Digital Nomad Tax

Digital Nomad Visa Thailand: 2024 Guide

Thailand is one of those countries in Southeast Asia that is massively popular with digital nomads. Therefore, we will look into the digital nomad visa Thailand.

It’s no surprise Thailand is so popular with digital nomads from all around the world. The first reason is that Thailand is still very affordable. Your cost of living does of course depend on your lifestyle. Yet, if have a standard income to Western standards, you’ll live like a king or queen in Thailand. Apart from the cost of living, Thailand does offer great beaches, a huge range of nature and for the culture loving nomad: tempels.

What some people don’t know about Thailand is that it can also be a good place to have your tax residency. Although Thailand did stricten its rules as from 2024, it is still worth considering the country to establish your tax residency. Nevertheless, Thailand comes with one main disadvantage in this respect. In order to become a tax resident of Thailand, you need to spend at least 180 days per year in the country. If you like to wander around the world for the bigger part of the year, you will have other options to optimize your taxes. If you do like Thailand and don’t mind spending there six months per year, it can be a great tax play.

However, in order to become a tax resident somewhere, you first need to assess if you are able to actually spend time in that country. This is the question about residency or obtaining a long-term visa. Therefore, we’ll have a look at the digital nomad visa Thailand and the other options out there.

digital nomad visa Thailand

Visa Runs

Many digital nomads who travel to Thailand do this on just a simple tourist visa instead of a digital nomad visa Thailand. Most people would get a tourist visa for 60 days on arrival. Afterwards you could extent this visa for another 30 days. Therefore, you could stay a total of 90 days.

After those 90 days you would leave the country. However, unlike for example for the Schengen Area, there is no real requirement to leave the country for a certain amount of time. Hence, many people make a so called visa run. This basically means that you leave the country for like a day by traveling to a neighbouring country. Upon your return to Thailand, you again receive a tourist visa for another 60 days, extendable to 90 days.

However, this practice is being scrutinized by the Thai authorities in order to encourage people to make sure they obtain a proper visa fit for their situation. Therefore, we see that Thai rules probably will get stricter in this respect. Furthermore, they sometimes also differ depending if you arrive over land or by air travel.

Yet, there are still plenty of options to obtain a visa for Thailand.

30 Day Tourist Visa Exemption

Many people won’t need a visa if they will stay for a maximum of 30 days. They can just enter Thailand without the need to apply for any digital nomad visa Thailand or even pay any fee. However, you do need proof of an outbound flight. Nevertheless, many of you might like Thailand so much that you want to stay longer than 30 days. In that case you can extent your visa once for 30 more days so you can stay 60 days in total. The cost of the extension is THB 1.900.

If you don’t qualify for the visa exemption, you might be eligible for a visa on arrival for 15 days. This visa can be extended for 7 more days so you can stay 22 days in total. The cost for this extention is THB 2.000 and also in this case you need an outbound flight.

In which category you fall will depend on your passport. You can find an overview on this website from the Thai government.

2 Month Single Entry Tourist Visa

Another option is to immediately apply for a 60 days tourist visa. The application fee ranges from $30-50. You can apply with a Thai embassy or online. You can extent the visa for 30 more days once you are in Thailand. In this way you get 90 days in total. The fee for the extention is THB 1.900.

You will need an outbound flight and proof of accomodation. Once you leave the country, the visa becomes void as it’s a single entry visa.

6 Month Multiple Entry Tourist Visa

The six month multiple entry tourist visa is an advanced version of the two month single entry tourist visa. The visa also allows you to stay in Thailand for 60 days and you can extent for 30 more days at the same cost of THB 1.900. Afterwards, you need to leave the country (briefly). However, the difference with the aforementioned visa is thus that you can keep reentering during those six months and you don’t need to apply for a new visa all the time.

The main issue with the six month multiple entry tourist visa is that you need to apply for it from your home country which is not convenient for most digital nomads.

Retirement Visa

The O Visa aims for retired persons who want to move to Thailand. Hence, we call it the retirement visa. In order to qualify, an age limit applied: you need to be at least 50 years old. The initial visa is valid for 90 days from the date of issuance. However, you can extent it for one more year at the local immigration office once you are in Thailand.

During the application process, you will need to provide proof that you are actually retired. You should also provide proof of funds. This means you need a monthly income of at least THB 65.000 or a bank balance of at least THB 800.000 with a Thai bank.

You can also obtain the O Visa in particular other cases instead of retiring (e.g. medical treatment) but we don’t discuss those here.

Furtermore, Thailand also has a visa called the O-A visa. This one is similar to the O Visa but immediately allows you to stay in Thailand for one year.

Thailand also has an upgraded version of these visas called the O-X visa. This grants you the rigth to live in Thailand for five years and the option to extent for five more years. Unfortunately, you can only apply for this visa if you have a passport of a limited number of countries.

