Thailand Digital Nomad Visa | A Guide by Remote Year
23. Jan. 2023
There are a variety of digital nomad visas which you can choose from when planning your trip to Thailand. Make sure to read the requirements for each option to see if you're eligible.
You can apply for a digital nomad visa online or by booking an appointment with a representative from your local embassy.
Thailand offers lots of useful resources to digital nomads, such as comfortable accommodations, accessible coworking spaces, and efficient public transportation.
Some of the best destinations for digital nomads in Thailand include Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
Are you a digital nomad on the hunt for a new destination? Well, we might just have the perfect spot for you! Thailand - a beautiful and colorful country located in Southeast Asia, known for its stunning beaches, delicious cuisine, and rich culture. It's also known to be one of the top locations within the digital nomad community.
From its rural towns and quiet little islands packed with tropical vegetation to its big and lively cities full of opportunities, Thailand has a lot to offer to anyone who's looking to venture out and take their work along the way.
One of the main things you need to prepare before your journey is your Thailand digital nomad visa. But how should you go about applying for it, where exactly should you go to make it worth your travel, and how much will it cost? These are probably some of the questions you're asking yourself right now. Worry not, we've prepared this guide to make this process easier for you and tell you everything you need to know before you hop on the plane.
What Is A Digital Nomad Visa?
Just like any other official document, thedigital nomad visa is crucial when you're traveling to certain foreign countries. It allows you to live and work abroad for up to six months at a time, depending on the country you're visiting.
Ever since the pandemic, the whole concept of working remotely has become much more popular and acceptable, allowing people to truly experience thenomad lifestyle and satisfy their feeling of wanderlust while still making a living. As a result, many countries, including Thailand, introduced the digital nomad visa as a way to cater to that adventurous group of working travelers.
Before the pandemic, most remote workers would rely on the tourist visa, which only lasts around two months, with the possibility of receiving a one-month extension. However, since the country's tourism industry was slowly plummeting and causing great damage to its overall economy, the Thai government had no other choice but to look into new ways of attracting and welcoming more visitors. There are a number of different visa options one could choose from, each depending on the income and business plans of the visa holder.
The Types Of Thailand Digital Nomad Visas
As we already mentioned above, one of the most popular types of visas for people who are working in Thailand is the tourist visa. You can apply for it at the Office of Immigration Bureau or through their website. You can get one for a maximum stay of 60 days, however, it's possible to apply for an extension of another 30 days, which needs to be approved by the Thai immigration officer.
The usual tourist visa fee is equivalent to around US $30, however, as the cost could be subject to change, we would advise you to get in touch with your nearest embassy to get a more accurate idea. Unfortunately, you won't be able to get a work permit in Thailand on a tourist visa. Nevertheless, the Thai government is not too strict when it comes to digital nomads working remotely in the country as long as they're not interfering with the local economy.
Furthermore, there is alist of countries that are a part of the Thailand Visa Exemption Scheme. If you're a citizen of any of those countries, you won't be required to apply for a visa when traveling to Thailand. If you enter the country as a tourist up until March 31st, 2023, you will be allowed to stay for a maximum duration of 45 days. Similar to the regular tourist visa, you could work in Thailand remotely during your visit.
The Thai government has also introduced the Smart Visa, set up by the Thailand Board of Investment. It's not necessarily the most suitable visa for digital nomads. It's meant to attract a more niche group of wealthy and highly skilled investors, entrepreneurs, and professionals who are interested in getting a work permit and investing in targeted industries in Thailand.
There are five separate types of Smart Visa, however, you can only apply if you're earning a significantly higher salary with more than 5 years of work experience in a company with sky-high revenues. The Smart Visa permits you to stay in the Kingdom of Thailand for up to 4 years. There is more than one type of smart visa, and here we've listed some of the requirements you'd need to meet:
The Smart T (Talent) is for experts within the science and technology field with a monthly salary of more than 100k baht.
The Smart I (Investor) is for people who are interested in directly investing a minimum of 20 million baht into technology-based businesses.
The Smart E (Executive) is for high-level executives who hold a Bachelor's degree or higher with more than 10 years of work experience and a salary of more than 200k baht per month.
The Smart S (Startup) is for technology-based startup entrepreneurs who are required to establish a firm within 1 year in Thailand. They need to have at least 25% ownership and a 600k baht deposit which has been retained for a minimum of 3 months.
The Smart O (Other) is for any legal dependents of Smart Visa holders, such as spouses and children.
Digital Nomad Visa
The digital nomad visa in Thailand is basically a long-term residency visa. It's valid for up to 10 years and is supposed to attract wealthy digital nomads and ex-pats who can essentially drive and improve the economy of Thailand. If you're an experienced long-term traveler with around $50k of health insurance coverage and a sufficient salary of $80k/year, then the Thai digital nomad visa is definitely the one for you!
