In an effort to grow Malaysia’s economy and advance the march towards digitalisation as well as to meet business needs, the Immigration Department of Malaysia has introduced a new pass and facility.

1)     PLS@XPATS – Social Visit Pass for Foreign Professionals to Carry Out Critical Work.

2)     De Rantau Nomad Pass – Malaysia’s First-Digital-Nomad Visa


The new category of pass and facility is intended to attract more foreign professionals and investors to Malaysia.  This could help the country to boost its economy and to remain relevant as a country of choice for global business.  

The employer or host company in Malaysia needs to be aware of the PLS@XPATS Pass to facilitate foreign professionals having the appropriate pass to work in Malaysia on a short-notice basis.  For foreign professionals who are in the digital field, the De Rantau Nomad Pass provides more flexibility in terms of the application for a work pass in Malaysia as compared to the current applications for the Employment Pass or Professional Visit Pass.

More Details

PLS@XPATS – Social Visit Pass for Foreign Professionals to Carry Out Critical Tasks

On 4 October 2022, the Director General of the Immigration Department of Malaysia (IDM) announced that foreign professionals who are urgently required to enter Malaysia to perform critical tasks1 may apply for the PLS@EXPATS Pass.  It is a social visit pass which comes with the permission to work.  The application is allowed only for selected sectors and categories.

Companies may apply through the Immigration online system via and the application will be processed within three (3) working days, upon submission of complete documents. Approval is at the discretion of the IDM.

The PLS@EXPATS will allow foreign professionals to stay and work in Malaysia for a maximum duration of 30 days from the date of arrival.  The permission to work will be endorsed at the Immigration Entry Point.

Prior to entering Malaysia, visa-required nationals must obtain the Visa Without Reference (VTR), which can be applied for at the nearest High Commission / Embassy / Consulate General of Malaysia or via online, electronic visa (eVISA), at .

DE Rantau Nomad Pass – Malaysia’s First Digital Nomad Visa

Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) has recently introduced Malaysia’s first digital nomad visa,2 De Rantau Nomad Pass under the De Rantau Program.  DE Rantau programme is created in an effort to establish Malaysia as the preferred digital nomad hub in ASEAN which aims to nurture digital adoption and promote digital professional mobility and tourism across the country.

The programme, whose application opened on 1 October 2022, allows digital marketers, IT professionals, and content creators to stay in Malaysia with their dependents for up to 12 months, after which their stay can be extended for an additional of 12 months under the De Rantau Nomad Pass.

Open to both foreign and local individuals, known commonly as digital nomads, the programme allows them to enjoy benefits and discounts within the ecosystem.  For more information, you may visit MD – DE Rantau FAQs here.


The IDM initiative to simplify applications for the Social Visit Pass for foreign professionals to enter Malaysia for critical tasks is a positive step.  Implementation of the new facility shows that the IDM understands the industry players’ challenges and the initiative could help to attract more investors to Malaysia.

On a separate note, Malaysia’s efforts to promote itself as a digital hub by attracting digital freelancers and content creators to stay in the country are noteworthy.  Malaysia joins the ranks of other countries taking similar steps to attract global talent.  (See our Digital Nomad Flash Alert reports webpage.)  However, additional attractive benefits may be needed to help make the ASEAN region the digital nomads’ preferred destination choice, as more countries are introducing such a pass to be in-line with the change in trends in respect of working arrangements.

* Please note the KPMG International member firm in the United States does not provide immigration or labour law services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.


The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Malaysia.


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