Malaysia Country Profile

For more details visit Malaysia Passport Ranking
  • Passport Grade
  • Passport Ranking
  • Passport Score
  • Visa-free Countries
  • Visa-required Countries
  • Access to the World's GDP
  • Access to the World's Surface Area
  • Access to the World's Population
  • Access to the Unesco Sites
Citizenship and Naturalization
Birthright citizenship (Jus Soli)
  • Birthright citizenship (Jus Soli)
    Restricted: A child born in Malaysia will become a citizen at birth if at least one of the parents is a Malaysian permanent resident.
Naturalization - Standard Conditions
  • Minimum residency period
    10 years
    Successful naturalizations are reportedly rare. The process is highly discretionary.
  • Physical presence requirement
  • Language test
    Yes, Malay
  • Need to renounce original citizenship?
  • Can minor children naturalize?
  • Can naturalized parents pass citizenship to a child born abroad?
  • Can you lose naturalization due to prolonged absence/ naturalization elsewhere?
Naturalization - Your Spouse is a Citizen
  • Living IN the country: Residency/marriage requirement
    2 years / 0 years*
    Only females married to Malaysian citizens may apply after 2 years of permanent residency. No special provisons for male applicants.
  • Living ABROAD: Marriage requirement
  • Language test
  • Need to renounce original citizenship?
Naturalization - Other Beneficial Provisions
  • Your child is a citizen
    No provisions
  • Citizens of specific countries
    No provisions
"–": The provision has not been analysed.
Visas and Residencies
Visas and Residencies
For more details visit Cost of Living
  • Taxation Type
A tax resident of a country with a TERRITORIAL tax system pays taxes on the income generated within the country only. Income generated outside of the country remains tax-free.
Schiff Sovereign's Take on Malaysia
Malaysia is one of those countries that offers both big advantages and disadvantages. 

On the plus side, the country offers excellent value. The country’s capital – Kuala Lumpur (KL) – is an advanced, beautiful and modern city. And given its level of development, it's amazingly inexpensive.

Penang – a tropical island with amazing beaches – is another place favored by Westerners. 

Malaysians, in general, are very friendly and helpful, and many speak English well.

The healthcare is excellent and cheap in the country, which makes it attractive for retirees and medical tourists alike. 

Malaysia is also a great hub for travel throughout Southeast Asia: Malaysia Airlines flies to all the key cities in the region, and often very cheaply.

On the “excitement” scale, Malaysia lands somewhere between Thailand (crazy and festive) and Singapore (staid and calm). Malaysia offers a nice compromise between the two.

For many years, the country has been home to a very popular residency program – the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) program. It offered a ten-year renewable visa, which did not result in permanent residency or citizenship. 

But in 2020, the government shut down the program citing the pandemic. When the program was reopened again in 2021, its conditions became much stricter, to the point of being ridiculous.

But all these years, Malaysia's autonomous province of Sarawak has been running their own version of the MM2H program. Now it has become a no-brainer choice, as you can live anywhere in Malaysia with a Sarawak residency permit.

However, consider the potential downsides, too. 

The weather is tropical in Malaysia, so if you don’t like never-ending heat, then you may have a hard time adjusting there.

Also, Malaysia can be corrupt. And although foreigners don’t tend to experience this much, there are a number of restrictions on personal freedom. There are also internal tensions between ethnic Malays and a significant Chinese minority (this generally does not affect foreigners either).

Finally, considering how developed the local markets are, Malaysia can be a great place to invest. In fact, some of the stock picks in our 4th Pillar investment letter have been based in Malaysia.
Schiff Sovereign's Rolodex
Service Providers available in Malaysia
  • Immigration (residency, citizenship)
  • Real Estate (agents, lawyers)
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Sovereign Global Explorer

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Malaysia Overview
  • Region
  • Capital City
    Kuala Lumpur
  • Largest City
    Kuala Lumpur
  • Currency
    Malaysian ringgit
  • Languages
    Malay, English, Chinese langauges
  • Population
    32.7 million (45th)
  • Life Expectancy
    76.1 years (105th)
  • GDP (Nominal)
    $434.1 billion (36th)
  • GDP/Capita
    $13,255 (76th)
Useful Data
For more details visit Cost of Living
  • Cost of Living
    Very cheap (2/7)
  • Climate
    Bearable (4/5)
  • Safety
    Safe (3/7)
  • Pollution
    Average (3/5)
  • English Proficiency
    High (2/5)

Sovereign Global Explorer

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Malaysia inside Schiff Sovereign resources

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