The immigration office is on level 10 of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) office building (the same place you went to initially submit your Malaysia My Second Home application).

You’ll need to sign in at ground floor reception, but before you then turn right and head to the lifts, you may want to instead turn left and go round the corner to the little general store behind the cafeteria.

That’s because, even though the instructions sent with the conditional approval letter make no mention of it, you will need photocopies of two pages from your passport – the personal particulars page, plus whichever page has your most recent Malaysia entry stamp. You only discover this once you reach the front of the queue at the Immigration office upstairs. I sense they like to keep us on our toes by always leaving out one vital detail… 😉

Anyway, if you haven’t had the opportunity to prepare this until now, the shop has a photocopier and will charge you about 40 sen per sheet.

All told, you will need to bring with you:

  • Original and copy of your conditional approval letter (the original will be returned to you).
  • Originals and copies of your Fixed Deposit certificates (you will likely have two as the bank you place your money with will probably recommend splitting the required deposit in two separate accounts, to make it easier to withdraw part of it after one year should you wish to). The originals will be returned to you.
  • Original and copy of your bank’s letter confirming that your Fixed Deposit(s) cannot be withdrawn without permission from the Ministry of Tourism. They will keep the original and return the copy to you.
  • Two copies of proof of medical insurance (e.g. cover letter, payment receipt and policy summary/certificate – they do not need to see the full policy document). One copy will be returned to you.
  • Original RBII health check form, signed by a doctor. They will keep this.
  • Original stamped security bond form. They will keep this.
  • Photocopies of the personal particulars and latest Malaysia entry stamp pages of your passport. They keep these.
  • Enough cash to cover your security bond and visa fee (the exact amount will depend on your country of citizenship and the number of years remaining on your passport – e.g. in my case, the bond was 1,500 RM, and the visa fee was 720 RM, as I only had eight years remaining validity on my passport.

On arrival upstairs on level 10, go to the desk just outside the waiting room and ask for a ticket – it’s a standard numbered queuing system. However, if like me you arrive later in the morning (let’s say, oh, anything after 7:31am – I arrived at about 11:45), you may be told there are no tickets left… Apparently there is a daily quota. 

In theory you have little option but to go away and come back the next day. 

However, I somehow managed to get allowed in and sent directly to one of the desks – must have been something I said… Although to be honest I didn’t say much at all – I just smiled and asked what the process was, and whether any more tickets would be available after lunch. 

I was told to “go to desk 1”, which I duly did, as it was unoccupied. I don’t know whether anyone else was waiting for it – I may have queue jumped, but if I did, no-one complained. Evidently a smile goes a long way 🙂

I fully expected to be told to go away and come back tomorrow. But instead, the lady behind the counter (very friendly and helpful)  asked what I was there for, and I explained that I wanted to collect my MM2H visa. She took my paperwork and briefly went through it – which was the point at which she told me I needed the passport photocopies. She helpfully directed me downstairs and told me to come back to her once I had them.

About ten minutes later I was back upstairs. I waited briefly while she finished dealing with someone else, and then again sat down at her counter. 

The process from there seems to be (if my experience is typical):

  • They check your documents and, assuming everything is in order, ask you to take a seat in the waiting area. They will retain your passport and some of your documents at this point.
  • A while later (about ten minutes in my case, but other people seemed to be waiting a lot longer – though possibly they were at different stages in the process or had more complex applications), I was called to a different counter at the opposite end of the room. Here you will be asked to pay the security bond and visa fee, and given a receipt – keep this safe, as you will need it should you ever decide to leave the MM2H programme and want to get your security bond back.
  • You will then be asked to wait again, hopefully not for too long. In my case I was told it would be about 5 minutes, and it more or less was. Perhaps seven or eight.
  • You will then be called to a different counter, where your passport will be returned to you, compete with your MM2H visa (social visit pass) endorsed on the first available blank page.

And that’s it. Welcome to Malaysia, your second home! 🙂

It all seemed to go very smoothly and quickly for me. I don’t know whether that’s typical, or whether I somehow managed to jump the queue at each stage. I certainly didn’t try to, or intend to – I’m British after all – we don’t do queue jumping 😉

The waiting room was maybe half full when I first arrived, and gradually emptied out as lunchtime approached. So presumably it hadn’t been that busy of a morning – although that seems at odds with them having run out of numbered tickets. 

Perhaps I was lucky and caught the tail end of what had been a huge rush. Or maybe the others in the waiting room, at least a few of whom I gathered had been waiting all morning, had more complex matters to deal with. 

Or perhaps I got fast-tracked – I can think of at least one reason why that might be, for which the polite way to put it would be that maybe my country of origin (and perhaps the fact that unlike everyone else in there, I had taken the trouble to dress reasonably smartly) indicated I would be fairly quick and easy to deal with… I couldn’t possibly comment, of course 😉

Anyway, all done in under an hour! Very friendly and efficient service, on the day at any rate.

In total, the whole process, from first application attempt to getting my passport endorsed, took exactly one year and one week. It was originally supposed to take three months, but everything got slowed down due to some well-publicised issues arising from changes to the verification process on their side. I don’t know what the wait time is now – hopefully more or less back to normal, but I’d recommend asking when you apply, and keep an eye on the local press (or periodically Google for MM2H-related stories) to set your expectations.

Overall, a relatively straightforward process, notwithstanding a couple of curveballs along the way, even if it did take a lot longer than originally anticipated.

I hope you have found this blog useful, and that your application (if you decide to make one or already have one in progress) will go smoothly. Good luck! Thanks for reading, and welcome to Malaysia when you get here!