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Long-term Visas Required to Migrate Malaysia (7 Types of Migration Models)



In Malaysia, a foreigner has to obtain a valid long-term visa for a long-term stay. The long-term visa granted to foreigners is valid for more than one year.

To come up with the best solution for living in Malaysia, the planning must take into account of the various aspects of the visa and its conditions.

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Malaysia is a beautiful country located in southeast Asia. The pleasant weather throughout the year allows people to enjoy their lifestyle away from natural disasters.

The rainforest covers 54% of the total land area, and the breathtaking natural scenery is just waiting to be discovered. It also has many beautiful islands surrounding West Malaysia and East Malaysia. There are numerous adventure water activities available at beaches and islands.

Malaysian people are warm and friendly because it is a multiracial and multicultural country. As a multicultural country, the historical landmarks, languages, and foods could satisfy personal desires.

Although Malaysians speak many languages, English is widely used in society and education. Surprisingly, you may find that people communicate in different languages. Furthermore, Malaysia is one of the best medical tourism destinations in the world.

Last but not least, the lower cost of living in Malaysia is one of the reasons that foreigners and tourists choose Malaysia for vacation or living.


Mr. Ashikaga, a CEO of our company IKI LINKS, and his family have decided to stay long-term and shift their lifestyle from Japan to Malaysia in 2014, and their story continues. This is one of the most important decisions he and his family have ever made.

At the beginning, Mr. Ashikaga was joining a company in Malaysia and using a social visit pass to enter Malaysia. He immediately prepared the documents for applying for an employment pass after arriving in Malaysia. The processing time for an employment pass was about 4 months, from document preparation to approval. When Mr. Ashikaga collected the sticker for the employment pass they received, his family applied for a dependent pass under Mr. Ashikaga.

During the time he was waiting for the approval of the employment pass, Mr. Ashikaga was living in Singapore and Malaysia for the purpose of extending the social visit pass.

As a result, he received an employment pass for two years and he was able to renew his employment pass for three years. It is possible that he had sufficient creditworthiness to obtain the longer employment pass.

When it came time to renew my employment pass, some questions came to mind. What if I cannot renew due to changes in government criteria? What if I am unable to renew for any reason? What if the renewal process takes longer?

Mr. Ashikaga decided to apply for a residence pass (RP-T) to eliminate downsizing thinking. Now, he and his family are enjoying their stay in Malaysia with a residence pass.

Mr. Ashikaga is sharing his own experience with many families to help those who shift their lifestyle. He has a wealth of experience to help the family that wants to move to Malaysia.

Understanding Migration to Malaysia

When we travel abroad, the immigration officer will ask us questions like, "What are you here for?" "How long will you stay?" and "Where will you stay?"

The same questions apply to entering Malaysia when you present your passport to an immigration officer.

Malaysia is a country that has diplomatic relations with many countries. Therefore, many foreigners can easily obtain a social visit pass when entering Malaysia.

Citizens of different countries may be granted by Malaysia different periods of social visitation, such as 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, etc.

Long-term Visas Required to Migrate Malaysia (7 Types of Migration Models)

The following 7 types of migration models are suitable for those who would like a long-term stay in Malaysia.

① Education Migration (Student Pass + Dependant Pass)

When a foreign student enrolls in an international school in Malaysia, they will be granted a student pass. This pass enables the student to attend school and serves as a permit for foreign students.

The student pass has a validity period of one year. If the child is enrolled in a school that lasts for multiple years, they will need to renew their student pass on an annual basis.

When a child is admitted to a school in Malaysia, one of the parents will be issued a guardian pass, allowing them to stay in the country. This guardian pass is unique and hard to find in many other countries. The availability of guardian pass is often a major factor in families' decisions to move to Malaysia for their children's education.

For instance, if a family with an elementary school student and a junior high school student, along with their mother, moves to Malaysia for education, this set of student passes and guardian pass allows the entire family to stay in Malaysia. If they have preschool-aged siblings, they can also accompany them.

The requirements for student and guardian passes are as follows:

  1. ① Valid for 1 year
  2. ② A student pass could be applied for at schools that have been granted by the government (generally not applicable to nursery schools with only students under 6 years old).
  3. ③ Only one guardian pass will be issued, regardless of how many children
  4. ④ A Guardian pass is not eligible for working

If a husband, wife, and children would like to migrate to Malaysia all together, MM2H / S-MM2H visa is one of the best solutions.

For more information on student passes, please visit the Malaysian government's official website.

(Case study) Study abroad experience

A Japanese family traveled to Malaysia for their children's education. The mother was granted a Guardian Pass and her children received Student Passes.

Due to the requirement to renew a visa on an annual basis, there was a possibility that the new visa could not be obtained prior to the expiration of the previous visa. In such a case, the school informed her that she would have to depart Malaysia on the day the visa expired and re-enter the country to obtain a Social Visit Pass after the expiration date.

