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The new Smart Visa and digital nomads

Tim Newton

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PHOTO: neverendingvoyage.com

The new Smart Visa might be a visa solution for some, but not all, of the ‘digital nomads’ that have been become ubiquitous in Thailand, from all over the world. Whereas the young professionals might have taken off around the world on a break between their schooling and the start of their professional careers, now they’re taking their professional careers along with them and logging in to their job remotely from some far flung cafe overlooking rice paddies in Chiang Mai for a beach in Phuket.

Digital nomads come in all shapes and sizes, professions and ages. In common will be their laptop and all their accessories and spare batteries spread over a table in a cafe offering free wi-fi. They can be backpackers-with-a-laptop or high-end executives making squillions by playing the stock and financial markets.

Cafes don’t particularly like the digital nomads because they buy one coffee and sit, taking up a table, for hours whilst they log in and do whatever they do. The new trend of co-working spaces are also a popular temporary office for the digital nomad.

Here’s the story of one young Australian digital nomad, Chris, with his top six destinations in Thailand for the digital nomad life.

Here are the most popular professions for the digital nomad.

  • Website or App Development
  • eCommerce Entrepreneurship
  • Online marketing
  • Infopreneurship, blogging & affiliate marketing
  • Copywriting / Content writing and production
  • Web, UI and graphic design
  • Coaching & consulting
  • Software entrepreneurship

There are also professional bloggers and travel writers who gain a social media following and create enough audience to attract advertisers and product endorsements.

Up to now, they’ve usually just played the Tourist Visa game and do the visa runs and border crossings to stay in the Kingdom.

But, will the new Smart Visa be of any assistance to them?

According to the scant information on the new Smart Visa, it will apply to a fairly narrow band of skill sets Thai authorities want to attract – IT, ‘tech’ industries, health. The visa has also been designed to allow investors to be able to work and live in the Kingdom. The precise list and aunts of investment required have not been made clear at this stage. According to the information we do have, applicants for the new Smart Visa will need to prove a monthly income of 200,000 baht per month, probably more than most digital nomads make.

The new Smart Visa and digital nomads | News by Thaiger

Bottomline: Consult your Thai Embassy or Thai immigration office before applying. And we’ll keep you up to date with the requirements of the new Smart Visa when they become avialable.

Here’s some more information and resources for digital nomads from the neverendingvoyage.com HERE.

 

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Dan

    Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 8:57 am

    I am from Malaysia and I’m planning to move to Chiangmai to live and work as a digital nomad. I plan to set up an online e-commerce store that sells computer hardware parts and peripherals and at the same time create my own YouTube channel to generate some side income. My suppliers will be from Taiwan and customers will be from Thailand and outside of Thailand. I definitely do not foresee myself making THB200,000 a month and hence do not qualify for a Smart visa. Can you advise what kind of work visa would be suitable for me? Appreciate your feedback. Cheers!

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Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Chiang Mai. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2012. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for nearly 40 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program, presented 3,900 radio news bulletins in Thailand alone, hosted 450 daily TV news programs, produced 1,800 videos, TV commercials and documentaries and is now the General Manager and writer for The Thaiger. He's reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue.

Crime

Murder of Thai wife may have been 2nd attempt by US man

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Jason Balzar, pictured with his wife before he murdered her, and during his arrest. (via uk.granthshala.com)

The American man accused of the murder of his Thai wife in Chiang Mai has now confessed to the brutal crime. And it may not have been the first time he tried to kill her. The 32 year old man, who was a computer programmer in the United States, admitted that he killed his wife while she was 3-months pregnant. Jason Matthew Balzar is now in custody at Muang Nan police station and has reportedly told police that he stabbed his wife Pitchaporn “Som O” Kidchob in the chest with a knife while she slept.

Police said after stabbing his wife, Jason put her body in a plastic bag and dumped it on the side of the road on Ban Srikerd-Samun Road, about 10 kilometres from their rented home at Tambon Chaiyasathan in the Muang district. A crime re-enactment was held at their home, a common occurrence in Thailand for police to piece together criminal acts and record details.

The murder was not Jason’s first accusation of violent crime, with details surfacing of his 2019 conviction for threatening to murder a woman in the US. There is unconfirmed speculation that the victim of that attack was the same Thai wife murder victim, but in Colorado domestic violence cases withhold the names of victims.

He was sentenced to 2 years of probation after an attack in Longmont, Colorado that was originally charged as attempted murder, but lessened due to a technicality. According to the arrest report, Jason attacked her after she refused sex, hitting her head and pointing a gun at her, which fired near her head. He was again arrested for violating his probation by possessing 73 guns in December 2020.

