So you’re looking to move to Thailand as a Digital Nomad? We were too, which is why we spent a couple of weeks diving into all the Asian Digital Nomad Visas available and the Thailand Digital Nomad Visa. In this article, we’ll share all of the options we found for digital nomads wanting to live in Thailand.
This is information I have found from my own research and I wanted to share it. Please consult a professional before applying for Visas to see what your best options are.
Important note: with all Visa options you will have to report to the immigration bureau every 90 days
Does Thailand Have A Digital Nomad Visa? (TL;DR)
Yes. There is a Digital Nomad Visa for Thailand. It’s known as the Long Term Residence Visa, and offers 5 years of residency at first, with the option to expand it to 10 years if certain qualifications are met. You are tax exempt on overseas income and tax is a fixed rate of 17% for skilled professionals.
You are additionally able to re-enter the territory multiple times using the Leave To Remain Visa.
However, the Leave To Remain Visa is quite difficult to get compared to other Asian Digital Nomad Visas, and there are a lot of requirements.
Quick Visa Facts
Qualifying For The Long-Term Residence Visa (Thai Digital Nomad Visa)
There are quite a few options to make use of on the Long Term Residence Visa program. If you are a Digital Nomad with remote work, you want to check out the “Work from Thailand professional” Visa.
If you are interested, here are all the options for the Long Term Residence Visas and their requirements (you don’t need to tick all boxes):
- Work from Thailand Professionals
- $80,000 USD/year over the past 2 years
- Or no less than $40,000 USD/year in the past 2 years with a masters degree or own intellectual property
- A Public Company on the stock exchange or Private Company with 3 years of operation and 150 million USD revenue over the last 3 years
- 5 years work experience in the niche you have worked in. This is taken from the last 10 years of work experience you have
- Health insurance with 50,000 USD coverage or you must deposit 100,000 USD to cover any medical treatment
- $80,000 USD/year over the past 2 years
- Highly Skilled Professionals
- $80,000 USD/year over the past 2 years personal income
- Or no less than $40,000 USD/year in the past 2 years with a masters degree in relevant field of science for the job you have in Thailand
- If you are working for a Government agency you do not need a minimum income
- A Business in:
- Agricultural and Biotechnology Industries
- High Value Added Food Processing Industries
- Automation and Robotics Industries
- Aviation Industries
- Biofuel and Biochemical Industries
- Digital Industries
- 5 years experience in any of the above industries
- Support from higher education institutions, research, specialized training or Thai government agency institutions
- Health insurance that covers 50,000 USD or 100,000 USD deposit to cover medical care
- $80,000 USD/year over the past 2 years personal income
- Wealthy Global Citizens
- 1 million USD in assets (or above)
- Income of 80,000 USD per year in the last 2 years
- 500,000 USD investment in Thai bonds, property or foreign direct investment
- Must tick all of the above to apply
- Maximum 4 people allowed
- Must be legally married to you
- Same-sex marriage is currently not recognized in Thailand
- Children must be under 20 years old and must be legal dependents of applicant
- Health insurance of 50,000 USD or 25,000 USD deposit for each person
There are more options for different applicants, but the work from Thailand Visa is the best option for remote workers, as it is the only option where you do not have to get a job in Thailand or be a skilled professional.
Owning a successful business is a skill, but you won’t need anything like an important medical degree etc. to qualify for this specific Visa type.
We’ve left some images below to show you what documents you’ll exactly need to apply for the LTR Visa in Thailand:
Applying For The Thailand Digital Nomad Visa
To apply for the Thailand Digital Nomad Visa Thailand on the official website.
To apply for the Digital Nomad Visa for Thailand you must register on the Long Term Residence Visa website. Once you’ve registered, you pick the particular Visa type you want to apply for, and then you fill in the information as instructed. You can use this portal to check your application status and to add your dependents too.
Can I Just Work In Thailand on A Tourism Visa?
It depends on your type of work. If you are a Digital Nomad working on your business that earns money outside of Thailand, you are allowed to work on it during your stay. However, if you are taking work from a Thai citizen or offering a service to a Thai citizen, then you cannot conduct that work.
Essentially if you are not taking work from a Thai citizen or doing work a Thai citizen could do, then you are fine to work on your shop, business, website… whatever during your stay.
However, if you are offering services to Thai people or offering services cheaper from Thailand, exporting goods for sale etc. you must be a resident or have the correct Visa to be doing so.
Additionally, if you run a travel blog/YouTube channel that is entirely about Thailand, and Thailand is the only stop on your trip, you must get the correct Visa. If it is part of a bigger trip, you do not need the Visa.
The tourism Visa is extendable to 60 days maximum and you can enter Thailand up to 3 times per year.
We advise that you get the proper Visa for work in Thailand. If you are on holiday and managing your shop while on holiday this is fine, but going with the intention to work, you must get the proper permit.
Thailand Digital Nomad Visa Options
There are many other options for digital nomads who want to use Thai Visas to stay in the territory. We’ve listed them all below.
Thai Tourist Visa
You can use the tourism visa to stay in Thailand for 45 days. If you have a business that makes income outside of Thai jurisdiction, then you can work on that business during your stay. This Visa is extendable to 60 days, and will cost 1900 baht. You may enter Thailand 3 times per 6 months through plane and 2 times by land and sea in a year.
For most countries, you don’t have to apply for this Visa, and you will get it on arrival. To check the full list of countries that are exempt, please take a look at the official Thai embassy site.
We don’t recommend using the Tourist Visa to conduct business. It is meant for Tourism, not business. However, you can work on your shop if you are on holiday, and aren’t providing services to Thais, or taking any jobs that could be done by Thai people, you should be ok.
