Moving to Malaysia: Things you should know before you immigrate to Malaysia

Moving to Malaysia: Things you should know before you immigrate to Malaysia

With Malaysia offering everything that an expat can desire, such as white beaches, a multicultural environment, and abundant job opportunities, more and more people are moving to Malaysia. But when you immigrate to Malaysia, there are loads of things you have to consider before you can actually take the plunge of starting your new life in this South-East Asian nation. Join us when we go through all the major hurdles regarding your move to Malaysia.

International removals to Malaysia with Eurosender

Malaysia has three major ethnic groups which are the Bumiputera, the Chinese and the Indians. Besides that, there are several smaller ethnicities. Living with so many different backgrounds in one country makes that Malaysia has a very diverse culture. Take for instance religion. Even though Islam is the most popular religion (with more than 60% of the population being Muslim), there are large minorities adhering to religions such as Buddism( +/- 20%), Christianity (+/- 10%), Hinduism (+/- 7%) and many other smaller religions such as for example Chinese folk religion.
But religion is not the only thing that makes Malaysia a diverse country. Due to a long history with European nations, Malaysia is part of many trade routes and has, for example, an extraordinary cuisine, influenced by flavors from many other countries.
When you are moving to Malaysia from the USA or any other country, you are in for a treat. With everything that an expat could ask for, Malaysia is waiting for you.

Before you start planning your move to Malaysia, you need to know at least some basic info. In the table below you can find all the key facts you need to know before setting off on your journey.

CapitalKuala Lumpur
TimezoneIn Malaysia, there is only 1 time zone: UTC8
CurrencyRinggit (RM) (MYR)
PopulationMalaysia has a population of about 32 million
How do you call someone from Malaysia?Malaysian
Official languageThe official language is Malaysian. English has the status of official language as well.
International dialing code+60
Emergency number999 (for police and ambulance) 994(fire department) 112 (when calling from a mobile phone)
DrivingLeft side
TippingNot expected
Unusual factMalaysia is home to the largest roundabout in the world. The roundabout has a diameter of 3.2 km.
  • When you are looking for international removals to Malaysia, you want to be sure that you make the right choice. When teaming up with Eurosender, you can be confident that you make the right choice.
  • With our transparent booking system, excellent insurance services, and easy payment options, the only thing you need to do is place the order and we will take care of the rest.
  • When you are relocating from the USA to Malaysia, it doesn’t matter whether you want to ship just a few suitcases or your entire household on pallets, Eurosender can always provide you with the cheapest and most reliable option. Is your shipment bigger than the standard dimensions on our website? Contact our logistics experts for an individual offer to get the best deal for your needs.

Living in Malaysia

When you are moving to Malaysia, it is obvious that many things will be different from your life back home. Let’s look at some of the things that other expats before you ran into when relocating to, for example, Kuala Lumpur.

  • The media and the Internet are government controlled. Be careful with how you express yourself on social media.
  • The heat is always with you in Malaysia. The average temperature is a few degrees above 30 Celsius. So, be sure to know your way around the A/C.
  • Due to the sweltering temperatures all day long, people hang out in shopping centers, more than out in the street.
  • When you are living in Malaysia, it is much cheaper to visit other Asian countries, then when traveling from, for example, the USA.

Visa Regulations for Malaysia

Visas for Malaysia can be divided into two groups: Short term (up to 90 days) and Long term (90+ days)

  • There is a group of countries ( including the USA, countries from the EU, Australia, and many others) that can visit Malaysia visa-free for up to 90 days. When your country doesn’t have a visa-free regime with Malaysia, you can apply for a tourist visa at a Malaysian embassy near you.
  • When you want to stay in Malaysia for a longer period of time, you will have to apply for a visa with reference. This means that the visa has to be approved by the Ministry of Immigration. For the list of documents you need to apply for this visa, contact the nearest Malaysian embassy.

