Only a €24k income is needed for Malaysia’s new digital nomad visa

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In an effort to become Southeast Asia’s next major hub for remote workers, Malaysia has recently unveiled a new digital nomad visa.

The nation has pledged to create digital nomad communities in addition to introducing the “DE Rantau Nomad Pass” for eligible foreigners. Additionally, it is expanding the number of nationwide hubs for remote work that have reliable internet connections.

Who is eligible to apply for a digital nomad visa in Malaysia?

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The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), a government initiative to advance the nation’s digital transformation and economy, announced the new visa. The “DE Rantau” initiative is directed towards both domestic and international digital nomads.
Those making more than €24,000 annually can apply for a digital nomad visa in Malaysia. The visa costs MYR 1,000 (€221), and beneficiaries will get special deals from Malaysia’s hubs for remote workers.

You must be a remote full-time employee, independent contractor, or freelancer in the digital industry to be eligible. The primary industry targeted is IT, which includes professionals in digital marketing, software development, cybersecurity, and digital content development.

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You will have to provide evidence of your employment, such as an active contract or many contracts with domestic or international clients that are all at least three months old. An active job contract with a foreign company is another option.

How long can a digital nomad visa holder stay in Malaysia?

The DE Rantau scheme allows you to stay in Malaysia for a period of three to twelve months. It is renewable for an additional 12 months.
Workers may bring their spouse and children under the scheme for a fee of MYR 500 (€110) per dependent.

Remote workers from eligible countries, including EU member states, the United Kingdom, and the United States, can stay in Malaysia visa-free for up to 90 days under current visa rules. Non-exempt nationals must apply for a visa, employment pass, or professional visit pass.

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On October 1, 2022, applications for the 12-month DE Rantau Nomad Pass will open.

Malaysia, like much of Southeast Asia, is very inexpensive in comparison to Western countries. The average monthly cost of living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital, is €487, not including rent, according to financial technology company Wise. The monthly cost for a family of four is €1,736. A one-bedroom flat in the city center costs €461 per month on average.

In addition to emphasizing Malaysia’s low cost of living, MDEC is promoting its new nomad visa by emphasizing the country’s low crime rate and multicultural society.

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