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

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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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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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