Malaysia is one of the most sought after Asian countries, perhaps because of its diversity. It is a melting pot of various nationalities – counting on Indian migrants, British colonials and Chinese, aside from their ethnic Malays, of course. Many travels to Malaysia for a visit as the country offers a lot of tourist attractions like their age-old heritage buildings, temples and mosques as a complement with their elegant skyscrapers and luxurious malls.
It is most underrated, yet tourists are using this place as a visa run destination from their Asian neighbours like Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore. Heard of digital nomads? Well, Malaysia is also getting more popular as one of their hotspots as you will discover when you visit the country. Many of the visitors are also looking for a place to stay – either in a hostel, an Airbnb or they rent a room or space. Some would still prefer to stay in a hotel.
But, the first step to be able to go to Malaysia is to obtain a visa. What are the types of tourist visa and how do you go about applying for it?
Types of Malaysian Tourist Visa:
- Single Entry Visa – validity is for a maximum of 30 days.
- Multiple Entry Visa – can depart and re-enter Malaysia for a number of times as long as it is covered within the validity period. Valid for more than 30 days.
- eNTRI Visa – for Chinese and Indian nationals only where one can stay in Malaysia for strictly 15 days – this has no extension. While only the eNTRI is free, the Malaysian government gets the processing and convenience fee for this visa that costs INR 1900.
For the Visa without reference such as the single entry, multiple entry visa and eNTRI Visa, the following are to be considered:
- a. Passport for at least 6 months – having at least three blank pages;
- b. Completely-filled (all details are provided) and duly signed visa application form;
- c. Confirmed return ticket to your home country;
- d. Accommodation (hotel booking details or proof of address where you plan to reside);
- e. Two recent photographs.
- Visa on arrival – You are entering Malaysia through any of these neighboring countries: Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore. It is actually a permit to visit and stay in Malaysia.
For you to have this type of visa – you need to pay a processing fee of 100 USD, plus the following:
- a. Passport valid for at least 6 months;
- b. Valid visa for Indonesia, Thailand or Singapore;
- c. Bank statement of at least 1000 USD in deposit;
- d. Confirmation of a return ticket to your home country.
For foreign nationals wishing to enter Malaysia to apply for an electronic visa, this program has been in effect since March 2016. All they need to do is to fill-out an application form and pay correspondingly via credit card, both online. Once approved, the applicants are automatically given their visas via e-mail. This Malaysian e-Visa is being offered to nationals of the following countries: China, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Serbia, Pakistan and Montenegro. The visa is valid for 90 days after issue, and they are entitled to stay in Malaysia up to 28 days only.
The approved visa should be have a print out, can be black and white or colored in a letter-sized paper. You need to present this hardcopy (not the digital scan) upon arrival in both Malaysia’s entry and exit checkpoints.
Malaysia – A Top Spot for Digital Nomads
Wikipedia defines digital nomads as “type of people who use telecommunications technologies to earn a living and, more generally, conduct their life in a nomadic manner.” They usually work remotely from foreign countries – work locations can be anywhere, such as a public library, a coffee shop, co-working spaces, a resort or recreational vehicles.
Most get to live among a different set of cultures and personalities. They are adventurous, flexible and spontaneous. If you’re a digital nomad – it doesn’t mean that you have to be self-employed or a freelancer. Others work for another company or person as most businesses now are embracing remote work. Many digital nomads prefer to rent a room or apartment rather than go for a hotel, hostel or Airbnb, which is more costly. A solo room or a room for sharing – it doesn’t matter, as long as it meets their specifications and needs. Thus, the rise in room rental platforms and accommodations is part and parcel of this popular remote work arrangement.
We can see why digital nomads find Malaysia a very suitable spot for their work. It is multi-racial and tolerant where there’s a bit of everything for everyone. The environment is warm and supportive. This traditionally tea-drinking nation has been caught up in the deep-running coffee culture, too. Cafes and coffee shops, both global and homegrown brands, have clearly grown in numbers in recent years in all their major cities. This means that there are many options for convenient working locations apt for them. It is easy to see why Malaysia is a favourite of these young, modern work pioneers. A hot cup of coffee, friendly locals and a fast and stable internet connection: these are the surefire ways to gain a strong grip with these digital nomads that’s likely to last for a long time.
Digital Freelancer Initiative: 12 month-visa for Digital Nomads
Digital nomads would want to stay in the country longer so they may refer to the Malaysian government’s Digital Freelancer Initiative Program. This has just been started end of 2019 – application is simple and free. What the candidates need to qualify is their proven strong tech background substantiated with projects. Once they’re accepted with this, they proceed to use the platform that will assess their applications called Jobbatical. Your application will be evaluated and once you’ve passed, they will forward it to Malaysian Immigration for approval. Quite an easy peasy process, ‘right? Once you have this digital nomad visa – it will allow you to stay, live and work in Malaysia for as long as 12 months. Right now, this program is on a trial phase. This is really good news for those who are dreaming of working in Malaysia and making it their base. So for those techie nomads – check this out!
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