Healthcare in Malaysia

In Malaysia, there is both public and private healthcare. The conditions of healthcare institutions are very good as medical tourism is a viable source of income for Malaysia.
Keep in mind that, even though healthcare is cheaper than in most Western nations, it is highly recommended to take out sufficient additional insurance. This way you will never have any unpleasant surprises after being sick or injured.

School and education

The school system in Malaysia is similar to that in many countries, as you can see in the table below.

Elementary school7-12
Secondary school13-18

After graduating from school, you can go on to study at one of the tertiary education facilities in the country, such as universities and colleges. The quality of Malaysian universities is recognized worldwide and nowadays you can find many international students at these universities. Besides quality, studying at a Malaysian university is also a budget-friendly alternative to many universities in Europe or the USA.

The job market in Malaysia

It is important to know that before you can actually work in Malaysia, you need to have expat status. To achieve this, you need to have a job offer with a minimum of two years. This means that you need to find employment before you can relocate.
The Malaysian job market is quite competitive but in fields such as communication, science, and tourism, there are many opportunities to find a secure job that pays enough. Besides this, there are many big international companies active in Malaysia. When you are already working for one, exploring the options for relocation within your company is a good option.

Property information

Property prices in Malaysia are quite affordable compared to prices in surrounding countries and to prices in, for example, in Europe. Rent prices start at about $150 for a room with prices $500-1000 for a 2 bedroom apartment, depending on the area. Utility bills are usually not included in the rent. Public transport in Malaysia is very cheap and widely available, so also check out how long your commute will take before deciding on a place to live. Unfurnished apartments are cheaper so you can save money when bringing your own. With the help of Eurosender, you can send not only tables and chairs, but your carpet, coffee or tea maker, or even your motorcycle as well.

Cost of moving to Malaysia

The two most frequent questions we get at Eurosender regarding moving to Malaysia are:

  • How much is shipping from the USA to Malaysia?
  • What is the cheapest way to move furniture to Malaysia?

The cost of moving house Malaysia depends on a few things. The volume and size of the items you want to ship, the pick-up and delivery address and the delivery date. When you choose the services of Eurosender, you can be confident that you benefit from the lowest average moving costs to Malaysia. With our huge network of logistics companies, such as DB Schenker, DPD, DSV, Kuehne + Nagel, and DHL, we can provide you with the cheapest and most reliable way to ship your household to your new life in Malaysia. Contact us for an individual offer and start planning your move today.

Cost of living in Malaysia

On average the cost of living is much lower than in most of the countries that surround it, such as for example Singapore, Japan (Tokio) and China(Bejing, Shanghai). Food, and especially local food, is surprisingly cheap and on top of that, there is a tradition of affordable street food. Things that you might want to take with you from the duty-free are cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, and perfumes, as luxury items are subject to heavy taxes in Malaysia.

Driving in Malaysia

When coming from Europe or the USA, the situation on the roads in Malaysia may seem chaotic and dangerous. And that is true for the most part. In Malaysia, they drive on the left, which is a leftover from being a British colony. Everything else is completely different. It is recommended to make a bunch of rides as a passenger before you go and sit behind the steering wheel yourself. We have compiled a short list with things that you should know in order to stay safe.

  • Speed limits (110 km/h on the highway) are largely ignored.
  • There is a huge group of people using motorcycles and you should always be watchful for them as they try everything to shorten their trip.
  • When you are budgeting a road trip in Malaysia, don’t forget that most highways are tollways. When driving a lot, this can really add up.
  • Be aware that paid parking is the norm in most places. The high prices you pay for parking and toll roads are compensated by the relatively low fuel prices in Malaysia.

Other destinations?

Disclaimer: The materials provided in this article were collected from other credible resources to be used for general information purposes only. Given that the legislative basis of the country and its economic development have a changing nature, the information provided in the article could be subject to change. Whilst we endeavour to keep the information up-to-date and correct, Eurosender will not be liable for any inappropriate, incomplete, or inaccurate information. Certain links will lead to websites which are not under control of Eurosender. Thus, Eurosender accepts no liability in respect of materials, products or services being not under control of Eurosender.