Malaysia's 20-year visa program to add $44M to government revenue

By Hoang Phong   April 26, 2023 | 12:37 am PT
Malaysia's 20-year visa program to add $44M to government revenue
Travelers disembark from an airplane from Jakarta, Indonesia at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 in Sepang, Selangor, Malaysia, April 1, 2022. Photo by Reuters
The Malaysian government hopes its premium visa program for foreigners to stay up to 20 years will add up to 200 million ringgit (US$44.8 million) to state coffers this year.

The program has been in effect since October last year.

To be eligible for the program, foreigners are required to have at least RM1 million in their bank account and are only allowed to withdraw 50% of that amount after a year for the purchase of property or to pay for medical and educational expenses.

In addition, they must have an offshore income of 480,000 ringgit a year.

Successful applicants are allowed to bring their spouses, children, parents, in-laws and domestic workers as dependents.

However, they will have to pay a one-off RM200,000 participation fee, and a one-off RM100,000 fee will be levied for each dependent.

Several Southeast Asian countries have been vying for wealthy foreigners by launching 'golden visas' with a maximum stay of up to 20 years.

Indonesia has introduced a new visa available for a period of five or ten years to those who hold at least 2 billion rupiahs ($127,174) in their bank accounts.

Thailand's Long Term Residence visa is valid for 10 years and offers multiple entries, but applicants must hold at least $1 million in assets, a validated annual personal income of a minimum of $80,000 for the past two years and an investment of at least $500,000 in Thai government bonds, foreign direct investment or Thai property.

Cambodia has also introduced its 10-year visa program that allows foreigners to apply for Cambodian citizenship after five years and gain access to insurance and VIP medical treatment.

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