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Digital Nomad Visa for Malaysia

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Digital Nomad Visa For Malaysia

Malaysia Rating from Citizen Remote

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Quick facts about Malaysia

Malaysia is a multi-cultured country with a lot to offer to all its visitors, including digital nomads. No matter what your budget is, Malaysia has accessible options. From high-tech and modern cities to more traditional cultural spots, Malaysia is beautiful all around. Are you curious about the digital nomad visa for Malaysia? Read on!

Even though there is no specific digital nomad visa for Malaysia, many remote workers have taken advantage of their social visit pass and other programs the country has to offer. So if you’re interested in living in this unique country, don’t worry! There’s a way you can do it even without a digital nomad visa.

Capital Kuala Lumpur
Form of Government Federal parliamentary monarchy
Population 32.37 million (2020)
Climate Equatorial climate
Language Malaysian
Currency Malaysian Ringgit (RM) - Need Help Converting?

Living in Malaysia as a digital nomad

One of the reasons that Malaysia is so interesting is because of its diversity. It’s a multi-cultural country influenced by both Chinese and Indian cultures. Not only that, Malaysia has so many different types of places to explore. You can visit thriving modern cities, visit colonial architecture, take a stroll through the jungle, or even relax on the beach. Malaysia has everything!

Beyond just the tourist activities, Malaysia is also well set up for digital nomads. It’s exciting and fascinating for curious nomads, so those looking for their next big adventure should definitely set their eyes on this country.

It is excellent for English speakers, so you won’t have to worry too much about learning the language. Many people speak English, and the signs around the country are straightforward to read and all translated into English. Additionally, Malaysia has an affordable and easy-to-access healthcare system that many travelers take advantage of, so it’s no surprise that people are pushing for a digital nomad visa for Malaysia.


Attractions and best places to visit

Malaysia is a popular destination for those who enjoy scuba diving and snorkeling with beautiful coral reefs and white-sand beaches. One of the most popular places is Perhentian Islands. These islands used to be a stopping point for traders traveling to South Asia, and now it is one of the most touristic places in Malaysia. You can use a water taxi to easily travel from one island to the next. Many of the islands have beautiful walking trails that go through the jungle paths and offer a stunning view of the water as you go.

digital nomad visa for malaysia
digital nomad visa for malaysia

Another popular place is Gunung Mulu National Park in Sarawak. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for its impressive karst limestone pinnacles that resemble people standing in large formations. The park also has massive caves that are just as impressive. Most of the park is covered in thick rainforests, and some areas are difficult to access, but there are many trails you can follow to explore the area.

Talking about caves, another amazing place to visit is the Batu Caves in Selangor. They’re located less than an hour away from the capital city, Kuala Lumpur. They consist of three main caves plus many smaller ones. Most of these caves contain statues and 100-year-old shrines dedicated to Hindu gods. The main cave, Cathedral Cave, is at the top of a massive colorful staircase and is perfect for pictures.

If you’re more interested in visiting the big city, head to Kuala Lumpur. You can visit the tallest twin towers in the world, known as the Petronas. They reach an impressive 452 meters high, with 88 floors and 76 elevators. Most floors are rented for companies like Microsoft, Huawei, and IBM. But visitors can make their way to witness a stunning view of Kuala Lumpur. Plus, the bottom floors are reserved for Suria KLCC, one of the largest shopping centers in Malaysia.


Digital Nomad Hotspots

Kuala Lumpar is the go-to place for ex-pats and digital nomads. Being the capital city, it’s a buzzing metropolis with plenty of opportunities for remote workers. The city has a lot of coworking spaces and networking events. It’s a hub city, which means you can find connections with people from all over the world.

Another popular place is Malacca. It’s home to popular attractions like the market on Jonker Walk. This place is buzzing with energy, and it is home to many street performers and various vendors. Plus, this city has many museums and churches that are worth visiting.

If you’re looking for something more relaxed, many people opt to visit Langkawi instead. If you enjoy beaches and tropical weather, this place is for you. Langkawi is located on the west coast of the country. You can scuba dive and go hike the many trails available in the surrounding islands.


Cost of Living

Malaysia is an attractive destination for many ex-pats and digital nomads because of how affordable it is. Of course, bigger cities like Kuala Lumpar are more expensive, but it’s still generally accessible.

Malaysia uses the Malaysian Ringgit as currency at a rate of approximately $1 = 4.21RM. The exchange rate fluctuates, but the difference is never too much. The average salary in Kuala Lumpar is less than $1,000. So you can pay for rent, food, transportation, and any other necessity with a budget of $1,000 or less.

In the big city, the average cost of rent for a single-bedroom apartment is 2,400RM ($570).

