11 Helpful Tips for Your Malaysia Digital Nomad Visa Application

Last Updated on 24 June 2024 by Brittany
tips for your malaysia digital nomad visa application

One of the most difficult visas to apply for is the Malaysia digital nomad visa. While the application is done online, there are a lot of details and document preparation to consider. Here are some impactful tips for your Malaysia digital nomad visa application to simplify the process.ย 

Donโ€™t let the online application fool you! 

Applying for Malaysiaโ€™s digital nomad visa is not a task to be taken lightly. It can involve several months of document preparation and extensive communication with the official office, MDEC, which meticulously reviews your application. 

Nomads Embassy has helped a number of remote workers apply for Malaysiaโ€™s digital nomad visa through our Done-for-You Digital Nomad Visa Service. After a year of this experience, we wanted to share some of our first-hand tips for your Malaysia digital nomad visa application to better prepare you. 

tips for your malaysia digital nomad visa application
via Unsplash

What is the Malaysia Digital Nomad Visa?

Malaysia introduced its digital nomad visa in October 2022, and it has become one of the most sought-after in Southeast Asia

Remote employees and freelancers working in the digital domain or managerial positions are eligible to apply with their family members. 

When the visa was first launched, only remote workers in the digital domain qualified, but they have since expanded this requirement in June 2024. 

The visa term can be three to twelve months and is renewable for a total of two years. 

Malaysia Digital Nomad Visa Requirements

Malaysiaโ€™s digital nomad visa is quite selective regarding who is eligible to apply.

Applicants must work in one of the accepted positions or industries and meet specific income requirements. 

For digital nomads who work in the digital domain, they must meet the following criteria:

  • Work Remotely – You must work remotely as a freelancer or employeeย 
  • Work in the Digital Domain – You must work in digital marketing, content creation, web development, Blockchain, AI, programming, IT, etc.ย 
  • Earn $2,000 USD per Month – You must meet the minimum income requirement
  • International Health Insurance – You must have a valid health insurance policyย 
  • Clean Criminal Record – You must present a clean criminal record from your country of residence

For digital nomads who work in a managerial or chief officer position, they must meet the following criteria:

  • Work Remotely – You must work remotely as a freelancer or employeeย 
  • Work in an Accepted Position – You must hold a chief officer or managerial position. You can review a full list who is eligible for Malaysiaโ€™s digital nomad visa here.ย 
  • Earn $5,000 USD per Month – You must meet the minimum income requirement
  • International Health Insurance – You must have a valid health insurance policyย 
  • Clean Criminal Record – You must present a clean criminal record from your country of residence

If you meet the above requirements, then youโ€™ll find these tips for your Malaysia digital nomad visa application especially helpful! 

tips for your malaysia digital nomad visa application
via Unsplash

Helpful Tips for Your Malaysia Digital Nomad Visa Application

Before applying for Malaysiaโ€™s digital nomad visa, itโ€™s important to understand there are necessary details, processes, and requirements to comply with. 

Even if a little detail on a document is incorrect, it can set you back months in the application process. 

So, follow these helpful tips for your Malaysia digital nomad visa application for a seamless and smooth process.

tips for your malaysia digital nomad visa application
via Unsplash

1. Submit Documents in English

All of your documents must be submitted in English. If they originate in another language, make sure to use an accredited translator to translate them into English.ย 

tips for your malaysia digital nomad visa application
via Unsplash

2. Passport Photo Must Meet Specific Requirements

When you submit your Malaysia digital nomad visa application, you must include a passport-size photo of yourself. 

This photo must meet particular requirements, including the size, background color, and your clothing. 

The photo must meet the following requirements:

  • 35 x 45 mm
  • Blue background
  • Wear dark clothing
  • Have a neutral expression

You can read more about the Malaysia digital nomad visa photo requirements in our previous article.ย 

tips for your malaysia digital nomad visa application
via Unsplash

3. You Must Prove You Work in an Accepted Position or Industry

As mentioned previously, only remote workers in select industries and positions may apply for the Malaysia digital nomad visa. 

Along with your visa application, you must also submit proof that you work in one of the accepted positions or the digital domain. 

Proof may include work contracts, a motivational letter, or a portfolio of your past work. 

tips for your malaysia digital nomad visa application
via Unsplash

4. You May Apply While in Malaysia But Must Leave to Retrieve Your Visa

One of the most helpful tips for your Malaysia digital nomad visa application is that you may apply for it while already in Malaysia. However, you must leave the country in order to pick up your visa at a Malaysian consulate or visa office and re-enter the country with the visa. 

This can be a good opportunity for those remote workers who fall in love with Malaysia during their trips and would like to stay longer. 

