How to be a Permanent Resident in Malaysia (Step-by-Step)

18. Nov 2020
How to be a Permanent Resident in Malaysia (Step-by-Step)

Usually when you have been working abroad for a long time,

It is natural for you to think of applying a permanent resident status.

A permanent residency or PR is a non-citizen that is allowed to permanently stay in the country.

Not every country in the world allow permanent residency and if so,

Every country has different rules to abide.

In Malaysia,

PR is allowed and though the status holder can stay permanently in the country,

He or she is still not a Malaysian citizen and there are certain laws need to be followed.

The government of Malaysia has every right to revoke one’s PR status if there is any breach of law.


Malaysia Permanent Resident Requirements

The very first requirement to apply for PR status is a person must live in Malaysia for a minimum five consecutive years.

Even if a person is married to a Malaysian,

This first rule needs to be crossed out first before proceed on PR status application.

Within those five years,

In order for an expat to legally stay in the country,

The person must be under long term visa such as Employment Pass, Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) program or any similar program.


In a situation where the non-citizen is married to a Malaysian,

The person may use Long Term Social Visit pass instead.

Any application for PR status must be followed by a Malaysian citizen as a sponsor for the submission.

This rule however is different for non-citizens in Sarawak as they need to reside for a minimum of 10 years before they are allowed to apply for PR status.

There are five different criteria of non-citizens that may apply for PR status.

You may choose one that is best suited you and your situation:Investor.

It is not a big problem for you to apply for permanent residency if you have stable financial support.

To apply for PR status under HNWI option,

You must open a fixed deposit account on any bank in Malaysia and credit an amount of minimum USD 2 million into that specific account.

You are allowed to withdraw the money only after five years.

This option has an advantage to your family as you are allowed to bring your spouse and children under 18 years old as dependants where they are allowed to apply their own PR status after residing in the country for at least five years.



If you have a special talent, skill or expertise that is recognised as a ‘World Class’ by any international organization,

You may apply your PR status under this category.

As a support to your talent, you must be recommended by relevant agency in Malaysia.

For example,

You must obtain support from Ministry of Youth and Sport in order to recognize you as a world class football player.

You are also need to present certificate of Good Conduct from your home country that can be obtained either from your Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Malaysian High Commission



You are considered as professional to be work with outstanding skills under government agencies or any reputable private organisations.

In this case,

It only needs a minimum of three consecutive years of residing in Malaysia before you can apply for PR status.

Like experts,

You will also need to have a recommendation from relevant agency in Malaysia as well as presenting Certificate of Good Conduct from your origin.

You may refer the picture below to know agencies that may issue recommendation for permanent residency.

Spouse of Malaysian Citizen

PR status will also be given to you if you are married to a Malaysian citizen.

The requirement for the status is you must have live in Malaysia for five consecutive years by using Long Term Visit pass.

It is mandatory for you to submit “Surat Akuan Perkahwinan” as a legal proof of your marriage.

Your spouse will be the only sponsor to you and if you have a child or children under the age of 6, you and your spouse are the sole sponsor for the kid(s).

Read More: How to Renew Passport


Point System

Though this is the lengthiest process of obtaining PR status,

This is the last option you have if you can’t fill in the criteria that has been mentioned before.

In point system,

You need to obtain at least 65 out of 120 points based on below criteria to make you qualify on submitting the application.

· Age

· qualification

· Period of living in Malaysia

· Investment value

· Working experience

· Bahasa Malaysia proficiency

You are advised to calculate your point through Point System Calculator or you may refer table below for you assessment

How to Apply PR Status in Malaysia

You will need to apply for Entry Permit before you may proceed on application of PR status.

Once you are done, you may need to submit these documents over the counter:

· Form IMM.4. You may purchase this form the Immigration Department of Malaysia at only RM1.

· Original and photocopy of Entry Permit

· Photocopy of passport or any travel documents while living in Malaysia

· 2 passport-sized photograph of the applicant

· 1 passport-sized photograph of the Malaysian sponsor

· Identity card of spouse (if required)

· Marriage certificate (if required)

· Other certificates of spouse and children (if required)

· Any supporting documents to support your application

· Personalised cover letter

If you are applying under professional category,

You may need to bring all these documents to Immigration Department of Malaysia located in Putrajaya.


