Delays Causing Confusion and Concern Among MM2H Participants

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A new programme with updated rules and requirements has been announced, but details have yet to be clarified, leading to frustration and worry for many.

The absence of any clarification of the new rules for Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) is causing distress for many participants in the programme as they wonder if new rules will be applied to them or have an impact on them. Some are apparently unable to secure visa renewals because agents have lost their licence to operate. Equally bad, agents have to repeatedly tell their prospective clients that they cannot give a date when the programme will be reactivated or provide full details of the eligibility. All of this puts Malaysia in a bad light which is certainly regrettable.

A Scandinavian expat who has lived here for almost 20 years with an MM2H visa recently advised us that he has finally decided to leave Malaysia because he has lost faith in the programme, and the authorities who do not provide clear answers. Explaining his reasoning, he referred to the treatment of MM2Hers during the Covid-19 pandemic, the subsequent major change in the rules, and current confusion regarding the implementation of yet more changes.

A recent newspaper article quoted one agent as saying that she was unable to service her clients because their agent’s licence had not been renewed. Clearly that sends more negative messages to existing and potential applicants and gives strength to those that argue that you cannot trust the Malaysian authorities.

As an organization that has actively promoted Malaysia for over 25 years and consistently been a strong advocate for the MM2H visa, we are also upset by the continued confusion regarding the programme and being forced to tell people who enquire that we cannot answer their questions because no one is giving us answers.

One visa holder asked us why the government could not just continue with the original programme which operated well, attracted many applicants and brought about positive stories about Malaysia. Again, we could not give them a good answer.

Currently, it seems, the Ministry of Tourism is focused on reviewing all agents to weed out those that may be failing to follow the rules and abusing their positions. That makes sense, but unfortunately, it seems to have caused legitimate agents whose licences have expired to have to cease operations, causing major problems for their clients who cannot get their visas renewed and related services like adding extra dependents to the visa.

While it is certainly desirable for agents to perform their services ethically and in compliance with the rules, our concern is with the overall confusion regarding the programme and the fact that four months after partially announcing a new set of rules, clarification is still being awaited. We hate to see the damage being done to Malaysia’s international image and the loss of potential applicants.

In the latest announcement the Tourism Minister was quoted as saying that agents should only charge fees after the approval is given. If that has been accurately reported, it would seem his advisors do not understand the nature of the business. Most of the work for which the agents’ charge has to be done in advance of the approval being given. The processing of applications submitted has taken up to a year in some cases, but agents have to pay their staff and the operating cost of their agencies. As a result, only charging after approval puts a huge strain on the agent’s resources which have been further damaged by the suspension of the programme and overall confusion regarding the new rules and their impact. The normal procedure is to charge part of the fee up front and the balance after approval. Most agents refund some or all of the deposit if the visa is not approved. We have been doing this for almost 20 years without any problems.

Malaysia’s reputation continues to take a hit over how the once-popular MM2H programme is being handled. We can only hope consideration is given for the damage being done to both the programme and to legitimate agents and hope that maximum effort is made to restore both to the time when the country and the visa programme were viewed much more positively.

The Sarawak programme continues to run smoothly, and Sabah has once again announced that their revised program will be announced shortly Our website,, will be updated when we have details of the revised progammes and you can sign up there for our monthly e-newsletter to stay abreast of the latest developments.


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