Transportation is easy to come by in Malaysia. Especially in Kuala Lumpar. A monthly bus pass costs 127RM($30). A single bus ticket is 3RM ($0.7).

A meal at a restaurant costs around 10RM($2.3).


Digital Nomad Essentials

Malaysia has really improved its Wi-Fi in recent years, especially in Kuala Lumpar. The city is famous for its fast internet since fiber optic is common. The internet reaches a speed of 114Mbps. For mobile connection, you can get 35Mbps. For $15 you can enjoy internet speed faster than you probably have at home. This makes it super easy for those on a digital nomad visa in Malaysia to work online.

mountains of malaysia
malaysia countryside

Internet is easily accessible everywhere in Malaysia. The country has a strong cafe culture, and there are many places where you can work on a digital nomad visa for Malaysia while enjoying national cuisine.

We recommend you visit these coffee shops:

Three Little birds – It is a cosy neighborhood cafe in Kuala Lumpar. It has a patio that creates a nice ambience, perfect for enjoying a nice cup of coffee while working.

Antipodean Cafe – This coffee shop is a hidden gem. It is tucked away from the main city center of Kuala Lumpar. This cafe is famous for its brews and excellent roast variety.

Piu Piu Piu – Another coffee shop found in Kuala Lumpar. The space is creative and charming. Even though the space is small, the coffee is amazing!

Mods Cafe – This one is located in Malacca. It is vintage, unique, and quirky. The best part? It is served out of a 1970s VW van!

Malaysia has a lot of spaces available for remote workers. There are many co-working spaces, especially in Kuala Lumpar. If you’re on a digital nomad visa for Malaysia, then you’ll have no shortage of places to work.

We recommend you check these out:

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Visa Overview

Sadly, Malaysia doesn’t offer a visa especifically for digital nomads. But it does have some valid options you can take advantage of.

digital nomad visa for malaysia
Malaysia at night

Social Visit Pass

The closest thing to a digital nomad visa for Malaysia is the Social Visit Pass, which you don’t need to apply for in advance. In fact, it’s just an entry stamp. Most people coming into Malaysia automatically get a 90-day or 30-day pass. It depends on the country you come from, but you can see if you qualify in here.

People with a US or Canadian passport can stay for 90 days with no problem. This also applies to all EU citizens. It is important to note that, technically, you’re not supposed to be working when living in Malaysia on this visa.


Tech Entrepreneur Program

There is also a digital nomad visa for Malaysia available to individuals with a business idea in the digital area. It’s called Foreign Knowledge Entrepreneurs (FKE). This visa is directed toward individuals looking to develop their ideas into apps or businesses, usually with seed money or some form of funding.

It is divided into two categories: Start-ups and Matured Digital Entrepreneurs.

The start-ups are small businesses with minimum set-up costs. They must offer something new to the market and venture into uncharted territories. They don’t have any specific requirements, only to feature an innovative idea or solution, something that has never been introduced to the market before and shows great potential.

The Matured Digital Entrepreneurs is an evolved form of a start-up. It is directed toward entrepreneurs that have a track record of setting up start-ups successfully. They must show a strong growth trajectory of the start-up in the past 12 months.


Another Digital Nomad Visa for Malaysia

Malaysia has other types of visas available, such as the Single Entry Visa. This visa is issued to a foreign national who requires a visa to enter the country. It is valid for a single entry and a period of three months maximum.

There’s also the Multiple Entry Visa, issued to a foreign national who requires a visa to enter Malaysia. It is usually issued for business or government matters. It is valid for a period of three to twelve months. This digital nomad visa for Malaysia is not the most popular nor the easiest to get.

You can read more about these visas here.


Current travel restrictions

Unfortunately, COVID-19 is still a risk in Malaysia. The restrictions are still very strict at the moment, and they are as followed:

Malaysia has reopened it’s borders to fully vaccinated travelers as of Apil 1st, 2022.

All travelers must undergo a COVID-19 screening test upon arrival

All passengers traveling from overseas must provide a negative RT-PCR test result taken two days before departing to Malaysia.

All passengers that are full vaccinated are not required to quarantine

Partially vaccinated or unvaccinated – 10 days quarantine.

Find all up-to-date COVID-19 requirements here.

Need help with your visa application?

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Who Can Apply for the Digital Nomad Visa for Malaysia

Social Visit Pass

90-day social visit

Show list of countries

People with valid passports from the following countries have a 90-day social visit pass stamp:

  • All EU citizens
  • United States
  • Canada
  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Australia
  • Japan
  • Iceland
  • South Africa
  • South Corea
  • More countries available here

30-day social visit

Show list of countries

People with valid passports from the following countries have a 30-day social visit pass stamp:

  • Indonesia
  • Chile
  • Guatemala
  • Hong Kong
  • Kenya
  • Nicaragua
  • Philippines
  • Russia
  • More countries available here

Tech Entrepreneur Program

This digital nomad visa for Malaysia is available to entrepreneurs focused exclusively on the digital economy, who create digital products and services marketed, delivered, and supported online.