Nowadays, this type of visa is gaining more and more popularity, especially among high-skilled workers, retirees, and wealthy travelers. Since the pandemic, the Kingdom of Thailand has benefited a lot from opening its doors to international remote workers and tourists. People from all over the world who have met the requirements and qualified for a digital nomad visa are now able to reside and work in the country and boost its economy significantly.
Who Can Apply for the Thailand Digital Nomad Visa?
As we previously explained, your eligibility for a Thai digital nomad visa depends on the type of visa you're looking to get. Nonetheless, some of the most common criteria include:
being over 18 years of age
having a job that allows you to work remotely from anywhere in the world
earning around $80k per year
How to Apply for Thailand’s Digital Nomad Visa
Now that we've told you about some of the types of Thai digital nomad visas, it's time to move on to the application process. Depending on which visa you choose, some of the application guidelines may vary, but we'll make sure to summarize the key things you would need to consider.
First, you would need to check if you're eligible to fill out and submit your application online. Simply go on theE-Visa website and select the country of your permanent residence. If you're eligible, you can create a profile, fill in the application form and upload all of the required supporting documents.
Some of these include your proof of financial means and the evidence of your outbound travel from Thailand. Make sure to go through the list of documents carefully so you can prepare everything in advance. After that, all you have to do is wait for your visa to be processed and approved so you can print it out and present it to the Thai immigration officials before your flight.
Some visa applications could require you to pay a visit to your local embassy, where you can schedule an appointment for a face-to-face evaluation. Get your documents ready and bring them along to your appointment.
Accommodation in Thailand
Just like any other country, Thailand offers a wide range of accommodation possibilities that can vary depending on a number of factors. Some of these factors include the quality of said accommodation, as well its location. Living in Thailand is usually quite affordable, especially compared to the cost of living in other countries like the US.
If you're visiting Bangkok, the housing prices would probably be slightly more expensive than the ones in Chiang Mai, for instance. Depending on the size and quality of accommodation you're looking for, the cost could vary between $200 to more than $500 per month. In Chiang Mai, if you're looking to rent a one-bedroom studio apartment, it would cost you around $200/month, whereas, in the capital, it would be $300/month and over.
In case you're looking for something more spacious with a better location and access to utilities, in Chiang Mai, it would cost you around $500/month, whereas in Bangkok, it would be more than $800/month. (source: Expatistan.com)
If you’re interested in embarking on a long-term vacation, you may want to consider joining our 12-month Remote Year Journey, where Chiang Mai also happens to be one of the incredible destinations on the itinerary. We take care of details like accommodations and transportation so you can explore a new country each month with our community - without worrying about the logistics!
Coworking Spaces in Thailand
Coworking spaces in Thailand have gained a lot more recognition since the country started welcoming more digital nomads. Nowadays, they can be found anywhere from the very heart of cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai to more rural destinations by the sandy beaches. If you check out ourtips for working remotely, you can plan out your days in advance and choose the best spot that fits your work ethic and caters to your passion for exploring.
Most importantly, coworking spaces in Thailand are known to offer a number of perks, like comfortable office desks, private rooms for meetings, ultra-fast WiFi, and unlimited coffee. Sounds pretty neat, right? If you're looking for coworking spots in Bangkok, you can check outNapLab, an innovative space where you can combine your hard work with a good old nap. Aside from its comfortable amenities, NapLab is also quite affordable, with a single desk on a first-come, first-served basis costing you up to $10/day.
In case you're visiting Chiang Mai, we suggest booking a space atYellow. With a top central location, this coworking spot offers a range of useful services that every digital nomad would love. From private rooms for streaming to international power sockets all over the place, Yellow Coworking is a great and inexpensive space for getting your work done with a hot desk costing up to $8/day.
Here at Remote Year, we help set remote workers up for success by taking care of logistics like accommodations and workspaces so you can stay productive on the road and connect with our community. We also vet locations and workspaces to ensure the right infrastructure is in place for you to get your work done.
"Thailand is a great destination for digital nomads. Many nomads love it here because there are good accommodations and nice coworking spaces. If you want to work and travel abroad, Thailand is one of the best choices.”
Kritsana J. Remote Year City Coordinator, Chiang Mai
Internet Connection in Thailand
When visiting Thailand, you don't have to worry about getting stuff done online in a foreign country. The internet speed is pretty fast, in fact, it's the seventh fastest internet speed in the whole world. Their average broadband speed is around 225.17 Mbps.
You can get free WiFi in pretty much every bar, restaurant, and coffee shop in the big cities. Additionally, you can purchase affordable mobile data in order to stay connected even when you're on the go.
Networking in Thailand
You would be surprised at the number of networking groups and communities for digital nomads in Thailand that already exist. There are a lot of fellow traveling enthusiasts doing remote work in foreign countries that are willing to share their experiences and recommendations with the world. If you're interested in networking with people who can provide some helpful insights on visiting Thailand, there are certain Facebook groups you can join in order to build your professional relationships.
