Moving To Malaysia

Malaysia is a prominent nation in Southeast Asia. It is a popular tourist hub and has become a progressive business hub over the years. Its official language is Bahasa and its capital city is Kuala Lumpur, which is also a very popular tourist hub.

Malaysia is known for its diverse culture, delicious cuisine, and beautiful beaches. Some popular tourist destinations in Malaysia include the city of Penang, the island of Langkawi, and the Cameron Highlands.

Malaysia is also home to a thriving business and economy, with sectors such as technology, finance, and tourism being particularly successful.

Moving to Malaysia from USA

The International Sea & Air Shipping Advantages

When you are moving to Malaysia from the USA it is a long-distance relocation, one that involves two separate continents. Along with the distance, the differences between the two nations in terms of cuisine, climate, and culture are huge too. For your relocation, you need to take all these into consideration. To make a successful relocation to Malaysia from the USA let us at International Sea & Air Shipping help you.

At International Sea & Air Shipping we have years of international relocation experience and can offer you high-quality moving services. With services from us you can look forward to a smooth transition to your new life in the new country. Our team of movers know what all the steps are involved to offer you a hassle-free relocation experience and we will ensure you have a hassle-free move to Malaysia from the USA.

Moving to Malaysia from the USA can be challenging. However, our movers will try to lessen any burden on you. We will provide high-quality moving services that include complete packing and transferring of your household goods, and other belongings from the USA to Malaysia. We will also ensure everything is handled professionally and on time to avoid any last-minute hazards.

So, give us a call at International Sea & Air Shipping and we will get started with the process of moving you to Malaysia from the USA.

Malaysia is a multi-cultural country, divided up into thirteen states and three federal territories. Its land consists of two masses separated by the South China Sea. The country shares a land and sea border with Thailand, as well as maritime borders with Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines. Malaysia’s capital city is Kuala Lumpur, which also happens to be its most populous.

In Kuala Lumpur, you can find the tallest twin buildings in the world: the Petronas Twin Towers. These architectural feats are perfect examples of Malaysia’s continuing development, as well as its focus on modernization and its commitment to innovation. In other parts of Malaysia, you can find beautiful rainforests with diverse wildlife, proving the country features the best of both worlds.

Customs Regulations for Malaysia

  • Passport
  • Work permit
  • Employment and resident visa
  • Eight (8) copies of Customs Form No. 1, signed by customer
  • Letter from Malaysian employer detailing reason for import, job function and expected duration of stay
  • Inventory corresponding with contents of shipment (original or copy)
  • Separate list of new items, electrical items and appliances (should be included in inventory-specify brand, model, country of origin, voltage and price)
  • Letter of Authorization to destination agent to clear shipment, signed by customer

According to Malaysian shipping regulations, you must be present in the country at the time of Customs clearance so you can sign appropriate documents.

  • All shipments subject to full Customs examination
  • Used household goods are duty-free if:
    • Customer has been in possession of items for at least three months and will not dispose of items for at least six months
    • Customer is a foreigner with a work permit OR
    • Customer is a Malaysian who has been out of the country for at least twelve consecutive months
  • All items less than six months old are taxed and dutiable (original invoices stating value required)
  • All electrical items require import permit
  • Precious metal items
  • Films and video cassettes
    • Subject to review by Film Censorship Board
    • Additional charges for customer’s account
  • Plants
    • Require approval from Ministry of Agriculture
    • Require Phytosanitary Certificate
  • Computers are tax-free
    • Limited to three imported per family
    • Cannot be sold within one year of import
    • Require import license
  • Alcohol and cigarettes subject to high import duties
  • Firearms, knives, and other dangerous weapons (as well as ammunition)
  • Fireworks and other explosives
  • Drugs and narcotics (violators subject to death penalty)
  • Foodstuffs
  • Pornographic or politically sensitive materials (including books, videos, films, etc.)
  • Gold bullion
  • Telephone and fax equipment (permit required)
  • Satellite dish
  • Short wave radios
  • Any items from Israel
  • Literature about communism
  • Import highly discouraged
  • All motor vehicles (new and used) subject to Customs duties and high tax rates
  • Import permit required-permit must be granted before vehicle is shipped
  • Vehicle older than five years are prohibited
  • Documents required:
    • Original ownership certificate
    • Eight (8) copies of Customs Form No. 1
    • Insurance policy
    • Original and copy of owner’s passport
    • Letter from owner stating reason for import
    • Invoice (for new vehicles)
  • Dogs, cats, and birds are permitted with import permit (prior to animal’s arrival)
  • Health certificate required (must be issued within seven days of flight, must state that animal comes from rabies-free area)
  • Vaccination certificate required (must prove that vaccinations are up-to-date, administered between 30 and 180 days prior to flight)
    • Must also note breed, age, color, name of pet and owner, and flight details
  • One-month quarantine (minimum one-week advance notice required for kennel space)
    • Animal may be released after two weeks to spend remainder of month in home
  • The duty rate on imports ranges from 0-300% in Malaysia. While that maximum number may seem high, the average duty sits at about 8.1%.As for value-added taxes (VAT), the goods and services tax rate ranges from 5-10%.

