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Thailand proposes digital nomad visa among others to benefit expats, economy

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Stock photo via Stocksnap.io

Thailand has always been a favourite of long-term travellers, and staying longer in the country may be getting easier. As the country was recently voted the best in which to live for digital nomads, allowing such workers to stay may be the key to boosting the economy. With pristine beaches, cheap living costs, and modern cafes with some of the fastest internet speeds in the world, the country is all but ready to allow in a different kind of expat.

Cafe at True Urban Park, Siam Paragon | Matthew Klein | Flickr

True Urban Park, Siam Paragon

Now, against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, more and more people have indicated that they are quite keen to work from home. And, The Tourism Authority of Thailand is taking note by proposing to give 4 groups of travellers visa and investment incentives to stay in the country.

One of those groups is that of the digital nomad, in which visas designated for such workers are gaining popularity worldwide. Wealthy travellers, retirees, and highly-skilled workers are also being considered in the new plans to boost Thailand’s economy.

Chinese tourist lady with umbrella in Thailand | Chinese Tourists | Flickr

Currently, foreigners are not allowed to work without securing a work permit in the country. Moreover, buying land or property is also not possible with existing laws. But, the new proposal would make such obstacles possible for those approved groups. The TAT has put forth specific criteria, that the groups must meet in order to qualify. If these are met, it could secure a 10 year visa for any of the groups.

For those interested in gaining a digital nomad visa, proof of earning $40,000 USD per year is required, along with having health insurance coverage of at least $100,000 USD. Wealthy people, must submit proof of having $1 million USD in assets and at least $80,000 USD in income over the past 2 years when applying. Furthermore, they must invest $500,000 USD in Thai real estate or government bonds.

Retirees must prove they are 50 years of age and over and have an annual income of $40,000 USD. They must invest in Thai real estate or government bonds at a minimum of $250,000 USD. Those who are skilled workers must have the same income requirement. All groups must additionally secure $100,000 USD worth of coverage in health insurance before being allowed to enter. That health insurance must include Covid-19 coverage.

krabi-beach-3612x2214-thailand-best-beaches-in-the-world-t… | Flickr

Krabi beach

Regardless of your wishes to stay in Thailand, hopes are abound as the Thai government is pushing for more types of visas that benefit both the country and travellers at the same time. As Thailand is preparing to open its doors to international tourists in the near future, those looking at this beautiful southeastern Asian country may finally plan a new life by the country’s world-class beaches.

 

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Ian Bromley

    Thursday, June 10, 2021 at 2:44 pm

    Which digital nomad is going to come to a country with state surveillance of messaging and censorship of sites?

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Thursday, June 10, 2021 at 3:20 pm

    Because if the do not they are not going to collect 17 percent income tax, and the way they are going they will not collect any income tax from ferangs.

  3. Avatar

    Dreqo

    Thursday, June 10, 2021 at 3:41 pm

    Those visas all seem wildly way more beneficial to the issuers than the recipients.
    You’ll have less than 100 takers, combined, and that’s probably quite a generous guesstimate. The fact that the “rules” could arbitrarily be changed overnight and are subject to a huge variety of interpretations by different provinces, is reason enough that these will never take-off.

  4. Avatar

    Bonehead

    Thursday, June 10, 2021 at 4:41 pm

    Can hardly wait.

    500,000 USD already waiting to spend on property and propping up the junta’s generals for a ten year stay.

    And then what?

    A kick up the butt and an “on your way, laddie”?

    LoL.

  5. Avatar

    Gogalon

    Thursday, June 10, 2021 at 5:13 pm

    Proven income of US $ 40,000 per year is guaranteed citizenship of Portugal, France, Germany or Italy. Why would digital nomads go to places where human life is cheaper than the life of a stray dog?

  6. Avatar

    Mister Stretch

    Thursday, June 10, 2021 at 5:25 pm

    “Retirees must prove they are 50 years of age and over and have an annual income of $40,000 USD. They must invest in Thai real estate or government bonds at a minimum of $250,000 USD.”

    Pipe dream this, 40K coming in annually PLUS a quarter-million dollar investment in Thai property or government bonds?

    I bet they don’t find many that would do that, because anyone with that kind of money would have done their due diligence and see how expats are treated in this country.

  7. Avatar

    Mr cynic

    Thursday, June 10, 2021 at 5:54 pm

    Most of the digital nomads I keep in touch with legally trade large amounts of money in the world’s major bourses free of any taxes.they are not fools.they like the nomadic bit of the title,it’s not through necessity it’s through choice.you can have taxes on point of sales items that they use in your country and that’s it.if you don’t want it somebody else will is their attitude and I’m inclined to agree with them.all the ones I know find such schemes laughable.if anything they will simply go else where so the country will end up with nothing at all from them.its a big competitive world.

  8. Avatar

    Big Ben

    Thursday, June 10, 2021 at 6:23 pm

    Ann, why don’t you go along to the Thaiger and introduce yourself to Neill Fronde?

    He wrote the same thing four days ago.

  9. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Thursday, June 10, 2021 at 10:52 pm

    “Proven income of US $ 40,000 per year is guaranteed citizenship of Portugal, France, Germany or Italy”

    I agree that all these proposals are absurd, as I’ve commented in the other articles on this, but FWIW there’s absolutely NO WAY that just having a “proven income of US $ 40,000 per year” is guaranteed citizenship of Portugal, France, Germany or Italy”.

    That’s just wrong. It meets one of the requirements for for residency, but absolutely NOT “citizenship”.

  10. Avatar

    Stewart Pearson

    Friday, June 11, 2021 at 2:50 am

    Is it not time to stop driving tourists away with these crazy rules, just why not do like Singapore and Malaysia do and welcome tourists on a free 90 days visa before you have to leave the country so so simple

  11. Avatar

    Nikko

    Friday, June 11, 2021 at 3:17 am

    with that investment budget there are tax havens that even give you 100k passport). these government proposals are out of business. these thai politicians believe they are crafty and with these proposals they insult farangs

  12. Avatar

    Alex

    Friday, June 11, 2021 at 10:21 am

    they really like to count other people’s money in Thailand

  13. Avatar

    Ham Horney

    Friday, June 11, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    Digital nomads shall be locked up for 7-14 days in overpriced hotels like every other filthy farang. Their pools shall stay closed. Now go ahead and invest.

  14. Avatar

    I. P. Freely

    Friday, June 11, 2021 at 5:20 pm

    Sod those assine suggestions. Invest your hard earned money into Thailand as a requirement to live here?? When Pigs Fly. For those of us who have been here for over ten years think back to how many times Thai Immigration have changed the rules concerning long term stay. Trust Thai Immigration once again?? They want our money but not us.

  15. Avatar

    Steve

    Friday, June 11, 2021 at 6:44 pm

    Beaches are dirty its expensive the visas being proposed are ridiculoys for 99% people.

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Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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