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Country Details

1. Geography: Malaysia is located in Southeast Asia and consists of two main landmasses, namely Peninsular Malaysia and the states of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo. It shares borders with Thailand, Indonesia, and Brunei, and is separated by the South China Sea from the Philippines and Vietnam.

2. Multicultural Society: Malaysia is known for its diverse population, comprising various ethnic groups including Malays, Chinese, Indians, and indigenous groups. The country celebrates its cultural diversity through vibrant festivals, traditional cuisine, and a rich tapestry of arts and traditions.

3. Economic Powerhouse: Malaysia has a rapidly developing economy and is considered one of the "Asian Tigers." It has a well-diversified economy, with key sectors including manufacturing, services, tourism, and agriculture. Malaysia is a major exporter of electronics, palm oil, and petroleum products.

4. Natural Beauty: Malaysia is renowned for its breathtaking natural landscapes. It is home to lush rainforests, pristine beaches, and diverse wildlife. Iconic natural attractions include the Taman Negara National Park, Mount Kinabalu, the Cameron Highlands, and the stunning islands of Langkawi and Perhentian.

5. Unique Governance: Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. The country operates on a federal level, with 13 states and three federal territories. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the King, is the ceremonial head of state, while the Prime Minister is the head of government.


Immigration Details

Immigrating to Malaysia involves various visa types and requirements. Here's an overview of the different aspects:

1. Visa Types:
- Tourist Visa: Most nationalities are granted a 90-day tourist visa upon arrival.
- Employment Pass: Required for foreign professionals, skilled workers, and company directors. It is typically sponsored by a Malaysian employer.
- Residence Pass-Talent (RP-T): Aimed at attracting highly skilled foreign professionals. It provides more flexibility and job mobility compared to the Employment Pass.
- Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) Program: This program allows foreigners to reside in Malaysia on a long-term basis, subject to specific financial and other requirements.

2. Establishing a Company:
- To establish a company in Malaysia, foreign investors must comply with the guidelines set by the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM).
- The capital requirements depend on the type of company and business activities. For some sectors, there may be specific requirements regarding local shareholding.
- Legal forms include sole proprietorship, partnership, and private limited company (Sendirian Berhad).

3. Employment and Work Permits:
- Foreigners seeking employment in Malaysia require a valid work permit, such as an Employment Pass or Residence Pass-Talent.
- The work permit application must be sponsored by a Malaysian employer, who will initiate the process through the Malaysian Immigration Department.

4. Real Estate:
- Foreigners are allowed to purchase certain types of property in Malaysia, subject to specific guidelines and minimum price thresholds.
- The real estate market is regulated by state authorities, and it is advisable to consult with local authorities or real estate professionals for detailed information.

5. Study:
- Foreign students can apply for a Student Pass to study in Malaysia.
- The application process involves securing admission from a recognized Malaysian educational institution and meeting the requirements set by the Immigration Department.

6. Citizenship and Permanent Residency:
- Malaysia has specific guidelines for obtaining citizenship and permanent residency.
- Citizenship is primarily granted based on Malaysian heritage or marriage to a Malaysian citizen.
- Permanent residency can be obtained through the MM2H Program or other specific immigration programs.

Please note that the information provided is a general overview, and requirements, fees, and processing times may vary. It is recommended to consult with the Malaysian authorities, immigration lawyers, or authorized agents for up-to-date and accurate information tailored to your specific circumstances.

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An individual is tax resident in Malaysia if he or she stays more than 182 days per year in the country.

Both tax residents and non-residents are taxed on income derived from Malaysia. Foreign-source income is usually not subject to taxation.

Personal income tax is levied at progressive rates from 0% to 28% on income exceeding MYR 1,000,000. Non-residents are taxed at a 28% flat rate. Dividends from Malaysian sources are treated as ordinary income, while interest is tax exempt. Both interest and dividends from foreign sources are tax exempt, whether remitted or not.

Capital gains derived from the sale of securities are tax-exempt. Those derived from the sale of real properties are subject to the Real Property Gains Tax at rates of 30% for properties held up to 3 years, 20% on the fourth year, 15% on the fifth year and 5% after 5 years.

There is a local property tax, which is 6% of the value of the annual rent according to the assessment of the local authorities. There is a stamp duty levied on the transfer of real property assets at a 3% rate, and at 0.3% on share transactions.

There are no taxes on inheritances and on an individual’s net worth.
Goods and Services tax is levied on certain goods and services at a 6% rate.

With regard to corporations, resident entities are taxed on their income accrued in Malaysia at a 24% rate. Reduced tax rates may apply to SMEs. Companies incorporated in the federal territory of Labuan may elect to pay a fixed amount of MYR20,000 or be taxed at 3% on their profits.

This should not be construed as tax advice. We have access to a global network of qualified attorneys and accountants who can give you the proper advice for your particular circumstances. Contact us for further information.

