PETALING JAYA: The immigration department has only received 28 applications for the premium visa programme since it was opened to applicants on Oct 1 last year.
Home minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the 28 applications comprised 14 participants and 14 dependents. Only two applicants have been approved so far, involving one principal participant and a dependent.
“The remaining applications are still being vetted by the police,” he said in a written parliamentary reply.
The programme was announced in September last year with the hopes of drawing rich investors to settle in the country, similar to the Golden Visa initiatives in Singapore, Thailand and Portugal.
Then home minister Hamzah Zainudin said the programme was open to affluent individuals from all countries, except those that had no diplomatic ties with Malaysia.
Those with an offshore income of at least RM40,000 a month or RM480,000 a year are eligible.
Applicants must have at least RM1 million in their bank account and may only withdraw 50% of that amount after a year for the purchase of property or to pay for medical and educational expenses.
Applicants also have to pay a one-off RM200,000 participation fee, while a one-off RM100,000 fee will be levied on each dependent.
Meanwhile, Saifuddin said the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme saw 5,610 applications approved in 2018 and 3,929 in 2019.
While this programme was temporarily frozen in 2020, some 1,468 applications were approved from October 2021, after MM2H was revived, till the end of 2022.
He reiterated that the government agreed to review the new conditions imposed on MM2H, after it was revived, to ensure the programme remained relevant.