If you fall under the rest of remaining category, you may need to submit your documents at the State Immigration Office.

RM40 will be charged as a processing fee.

You and your sponsor then will need to attend an interview session at the Immigration Department subject to Police Vetting.

Once the interview session is done,

Immigration will evaluate your application for an approval.

You may check your application here to know your status.

Read More: A Renter's Complete Guide to Johor Bahru


Malaysian PR Benefits

As now you have learned the hard road of obtaining PR status,

You may question what is the benefits that would make people still go the long awaited and tedious process.

As it is hard to get,

The benefits must be huge advantage to the status holder.

Here are the reasons why non-citizens willing to go through the hardship of becoming Malaysia PR.

· Permit staying in Malaysia indefinitely

When you have stayed in a country for such a long time, you would want to permanently stay there.

With PR status granted on you, you may stay in Malaysia as long as you want.

Though in your card may state it only for the period of 10 years,

Malaysia allows you to renew your PR status as long as you want.


· Own and operate own business

Just like Malaysian citizens, PR holder is allowed to register, open and operate their own business in Malaysia. They are allowed to own any business nature as long as it abides Malaysian law.


· Look for a job without work permit

PR holder may seek for job freely without in need of work visa.

As some companies refuse to hire candidate that require work visa that will cost them,

This may be a big advantage to the Malaysia PR holder.


As they are still not a Malaysian citizen, some job is already secured for only Malaysian citizen such as senior government officer.


· Own property in Malaysia

Anyone with PR status may own a property in Malaysia.


There is a minimum price cap for every state.

They can also obtain preferential interest rates and apply for loan up to 90% on property price.


· Other benefits

PR status holder may enter or leave the country freely without in need to apply for visas.

As for education purpose,

They may enrol their children into public school and any unborn child of Malaysia PR holder will become Malaysian citizen automatically.

Though there are many benefits that can be enjoyed by PR holder,

He or she is still not a Malaysian citizen thus there are certain rules that need to be followed.

One of the critical rules is that PR holder is not allowed to involve in political activities including power of voting.

Failed to follow the law may result in PR status revoking.

Read More: 19 Local College in Johor Bahru You Should Know Before You Study


MyPR Malaysia

Since 1st June 2006,

Every PR status holder is required to have myPR card,

A special identity card to proof they are residing in Malaysia and has slightly different function like local citizen’s myKad. Below is the list of features in myPR card:

- Clear state of PR status

- Has red background

- Clear state of holder’s origin country

- Clear state of permit number if applicable


If you are applying myPR card for the first time,

You may need to submit your application at National Registration Department located in Putrajaya.


Any replacement could be easily made at any state National Registration Department nearby.

Fee of RM40 will be charged upon application.


To submit your application, you need to prepare these documents beforehand:

- Original and photocopy of Entry Permit

- Original and photocopy of passport

- Original and photocopy of birth certificate for Malaysia born

- Original and photocopy of birth certificate for adopted child (if any)

- Any supported and related document


Resident Pass VS Permanent Resident in Malaysia

Unlike Permanent Resident that can be applied for non-citizens that has no tie with Malaysia,

Resident Pass or RP is granted for non-citizen that has relation with Malaysian citizen or PR holder.

There are three categories that allow you for RP:

-  Category 3: A person that has family ties with a Malaysian citizen. This fall under;

i. Husband or wife of Malaysian citizen

ii. Age 18 and below of Biological child/step-child/ adopted child to a citizen

iii. Divorcee/ widow/ widower of a Malaysian with a biological child

iv. Biological mother/father to a Malaysian citizen

v. Mother/father-in-law of a Malaysian citizen with valid pass in Malaysia


- Category 4: Has family ties with Malaysia Permanent Resident

i. Biological child to a PR holder. The child must be age 18 and below

ii. Husband or wife to a PR holder


- Category 5: Ex- Malaysian

i. Malaysian citizen that voluntarily renounced their citizenship

ii. Malaysian citizen who has been deprived of citizenship


Just like a PR holder,

RP holders are also allowed to work, study and own a business without in need of another pass.


It is subject to conditions.

They must also have been living in Malaysia for a long period of time before allowed to apply for RP and need a Malaysian sponsor for their application.

The fees for RP application is RM500 for the period of 5 years. 


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