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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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Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2012. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for 41 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program, presented over 10,000 radio news bulletins, 3,900 in Thailand alone, hosted 650 daily TV news programs and produced 2,100 videos, TV commercials and documentaries. As founder of The Thaiger, Tim now acts as the Content Manager and head-writer, whilst supervising the growth of the YouTube channel. He's reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue and other major stories in Thailand.

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