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Guide To Applying For DE Rantau, Malaysia’s Digital Nomad Pass

Work and travel for an extended stay of up to 24 months with multiple entries in Malaysia.


The pandemic has instigated a change in job practices whereby more people are working remotely. In fact, in 2021, Google incorporated the new work-from-anywhere weeks policy where employees get to work from any location that’s not their main office for 4 weeks per year. 

As travel restrictions were gradually lifted last year, many countries started offering digital nomad visas that allow one to stay and work in a foreign country for an extended period. These countries or regions include Malaysia, Dubai, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia-Bali, Italy and Taiwan. By doing so, the countries get to attract more foreign travellers and spur economic growth along the way. 

Malaysia has the DE Rantau Digital Nomad Pass, with ‘rantau’ meaning region. It is issued under the professional visit pass which gives pass holders more flexibility to work and travel compared to other visas. It is valid for between 3 to 12 months of stay and for multiple entries. Pass holders will then be allowed to renew for an additional 12 months, which means they can have a total of 24 months of stay continuously.   

Why The DE Rantau Digital Nomad Pass?  

Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) is a government agency that drives digital transformation in the country and offers the DE Rantau Digital Nomad Pass. With the DE Rantau Digital Nomad Pass, one can work and travel in Malaysia for up to 24 months straight while also access an ecosystem of privileges that support digital nomads around the world. 

The privileges will help digital nomads transit to the new country smoothly. They include access to suitable accommodations carefully handpicked by MDEC, organisation of communal gatherings with like-minded peers and more.  

Typically, tourists apply for the Single Entry Visa that can be used for both business and social purposes but it’s only for one entry and for short stays that are not more than three months. Meanwhile, a Multiple Entry Visa is valid for 12 months where travellers can perform business activities but travellers are not allowed to stay for more than 30 days during each entry. 

Information Technology And Digital Professionals Can Join The DE Rantau Programme 

Freelance professionals or remote workers above the age of 18 years old who work in information technology and digital-related industries can apply for the DE Rantau Digital Nomad Pass: 

  • Software engineering  
  • Backend engineering 
  • UX (User Experience) design 
  • UI (User Interface) design 
  • Cloud computing  
  • Cybersecurity 
  • Blockchain technology 
  • AI (Artificial Intelligence) 
  • Machine learning 
  • Data management 
  • Digital marketing 
  • Digital creative content 

Foreign applicants will need to provide proof of annual income that amounts to more than RM109,103.95. Meanwhile, local digital nomads are required to have an annual income of RM36,000. The DE Rantau Digital Nomad Pass is open to all nationalities. Israeli citizens will need to get extra approval from the Ministries of Home Affairs. Eligible professionals can also have their immediate family members make an application under the main pass but they are not allowed to work.  

The DE Rantau programme is also accessible to local digital nomads. Malaysian digital nomads who are freelancing, working remote, or on contract basis in information technology and digital-related careers with an annual income of more than RM36,000 can apply to join the DE Rantau programme to enjoy its privileges. 

How To Apply For The DE Rantau Digital Nomad Pass 

Foreign digital nomads can apply for the DE Rantau nomad pass online directly via the Malaysia Digital Economy Malaysia (MDEC)’s official website. MDEC is a government agency that drives digital transformation programmes of the country. Applicants will need to prepare documents as follows: 

  • Passport with a minimum of six empty pages and at least 14 months remaining validity  
  • Latest CV 
  • Latest three months’ bank statements  
  • Latest three months’ income statements or latest tax returns  
  • Valid project contracts signed for a duration of three months or more 
  • Letter of good conduct issued by an authority body 
  • Highest education certificate  
  • Medical insurance certificate that is valid in Malaysia that includes coverage for dependents as well if there’s any  
  • Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia tax registration slip 
  • Personal bond affixed with RM10 revenue stamp and endorsed by the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) 
  • If MDEC is your sponsoring organisation, a security bond needs to be paid and will be refunded once the visa expires 



Application fees are RM1,000 for the main pass and RM500 for dependents. The application process will take roughly 6 to 8 weeks once complete documents are submitted but may be prolonged if additional documents are required. Once the application is approved, a pass sticker will be issued to you.  

Benefits Of Being A DE Rantau Digital Nomad Pass Holder 

Besides enjoying an extended stay of up to 24 months, DE Rantau Digital Nomad Pass holders, both foreign and local, can access an entire ecosystem of privileges created specially for digital nomads. MDEC has worked with various partners to identify accommodations that are suitable for digital nomads.  

These accommodations have met MDEC’s criteria to be certified as a DE Rantau Hub which include having sufficient facilities including a workspace, internet at a minimum of 30 Mbps speed, access to urban conveniences such as transportation and engagement activities within the digital nomad communities.     

In addition, pass holders will also be privy to local services ranging from travel, tourism, transport to e-commerce, e-payments, and others.  

To leverage on the rising trend of digital nomad, MDEC introduced the DE Rantau Digital Nomad Pass to accommodate high-income earning professional in the information technology and digital industries. Under the De Rantau programme, digital nomads can apply for passes under the main pass for multiple immediate family members. The programme also ensures that digital nomads get a smooth transition working in Malaysia with community engagement activities, certified lodging and more.  



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