📅 Published at 05 November, 2022 & Last updated at 15 June, 2023

How to apply for the Malaysia Digital Nomad Visa in 2023

Authored by Andrea Villegas

How to apply for the Malaysia Digital Nomad Visa in 2023

Table of Contents:

Malaysia is a great choice for digital nomads looking to spend some time in Asia due to its cost of living. It is an ideal place for digital nomads to live on a budget, and it has a good variety of restaurants, entertainment, and housing options. 

Our verified immigration experts for Malaysia, Tej and Caroline, responded to the most relevant questions about how to apply for the Malaysia Digital Nomad Visa, so you can relocate this 2023. 

Why do digital nomads and foreigners relocate to Malaysia?

Malaysia is located between Singapore and Thailand and has approximately 33 million inhabitants. Most residents speak English, making it a great option for expats and digital nomads. The weather is also amazing as it is sunny almost all year round. 

Digital nomads can rest assured that they have a good internet connection and good infrastructure. Additionally, Malaysia also has a very low crime rate. All of these factors make Malaysia a great option for remote workers.

Do Europeans, Americans and Canadians need a visa to visit Malaysia as a tourist?

Malaysia offers visa-free entry to most EU, UK and US passport holders, making it easy to obtain a 30 or 90 day visa on arrival. 

If you plan to stay in Malaysia for more than 90 days, you must apply for a long-stay visa such as the digital nomad visa.

Does Malaysia have a Digital Nomad Visa?

The Malaysian government introduced the Digital Nomad Visa, officially called DE Rantau, in October 2022. You can stay and work remotely from Malaysia for 1 year and extend it for another year.

What are the requirements to apply for the Malaysia Digital Nomad Visa?

The candidate must be at least 18 years old and work for a digital industry such as IT, AI developer, social media manager, digital marketing, etc. 

There are two options for a remote work contract that you can present: a freelancer or a corporate telecommuter. Remember that your job must be outside Malaysia and the minimum income is $24,000 per year. 

It is important that you apply for the Digital Nomad Visa before traveling to Malaysia in case you need to gather any important documents for the application. Tej, and Caroline can assist you to make the process smooth and hassle-free. Chat with them here.

Can I bring my spouse and children with me with the Malaysia Digital Nomad Visa?

Yes, you can bring your spouse and children, but they are not allowed to work in the country.

What are the requirements to add dependents to the Malaysia Digital Nomad Visa?

There is currently no additional income requirement for dependents, but your child must not be over 18 years of age. A very important document that is always required is proof of the relationship, so if it is your spouse you will need your marriage certificate, and if they are your children you will need their birth certificate. These documents must be certified by the respective embassy or consulate.

How much is the government fee for the Malaysia Digital Nomad Visa?

The government fees for the principal applicant are approximately 250 USD, and for each dependent or family member they are approximately 100 USD dollars extra. 

Do you need to submit a clear criminal record for the Malaysia Digital Nomad Visa?

Applicants for the Digital Nomad Visa for Malaysia must present a certificate of good conduct proving that they have no criminal record in their resident country and in Malaysia.

What kind of work contract do you need to apply for the Digital Nomad Visa for Malaysia?

As long as you are not with a Malaysian company and have the minimum income requirement, there is nothing to worry about. If you are applying with a freelance contract, you must prove contracts or proposals from clients verifying that you will receive the aforementioned income in the following year.

What are the tax implications of the Digital Nomad Visa for Malaysia?

There are no tax consequences because your income is overseas and you cannot open a bank account in Malaysia.

Is the Digital Nomad Visa for Malaysia a residency permit? 

It is a work pass valid for one year, also called a professional visit pass. 

Can business owners apply for the Digital Nomad Visa for Malaysia?

If you have an employment contract that you can present as proof of employment, you can apply. You can create one for yourself if you are the director or CEO of a company and submit that document.

Can the female partner be the main visa holder for the Malaysia Digital Nomad Visa?

In Malaysia, there are no limitations on who is the main applicant. It can be either male or female. 

Is the Malaysia Digital Nomad Visa multiple-entry?

Yes, it is a multiple entry visa. 

Which other visa options are available in Malaysia for Digital Nomads?

If you want to migrate to Malaysia and stay there for more than 1 or 2 years, you can apply for the Malaysia My Second Home MMSH program. The requirements are higher, but the visa duration is longer, five years, and it allows you and your family to live in Malaysia. You can renew it for another five years.

What are the best cities in Malaysia for expats and digital nomads?

  • Penang is one of the cities with an ocean coast. It is well-known for its food. It is also one of the states that do have multinational companies as a free trade zone.
  • Kuala Lumpur is another great option if you like city life. 

Is Malaysia safe for solo women travellers?

Yes, Malaysia is one of the safest counties, and basically the Malaysians are very friendly.

If you have any further questions about Malaysia, do not hesitate to contact our verified experts. Remember that you can also watch the session with Tej, Caroline and Danish below. Happy relocation!

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