Smart S Visa: Digital Nomad Visa Thailand for Entrepreneurs

You can get the Smart S Visa if you think about launching a startup in Thailand. You can get a visa for 6 months, 1 year or 2 years. Each of those come with different requirements. However, in any case, it is recommended to work together with a local startup accelerator. They will assist you with all the paperwork and enable you to immediately have the right connections in place locally. Furthermore, an endorsement of such an incubator might be necessary to get your visa approved.

Thai Privilege Card

The Thai privilege card was known as the the elite visa. It provides you with a multiple entry visa which is valid for 5, 10, 15 or 20 years. The longer the visa, the more pricier it gets. In addition to allowing you access to Thailand, the Thai privilege card comes with additional benefits. These benefits include lounge access, fast-track immigration and luggage collection at the airport.

If you are interested, the following options are available:

  • Golden Privilege Card: 5 year visa with 20 privilege points per year – THB 900k; you cannot add family members
  • Platinum Privilege Card: 10 year visa with 35 privilege points per year – THB 1.500k; you can add family members for THB 1.000k each
  • Diamond Privilege Card: 15 year visa with 55 privilege points per year – THB 2.500; you can add family members for THB 1.500 each
  • Reserve Privilege Card – invitation only: 20 year visa with 120 privilege points per year – THB 5.000k; you can add family members for THB 2.000 each

Apart from the aforementioned benefits, you noticed you also get privilege points with each privilege card. The more expensive, the more points you get. You can redeem these privilege points for various services in a very diverse range. From luxurious airport pickups, to free stays in hotels, spa treatments, medical checkups and even wealth advisory or special rates at banks. You can find more details about the benefits of the Thai privilege card on this website.

Digital Nomad Visa Thailand

When we speak about the digital nomad visa Thailand, we actually refer to the long-term residency visa. The digital nomad visa Thailand allows you to live in Thailand for 10 years. After these 10 years, you can renew your visa.

By offering a visa for such length, Thailand aims to attract foreigners who will contribute to the local economy. One of the targeted groups are digital nomads but these are definitely not the only group of people that can apply. The application fee is BHT 50k and the conditions you need to fulfill to qualify for the visa depend under which category you apply. We’ll discuss the different categories below. Unfortunately, you will notice that the requirements are hard for most digital nomads to fulfill due to which many digital nomads will still need to look at other options.

Digital Nomad Visa Thailand- Work-from-Thailand Professionals

  • Minimum yearly income of $80k for the last two years. However, an income of over $40K can suffice if specific conditions are met
  • Work for a publicly traded company or a private company with a total revenue of at least $150m over the past three years
  • Minimum of five year relevant work experience in your field of employment during the last ten years.
  • Health insurance with coverage of at least $50k

These requirements will make it hard for digital nomads to actually qualify. Mainly the second condition will be a dealbreaker for most.

Highly-Skilled Professionals

  • Work as a highly-skilled professional in specific industries in Thailand or for the Thai goverment
  • Minimum yearly income of $80k for the last two years. However, an income of over $40K can suffice if specific conditions are met. This requirement doesn’t apply if you work for a Thai government or in specific education or research centers
  • Minimum of five years relevant work experience in the industry. This requirement doesn’t apply if you have a Phd or if you work for the Thai government
  • Health insurance with coverage of at least $50k

From a tax perspective, you need to know that if you obtain the digital nomad visa Thailand as a highly-skilled professional, you can benefit from a flat tax rate of 17%. This compared to the normal progressive income tax rates up to 35%.

Wealthy Global Citizen

  • Have a net worth of at least $1m
  • Minimum yearly income of $80k for the last two years
  • Investment in Thai real estate or government bonds of at least $500k
  • Health insurance with coverage of at least $50k

Wealthy Pensioner

  • Be at east 50 years old
  • Minimum yearly income of $80k for the last two years. However, if you have an income of at least $40k you can still qualify if you invest minimum $250k in Thai property or government bonds
  • Health insurance with coverage of at least $50k

Employer of Record: A Different Type of Digital Nomad Visa Thailand

Using an employer of record is kind of a specific setup. An employer of record will hire you as a local employee in Thailand and arrange all the paperwork that comes with it. Based on your contract with the employer of record you will be able to apply for a visa. Like with all other visas, there are some requirements in order for the employer of record to hire you.

Nevertheless, don’t forget that being hired as an employee locally might be less beneficial than a tax setup as a freelancer with a foreign company. The reason is that your income will come from a local source. Hence, your total income is subject to Thai taxes.

Thailand nature

Conclusion: Digital Nomad Visa Thailand

Thailand offers a wide diversity of visas. They also offer what they themselves call a digital nomad visa. However, this visa seem to be tailered more to people working for multinationals with a global footprint. Also some of the other visas come with specific requirements.

Therefore, the most save option to obtain a long-term residency permit seems to be to opt for the privilege card. However, his also comes at a cost. Consequently, it is no surprise many nomads still opt for tourist visas and the complementary visa runs.

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