Malinga becomes the fourth Sri Lankan to play for an English county in the current season -- Muttiah Muralitharan is at Lancashire, Kumar Sangakkara at Warwickshire and Chaminda Vaas at Middlesex.
"I am delighted with this opportunity to play county cricket after a short international career," Malinga said. He was approached earlier in the season, but had rejected the offer at the time.
The right-arm fast bowler, who is known for his fierce yorker, will be the third Sri Lankan to play at Canterbury following Aravinda De Silva and Muttiah Muralitharan.
He is due to return to Sri Lanka at the end of this month in time for the preparations for the Twenty20 world cup in South Africa, SLC officials said.