Residency Schemes and Eligibility Requirements in ASEAN

By Dezan Shira & Associates

Posted: 6th July 2015 10:01

Regulations and procedures significantly vary between countries, and overall, obtaining a long-term residency status is a challenge for foreigners in ASEAN. We explain permanent residency and other programs available for foreigners who wish to reside in any of nine ASEAN nations.


Foreigners in Malaysia can either obtain a permanent visa or choose the Malaysian residency program. Foreigners meeting one of the following requirements may apply at the Malaysian Immigration Department for permanent residency:

Foreigners are allowed stay in the country with a long term visa through the Malaysia My Second Home Program (MM2H). This visa is available for at least ten years and extendible, providing the foreigners fulfil medical and financial requirements of the program, including an offshore income of Rm10,000 and minimum liquid assets of RM500,000 for applicants under 50 year old and RM 350,000 for applicants over 50.

The Philippines

This Philippines enables foreigners to have long-term residence in multiple types of procedures. Foreigners can apply for one of the following categories:

Native English speakers who wish to teach in the Philippines may also apply for permanent residency status.

Moreover, different types of visa available in the Philippines enabling foreigners to have long term residence include:


Foreigners in Singapore can apply for an Entry Permit, which is an application for Singapore Permanent Residence, which is available for those who:

Professionals in the following fields can apply for PR in Singapore:


Foreigners eligible for permanent residence in Thailand include those who:

Foreigners must also be a holder of a Thai non-immigrant visa for the last three years or more, and hold the visa at the time of application


Foreigners wishing to stay in Cambodia can either obtain and extend their business or ordinary visas, or become a Cambodian Citizen.

A Business/Ordinary Visa (E) allows foreigners to stay for up to one month, and can be easily extended for 3 months, 6 months or 12 months. Business visas are the most popular way to reside long-term in Cambodia.
Cambodian Citizenship can be applied for at the Ministry of the Interior, which normally takes 2-3 months to process. Eligible foreigners are those who:


Laos does not offer any form of long-term visa for non-citizens. To reside permanently, foreigners can apply for permanent residency, in those eligible include foreigners who:


Permanent Stay Permit or ITAP can be issued to foreigners for a period of five years and can be extended for an unlimited period if the permit has not been cancelled. Foreigners eligible are those who:


Foreigners who have been temporarily residing in Vietnam for three consecutive years shall be considered for permanent residence if they:


The Myanmar government introduced a permanent residence system for foreigners in December of 2014. Although specific information has not yet been announced, the state-owned media has revealed that this is aimed for the nation’s development, including scholars, experts, intellectuals and investors from other countries, as well as former Myanmar citizens.

This article was first published on ASEAN Briefing

Since its establishment in 1992, Dezan Shira & Associates has been guiding foreign clients through Asia’s complex regulatory environment and assisting them with all aspects of legal, accounting, tax, internal control, HR, payroll and audit matters. As a full-service consultancy with operational offices across China, Hong Kong, India and emerging ASEAN, we are your reliable partner for business expansion in this region and beyond.

For inquiries, please email us at Further information about our firm can be found at:

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