Itโ€™s important to remember that you cannot overstay your tourist visa while your digital nomad visa application is processing, though. 

tips for your malaysia digital nomad visa application
via Unsplash

5. Income Requirement Does Not Increase with Family Members

Applicants may include immediate family members and dependent parents in their Malaysia digital nomad visa application. The great news is that the minimum income requirement does not increase if you choose to apply with family members.ย 

If you apply with a spouse, children, or dependent parents, you must show proof of relationship. This can be done with a marriage, birth, or adoption certificate. 

tips for your malaysia digital nomad visa application
via Unsplash

6. Children Must Receive a Student Pass to Attend School

If you plan to bring your children to Malaysia on the digital nomad visa, they must apply for a separate Student Pass. This pass allows them to attend local schools during their stay in Malaysia. 

tips for your malaysia digital nomad visa application
via Unsplash

7. Prepare to Become a Tax Resident After 183 Days in Malaysia

If you stay in Malaysia for 183 days or more during the year, then you will be considered a tax resident. However, there are some favorable tax benefits and programs for foreigners earning income from outside of Malaysia. 

Itโ€™s important to speak with a specialized tax accountant or advisor to assist with your personal tax situation in Malaysia. 

tips for your malaysia digital nomad visa application
via Unsplash

8. Find the Right International Health Insurance

One of the requirements to apply for the Malaysia digital nomad visa is to present proof of international health insurance coverage in the country for the duration of your stay.ย 

Nomads Embassy recommends Genki and Safetywing for digital nomads moving abroad who want reliable and affordable coverage. 

tips for your malaysia digital nomad visa application
via Unsplash

9. Keep a Flexible Timeline

An important tip for your Malaysia digital nomad visa application is to be patient

Applying for a visa is a lengthy process that you must commit to, especially when applying for one in Malaysia. 

The official organization releasing the visa and reviewing your application often have additional questions and document requests. This is a good sign, though, as it means they are considering your application! 

Although it can prolong the application process. 

If you are in a hurry to secure a visa, Malaysiaโ€™s digital nomad visa may not be the best option. 

As of June 2024, we see wait times of up to six months to receive the digital nomad visa in Malaysia. 

So, be patient and allow the process to take place. (This is also easier when you have an immigration lawyer helping you!)

tips for your malaysia digital nomad visa application
via Unsplash

10. Use Credible Sources for Information

There is a lot of misinformation about digital nomad visas online. Thatโ€™s one of the reasons Nomads Embassy was born. We started this blog to ensure verified and reliable information was shared and published about digital nomad visas. 

So, when applying for Malaysiaโ€™s digital nomad visa – or any digital nomad visa for that matter – make sure that you are using credible and verified sources. 

Donโ€™t rely on Reddit threads, Facebook groups, or websites with clickbait headlines for factual information. Instead, refer to the official De Rantau website or consult with immigration lawyers for the most accurate and up-to-date information about the Malaysia digital nomad visa.ย 

tips for your malaysia digital nomad visa application
via Unsplash

11. Work with an Immigration Lawyer to Submit Your Application

While it isnโ€™t required to submit your application through an immigration lawyer, it will certainly help with the process. 

With the continuous back-and-forth with MDEC, the organization reviewing the application, having an immigration lawyer who is experienced with speaking to them can take the stress out of applying for Malaysiaโ€™s digital nomad visa. 

Weโ€™ve seen it firsthand; applying for the Malaysia digital nomad visa on your own is difficult and time-consuming. 

Working with an immigration lawyer means getting factual information and someone on your side working to get a visa approval. 

tips for your malaysia digital nomad visa application

Get Professional Legal Assistance with Nomads Embassyโ€™s Verified Partners

Nomads Embassy has partnered with hand-selected local immigration lawyers to create a Done-for-You Digital Nomad Visa Service for Malaysia.ย 

This end-to-end solution guarantees that youโ€™ll submit a 100% compliant digital nomad visa application and have legal professionals working to answer questions and requests on your behalf. 

So, when MDEC comes back with some questions, your dedicated immigration lawyer is there to provide a response. 

Plus, youโ€™ll have expert and professional guidance throughout the entire process. It doesnโ€™t get any easier than that! 

To get started with Nomads Embassy and our Done-for-You Digital Nomad Visa Service, request our free visa eligibility assessment by completing the form in this article.ย 

Brittany
Content created by
Brittany
When Iโ€™m not writing and teaching people how to achieve a location-independent lifestyle, you can find me globetrotting, experiencing new cultures, and working on my amateur photography skills.
At Nomads Embassy, we independently test and review digital nomad services and provide detailed insights on digital nomad visa applications and requirements using a detailed, multi-step methodology. When you use our affiliate links to make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more about our editorial process and read our full disclosure.
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