Whether you're an experienced digital nomad or you're just starting out, you're more than welcome to follow one of the most active and fast-growing online communities -Digital Nomad Ventures. Rest assured, you'll get all the support you need, gathering valuable information on traveling to Thailand.
If you're on the lookout for a more area-specific online community, you can check out Facebook groups such asPhuket Nomads, where you'll learn all the tips and tricks on residing and networking on the beautiful island of Phuket.
The best part is, if you join one of our Remote Year travel programs, we're pretty much going to do the networking for you. You'll get to travel alongside adventurers such as yourself and build long-lasting relationships with like-minded individuals!
Cost of Living in Thailand
When it comes to the cost of living in Thailand, it is generally very affordable. For example, Bangkok is definitely one of the most expensive cities in the country, and yet it's relatively inexpensive in comparison to America.
Considering Thailand is one of the top culinary hotspots for avid foodies, both eating out and cooking at home can help you save up on food altogether. The trick is to stick to the local meals, which won't cost you more than $10.
Public transportation is also pretty cheap. You can purchase a monthly train pass for around $35 or even rent a scooter for $70/month to roam around the scenic roads.
As a result, if you know where to go and how to spend your money responsibly, you'll probably pay up to $1,500/month to live in Thailand, including accommodation, work, food, and transportation.
Taxes for Digital Nomads in Thailand
The best thing about living and working remotely in Thailand for a limited amount of time is that you don't have to pay taxes. For instance, if you stay in the country for less than 6 months while also working for a foreign company, you only have to take care of your taxes in your country of permanent residence.
However, there's an exception if you remain in Thailand for more than 6 months on either the Smart Visa or the Thai digital nomad visa. In that case, you would also have to file and pay taxes in the Kingdom. Even so, if your income is more than $140k, your tax rate would be significantly lower, and instead of paying 35%, you would only have to pay 17%.
Why is Thailand a Great Destination for Digital Nomads?
Are you still not convinced Thailand is one of the greatest destinations for digital nomads? Well, sit tight because we're going to change your mind!
Working from home is not easy. In truth, it can feel rather uninspiring and mundane. That's why we're here to introduce you to a new and improved way of living and teach youhow to work remotely and travel at the same time. Becoming a digital nomad can give you a sense of freedom and independence while still preserving your career.
Thailand is a wonderful place to explore that unique lifestyle and open your eyes to its amazing culture and unlimited opportunities. You can immerse yourself in the country's beautiful nature, delve deeper into its rich history, relish its delicious local food and drinks and form new and meaningful connections while still maintaining a low cost of living.
So pack your bags and get ready for a one-of-a-kindworkation in the extraordinary Kingdom of Thailand!
Best Places in Thailand for Digital Nomads
Known as the digital nomad capital of the world, Chiang Mai is a lovely city in Northern Thailand full of tropical forests and ancient religious landmarks. Apart from its great coworking spaces, such asYellow, this popular destination can offer amazing and affordable accommodation options, as well as breathtaking cultural sights and viewpoints.
Being the capital of Thailand, Bangkok and its bustling streets and cosmopolitan atmosphere are sure to win your heart, especially if you enjoy the big city life. It's the most expensive city in the country, and yet it's still more affordable compared to a lot of other western countries. It's famous for its vibrant nightlife, traditional markets, and spectacular shopping centers.
In addition, Bangkok offers great accommodation, affordable and high-speed WiFi, efficient public transportation, and an abundance of modern coworking spaces likeNapLab.
If you would like to visit Thailand's most picturesque sandy beaches, then Phuket is definitely the place to go. From its gorgeous sunsets to its stunning Buddhist temples, this busy island truly takes your breath away. Despite being full of tourist attractions, Phuket can also offer lots of accommodation and coworking options.
If you're not a fan of overcrowding, it might be worth visiting the island during the off-season, as it can get quite busy during the summer.
What Is It Actually Like for Digital Nomads in Thailand?
So what is it actually like living in Thailand as a digital nomad? Well, one thing's for sure - you'll never get bored. Yes, it might seem quite scary and challenging at first, but it's also a wonderful way of getting out of your comfort zone and bringing more color to both your work and private life.
There are plenty of digital nomads on social media, specifically on YouTube, who've decided to share their stories and overall experience as working travelers in Thailand. On their journeys, they've all come face to face with the benefits of living and working in this country. Some of these nomadic bloggers includeChris the Freelancer andBrett Dev, who are both location-independent web developers. Make sure to check out their YouTube channels to learn more about life as a digital nomad in Thailand.
All in all, whether you're an experienced digital nomad or simply a bored remote worker looking for a little adventure and excitement, Thailand should most definitely be at the top of your list! We told you all about the country's top destinations, its plenitude of useful resources, and how exactly to prepare for your journey.
We hope we've managed to convince and encourage you to explore your freedom and independence and allow yourself to have a little bit of fun without having to give up your career! So jump right in and get to planning your next trip to the magical Kingdom of Thailand!
Frequently Asked Questions