Digital Nomad Visa For Malaysia: A Detailed Guide
If you have been looking around for how to get your digital nomad visa in Malaysia, look no further! I’m here to tell you all about it!
With digital nomad culture on the rise, many countries are expanding their visa formalities to allow for easier long-term stay options and to open up more opportunities to digital nomads from all over the world.
Malaysia is no exception. With a beautiful mix of tradition and modern living, Malaysia is fast becoming a prime digital nomad destination.
Read on to find out more about:
- The types of visas that are available for digital nomads in Malaysia
- The best cities to be a digital nomad in Malaysia
- Where to find comfortable and affordable digital nomad accommodation in Malaysia
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What Is A Digital Nomad?
To put it simply, digital nomads are those who travel around the world while they work. Now that’s the dream!
There are various types of digital nomads.
Some choose to be freelancers, working for various clients while others may be full-time remote workers employed by a business or company.
Some may use one country as a home base and travel frequently to nearby countries. Others may only stay a few days or a week in one place before they get on the move again.
As such, depending on your digital nomad goals and patterns, it is important to ensure that you have the necessary visa and formalities sorted out before you embark on your journey.
The last thing you need as a digital nomad is to get stuck with immigration issues because you do not have the appropriate visa.
Do You Need A Digital Nomad Visa Malaysia?
First things first – is a digital nomad Malaysia visa absolutely necessary to enter the country?
At this juncture, it must be said that Malaysia is one of the most welcoming countries to visitors from all around the world. And I am not just talking about the people and the food!
This extends to Malaysia’s visa formalities and requirements as well!
Depending on which country your passport is issued from, you can enter and stay in Malaysia without a visa for a specified number of days.
For example, if your passport is issued from any one of the countries above, you can enter and stay in Malaysia for a total of 90 days without having to apply for a visa.
If your passport has been issued from any one of the countries below, you can enter and stay in Malaysia for a total of 30 days without the need for a visa.
Additionally, if you are holding a passport that has been issued by Iran or Libya, or hold a Macau Special Administrative Region Travel Permit, then you can enter and remain in Malaysia for a total of 14 days without a visa.
As you can see, for the most part, Malaysia’s existing immigration policies and visa requirements are already more than perfect for digital nomads from almost anywhere in the world!
Types of Visas for Digital Nomads in Malaysia
If your passport is issued by a country that is not on the lists set out above or if you intend to stay in Malaysia longer than the specified number of days for visa-free entry, then there are a few types of visa options to choose from.
While there is no explicit or specific form of freelance visa Malaysia in the way there is a business visa Malaysia, the visa options available in Malaysia work for digital nomads as well.
More importantly, these digital nomad visa Malaysia options are much easier to apply for than having to apply for a business visa to Malaysia.
At a glance, these digital nomad visa options are:
- Single Entry Visas
- Multiple Entry Visas
Before each of these is explored in further detail below, it must be noted that one of the pre-requisites to enter Malaysia, whether visa-free or not, is a valid national passport or an internationally recognized travel document.
Additionally, your passport or relevant travel document must be valid for at least 6 months from your date of entry into Malaysia.
Now, let’s dive into the types of visa options that are available to a Malaysia digital nomad!
Single Entry Visa Malaysia
This particular type of visa is primarily for those who are holders of passports that are not listed above.
The validity of a single entry visa is for a total of 3 months.
This is a great digital nomad visa Malaysia option for those who intend to be in Malaysia on a short-term basis.
Multiple Entry Visa Malaysia
This is a digital nomad visa Malaysia option for those who intend to use Malaysia as a home base and travel to other countries nearby.
The multiple entry visa is usually valid for between 3 months to 12 months, depending on your selected duration.
However, it must be noted that upon entry, you can only stay in Malaysia for up to 30 days, after which you need to leave the country before you return again.
This is what makes it perfect for digital nomads in Malaysia who intend to make frequent trips outside the country.