For exempt countries, you will automatically get a 45 day Visa pass to visit Thailand. This has recently been increased from 30 days.
There are only 18 countries that are currently on the 15 day Visa list. To see the full list of countries that aren’t exempt from Visas for tourism, check here.
Special Tourist Visa
Update: the special tourist Visa is no longer Valid as of 30th Sept 22
The STV was created to help with the drastic reduction in tourism during the COVID 19 pandemic. This Visa allows travellers to stay for up to 90 days in Thailand and it’s possible to renew twice. This gives a total of 270 days in the territory for Tourism purposes.
It’s a great choice for those wanting to travel pretty freely for extended periods of time.
To get the Special Tourist Visa you must fill these requirements:
- Have no criminal records in the country of application
- Must have permanent residence in the country applying from
- Must not have prohibitive diseases (drug addictions or highly contagious diseases)
- You must get Thai health insurance that covers 40,000 baht for outpatient and 400,000 baht for inpatient treatment
- Must have health insurance to cover medical expesnses with 100,000 USD coverage specifically mentioning COVID-19
- Must not work in Thailand or gain employment.
- Flight tickets or onward departure from Thailand confirmed
- Certificate of good conduct from the relevant government agency no longer than 3 months old
- A medical certificate issued from the country of application
- Proof of hotel booking for 14 day quarantine
- Proof of stay in Thailand for the entire duration, or proof of ownership of a condomonium
As you can see it’s quite a massive list of the things you need in order to get this Visa. Additionally you’ll notice that it hasn’t caught up with the latest in COVID 19 developments. It is best to talk to your local Thai government embassy about this.
The Smart Visa is another Visa that most digital nomads won’t be eligible for due to the pretty high and strict standards. And, it was the closest thing to a Digital Nomad Visa until the release of the Long Term Residence Visa.
This Visa type is primarily for business owners and highly skilled workers who are sponsored by Thai companies to come and work in Thailand.
To start up a company in Thailand for the Smart Visa, if you don’t have a registered Thai adress, you can use coworking spaces in Thailand to register a business, which will give you the means to begin operating.
You can get a business Visa if you own and set up a company in Thailand. This is an extremely difficult process, but will grant you access to live and run a company in Thailand as long as you meet the requirements.
To do this you must get an address from a coworking space in Thailand, then use this address to register the company. You will then need to use this registered company to essentially sponsor yourself for a business Visa.
We would recommend consulting some legal help on how to do this if you want to go down this route.
You can additionally make use of a service like Shelter, that provide Employer sponsorship for you and your employees. Essentially you use this service to become “employed” by them, they can then provide the required sponsorship you need to obtain a business Visa.
This allows you to test business ventures in Thailand without being tied down to the country.
These are the requirements you need to use these services:
- Security deposit, to be returned on completion of contract: 2,000 USD
- Visa and Work Permit fees (paid at the Thai Embassy or Consulate where the visa application is submitted, and at Immigration in Chiang Mai or Bangkok when obtaining your work permit): 155-275 USD
- Shelter service fee, a flat fee charged per employee per month: 550 USD
- Tax and Social Security payments (starting at 30 USD per month)
Thai Elite Visa
You can additionally buy your way to free travel in Thailand, making use of the Thailand Elite Visa programs. These give you up to 1-year stay in Thailand, with multiple entries. You also get special VIP treatment, limos from the airport, access to exclusive lounges, faster track immigration, and more.
There are multiple packages available for the Thai Elite Visa and they are constantly changing so please check: thailandelite.com/membership/ for more details.
Retirement Visa (For Over 50)
If you’re over 50 years old, you can make use of 2 different retirement Visas:
- Non immigrant O – 1 year, renew every year
- Non immigrant O-X – 5 years, renew every 5 years, allowed child up to 20 on Visa
There are some differences in the two Visas that you’ll want to know about. For instance, on the Non immigrant O Visa, you cannot work, start a business or even purchase a Vehicle in Thailand.
With the O-X Visa, you can purchase a condominium, a vehicle, and bring a child for up to 20 years on your Visa. You can additionally work as a volunteer for companies stipulated by Thai government agencies, but you can’t be employed or start a company.
Not the best option for digital nomads, but worth it if you own a business outside of Thai jurisdiction and don’t use Thai resources to profit in your business.
Learn more about the retirement visa here: https://www.thaievisa.go.th/long-stay-visa
One of the most sought-after Digital Nomad Visas has been Thailand and for good reason. The food is fantastic here, the people are incredibly friendly and the safety of the country is extremely high, with healthcare being top-notch at a low cost.
It’s a brilliant place to work, with great, cheap coworking space options, fast WiFi, and more.
Unfortunately being a Digital Nomad in Thailand was much more difficult before, until recently when Thailand released a new Visa aimed at bringing Digital Nomads and highly skilled workers to the country.
Thailand has a Digital Nomad Visa called the Work from Thailand Long Residency Visa. Using this program you can stay an initial 5 years, with the option to extend to 10. You will also be tax exempt on any income from outside of Thailand, with only 17% income tax on skilled professional work in Thailand.
You can apply for this Visa by using the official website here.
We’re Harry & Iris – and we were tired of the same old “10 best places I’ve never been but I’m writing about for some reason” blog posts. So… we’re two young travelers on a mission to travel the world and share our true, unfiltered experience, including all the gristly details. From packing our life into one bag for a year to traveling Vietnam by motorbike, to sorting out Visas for specific countries – we’ve done it all, are doing it all and only give our advice on things we have done – not regurgitated cr*p from another source *cough* most publications *cough*. So bear with us! This project will take some time to grow, and will take a fair bit of money. But we’re determined to make it the single best source of information about traveling on the internet.