  • Property Tax No
  • Transfer Tax Yes
  • Inheritance Tax No
  • Net Worth Tax No
  • CFC Law No
  • Tax Residency Days 182
  • Personal Income Tax Rate 28%
  • Capital Gains Tax Rate 30%
  • Investment Income Tax Rate 28%
  • Territorial Taxation Yes
Visa-Free Explain

Where Can Malaysian Passport Holders Travel Without a Visa?

As of June 2023, Malaysian passport holders can travel visa free to 141 countries and territories:

  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Andorra
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Aruba
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • Caribbean Netherlands
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Brunei
  • Bulgaria
  • Cambodia
  • Cayman Islands
  • Chile
  • Cook Islands
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Cuba
  • Curaçao
  • Cyprus
  • Czechia
  • Denmark
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Estonia
  • Faroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France
  • French Guiana
  • French Polynesia
  • French West Indies
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Guam
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Kosovo
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos
  • Latvia
  • Lesotho
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macau
  • Malawi
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Mayotte
  • Mexico
  • Micronesia
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Montserrat
  • Morocco
  • Namibia
  • Netherlands
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Niue
  • North Macedonia
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Réunion
  • Romania
  • San Marino
  • Senegal
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Martin
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Suriname
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Gambia
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Türkiye
  • United Kingdom
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Vatican City
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
  • Eswatini

For visa-free travels, you still must have a valid passport — usually six months after your departure date— and you must purchase travel health insurance as required by your destination country.

What Countries Issue eVisa to Malaysian Citizens?

The following 11 countries issue eVisas for Malaysian passport holders:

  • Benin
  • Djibouti
  • Egypt
  • Ethiopia
  • Gabon
  • Guinea
  • India
  • Myanmar
  • São Tomé and Príncipe
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine

The process of getting an eVisa is more or less the same as applying for a traditional visa. However, in this case, you don’t have to visit a visa application center— you can submit your application online, including the visa payment.

After your application is approved, you will receive an email confirming your visa status along with a document you must print out and bring with you when crossing the border. Your visa will be registered online, but some officers may ask you for a physical copy of the permit; that is why it’s important to keep the copy on your person while traveling.

What Countries Issue Visa on Arrival to Malaysian Passport Holders?

If you are a Malaysian citizen, you can get a visa on arrival for the 37 countries listed below:

  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Bolivia
  • Burundi
  • Cabo Verde
  • Comoros
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Madagascar
  • Maldives
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritania
  • Mozambique
  • Nepal
  • Palau
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Rwanda
  • Samoa
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Solomon Islands
  • Somalia
  • Saint Helena
  • Saint Lucia
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Timor-Leste
  • Togo
  • Tonga
  • Tuvalu
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Yemen

You receive a visa on arrival (VOA) after entering the country that issues such a visa. Usually, there is a separate section at the airport where you can submit your application for your visa on arrival.

Which Countries Are Malaysian Passport Holders Not Allowed to Enter?

Malaysian passport holders are not allowed to enter North Korea.

Countries With Visa Requirements for Malaysian Citizens

You need a valid visa to enter the following 36 countries with a Malaysian passport:

  • Afghanistan
  • American Samoa
  • Angola
  • Bhutan
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Republic of the Congo
  • Ivory Coast
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Falkland Islands
  • Ghana
  • Iraq
  • Israel
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Mali
  • Nauru
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Palestine
  • Paraguay
  • Puerto Rico
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • South Sudan
  • Turkmenistan
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • United States Virgin Islands
  • United States

The application for a visa goes as follows:

  1. Make an appointment at the visa center in Malaysia. You must contact a local visa application center in your home country and make an appointment to submit your application. It may take several months to schedule a meeting with the embassy or consulate.
  2. Get your documents ready. To submit a successful application, you have to prepare the required documents for your visa, i.e., passport, application form, health insurance, etc. Some of your documents must be verified with an apostille stamp or certified by a foreign office.
  3. Submit your application. Finally, you can submit your application and attend the visa interview—you may also be required to submit your biometrics. Once you translate your documents as required by the embassy or consulate and verify them with an apostille stamp— if possible, then you can submit your application. From then it will take several weeks until a decision is made regarding your visa application.

Please note that if you have a valid visa that allows you to enter more than one country, you don’t have to apply for a new visa.

What Documents Do Malaysian Citizens Need to Apply for a Visa?

Malaysian citizens that want to visit countries that require them to apply for a visa beforehand need to submit a few documents. Depending on the country you want to visit, document requirements may vary. However, most countries will certainly require the following:

  • Your valid Malaysian passport (plus a photocopy). Some countries require the passport to be valid for more than six months after the day you plan on departing their country.
  • A filled visa application form.
  • Passport pictures that are not older than six months.
  • Travel health insurance that covers your entire period of stay.
  • Proof of paid visa fee.
  • Detailed travel itinerary that shows all the places you want to visit.
  • Letter of invitation (if applicable)
  • Proof of booked return ticket for the flight home.
  • Proof of booked accommodation.
  • Proof that you have sufficient funds to cover your visit
  • Civil status documents (marriage papers, certificates of birth, etc.)
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