In our book and on our website we extoll the virtues of Malaysia’s MM2H (My Malaysian Second Home) retirement visa. Of all the defined programs for retirees in Southeast Asia, MM2H is the benchmark for a well thought out, consistent, user friendly, benefit rich, long term visa.
Recently, Planet-Boomers, Jim Herrler and Ellen Ma (Canadians), went through the application process and just received their visa last week. The details of the application process, financial requirements, etc. are in our book and on our website. Here, Jim and Ellen describe their experience.
“Our application for MM2H went in August 29th, 2014. We used an agent as is recommended. Although you can apply yourself, the details are such that a fixed fee agent is easier, and, do-it-yourselfers have to post a bond anyway.
The application covered our work histories, details of all our financial/property assets, and a ‘ letter of good conduct ‘ from Canadian police. Fortunately, we were going to be in Canada in August and it was easy to order the letter on-line in advance. In truth it was all pretty straightforward but for one small issue. We were required to place RM300,000($101,000 CAD) into a fixed deposit account and provide documentation of that for the application. We didn’t specify that account had to be rolled over every 30 days and we did have to do that delaying us for a week.
The application process is, according to the website, supposed to take 60-90 days. By Christmas we were wondering about our status. It seems there is a backlog of applications and a new dual review, one of financials and one of the overall application. Our financial people advised us they were contacted by the MM2H authorities to provide a confirming letter in December and our agent advised us by letter of our tentative approval January 28th. About 5 months in total.
From the date of tentative approval you have six months to complete the requirements for your visa. On approval we collapsed our RM300,000 fixed deposit and transferred RM150,000 ( $50,000 CAD ) to a Malaysian bank as a fixed deposit to be kept, with 3.4% interest tax free, for the duration of our stay in Malaysia. The amount can be reduced by RM50,000 by claiming medical expenses, education costs or a car purchase after one year from the visa grant date. The balance, RM100,000, must be kept in the fixed deposit account for as long as you hold the visa. The second requirement is a medical checkup performed in Malaysia. There is a specific MM2H form to fill in that doctors and hospitals are well aware of. Finally, you need to submit proof of medical insurance for a period of one year. If you are over 60 and can’t get medical insurance , the MM2H people will waive this requirement.
In early April we went to Kuala Lumpur to pick up our visas. Our agent met us at our hotel and drove us an hour out of KL to government offices in Putrajaya. There, we made sure we had photocopies of all our required documents and took a number in a modern waiting room. In an hour we were done with a new visa in our passports. Next up for us is a Malay drivers license and then a little wheeling and dealing to enable us to use MM2H funds to buy a car within the one year time constraint. Not sure if that is doable but worth a try.