Other conditions that must be satisfied to apply for a multiple entry visa to Malaysia are:
- A booked and confirmed return ticket or a ticket to another destination outside of Malaysia
- Proof of sufficient funds to cover your expenses while staying in Malaysia. While there is no fixed amount specified by the Malaysian immigration as to what amounts to sufficient funds as such, a general guideline would be to ensure that you have at least USD1000 in deposits to satisfy this requirement.
In recent years, Malaysia has allowed certain foreign nationals to apply for e VISA Malaysia.
This is a type of multiple entry visa that is valid for 3 months from the date of issue.
However, each entry will entitle you to stay in Malaysia for up to 15 or 30 days, depending on which option you choose upon applying for the eVISA
The following nationalities can apply for the eVISA from anywhere in the world except in Malaysia and Singapore:
- Sri Lanka
How to Apply for a Digital Nomad Visa In Malaysia
Aside from those nationals who qualify to apply online for the eVISA, all other nationals who are required to apply for a visa for their entry and stay in Malaysia can do so at the nearest Malaysian embassy.
The supporting documents that are required to apply for a visa to Malaysia as a digital nomad are:
- Original passport
- Two (2) photocopies of the applicant’s passport
- Two (2) photocopies of the visa application form (Form IMM.47)
- Two (2) passport size photographs of the applicant
- Original and two (2) photocopies of the ticket (confirmed and returned ticket)
- Bank statement/traveler’s cheque
- Invitation letter (if any)
- Visa fee
Best Destinations to be a Digital Nomad in Malaysia
Malaysia’s tourism tagline is “Malaysia Truly Asia” and there could not be more truth to this.
In Malaysia, you will find an amalgamation of traditions and cultures from all over SouthEast Asia. It is truly one of the best countries to experience the beauty of the region.
That being said, some destinations in Malaysia stand out as a result of combining the best of both worlds in terms of tradition and modern living and facilities.
Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia and is its very heartbeat. Home of the tallest twin towers in the world, Kuala Lumpur has a brand of quintessential magic that you just can’t find anywhere else in the world!
While it is a relatively fast-paced city, there are plenty of places within Kuala Lumpur itself if you want to take it slow.
Kuala Lumpur is also home to many digital nomad-friendly cafes where you can sit and enjoy a variety of food that Malaysia is renowned for while you work!
In recent years, with the increase of remote working and digital nomad culture, there have been many coworking spaces that have blossomed within the city.
These coworking spaces have easy and affordable signup plans, perfect for short-term work arrangements as a digital nomad in Kuala Lumpur.
The transport system in Kuala Lumpur is also well-developed and it is easy to get around from one place to another using the train and bus systems.
You can even get from Kuala Lumpur to nearby cities in different states using the train system!
Penang Island is an all-time favorite destination for locals in Malaysia, and more so for digital nomads!
Also known as the Pearl of the Orient, Penang is the perfect digital nomad destination in Malaysia if you love your beaches.
With a beautiful coastline and affordable accommodation, it is easy to see why Penang Island is so endearing for digital nomads.
There are also plenty of quaint and cozy cafes where you can spend your day and get your work done.
More importantly, Penang is famous for being Malaysia’s food capital! If you are a foodie, the variety of food that is available all over the island is mind-boggling.
So, if one of your digital nomad gigs involves being a food blogger, you had better grab your passport and head on over right away!
With a great mix of island and city living, Penang is truly the perfect digital nomad destination.
Check out what it’s like to be a digital nomad in Penang and get some local insights and tips!
Langkawi is a beautiful archipelago that is made up of 99 islands. It is one of Malaysia’s pride and joy and is an incredibly popular digital nomad destination in Malaysia.
If nothing else lures you to Langkawi, the beautiful blue waters will!
Langkawi has the most beautiful sandy beaches in Malaysia.
