Can You Work Remotely in Malaysia?

Last Updated on 2 July 2024 by Brittany
work remotely in malaysia

Malaysia is one of the most popular destinations in Southeast Asia for digital nomads. With an affordable cost of living, vibrant cities, and gorgeous nature, thousands of people flock to this country. But, while visiting, can you work remotely in Malaysia?

Yes, you can work remotely in Malaysia as a digital nomad. 

Whether you are planning to relocate to Malaysia long-term or make a stop there on your digital nomad itinerary, working remotely is legal. 

In this article, we will discuss what it is like to work remotely in Malaysia and the different options available to digital nomads to stay in the country longer. 

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Digital Nomads and Malaysia

Malaysia is one of the highest-rated destinations for digital nomads in Southeast Asia.ย 

Why is Malaysia a magnet for digital nomads? Let’s start with its vibrant cities. Kuala Lumpur, the bustling capital, offers a dynamic tech culture rich with innovation hubs and co-working spaces. If you’re looking for something a bit more relaxed, Penang boasts charming colonial architecture and modern amenities, all within one of Southeast Asia’s most livable cities. 

The nation’s WiFi speeds play a pivotal role in attracting remote workers. Consistent and high-speed internet is accessible in most urban and suburban areas, making it easy to stay connected and productive. Whether you’re in a trendy cafรฉ in Kuala Lumpur or a beachfront resort in Penang, you can count on reliable internet coverage. 

The tech culture in Malaysia is thriving. From frequent tech meetups and hackathons to a supportive community of like-minded professionals, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to network and collaborate. Both local and international digital nomads contribute to this vibrant ecosystem, making Malaysia a melting pot of creativity and innovation. 

So, if you’re searching for a destination that combines modern infrastructure with a supportive digital nomad community, look no further than Malaysia.

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Can You Work Remotely in Malaysia as a Digital Nomad?

Yes, you can work remotely in Malaysia. 

Whether you are visiting on a tourist visa or have a residence permit, you are allowed to work remotely for companies or clients established outside of Malaysia. 

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How Long Can You Stay and Work Remotely in Malaysia?

If you decide to visit Malaysia on a social visit, a typical single-entry visa is valid for 90 days from the date of entry. This is applicable for nationalities that do not require an entry visa, such as the UK, Canada, USA, Australia, etc. 

However, select nationalities will experience shorter stays. Passport holders from India or China can experience a 30-day visa exemption visit in Malaysia. 

Nationalities that require an eVisa to enter Malaysia to stay for up to 30 days include:

  • Afghanistan ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ซ
  • Angola ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ด
  • Bangladesh ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฉ
  • Bhutan ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡น
  • Burkina Faso ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ซ
  • Burundi ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฎ
  • Cameroon ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฒ
  • Central African Republic ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ซ
  • Colombia ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ด
  • Congo Democratic Republic ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฉ
  • Congo Republic ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฌ
  • Djibouti ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฏ
  • Equatorial Guinea ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ถ
  • Eritrea ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ท
  • Ethiopia ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡น
  • Ghana ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ญ
  • Guinea-Bissau ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ผ
  • Hong Kong ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ฐ
  • Ivory Coast ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฎ
  • Kosovo ๐Ÿ‡ฝ๐Ÿ‡ฐ
  • Liberia ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ท
  • Mali ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฑ
  • Montenegro ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ช
  • Mozambique ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฟ
  • Myanmar ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฒ
  • Nepal ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ต
  • Nigeria ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฌ
  • Niger ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ช
  • Pakistan ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฐ
  • Rwanda ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ผ
  • Serbia ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ธ
  • Sri Lanka ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฐ

However, if you are a digital nomad and want to relocate to Malaysia for up to two years, you may qualify for the countryโ€™s digital nomad visa. 

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Malaysia Visa Options for Remote Workers

The best visa option to work remotely in Malaysia as a digital nomad is the De Rantau Foreign visa otherwise referred to as the Malaysia digital nomad visa.ย 

Malaysia Digital Nomad Visa

Introduced in October 2022, Malaysiaโ€™s digital nomad visa allows remote employees and freelancers working in the digital domain, managerial positions, or chief officer positions to live in the country for up to two years with their family members.ย 

The visa application is done entirely online. This means you can apply while in Malaysia. However, you must exit the country to pick up the approved visa from a visa or immigration center. 

If you would like to see if you qualify for Malaysiaโ€™s digital nomad visa, request our free eligibility assessment by completing the form above. 

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What is it Like to Work Remotely in Malaysia?

Working remotely in Malaysia offers you a delightful blend of professional and personal advantages. Picture this: a vibrant digital nomad community where you can easily network with like-minded individuals. Malaysiaโ€™s affordable cost of living ensures you can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without breaking the bank.

Communication is a breeze since English is widely spoken, making everyday interactions and business dealings smooth. You’ll also appreciate the rich cultural diversity, offering an enriching backdrop to your remote work life. 

The countryโ€™s well-developed infrastructure, including reliable internet connectivity, co-working spaces, and amenities, enhances your productivity. With the Digital Nomad Visa, you can relish the sights and sounds of Malaysia for up to two years with your immediate family.

Plus, tax treaties prevent double taxation, allowing you to keep more of what you earn. Embrace the unique experience of working remotely in Malaysia; itโ€™s more than just a workspaceโ€”it’s a lifestyle.

Average Wifi Speed in Malaysia

Malaysia is known for having reliable wifi connection and speed, especially in its main cities Penang and Kuala Lumpur. 

According to Ookla, an average broadband connection offers a download speed of 134 Mbps and an upload speed of 54 Mbps.ย 

The mobile connection is also fairly reliable. This is helpful for those digital nomads who get an e-sim for data while in Malaysia and use it as a hotspot.

Coworking Spaces and Cafes

Malaysia is brimming with coworking spaces and cafes designed to cater to the needs of digital nomads. In bustling cities like Kuala Lumpur, you’ll find numerous options ranging from sleek coworking facilities to cozy cafes equipped with reliable wifi and essentials like charging ports. 

These spaces not only provide a productive environment but also foster a sense of community among remote workers. 

Notable mentions include trendy spots like Common Ground and WORQ, which offer everything from quiet workspaces to networking opportunities.ย 

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Will You Owe Taxes if You Work Remotely in Malaysia?

Remote workers who apply for the digital nomad visa will become tax residents of Malaysia. However, there are tax benefits and treaties that can help in this case.ย 

For remote employees working remotely in Malaysia for a company established abroad, they will not be taxed if they spend 60 days or less in the country throughout the year. If they spend more, then they will be liable to pay some taxes. This rate depends on their nationality and income. 

Remote freelancers earning foreign-sourced income may be taxed up to 30% depending on the amount and if it is received in the country. 

Itโ€™s always a good idea to speak with a specialized tax advisor to see how these taxes may affect you working remotely in Malaysia. 

Is It Legal to Work Remotely as a Digital Nomad in Malaysia?

Yes, it is legal to work remotely in Malaysia as a digital nomad as long as you have obtained the correct visa and have not overstayed your time there. 

If you become a tax resident, make sure to file your taxes and credits to retain your legal status. 

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Work Remotely in Malaysia for Two Years with Professional Assistance from Nomads Embassy

Are you looking to relocate to Malaysia for up to two years with the digital nomad visa and want help with the application process?

Nomads Embassy has partnered with hand-selected local immigration lawyers to create a Done-for-You Digital Nomad Visa Service. This comprehensive package includes everything you need to submit a 100% compliant visa application and obtain your residence permit when you arrive.ย 

To get started, request our free eligibility assessment by completing the form in this article.ย 

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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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