Malaysia joins list of Southeast Asian countries attracting digital nomads with low cost of living

Malaysia has just announced a new digital nomad visa in an attempt to position itself as South East Asiais the next big hub for remote workers.

Along with launching the “DE Rantau Nomad Pass” for qualified foreigners, the country has promised to create communities of digital nomads. It also creates more remote work hubs with stable internet connections throughout the country.

Who can apply for a digital nomad visa for Malaysia?

The new visa was announced by the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) – a government initiative aimed at boosting the country’s digital revolution and economy. The “DE Rantau” program targets both locals and foreigners digital nomads.

MalaysiaThe digital nomad visa will be available for those earning more than €24,000 per year. The visa fee is MYR 1,000 (€221) and recipients will receive exclusive offers from remote work centers in Malaysia.

To be eligible, you must be a freelancer, independent contractor, or full-time remote employee working in the digital realm. IT is the main occupation targeted, including cybersecurity experts and software developers, digital marketing, and digital content creation and development.

You will need to show proof of use, such as an active contract or multiple contracts of at least three months with local or foreign customers. You can also use an active employment contract with a foreign company.

How long can you stay in Malaysia on a Digital Nomad Visa?

The DE Rantau diet allows you to stay in Malaysia for 3 to 12 months. It is renewable for up to 12 additional months.

Workers are allowed to bring their spouse and children with them under the scheme at a cost of MYR 500 (€110) per dependant.

Undercurrent Visa rules, remote workers from eligible countries – including EU member states, the UK and the US – can stay in Malaysia without a visa for up to 90 days. Those from non-exempt countries must apply for a visa, employment pass, or professional visit pass.

Applications for the 12-month DE Rantau Nomad Pass open October 1, 2022.

Is Malaysia a good place to live for digital nomads?

In 2021, an InterNations survey voted Kuala Lumpur the best city in the world for Expats where to live and work. It takes into account quality of life, ease of settlement, finances and housing, and urban working life.

Like much of Southeast Asia, Malaysia is very affordable compared to western countries. According to financial technology company Wise, the average monthly cost of living in Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia’s capital – is €487, not including rent. For a family of four, the monthly cost is €1,736. A two-bedroom apartment in the city center costs an average of €461 per month.

In addition to highlighting the low cost of livingMDEC promotes its new travel visa by highlighting Malaysia’s low crime rate and multicultural society.

The country criminality The index (the total number of crimes per year per 1,000 people) is 57 – slightly lower than France’s 52 and the UK’s 47, according to World Population Review.

Indigenous, Malay, Chinese and Indian people come together to form a vibrant multicultural society in Malaysia. Islam is the country’s official religion, but the government guarantees religious freedom and there are also large Buddhist, Christian and Hindu populations.

Whereas alcohol is prohibited for Muslims in Malaysia, the rest of the population is free to drink. Night life may be more low-key than in neighboring countries like Thailand, but expat bars and chic rooftop lounges define Kualar Lumpur’s party scene.

It is also cheap and easy to travel to neighboring countries like Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Cambodia.

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