Malaysia’s Premium Visa Program Aimed at Attracting Wealthy Investors

Posted by Written by Ayman Falak Medina Reading Time: 2 minutes

Malaysia’s Premium Visa Program (PVIP) was introduced to attract wealthy foreigners to invest and reside in the country for up to 20 years. In addition, holders of this visa can study, and purchase residential or commercial real estate.

The Malaysian government is expecting the program to add up to 200 million ringgit (US$45.4 million) to government revenue in its first year – the program has been in effect since October 2022.

PVIP is modeled on similar initiatives introduced in Thailand which offers a 10-year resident visa for wealthy global citizens, pensioners, and highly skilled professionals. Singapore, through its global investor program, offers a route for foreign investors and their families to obtain permanent residency in the city state.

Who can apply for Malaysia’s Premium Visa Program?

Foreign nationals whose countries have diplomatic relations with Malaysia can apply for the visa program. Participants can also include dependents (spouses, parents, and children (up to the age of 21)).

What are the requirements to apply?

There are several key requirements that applicants must fulfill to qualify for PVIP.

  1. Open a fixed deposit account of 1 million ringgit (US$227,180) in a licensed Malaysian bank. No withdrawals are allowed for the first year, however, up to 50 percent can be withdrawn after the first year for the purchase of real estate, medical expenses, or education;
  2. The applicant must have offshore income of 40,000 ringgit (US$9,086) per month or 480,000 ringgit (US$109,000) annually;
  3. Pay the participation fees of 200,000 ringgit (US$45,434) for the principal applicant and 100,000 ringgit (US$22,713) for each dependent; and
  4. All applications must be done through an authorized agency appointed by the Immigration Department of Malaysia.

Payment of 10 percent of the 200,000 ringgit (US$45,434) fee must firstly be paid by the authorized agent to the Director General of Malaysia for each quota of applicants approved. For example, if the agency has been given a quota for five PVIP applications, then the initial payment is 10% x 5 x 200,000 ringgit (US$45,434) = 100,000 ringgit (US$22,711).

The remainder must be paid within 60 days after conditional approval is granted. If the agency fails to pay the initial 10 percent fee based on the quota, then the approval is revoked.

There is also a 2,000 ringgit (US$454) yearly pass fee, as well as fees for a security bond and visa processing. These rates vary based on the country of origin of the applicant.

Further, children of PVIP holders who have passed the age of 21 must apply to become a PVIP participant. All applicants must also have health insurance coverage in Malaysia.

What are the benefits of joining the PVIP?

PVIP holders will be given up to 20 years residency in Malaysia which is given through the 5+5+5+5 year method (multiple entry visa). During this time, PVIP holders can undertake conduct business in Malaysia, study, purchase residential and commercial real estate, in addition to invest in permitted sectors.  

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