In this aspect, the MM2H visa and S-MM2H visa, as outlined below, are suitable visas for individuals looking to stay in Malaysia.

② Family Migration (MM2H / S-MM2H Visa)

In some cases, the family migrate to Malaysia with not only one parent and children but also with spouse or multiple generations including grandparents and grandchildren. Obtaining an MM2H or S-MM2H visa is the more favorable option for people looking to migrate to Malaysia.

In 2020 before, the MM2H visa was a long-term visa that could be applied for by anyone with proof of income and assets, regardless of age.

In October 2020, the Malaysian government announced the suspension of new MM2H visa applications for review. As part of the review, the thresholds were raised, and the approval period for the MM2H visa was reduced from ten to five years. For more information, please refer to "Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) Visa Application Guide".

The S-MM2H visa is a long-stay visa operated independently by the Sarawak state government. The features of this visa are that it allows long-term stays not only in Sarawak but also in West Malaysia, and compared to the MM2H visa, which has new conditions, the application conditions are relaxed, especially for those over 50 years old.

For more information, please refer to "Sarawak-Malaysia My Second Home (S-MM2H) Visa Application Guide".

Both MM2H and S-MM2H visas are very convenient visas that allow everyone to stay in Malaysia if they get them as a family.

You may enjoy the financial institutions service in Malaysia by deposit a part of your liquid assets.

It is also beneficial to those who have a business outside of Malaysia but reside in Malaysia especially for the taxation.

③ Second Life Migration (MM2H / S-MM2H Visa)

Planning for retirement is a crucial aspect of life that should not be overlooked. It's essential for everyone, whether currently employed or retired, to consider and prepare for their future lifestyle during and after retirement.

By opening a bank account in Malaysia, you can access convenient banking services throughout the country. Instead of carrying cash every time from home country, online banking makes it easy to transfer money securely and quickly.

If you have retirement plans in Malaysia, please get ready for your MM2H / S-MM2H visa now before the terms and conditions change.

④ Professional Migration (Employment Pass)

An employment pass is a pass issued by an employer that allows a foreigner to work in Malaysia.

This is one of the visas that the family may use to come and stay in Malaysia. For the family, parents can not only earn an income but also spend more time with their children.

An employment pass is classified into three types, as follows:

Category 1 Category 2 Category 3
Minimum monthly salary RM10,000 and above RM5,000~RM9,999 RM3,000~RM4,999
Period of Employment Up to 5 years (renewable) Up to 2 years (renewable) Up to 1 year (up to 2 times renewals)
Dependant application Yes Yes No

Malaysia's policy is welcoming to foreign workers. However, Malaysia has tightened up the conditions for obtaining an employment pass which increases the threshold to a minimum monthly salary of RM 5,000.

Obtaining an employment pass can be achieved in two ways , which is either by setting up your own company or by receiving an employment letter from a company in Malaysia. It also requires a minimum of three years of work experience and is required for individuals with a degree or higher education, while those with a high school education and above must have at least seven years of work experience.

For more information, please refer to the official ESD website.

⑤ Digital Nomad Migration (DE Rantau Nomad Pass)

In the new era, working from home has become an increasingly popular work arrangement due to the advancement of technology that allows for remote work.

The Digital Nomad Pass was newly introduced by the Malaysian government to those who are remote workers and freelancers. The applicant's annual income must be equal to or greater than USD 24,000. The Digital Nomad Pass can be renewed without any restrictions but the maximum renewal is for 2 years.

For more information, please refer to "Malaysia Digital Nomad Visa Application".

⑥ Highly Skilled Expatriate Talent Migration (RP-T)

If a person who has been staying and working in Malaysia for more than 3 consecutive years on an employment pass, you may apply for a Residence Pass for Talent (RP-T) to migrate to Malaysia. This residence pass entitles the holder to ten years of stay in Malaysia as well as individual and spouse employment in Malaysia.

A family could enjoy the same lifestyle as if they were living in their home country with this residence pass. To apply for RP-T, you must have at least three years of work experience in Malaysia and a minimum salary of RM 15,000.

For more information and application for the RP-T Pass, please refer to the official TalentCorp website.

⑦ Spouse of Malaysian (Spouse Visa)

A person who marries a Malaysian may apply for a spouse visa to remain in Malaysia. This pass is eligible for working in Malaysia if getting Malaysian government permission.

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These are the seven types of migration models to Malaysia that we recommend for your lifestyle and retirement planning.

These seven migration models might not be suitable for everyone, depending on an individual's specific conditions and requirements. We will create a plan to make your migration to Malaysia a reality based on your conditions.

If you would like to apply and obtain a long-term visa in Malaysia, please contact us.

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