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Moving to Malaysia: Ultimate Guide



There are many reasons to consider moving to Malaysia, and the country is becoming increasingly attractive to foreigners.

Several factors explain this success. The country’s political and economic stability makes it a destination of choice for workers and investors looking for opportunities.

The low cost of living, the modern infrastructure and high-quality educational institutions, the pleasant climate, the beautiful scenery, and lively cultural life are all assets for families and retirees who wish to enjoy a pleasant lifestyle.

Malaysia is also attractive for its religious and cultural diversity, as well as for the hospitality of its inhabitants. The English language, spoken fluently in Malaysia, facilitates the integration of expats.

However, all these positive points should not make us forget that moving to Malaysia requires preparation, otherwise, it will be impossible to fully enjoy this enriching experience.

Moving to Malaysia: Administrative Procedures

Which Visa for Malaysia Expats?

The administrative requirements for entering and settling in Malaysia vary according to the situation, and it is important to be well informed when applying.

A passport valid for at least 6 months is sufficient to live in the country for 3 months. But this solution is not sufficient for moving to Malaysia long-term. To settle in Malaysia, it is necessary to obtain one of the many visas or residence permits offered to foreigners.

Malaysia My Second Home

This advantageous program allows, under certain conditions, foreigners, their spouses, and minor children to benefit from a multiple entry visa valid for 10 years and renewable.

It is necessary to be able to support yourself to benefit from this program.

Student Visa

This visa is for students who can prove their admission to a Malaysian educational institution.

Professional Visit Permit

Valid for up to 12 months, it is intended for foreigners employed by a foreign company working with a company in Malaysia.

Dependency Ppass or Long-Term Social Residence Permit

This residence permit allows spouses and minor children of expatriate workers to stay in Malaysia for the duration of their employment contract.

The Work Permit is Mandatory

The work permit (or Employment Pass) is compulsory to work in Malaysia during your expatriation.

This permit is only valid for the duration of the contract signed with the company: in case of a change of employer, you will have to apply for a new permit.

This application can only be made by a company, not by the expat himself.

It should be noted that Malaysian companies are not free to recruit any expat worker: they must first prove that the job cannot be filled by a Malaysian, and that the person recruited has the required skills.

The positions concerned are therefore often highly qualified, and there is considerable competition with local workers, who are increasingly well qualified. Some jobs are closed to foreigners.

However, the fast-growing sectors offer many job opportunities for workers considering moving to Malaysia. This is notably the case in the fields of:

  • Health care
  • Electronic products
  • Energy
  • Oil and gas
  • Education
  • Financial services
  • Tourism
  • Business services.

You should not hesitate to try your luck, even if it is essential to find a job before starting your expatriation.

Health Care for Expats in Malaysia

Malaysian Health Services

One of the most important issues to consider before expatriating to Malaysia is the question of health care, as it can be scary not to have the guarantee of being well taken care of in case of an accident or unexpected illness on the other side of the world.

Fortunately, Malaysia offers a very good quality of care, and its doctors are well-trained: most of them have studied abroad and are English-speaking, which will facilitate communication.

However, most of them work in the private sector, which can lead to some difficulties in the public sector. Health care costs are also generally higher than in neighboring countries.

Health Coverage for Foreigners in Malaysia

Foreign nationals are no longer covered by their country’s health insurance system after moving to Malaysia, except if they are seconded workers.

Malaysia has a hospitalization and surgery program for foreign workers, mandatory for work permit owners, which reduces the expatriate’s expenses in case of health problems.

However, this local insurance is generally insufficient to cover all the expenses of the insured and his dependents, so the best solution is to subscribe to international health insurance before moving to Malaysia.

This guarantees optimal care in most health care facilities and very interesting reimbursements.

The Advantages of International Health Insurance

International expat insurance, unlike Malaysian insurance, covers the insured during his expatriation in Malaysia, but also during his stays abroad, and especially during his temporary return to his country of origin.

There are many offers on the market, usually in the form of insurance at the 1st euro/dollar. To find the most suitable offer according to your situation and budget, the best solution is to use an online insurance comparator.

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This is also interesting:

What countries should I move to? The best countries to move to are not the same for everyone! Finding the ideal destination depends first of all on what is expected on a personal level.

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