Currently, however, only three countries in Southeast Asia offer visas specifically for digital nomads: Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. Here’s what you need to know if you’re thinking about applying for a digital nomad visa in Southeast Asia.
How to get a digital nomad visa in Malaysia
Applications for Malaysia’s DE Rantau Nomad Passopened on October 1. Applicants for Malaysia’s digital nomad visa are required to have an annual income of at least $24,000. It costs 1,000 Malaysian Ringgit, or $215, to apply for the visa.
The visa allows remote workers to stay in Malaysia for up to 12 months, with a minimum stay requirement of three months, according to Malaysia Digital Economy’s official website. It can be extended for up to 12 additional months, and the spouse and children of remote workers are also allowed to live in Malaysia during the validity of the visa.
Not all digital nomads are eligible for the visa – only freelancers and independent contractors working in digital industries such as IT and online marketing, and remote workers employed by non-Malaysian companies are eligible.
How to get a digital nomad visa in Thailand
Thailand launched the Long-Term Resident Program in September, which is intended for four categories of foreign applicants: “Wealthy Global Citizens,” “Wealthy Pensioners,” “Highly-Skilled Professionals,” and “Work-from-Thailand Professionals.” according to the official website of Visa. Remote workers can apply under the latter category.
Applying for Thailand’s visa from the country will set you back 50,000 baht, or about $1,320.
The visa includes tax exemption on income earned abroad, but it comes with strict requirements. Remote workers must have an annual income of at least $80,000 for two years prior to application, per the visa website.
If applicants do not meet these criteria, they must have at least a master’s degree, intellectual property, or in the case of business owners, receive Series A funding.
Applicants must also be employed by a company that is publicly listed on a stock exchange, or if employed by a private enterprise, it must have a combined revenue of at least $150 million in the three years preceding the visa application.
And that’s not all – remote workers must have a minimum of five years of work experience in the “relevant fields of current employment”.
How to get a digital nomad visa in Indonesia
Visa applicants are required to have proof of funds of at least 2 billion Indonesian rupiahs, or $130,000, per the press release. The money must be deposited in Indonesian state-owned banks.
Visa holders must pay a non-taxable government income of 3 million Indonesian rupiah, or about $193. The visa allows foreigners to do investment-based activities that “contribute positively to the Indonesian economy” that are not listed on the B211A visitor visa.
The press release did not indicate whether visa holders are subject to income tax.
Indonesia’s coastal province of Bali is one of the most popular destinations among digital nomads in the region. According to Reuters, over 3,000 digital nomads entered Indonesia from January to August, citing data from the Ministry of Tourism. The report did not specify what visas these digital nomads have.