Malaysia Digital Nomad Visa & Remote Work



Proof of Income showing at least $24,000 per year.


You can stay in Malaysia for 3 to 12 months, with the possibility to extend the visa being for another 12 months.


To be eligible for the Malaysia Digital Nomad Visa, applicants must be engaged in freelance work, independent contracting, or remote employment within the IT and digital sectors.


Malaysia’s territorial tax system taxes only locally sourced income, which means income earned outside the country may not be subject to Malaysian taxes.

Nomad Visa Malaysia 2024

Picture yourself waking up to the bustling energy of Kuala Lumpur, where the city’s skyscrapers reach for the sky, or spending tranquil afternoons amidst the lush, expansive greenery of Selangor. Alternatively, imagine the pleasure of savoring the coastal breezes of Johor Bahru. For digital nomads, these scenarios are not just fantasies but attainable realities, thanks to Malaysia’s innovative Digital Nomad Visa, officially dubbed the DE Rantau Programme.

The allure of Malaysia as a haven for digital nomads is unmistakably growing. From 2019 to 2022, the percentage of long-term stays (defined as bookings longer than one month) by international guests on Airbnb in Malaysia has seen a significant rise, climbing from 11.6% to 18.6%.

The DE Rantau Programme was specifically designed to attract global digital nomads, offering them the opportunity to immerse themselves in Malaysian culture, explore varied landscapes, and engage with vibrant communities for up to twelve months, with the potential for renewal.

Malaysia introduced its Digital Nomad Visa, the DE Rantau Programme, in October 2022. It caters to remote workers, allowing them to live in Malaysia for 3 to 12 months initially, with the visa being extendable for another 12 months under a Multiple Entry arrangement.

Benefits of the Malaysia Digital Nomad Visa:

  1. Duration and Renewal: Eligible for a stay of three to twelve months, with the possibility of renewing for an additional year.
  2. Access to Resources: Provides access to co-working spaces, local services tailored for nomads, and various discounts.
  3. Travel Flexibility: Grants multiple entries into Peninsular Malaysia, though entering Sabah or Sarawak requires a separate tourist pass.
  4. Family Inclusive: Allows holders to bring their spouse and children, making it an ideal choice for family-oriented professionals.

Eligibility for the Malaysia Digital Nomad Visa

Applicants must be freelancers, independent contractors, or remote workers primarily engaged in the digital and IT sectors. Key eligible fields include:

  • Software engineering
  • Backend engineering
  • User Experience (UX) design
  • User Interface (UI) design
  • Cloud computing
  • Cybersecurity
  • Blockchain technology
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Machine learning
  • Data management
  • Digital marketing
  • Digital creative content
  • Digital content development

UPDATE: The programme welcomes candidates from all nationalities, though Israeli citizens must obtain special permission from the Malaysian Ministry of Home Affairs.

Application Process for the Malaysia Digital Nomad Visa:

  1. Document Preparation: Begin by gathering all necessary documents outlined on the official website.
  2. Online Application: Register an account on the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) website, choose the DE Rantau Digital Nomad Visa option, complete the application form, upload documents, and pay the application fee.
  3. Approval Wait Time: After submission, the visa processing may take between six to eight weeks. Approval will be finalized with the issuance of a visa sticker, serving as physical proof of your digital nomad status in Malaysia.

Documents for Applying for the Malaysia Digital Nomad Visa

When applying for the Malaysia Digital Nomad Visa, applicants must provide a comprehensive set of documents to establish their eligibility and readiness to work remotely from Malaysia. These documents include:

  1. Passport Validity: Your passport should have at least 14 months of validity remaining from the date of your application and at least six blank pages.
  2. Proof of Remote Work: Provide evidence that you have been working for non-Malaysian companies or clients for at least three months. This can include contracts or agreements that are valid for three months or more.
  3. Proof of Income: Demonstrate an annual income of at least $24,000. You will need to submit your most recent three months of bank statements, income statements, or your latest tax returns to verify your financial stability.
  4. Criminal Record Clearance: A letter of good conduct from an authoritative body in your home country or your country of residence, confirming a clean criminal record.
  5. Valid Medical Insurance: Comprehensive medical insurance that covers the entire duration of your stay in Malaysia. If you are bringing dependents, ensure that your insurance coverage includes them as well.
  6. Educational and Professional Documents: Include your most recent CV, your highest educational certificates, and any professional qualifications that are relevant to your field of work.
  7. Personal Bond: A refundable security deposit paid to the Malaysian government, serving as a financial guarantee during your stay. This bond is typically refunded after the visa expires, provided there are no violations of the visa conditions.

Important: All documents submitted must be in English or officially translated into English.

Costs Involved with the Malaysia Digital Nomad Visa

The fee for the Malaysia Digital Nomad Visa is approximately RM 1,000 (~220 USD). If you are planning to bring dependents, such as a spouse or children, there is an additional fee of RM 500 (~110 USD) per dependent. It’s important to note that if your application is unsuccessful, 75% of the visa fee is refundable.

Application Timeline

The timeline for obtaining the Malaysia Digital Nomad Visa generally spans 4 to 8 weeks. This period can vary depending on the thoroughness of the documents submitted and any additional information that may be requested during the vetting process. Once your application is approved, the pass sticker, which is your official visa label, is usually issued within about a week.

Tax resident in Malaysia

Malaysia operates under a territorial tax regime, which fundamentally impacts how taxes are levied on individuals and businesses within the country. Under this system, only income that is sourced within Malaysia is subject to taxation. This approach can exempt foreign-sourced income from Malaysian taxes, offering potential tax advantages for individuals who earn their income internationally.

The determination of tax residency is a critical aspect of this system. If you stay in Malaysia for 182 days or more within a single calendar year, you are considered a tax resident. This residency status is crucial because it influences your tax obligations. As a tax resident, you are required to file an annual tax return with the Malaysian Inland Revenue Board (IRB). During this process, you’ll declare your locally sourced income, and depending on various factors, including the amount of income and applicable deductions or exemptions, you may be obligated to pay income taxes.

It’s important to note that tax residents sometimes benefit from lower tax rates and can take advantage of double taxation agreements that Malaysia may have with other countries. These agreements are designed to prevent the same income from being taxed by two different jurisdictions, thereby reducing the tax burden on the individual.

Furthermore, understanding the nuances of what constitutes “Malaysian-sourced income” can be essential. Generally, this includes income derived from employment or business activities carried out in Malaysia, rents from properties located in Malaysia, and certain gains from the sale of assets held in Malaysia.

Work. Travel. Explore. Enjoy. Freedom.

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