DE Rantau Nomad Pass eligibility expanded to attract more digital nomads to Malaysia

Malaysia has become an increasingly popular destination for digital nomads. This is thanks to the country’s affordable yet high-quality living, vibrant cultural environment, and modern infrastructure.

Digital Minister Gobind Singh Deo said the government will continue to find ways to lure more digital nomads to Malaysia, including improving offerings and incentives to make its DE Rantau Nomad Visa more accessible to a larger pool of global professionals who identify as digital nomads.

The DE Rantau programme was set up under Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) to establish Malaysia as the preferred digital nomad hub in Southeast Asia, while boosting digital adoption and promoting digital professional mobility and tourism across the country.

Speaking at the DE Rantau Elevate 2024 event at KL Sentral earlier today, Gobind said that the eligibility scope of the DE Rantau Nomad Pass has now been expanded to include professionals or talents in areas other than IT or digital.

“Digital nomads who are founders, chief executive officers, chief operating officers, tax accountants, legal counsel, technical writers, business development managers, public relations professionals, and other related positions – whether digital freelancers or remote workers – can now apply for the DE Rantau Nomad Pass,” Gobind said in his speech.

“The minimum income requirement for non-IT and non-digital talents is set at USD60,000 per year, or USD5,000 per month.”

He added that the move to increase the accessibility of the DE Rantau Nomad Pass to other talents and professionals in other sectors now puts Malaysia on par with other countries that also offer digital nomad visas.

“I would like to extend our utmost gratitude to the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Immigration Department of Malaysia for their cooperation as key partners in this initiative, for the approvals process and enabling this policy innovation.”

Gobind added the DE Rantau programme can be considered as a “soft landing” for professional digital freelancers and remote workers to experience the digital ecosystem in Malaysia, before making the country as their base.

Once a digital nomad’s two-year contract under DE Rantau Nomad Pass expires, the talent can consider two paths: either apply for the Malaysian Tech Entrepreneur Programme (where seasoned entrepreneurs can apply for the five-year Residential Pass); or apply for Malaysia Digital status upon establishing his; or her company in Malaysia. If approved, the talent will be eligible to stay in Malaysia under the Foreign Knowledge Worker Employment Pass system.

“Malaysia’s offerings to the digital nomad community are expected to grow the local digital nomad population. Access to global talents, knowledge exchange with local professionals, and the positive spillover effects of having digital nomads in the country are desired outcomes for all involved.

“We are confident that this latest move will add value to our country’s reputation as the preferred destination for digital nomads and remote workers, as well as contribute to our economic growth and boost Malaysia’s digital agenda,” Gobind added.

Digital nomads can find the necessary details on MDEC’s platform, www.mdec.my/derantau.

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