Of course, the rates depend on how you declare the items in your documents. For example, personal effects may not be subject to duties if you can prove you’ve owned them for at least three months.

Know all that you need to move to Malaysia from the USA

When you are considering moving to Malaysia from the USA, it’s crucial to research various factors to make an informed decision.

  • Cost of living,
  • Climate,
  • Job opportunities,
  • Language barriers, and
  • Cultural differences.

Malaysia has a tropical climate, a diverse population, and a rich history and culture, which can be both exciting and challenging for someone used to American culture.

It’s important to research Malaysia’s visa process and requirements for working and residing in the country. Additionally, you should explore job services and potential employment opportunities in Malaysia, as well as the cost of living, job salaries, and benefits.

Let us discuss some of the key pointers in detail in the following sections.

Visa and residency permits for moving to Malaysia from the USA

Malaysia offers an interesting set of visas that you can obtain to make your dream to move a tropical country true! Take a look at the following options:

Tourist visa

This visa is valid for 90 days and has no fee attached to it. This is a tourist visa and you cannot work in Malaysia with this visa. This is applicable for a short stay and getting to know the country.

Digital nomad visa

This visa is valid for 1 year. There are two fees applicable for this visa –

  • For the primary applicant – you need to pay 1000 MYR fee for the applicant or $235 USD
  • For the spouse or dependants of the primary applicant – you need to pay 500 MYR each or $118 USD

There are specific eligibility criteria to obtain the Digital Nomad visa to move to Malaysia from the USA. Here is a list:

  • Proof of $24,000 annual income
  • Proof of income in the form of pay slips or personal income statements
  • Proof of Health insurance or travel insurance with health coverage, that will be valid for the duration of your stay Resume or CV with detailed job description
  • For remote workers: If you are employed by companies you need to produce an employment contract that has been in place for at least 3 months
  • For freelancers: Freelance contracts need to be produced as proof of existing relationship with a long-term client (freelancers)
  • Proof of Qualifying Profession

Long-term social visit pass

This particular visa is nothing but an extended tourist visa. As the term social visit denotes, you cannot work when you are holding this visa and have entered Malaysia. The validity of this visa is 6 months and it is a multiple entry visa.

MM2H visa

The full form of MM2H is –My Malaysia Second (2nd) Home. This visa has a validity of 10 years. There are certain eligibility criteria regarding your income and assets when you want to apply for this 10 year, multiple entry visa.

Top places to live in Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia’s vibrant capital offers a dynamic lifestyle with modern amenities, diverse cultural experiences, and a bustling job market. The city boasts iconic landmarks like the Petronas Towers, excellent dining options, and extensive shopping opportunities.


Known as the “Pearl of the Orient,” Penang combines historical charm with a laid-back atmosphere. The UNESCO-listed George Town is famous for its street art, colonial architecture, and delicious local cuisine. The island’s diverse culture and picturesque landscapes make it an attractive place to call home.


A tropical paradise, Langkawi is an archipelago of 99 islands with stunning beaches, lush rainforests, and a duty-free status. It appeals to those seeking a tranquil and nature-centric lifestyle.


This up-and-coming city is gaining popularity for its rich heritage, delicious food scene, and affordable living. Ipoh offers a more relaxed pace of life while still providing modern conveniences.

Johor Bahru

Situated at the southern tip of the peninsula, Johor Bahru is a rapidly developing city with a mix of modern infrastructure and historical sites. Its proximity to Singapore adds to its appeal, making it an ideal choice for those working in the region.

Living in Malaysia as an expat – what to expect?

Living in Malaysia as an expat can be exciting and challenging at the same time. The country has a rich cultural heritage and diverse population. As an expat, you may encounter different customs, languages, and cuisine. It is important to be open and understand these cultural differences before living in Malaysia to avoid misunderstandings and make cultural adjustments.

Some positive aspects of living in Malaysia include its warm climate, beautiful beaches, and affordable cost of living. It also offers a vibrant expat community with many events and activities.