After confessing to killing his pregnant Thai wife, Jason is being charged with the murder and with concealing her body. The American man claimed that he decided to kill her in her sleep because he was upset that she wanted to leave him. The couple had plenty of rough patches with frequent arguments being common in their household.

The victim’s family don’t believe the murder was a sudden crime of passion. Her sister and mother said they have often seen him carrying a knife.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Thailand

American arrested for alleged murder in Chiang Mai has past record of abuse in Colorado

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Facebook/ตำรวจภูธรจังหวัดน่าน

The American man who was recently arrested for allegedly murdering his pregnant Thai wife in Chiang Mai had been sentenced to 2 years of probation back in 2019 on assault charges after his gun went off while he was threatening a woman in Colorado. A report from the Associated Press says it appears to be the same woman.

Jason Matthew Balzer, 32, had initially faced attempted murder charges for assaulting a woman in Longmont, Colorado, but those charges were dropped. A Boulder District Attorney’s Office spokesperson told a local reporter in a previous report that “in every case, we need witnesses to testify at a trial. Unfortunately, due to issues with the victim’s availability, the higher charge had to be dismissed.”

The victim had called the police saying Jason had asked to have sex and then assaulted her when she said “no,” according to the arrest report. She told police he hit her face and slammed her head onto the bed’s headboard several times before taking out a revolver and threatening to kill her, the report says. The woman told police she pushed the gun and it went off near her head.

Balzer pled guilty to third-degree assault in December 2019 and was sentenced to 2 years of probation. In December 2020, Jason was arrested in Colorado after police allegedly found 73 guns in his van. Possession of firearms is a violation of probation. It’s unclear when Jason travelled to Thailand.

Since the case in Colorado involved a victim of domestic violence, the name was redacted in public court records, but a spokesperson for the District Attorney’s Office told AP reporters that the victim has the same name as the woman killed in Thailand. Based on photographs, the spokesperson says they appear to be the same person.

On Thursday, Jason was arrested in Chiang Mai. Reports say he confessed to stabbing and killing his wife, 32 year old Pitchaporn Kidchop, who was 3 months pregnant. Police say Jason sealed his wife’s body in a garbage bin before taking it to the woods about 5 kilometres away. In Thailand, a murder charge carries a maximum penalty of death.

Local police posted photos of the crime reenactment on Facebook. In Thailand, it is common for suspects to admit to crimes and reenactment the crimes to law enforcement officers and the press.

 

SOURCE: Time Call | Associated Press

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Chiang Mai sees 2 elderly deaths from UK Covid variant including French woman

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Chiang Mai province is reporting the deaths of 2 elderly women from the UK Covid-19 variant, including a French woman. The provinces death toll is now 9 according to the governor. The 81 year old French woman was suffering from high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes. She fell down on April 22 and received treatment at a hospital. After coming home, she started feeling Covid-like symptoms and was readmitted to the hospital on April 26. Doctors say she succumbed to the UK variant of the virus on May 3.

The second death was that of an 87 year old woman who had diabetes and kidney issues. She reportedly contracted the UK variant of the virus from a family member. She was admitted to the hospital on April 27 with Covid-like symptoms and died on May 3 as well.

Chiang Mai health officials recently reported a new cluster of the UK Covid-19 variant, as it was discovered in people who went to a Lotus market in Ruam Chok. The new cluster yielded 9 new infections. Today, Chiang Mai is reporting 33 new, daily infections. But 244 Chiang Mai Central Prison inmates are also infected but are not being included in the daily count. The prisoners are being counted in a ‘Bubble & Seal’ cluster.

Chiang Mai University and Mae Jo University field hospitals are planning to close next week. They currently have 46 and 90 patients respectively. A group of 125 people in Chiang Dao, who are considered to be high-risk, have been tested, with results to come tomorrow.

The tally for Covid-related infections and deaths reported over the past 24 hours reports 19 new deaths and 2,419 cases. There have been 52,411 confirmed Covid-19 infections in the recent outbreak with more than 16,000 cases in Bangkok, the epicentre of infections.

Over the past week, new clusters of Covid-19 infections have been detected in crowded Bangkok neighbourhoods, including the Khlong Toey slum. Poor communities in Bangkok have been seen as vulnerable to coronavirus outbreaks as people live in close proximity to each other and many cannot afford to stop working to abide by stay-at-home orders.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

 

 

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