The qualifications are as follows:

Show list of qualifications
  • FKE’s need not to be highly qualified
  • Self-taught in Tech Area
  • Digital/Similar qualifications
  • Proven experience in the Digital Field
  • Ideally entrepreneurship experience
  • 0-3 years worth of experience in the field
  • Possess strong digital proposition
  • Developed a digital solution that’s deployed successfully
  • Accreditations to renown organisations/mentors in Digital space
  • Awards/Any form of recognition

How to Apply for the Digital Nomad Visa for Malaysia

Social Visit Pass

In order to get the social visit pass stamp, you do not need to apply in advance. You get the stamp upon arrival. However, you should be fully prepared with all the needed documentation to show when you arrive at the country. This is the digital nomad visa for Malaysia option that most people go with.


Tech Entrepreneur Program

To apply to the FKE you must follow these steps:

Create a FKE account online

Decide what category you wish to apply to (Start-up or Matured Digital Entrepreneur)

Fill out the forms online

Submit your application and supporting documents online

You can start your application process on this website or contact us and we can help you with the process.

You will not need to apply in advance for the social visit pass, but you still want to be fully prepared for what you will need to provide when you arrive at the country.

Looking for other digital nomad visa options? Check out the visas for Taiwan and Costa Rica! Or plug your details into our Visa Wizard to see what visas you qualify for.


Documents required to apply for the digital nomad visa for Malaysia


Social Visit Pass

In order to get the stamp when you arrive in the country, you must present the following documents:

Passport (valid for a minimum of 6 months)

Proof of sufficient funds to cover your stay in Malaysia

Proof of accommodations (hotel booking, etc)

Return flight ticket

Complete Arrival/Departure card (you will receive this at the point of entry)

Any supporting documents which are relevant to your purpose of travel


Tech Entrepreneur Program

In order to apply for an FKE, you will need different documents depending on what category you’re applying for.


Start-ups

You will need the following documents:

3 months personal bank statement (minimum amount of 50,000RM / $11,900 aproximately)

Personal bond document signed by Malaysia Digital Hub or MTEP recognised partners

A certificate of good conduct (to be issued by respective applicant’s residing country’s embassy)

Application fee payment confirmation


Matured Digital Entrepreneurs

You will need the following documents:

3 months personal bank statement (minimum amount of 50,000RM / $11,900 aproximately)

Proof of business performance

Declaration form from Malaysian sponsor or individual

A certificate of good conduct (to be issued by respective applicant’s residing country’s embassy)

Application fee payment confirmation


How much does a digital nomad visa for Malaysia cost?

You do not need to pay anything in order to enter Malaysia with the Social visit pass.

However, for the FKE you do need to pay a fee. The price of this fee depends on what category you’re applying to.


Start-ups

You must pay 530RM ($125) upon submitting your FKE application.

When you submit your passport for issuance of PVP-FKE sticker, you must pay 2,120RM ($504) per applicant.


Matured Digital Entrepreneurs

You must pay 530RM ($125) upon submitting your FKE application. For dependents, you must pay another 530RM ($125).

When you submit your passport for issuance of PVP-FKE sticker, you must pay 4,770RM ($1,133) per applicant and spouse (if applicable).

For dependents below 18 years of age (if applicable), the fee is 2,120RM ($504).

For other dependents per year, the fee is 1,060RM ($252).

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Timeline for Applying for a Digital Nomad Visa for Malaysia

For the Social Visit Pass, you will get the stamp upon arrival, and you do not need to apply in advance for this digital nomad visa for Malaysia.

For the Tech Entrepreneur Program, the application process is as follows:

  1. Create a FKE account online
  2. Decide what category you wish to apply to (Start-up or Matured Digital Entrepreneur)
  3. Fill out the forms online
  4. Submit your application and supporting documents online
  5. The application will be processed.
  6. Receive approval through email (The approval takes around 6 weeks)
  7. Submit documents for endorsement
  8. Issuance of relevant passes

malaysia-digital-nomad-visa

Curious about other digital nomad visa options? Why not check out Costa Rica or Taiwan. Or plug all your details into our Visa Wizard to see all the options available to you.

Do you qualify for this visa?
Requirements for Applying
Passport (valid for a minimum of 6 months)
Proof of sufficient funds to cover your stay in Malaysia
Proof of accommodations (hotel booking, etc)
Return flight ticket
Complete Arrival/Departure card (you will receive this at the point of entry)
Any supporting documents which are relevant to your purpose of travel
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