The MM2H Programme was a popular visa scheme for foreigners in the past years, enabling them to reside in the country and do business. However, in September 2018, the government suspended the programme. After two years, MM2H Malaysia reopened in December 2020. This time around, the government has enhanced the scheme and updated the qualifications of entry in order to assist in the country’s economic regeneration.
To give you a better idea, here is the MM2H update 2021:
The application process will be enhanced through an online application system where all information and participant data will be collected. In addition, all new applicants will be processed and managed by the Immigration Department starting October of this year.
Number of Applicants
As part of the latest improvements, the government has also established a ceiling on the allowed number of MM2H applicants. According to the new guidelines, applicants–both the principals and their dependents–must consist of no more than 1% of the country’s total population.
Because the local citizens are concerned about their safety and security regarding the entry of foreigners, the guidelines are much stricter now. In order to ensure that foreigners contribute to the Malaysian economy, qualified applicants must reside in the country for at least 90 days per annum and spend on any of the following economic drivers:
- Property purchase or rental
- Food and drinks
- Domestic tourism
Participant’s Financial Qualifications
Besides that, the government also amended the financial qualifications for new applicants. From the original RM 10,000 monthly offshore income, the new guidelines require participants to have at least RM 40,000 in order to qualify.
In addition, they need to have a RM 1 million fixed savings account, which is a 567% increase compared to the previous RM 150,000 for applicants who are more than 50 years old and RM 300,000 for those below 50.
To ensure that participants have sufficient financial resources, they are required to make a declaration of their liquid assets amounting to RM 1.5 million from the previously stipulated RM 350,000 and RM 500,000.
Minimum Age Requirement
The recent update also includes a separation of the MM2H programme into two categories, distinguished by age. Participants between the ages of 35 and 49 will qualify for the first category, while participants aged 50 and above cover the second.
Due to the evolving trends of similar programmes in nearby countries, the first category (composed of 35-49-year-olds) was created to select well-established participants with a stable income and career to contribute financially to the Malaysian economy.
Duration of Stay
What originally was a 10-year stay, the new updates reduced the duration of stay to 5 years in the country. In addition, the government can extend another five-year cycle, provided that the applicant complies with the conditions and meets the qualifications.
What will be the Impact of the Latest MM2H Updates?
The changes have been drastic, but the government remains positive that these enhancements are necessary to revive the country. Now the question is: how will it impact the existing visa holders and the economy at large?
- To the existing visa holders:
Existing visa holders are required to meet the new guidelines. The problem is that the majority of them cannot meet the financial requirements and will therefore be required to leave the country. In the long run, this could have a negative impact on the economy.
- To the country’s economy:
With the MM2H Malaysia news and updates, it’s clear that the government has become stricter in allowing foreigners to enter the country. From the increased financial qualifications to the reduced visa validity, the latest enhancements make it difficult for foreigners to participate. This is because the government aims to bring in high-quality visitors to the country and promote high-yielding tourism for the benefit of the economy.
The enhanced guidelines play a role in sifting through applications and narrowing down the search to find top-notch applicants to boost economic growth. In doing so, they plan to secure regular cash flow from foreigners in the country, contributing to financial stability.
The updates have raised controversy among locals and foreigners. While the government might think that it is a necessary step to elevate their country, many foreigners feel that they’re being forced to leave. Regardless, the MM2H updates may bring about better business and financial opportunities for the country to recover.