the country, plus that on the interest from any fixed deposit made under the MM2H program (a savings of about 29%).
In addition, residents may purchase up to two properties with a value of not less than $40,000 each (this minimum price varies depending on province). Banks may advance up to 60%. For cost of living information and many other useful topics, including domestic help, see http://www.mm2h.com. Registration at that website will also bring you updates on MM2H.
One of the agencies handling paperwork and processing of applications is Asia Apex Ltd., but fees vary, so shop around.
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