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6 Factors to Consider Before Moving to Malaysia

6 Factors to Consider Before Moving to Malaysia
South China Sea; the view from our room at Grandis Hotel


Malaysia is an increasingly popular option for people who are considering starting a new life by relocating to a gorgeous country in a different part of the world. Malaysia offers excellent work opportunities, great infrastructure, top-quality healthcare, renowned international schools, great entertainment, and plenty of shopping and dining opportunities coupled with a relatively low cost of living, so it’s no surprise that it’s the first choice for more and more people who are looking to move to another part of the world. If you’re considering moving to and working in Malaysia, here are some of the main factors that you’ll need to consider.



    Finding Work


    There are several things that you can do to find work in Malaysia. One of the best ways to start living and working in Malaysia is to find work with an international company that has offices here and have them relocate you. Typically, this will include an ex-pat package that will allow you to live an extremely comfortable life. On the other hand, it is not always easy to find work in Malaysia after you have arrived in the country unless you are qualified in a field that’s in very high demand. This is because it usually benefits Malaysian employers more to work with locals.

    Finding Accommodation


    Finding somewhere suitable to live is another key consideration to make when planning your move to Malaysia. There is the option to either buy or purchase property here, but bear in mind that it may be easier for foreigners to rent, at least at first. You can use Property Guru to find Kota Kinabalu apartments for rent and many more stunning properties on offer in the areas of Malaysia that you are considering. Property Guru is widely considered to be the best property search site for both locals and ex-pats in Malaysia and is recommended by property experts in the country.

    6 Factors to Consider Before Moving to Malaysia
    Masjid Bandaraya Kota Kinabalu Mosque


    Getting a Work Permit


    Rules around employment in Malaysia prevent Malaysian companies from hiring overseas workers unless they are able to prove that there are no locals who are able or willing to do the job. Some exceptions exist for roles in certain industries such as management and finance, which usually require candidates to have a degree and some work experience. 

    Whether you find a job with a company that operates in Malaysia that is willing to relocate you or manage to find work with a Malaysian company, your employer will be required to apply for a work permit for you from the local government. You must meet certain conditions to get this permit, including that you will need to be no younger than 27 years old and earn a minimum of RM5000 monthly.

    Visas for Living in Malaysia


    If you’re not planning to work for a Malaysian country or are considering moving to Malaysia without working there, such as for your retirement, you will be able to stay in Malaysia without a work permit. It’s possible to stay in Malaysia on a tourist visa if you are not planning to work in the country, but you will need to do a ‘visa run’ to renew your visa before it expires. Typically, this will involve leaving the country for at least a few days before returning to get a new stamp and a fresh 90-day period added to your tourist visa.

    Labuan Companies


    Another option to consider if you want to live and work in Malaysia is to set up a Labuan company. This will involve setting up a company that is located on the island of Labuan, which is located off the coast of Boreo. Your company will be an offshore company; however, one of the main conditions of doing this is that you are not permitted to do business with any Malaysian companies that operate in Malaysia. 

    If you set up a Labuan company, you will usually be entitled to a Malaysian work permit for between two and five years. The same rules apply for work permits including being at least 27 years old. You’ll also need to have a passport that is valid for at least the next two and a half years, and some academic qualifications.

    MM2H Scheme for Buying Property


    The MM2H (Malaysia My Second Home) scheme is worth considering joining if you want to make your move to Malaysia permanent and purchase property in the country. You will need to meet certain requirements to be able to access this program and live in the country for a minimum of ten years. 

    You will also be eligible to open a local bank account, get a home loan or mortgage, and get Malaysian health insurance. To be eligible for the scheme, you’ll need to meet strict financial criteria including a minimum of RM10,000 monthly offshore income and liquid assets worth at least RM500,000.

    Moving to Malaysia is a popular choice for those looking to start a new life elsewhere. If you are looking for a new home in a different part of the world, Malaysia offers lots of opportunities.





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