Getting Malaysian Citizenship Here's What You Need to Know

Getting Malaysian Citizenship: Here’s What You Need to Know

Malaysian citizenship can be obtained through registration or the individual’s naturalization, which means any prior citizenship will be stripped. Getting Malaysian citizenship can be a complex and tedious task because of the many requirements.

Malaysia does not allow dual citizenship. As such, this rule means a longer and more complicated process for anyone immigrating and wanting to apply for one.

So, how do you apply for citizenship in Malaysia, and what can you do to increase your chances of becoming a Malaysian Citizen?

Apply for a Citizenship by Naturalisation

Foreigners and anyone with no trace of Malaysian blood can obtain citizenship through naturalisation. The requirements of this process are short, but it does come with a catch.

You’d have to be residing in Malaysia for more than 10 years to apply for this as well as know the language or at least the basics of it.

This does not guarantee that you’ll be able to get citizenship. Many expats from different countries as well as foreign nationals who look for ways to get citizenship struggle to get approved since Malaysian citizenship is one of the hardest to get.


  • Accomplished application form
  • Identification card
  • Birth certificate
  • Entry permit
  • Proficiency in the Malay language
  • Other documents from spouse or children

Apply for Citizenship by Registration

This way of applying for citizenship is for people who are either born outside or in Malaysia with at least one Malaysian biological parent at the time of birth. 

Other than that, the person applying for Malaysian citizenship should be under the age of 21 and should have at least basic knowledge of the Malay language.

Related reading: The Top 5 Immigration Lawyers in Malaysia [2022 ]

Other Ways to Reside in Malaysia

Use your field of expertise

Certain professions that require skilled personnel are eligible to get a permanent residency in Malaysia if within their standards and with enough requirements.

Professionals within health, industrial services, agriculture, maritime, science, technology, aviation, IT, sports, banking, and many more are only some of the sectors the Malaysian embassy considers.

Here are the requirements to apply for permanent residency in Malaysia:

  • A letter of recommendation from the relevant agencies in Malaysia
  • Certificate of good conduct
  • A good-standing Malaysian citizen sponsor

It must be noted that these requirements are only the bare minimum the Malaysian government will ask from you. You can also check the JPN website for more information about applying for permanent residency.

List of valid agencies and the field of expertise accepted.

AgenciesFields of Expertise
Ministry of HealthHealth and medical
Ministry of International Trade and Industries (MITI)Industrial, services and manufacturing
Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based IndustryAgriculture and agro-based
Ministry of TransportMaritime, air, and land transportation
Ministry of Higher LearningHigher learning
Ministry of Science, Technology and InnovationScience, technology, and ICT
Ministry of Information, Communication and CultureInformation, communication, culture, and arts
Ministry of Youth and Sports/Malaysian Sports CouncilSports
Central BankBanking and Finance
Securities CommissionInvestment and capital

Get an employment pass

By getting an employment pass, you’ll be granted the minimum benefits of a Malaysian such as opening a savings account, renting a property, purchasing insurance, and others.

But, the validity of such a pass won’t last long for everyone. The minimum validity of an employment pass is two years with the importance being divided into three categories.

Get a Temporary Employment Pass (TEP)

Getting a Temporary Employment Pass allows expats to be employed by an organization just like any other citizen in Malaysia within two years.

The importance of the worker as well as the status of the organization who will be hiring are also factors as to how long the employment pass will last, some going up to 50 months.

Check out the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) Program

In addition to the three work visas, the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) program is also a valid option to take. Holders of the MM2H program are permitted to stay in Malaysia for up to 10 years with a multiple-entry social visit pass. 

The MM2H permit may be renewed if the applicant meets all the requirements for each criterion:

Anyone under the age of 50• RM1,500,000 minimum in liquid assets

• RM40,000 minimum monthly income from abroad

• a Malaysian fixed deposit account with at least RM1,000,000 in it

People who are 50 years of age or older• RM1,500,000 minimum in liquid assets

• RM40,000 minimum monthly income from abroad

• a Malaysian bank fixed deposit account with a minimum balance of RM1,000,000

The government requires pensioners to provide documentation proving they get a RM 10,000 monthly pension.

Here are other requirements for the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) Program:

  • Personal bond payment made once, costing about RM2,000.
  • A yearly fee of RM90 will also be required for Social Pass.