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New rules for MM2H welcome news Print E-mail
Saturday, 28 February 2009 18:50

A view on the long awaited changes to the Malaysia My Second Home programme terms & conditions

The changes to the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme terms and conditions have been formally announced. For couple of years, many parties have been lobbying the government to make these changes.

There is now broader agreement on the simple fact that the programme would be a lot more attractive if the terms were less restrictive.

Change #1 : Qualified MM2H participants aged 50 and above with specialised skills and expertise that are required in the critical sectors of the economy are allowed to work not more that 20 hours a week.

This is a major improvement although the devil can often be in the detail. It is understood that applications will be submitted to the MM2H Centre by the company which will employ the MM2Her and it will have to explain why it cannot find a Malaysian to do the job. Each application will be reviewed individually and not based on a pre-established list of industry sectors or specialised skills.

Certainly, clarification is needed to make this change attract more applicants. The older MM2Hers hopefully would be able to work part time without restriction but this was obviously deemed too liberal.

Changes #2: MM2H participants are allowed to invest and actively participate in business, subject to existing government policies, regulations and guidelines which are in force to the relevant sectors.

This should overcome the objections of those who felt the country was losing foreign investors by placing restrictions on MM2Hers investing in the country.

It seems that any MM2Her who sets up his or her own company in Malaysia, in accordance with the relevant government rules on foreign ownership in that industry, will be able to work in that company without having to apply for separate work permit.

This will be of considerable in interest to many potential applicants.

Change #3: Foreign spouses of Malaysian nationals are eligible to apply for MM2H, subject to the terms and conditions of the MM2H programme. Alternatively, they have the option to apply for the Spouse Programme.

It is delightful to see this change made as denying foreign spouses an MM2H visa turned of the group of people who had the highest interest in the programme. This resulted in a lot of negative word negative word of mouth publicity about the programme.

The alternative of a six-month spouse visa (given to retirees) was no compensation.

Change #4: The 10-year Social Visit Pass is extended to all Silver Hair Programme and MM2H participants who were previously approved under the five-year Social Visit Pass, subject to the validity of their passports.

Excellent move. It was always frustrating for applicants of the previous programmes when they were told they could not get the 10-year visa just because they were one of the first to join when the visa was given for a shorter period.

Many of them will be disappointed that the tax free car privilidge was also not extended to them. Nevertheless, this is positive change.

Change #5: Employment Pass holders who wish to participate in the MM2H programme are exempted from the “cooling off period” on condition that their application to participate in the programme is submitted three months before the expiry of the Employment Pass.

Another excellent change. It was very hard to understand why a person who has worked here for years and come to love the country and the life it offers was forced to undergo a six-month cooling off period before they could even apply for the MM2H Visa.

Change #6 : ID cards will be issued to MM2H participants with a permanent address in Malaysia. This is validated by submitting the Sales and Purchase Agreement or Tenancy Agreement in Malaysia.

It is great when this change was first announced three years ago but it was unfortunate due to some misled information and as such the last three years a lot of applicants were asking why the promised ID cards were never issued.

Hopefully, these card are now available not just for the primary applicants but also for their spouse and dependents.

Change #7: The age limit of unmarried dependent children is raised from 18 years to 21 years. A declaration stating that the child is unmarried and all expenses during the stay in Malaysia will be borne by the principal participant of the MM2H programme is required.

The alternative visas for children over 18 was not a major issue but it is nice the authority has raised the age of these dependent children. This change also means that parents of applicants can live in the country as a dependent of the principal applicant.

Change #8: “Dependents” include unmarried children aged 21 years and below, step children, disabled children and parents.

This is excellent news for applicants with elderly parents or disabled offspring who they wish to continue to take care of and live close by.

In conclusion, one only fervently hopes that this will bring an end to the frequent changes.

The improvements will certainly help attract more applicants and will be welcomed by many people thinking of joining the programme or are already here.

If clarification can be given on the financial criteria, which are still a little confusing, Malaysia can be proud about having created a very attractive programme which can contribute real economic benefits to all Malaysians

Source: New Straits Times, Property, MM2H - 27 February, 2009

To enquire about customised information about your eligibility of the MM2H programme, please email to home@mymm2h.com

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