While Malaysia’s central government has suspended applications for the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme, ostensibly to review it, Sarawak has completed a review and announced a revised programme, referred to as S-MM2H.
Both Sarawak and Sabah control their own immigration policies and have always had different versions of the MM2H programme with their own set of rules. Interestingly people with the Sarawak visa can live in West Malaysia but not the other way around. So those holding MM2H visas which were approved in West Malaysia are free to visit Sarawak, but not to set up homes there.
In the past, there has only been a small take-up for the Sarawak programme, with some 1,200 participants in the 12 years from 2007 to 2019. Last year, 226 people were approved for Sarawak, and they are hoping for a lot more with the new programme. They understand and recognise that the programme can yield real benefits for the state, which is in contrast to West Malaysia, where recent actions indicate MM2H visa holders are less welcome, developments which have caused considerable confusion and also upset visa holders and MM2H agents.
The Federal Minister of Tourism stated she did not expect their review of the West Malaysia programme to be concluded until the end of the year, with the new programme being launched in 2021.
Sarawak’s State Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, meanwhile, said foreigners could apply for the S-MM2H programme by abiding by the new enhanced regulations and requirements, which came into effect on September 1.
“The S-MM2H programme will not be affected by the federal government’s suspension,” he explained in a press conference last week. “All interested foreigners are welcome to apply.”
The key elements of the new S-MM2H programme in Sarawak are as follows:
- Registered agents with offices in Sarawak can assist people in obtaining the visa. Previously, they did not want agents involved in the process. It is still possible to apply without an agent, but you need a citizen of Sarawak to sponsor you and guarantee you with a personal bond.
- Applicants have to be over 50 years of age and show a monthly income of RM10,000 (equivalent a month), which is the same as the West Malaysia programme. On approval, they have to place a fixed deposit with a local bank of RM150,000 for a single applicant or RM300,000 for a couple.
- They have created a new category for people aged 40 and above (but under 50), but they have to buy property in Sarawak priced over RM600,000.
- Visas are issued for five years.
- There is also a requirement that participants spend at least 15 days each year in Sarawak in order to qualify for renewal of their visa when it expires.
In Malaysia, each state sets a minimum price at which foreigners can buy property. The federal guideline is that the minimum price should RM1 million, but the final figure is fixed by each state. Some states have set a separate, lower limit for MM2H participants. The minimum price in Sarawak is RM600,000 in the Kuching division, and RM500,000 elsewhere in the state.
It should be noted that the elements in the above announcement were gathered from various media reports and should not be considered an official notice. Therefore, it is possible the official rules have not been accurately reported. For more updated information, you can contact Andy Davison at [email protected] or register for updates about all MM2H news at our official website, www.MM2H.com.
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