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Want to Know How to Be a Permanent Resident in Malaysia?

The 5 ways to become a permanent resident in Malaysia are the investing route, expert skill set, working professional, a spouse of a Malaysian citizen, or via the point-based system.

There are many paths towards permanent residence in Malaysia, which we explore below.

However, they all usually share the same basic requirement before your PR application can even be considered: at least 5 continuous years living in Malaysia.

This can be under any legal form of documentation, whether it's on a working visa, or long-term visa. The 5 ways to be a permanent resident (PR) in Malaysia are as below:

  • Investor

  • Expert

  • Professional

  • Point-based system

  • Spouse of Malaysian citizen

1) Investor

Many countries have immigrant investor programs in place to attract investment and contribute to the development of the country.

In return, these investors are rewarded with a permanent residence, or even citizenship. Malaysia is no exception.

While many assume that marrying a Malaysian spouse can be an easy one-way ticket to permanent residency, high net-worth investors have a much easier time obtaining a PR. 

To invest your way to a PR in Malaysia, you'll need to:

  • Deposit a sum of at least USD2 million into a Fixed Deposit (FD) account at any bank in Malaysia. You may only withdraw this sum after 5 years. 

  • You'll need a good-standing Malaysian citizen to sponsor you.

  • You're able to bring in your spouse and children (under 18 years old) as dependents. After 5 years of stay in the country, they'll also be eligible to apply for PR.

2) Expert

If you lack the financial capability to enter via the investor route, fret not. For professionals such as licensed lawyers and surgeons, this is also another way to get a PR in Malaysia.

The difference with getting a PR this way however, is that you'll be required to prove to the immigration authorities that your skill set is valuable, and can be of worthwhile contribution. 

This means that apart from official documentation and licensing, you'll also need recommendations for your PR from a relevant Malaysian agency. 

  • First, you'll need to obtain a recommendation from a local Malaysian agency. Below is a list of relevant agencies in Malaysia that issue recommendations for permanent residency.


Field Of Expertise

1) Ministry Of Health

Health and medical

2) Ministry Of International Trade And Industries (MITI)/Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (MIDA)

Industrial, services and manufacturing

3) Ministry Of Agriculture And Agro-based Industry

Agriculture and agro-based

4) Ministry Of Transport

Maritime, air and land transportation

5) Ministry Of Higher Learning

Higher learning

6) Ministry Of Science, Technology And Innovation

Science, technology, and ICT

7) Ministry Of Information, Communication And Culture

Information, communication, culture, and arts

8) Ministry Of Youth And Sports/Malaysian Sports Council


9) Central Bank

Banking and finance

10) Securities Commission

Investment and capital


  • Other than a recommendation, you are also required to present a Certificate of Good Conduct from your country of origin. You can get this from the Malaysian High Commission or your country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

  • You will need a good-standing Malaysian citizen to sponsor you.

3) Professional

But what if you're highly skilled in another field, one that isn’t mentioned in the table above? Does that mean you won't even be considered?

Of course you will! For other professionals, especially those working in a reputable Malaysian corporation, you may also get your company to recommend you for a Malaysian PR. 

  • For this method, the Immigration Department of Malaysia states that you must be a professional with outstanding skills in any field.

  • You must be certified by the relevant agency in Malaysia.

  • You'll need to obtain recommendation from a relevant agency in Malaysia.

  • You'll also need a Certificate of Good Conduct from your country of origin. You can get this from the Malaysian High Commission or your country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

  • You must have worked in any Government Agency or Private Company in Malaysia for a minimum period of 3 years.

  • You'll need a good-standing Malaysian citizen to sponsor you.

4) Spouse of Malaysian Citizen

No, marrying a Malaysian citizen does not automatically grant you a “red” card. The same goes for buying a property.

For spouses of Malaysian citizens looking to get a PR, you'll need to:

  • Be married to a Malaysian citizen.

  • Already possess a Long Term Visit Pass, and have stayed continuously in Malaysia for a period of 5 years.

  • Your Malaysian spouse has to be your sponsor.

5) Point-based System

This is an interesting method of obtaining a Malaysian PR, which many not have probably heard of.

It’s a complicated system which calculates your eligibility based on a point system spread over 7 different criteria:

  • Age

  • Qualification

  • Duration of stay in Malaysia

  • Familiarity with the Malaysia Institute

  • The values of investments

  • Working experience in Malaysia

  • Proficiency in Bahasa Malaysia

Below is the in-depth calculation system, though we recommend you visit your state immigration office for more information.

The total points add up to 120, but you'll need a minimum of 65/120 points to be eligible to apply for a PR.

How much will it cost to get a PR in Malaysia?

The application fee when applying for a PR in Malaysia is straightforward. The upfront fee to merely process your documents is only RM40.

However, whether or not you possess the financial requirements to be considered for a PR is a whole other matter entirely. 

If you’re applying for your PR via the Investor route, remember that you will be required to deposit a sum of at least USD2 million into a Fixed Deposit (FD) account at any bank in Malaysia. This sum can only be withdrawn after a period of 5 years.

If you don’t happen to be a high net worth individual, you are still required to demonstrate that you are in a position of good financial standing and at the very least, capable of supporting yourself financially.

With other “PR alternatives” such as the MM2H, you will also have to submit proof of a minimum benchmark of bankable assets as well as open a bank account with a minimum deposit. Scroll down to the very bottom to read more on these alternatives!

How to apply for a Malaysian PR and paperwork needed?

Here's what you can expect when applying for your Malaysian PR. Do note that additional documents may be requested for, based on your individual case. If in doubt, just consult your state immigration office.

  • Submit the necessary documents to the State Immigrations Office. The checklist will be provided to you by the officials.

  • Investors and Experts need submit to the Immigrations Department Headquarters in Putrajaya, whereas those who fall under the remaining categories need submit to their respective State Immigrations Office.

  • Upon application is when you will need to submit your recommendation by the relevant agency (if required).

  • After submission of your documents, you and your sponsor will be interviewed by the Immigrations department.

Congratulations, you’ve stepped foot down the long and winding path towards getting a PR in Malaysia! After that, it’s just a matter of checking your application status via this link here.

Tips to successfully apply for a PR in Malaysia

There’s no shortcut to getting a PR in Malaysia. Even if you’ve got a couple extra million dollars lying around in the bank, there’s still no 100% guarantee that you’ll be able to obtain a permanent residency.

The #1 thing to keep in mind, however, is that to be considered for a PR, it’s best if you can prove your contribution to the country in some way or other.

Whether it be by means of foreign capital or a specific professional skill set, it’s best that you’re able to show yourself as a valuable asset to the country; with the black-and-white to prove it!

For the full original article, visit PropertyGuru

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