While there may not be as many cafes or restaurants as Penang or Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi is a great option for the digital nomad who prefers to work by the beach and take a swim in the ocean during their breaks.
With that in mind, there are plenty of affordable digital nomad accommodations that have popped up in recent years, with the aim of enticing digital nomads to this stunning destination.
Accommodation for Digital Nomads in Malaysia
With an increasing number of digital nomads making their way to Malaysia, there has been an increase in short-term rental accommodation, especially in major digital nomad destinations.
While you can easily source out affordable accommodation on your own, there are some platforms online that may make your search a little easier.
MyBilik (which translates to My Room) is one of the most popular sites to look for affordable accommodation for digital nomads.
Don’t be fooled by the name, though, MyBilik gives you options for more than just rooms!
You can choose your accommodation by indicating the type of place you are looking for, the area where you want to stay, and your budget. You will get options for condominiums, flats, apartments, landed properties, and homestays.
Do keep in mind that this platform does not claim to be a property agency. As such, it is probably best to do your own research on your intended accommodation before you make a commitment!
If you are planning to make Kuala Lumpur or one of the vicinities near Kuala Lumpur your digital nomad base, then this platform puts out some great options.
KL Short Stay takes private property spaces, spruces them up, and offers short-term rental options to those who need them.
They provide daily and monthly payment options depending on your needs and budget.
Additionally, you can choose from different locations within the Kuala Lumpur area, depending on where you want to be located.
Komune Living is a relatively new co-living agency in Malaysia.
Co-living has become increasingly popular in the last few years and property management firms have taken notice.
Co-living essentially means that you pay a fixed monthly amount for a room within a property unit, together with any utilities that may be required.
In such arrangements, the common facilities of the unit are shared with other individuals living there but the unit itself is usually constructed in such a way that you still have your privacy.
Unique Tips For Digital Nomads in Malaysia
Malaysia is a digital nomad destination that is incredibly rich and diverse in so many ways. While it is difficult to pinpoint exactly one thing that makes Malaysia unique, some things about Malaysia truly make it stand apart from other similar destinations.
Malaysia is diverse in so many ways but one of the main aspects is the diversity of its people. There are 3 main ethnic races in Malaysia i.e. Malays, Chinese, and Indians.
While they may all come from different backgrounds, there is a great community spirit among the races, and each race respects the other and at many times, can be seen to be working together towards a common goal.
The food in Malaysia is unparalleled in terms of taste as well as variety.
You will find food from different cultures and ethnicities.
A very popular way to enjoy this food is at the local hawker stalls which you can find almost anywhere in the country!
Did you know that it is summer all year round in Malaysia? So if you hate the cold and love the sun, Malaysia is your ultimate digital nomad destination.
While it does rain in certain months, it never snows or gets unbearably cold at any point.
As a result of the ethnic diversity in Malaysia, the culture of the country has been infused with stories, art, and history from various backgrounds.
This has contributed to the rich culture that Malaysia is so well known for.
It is good to remember, however, that Malaysians are generally conservative in nature and so it is best to carry out some in-depth research into the dos and don’ts of being in Malaysia.
This is almost an indisputable fact. Malaysians are incredibly warm and caring people.
For the most part, you will always find them ready to greet you with a smile and help you out if you get lost.
Malaysians are well-known for their kindness and you can find many stories of every-day Malaysians going over and above to help people out.
So if you are ever in need of anything during your digital nomad stint in Malaysia, do not hesitate to reach out to them and ask for it.
And there you have it, everything you need to know about your digital nomad visa Malaysia and then some!
Malaysia has so much to offer digital nomads these days. The fact that digital nomads from most countries can easily travel to Malaysia without a visa for a substantial period is a great bonus.
However, as you can see, even if you do need a visa for your travels to Malaysia, it is relatively easy and fuss-free to obtain.
If you need more reasons to make Malaysia your digital nomad base, check out my article on being a digital nomad in Malaysia!