• “What is the guarantee that this process will not be mismanaged like previous visa issuance processes, especially when it comes to collecting money?”

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 8): Kepong Member of Parliament, Lim Lip Eng (pictured) has called for transparency in the applications for the new Premium Visa Programme (PVIP).  

According to a report by FMT, Lim said that the programme should not be a “secret” one for certain agents.

He also enquired about the government agencies and agents responsible for managing the PVIP application process as there is currently scant detail on government websites.

“Are the agents qualified? Are they allowed to collect money or fees from the applicants?

“We already know the country has a dark history in the management of its visa and immigration process,” Lim said.

“What is the guarantee that this process will not be mismanaged like previous visa issuance processes, especially when it comes to collecting money?” he added.

Lim said the authorities have to be transparent in PVIP’s planning and implementation as records have shown that “many officials” had been arrested in connection with the country’s visa management processes in the past, reported the news website.

Announcing the PVIP last week, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said the initiative is meant to attract wealthy foreigners to invest in Malaysia and reside in the country for a period of 20 years.

He said the "Residency Through Investment" programme, the first of its kind introduced by the government to drive the country’s economic growth, would be open for applications from Oct 1, 2022.

Hamzah said the programme was available to all participants of all age categories with proof of having an offshore income of at least RM40,000 per month, or RM480,000 annually.

Among other conditions is to have a fixed savings account with a deposit of at least RM1 million, with no withdrawals allowed on the principal value for the first year, while up to a 50% withdrawal from the principal value will be allowed after that for the purchase of real estate, or health and education purposes.

Successful applicants can bring their spouses, children, parents, in-laws and domestic workers as dependents subject to existing immigration laws.

Hamzah added that applicants will have to pay a one-off RM200,000 participation fee while a one-off RM100,000 fee will be levied for each dependent.

Children of participants aged above 21 years are not considered dependents and have to apply to be a PVIP participant to remain in the country.

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