Over the past few years, the Malaysian government has taken big steps to create a healthy climate for investment and trade. These reforms have paid off; unemployment is falling and the country’s GDP is growing. These developments have made Malaysia an interesting place to live and work for immigrants. 

Things move fast in the country and that means expats are able to grow their business, knowledge and experience quickly. The number of immigrants is rising so there are many people to learn from. Business culture in Malaysia is quite similar to most Western countries so there’s no need to prepare for major changes. 

The country’s rich, Asian culture offers a lot of new things to discover and generally day-to-day life is definitely not like many other places. Traditional holidays with their own rituals and habits, a rich cuisine that can be described as a melting pot of the best from Asia and a stunning country with a wide variety of atttractions to visit and enjoy. 

Malaysia enjoys all Western luxuries imaginable so moving to the country could be a step forward in many ways. The culture, the development and of course the beautiful places. Temples, mosque’s, beaches, cities and national parks: Malaysia offers the best of both worlds. 

Malaysia Residency

Here are some of the ways to get residency in Malaysia:

Malaysia My 2nd Home Programme

You  could be eligible for this ten year, multiple-entry permanent residency visa if you meet the following requirements.

  • If under the age of 50, you need to deposit a minimum of RM300,000 in into a term deposit in Malaysia (approx USD$72,000) and prove that you have a net worth of RM500,000. You can withdraw half of your deposit after one year in order to purchase a home.  You also need to show a minimum offshore income of RM10,000 per month (Approx USD2,000).  
  • If over 50 years of age, you need to deposit a minimum of RM150,000 in into a term deposit in Malaysia (approx USD$36,000) and prove that you have a net worth of RM300,000.  You can withdraw up to 50,000 ringgit after one year if you use the funds to purchase real estate in Malaysia or pay for educational expenses or medical care.
  • If over 50 years of age you also qualify if you show a minimum offshore income of RM10,000 per month (Approx USD2,000)and prove that you have a net worth of RM300,000.  

This visa doesn't allow you to work in Malaysia.

Malaysian Tech Entrepreneur program

If you are a tech founder who wants get support in Malaysia and access to the Asian markets, this visa is for you.  There are two programs as follows:

  • If you are a New Entrepreneur the fee for 1 years residency is MYR 2650 (approx USD 600).  
  • If you already have an established business, you can get 5 year residency for MYR 5300 (approx USD1200).  

You also need to show that you have MYR 50,000 (approx USD 12,000) in the bank to support yourself as well as your proposed business idea, market opportunity and plans in securing funding.

Work or Business 

The Malaysian ‘Employment Pass’ is a work permit that allows immigrants to work and live in the country. The pass is subject to duration of the contract with a particular company for a maximum of five years. 

Before the pass is granted by the Immigration Department of Malaysia, relevant authorities must approve of the expat fulfilling a position in the country. The pass allows its holder to work for one specific company and loses its validity if the immigrant changes jobs. Pass holders can apply for a ‘Dependent Pass’ for their children, spouse and parents. 

Through your Family

  • If your spouse is a citizen or permanent resident, you are eligible for residency.  Please note that your status of spouse needs to be legally recognised in this country.
  • See the citizenship section below for more information on residency or citizenship based on descent.

Youth Mobility Visa

  • If you are an Australian or New Zealand citizen between the ages of 18-30, you may be eligible under the Working and Holiday Visa programme. Note: you may need a letter of government support to undertake this type of visa.

GDP Per Capita
$10,381  (Rank: 65)
Disposable Income
$980  (Rank: 70)
Life Expectancy
75.00  (Rank: 68)
Education Index
67.00%  (Rank: 79)
Corruption Index
49%  (Rank: 56)
Murders Per Year
604  (Rank: 124)
Crime Index
64.75  (Rank: 108)
Environmental Protection
59.31%  (Rank: 51)
Gender Equality
66.60%  (Rank: 105)
Annual Tourists
27,437,000  (Rank: 12)


Constitutional monarchy


Malay (official), English, Chinese dialects, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam



Population Density

95 per square km

Note: Malaysia may not allow its citizens to hold dual citizenship. For more information check out this overview.

Malaysia Citizenship

Here are some of the ways to get citizenship in Malaysia:

  • If one or both of your parents were citizens when you were born, you are probably also a citizen.
  • If your spouse is a citizen, you can apply for citizenship after 2 years of residency.  Please note that your status of spouse needs to be legally recognised in this country.

Quality of Life

Rank: 36

Cost of Living

Rank: 83


Rank: 108

Average Temp.


Rank: 49

Resources & Links

Expatriate Services Division - this government department was established to help expats and companies with immigration matters.

Immigration Department of Malaysia

The passport for Malaysia allows you to travel to 159 countries without a visa.

Its global rank is 19.

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