Thailand is Targeting Digital Nomads to Make the Dream of Working and Living There a Reality

Maybe you’ve dreamed about living in Thailand or just used one of their many beach scenes as a screen saver on your computer. Dreams could soon become a reality as more people have to work remotely due to covid-19. Moving to another country might seem scary, but I assure you, all the creature comforts of home exist in Thailand, just with a touch of exotic Asia. You could live in the cultural north in the city of Chiang Mai or hang out on a hammock listening to ocean waves at one of the many beach areas of the south.

Many people around the world have had the opportunity to reframe how they work. Being forced to work from home taught us how to manage our time working effectively. Now, some companies allow employees to stay home, giving them opportunities they haven’t had before. The chance to do something completely different. Those who don’t have significant obligations at home may move to an incredible country like Thailand, where your money goes further.

My Story About Thailand

I have been traveling to Thailand for the past twenty years. I have strived to stay as long as possible because I have worked online for the past decade. They haven’t made it easy in the past. They didn’t offer long-term visas for those working abroad. This meant inconvenient visa runs with the potential of being denied. Tedious paperwork and waiting in line at immigration offices have been consistently annoying for years. That’s all about to change thanks to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

Visa Proposals for Thailand

The Thai government is looking to meet tourism targets even with a new surge in Covid cases. They are targeting four groups that they’re will be making special exceptions for.

These include:

  • Wealthy people
  • Digital nomads
  • Retirees
  • Highly skilled workers

Each of these groups will all have their own requirements to get into the country. Visas for highly skilled workers are not something we’ve seen before. These four groups will have an easier time getting into Thailand and staying long-term.

Here’s the total breakdown of criteria for the targeted groups to qualify:

  • Wealthy people
    • You have to have $1 million in assets and $100,000 in health insurance. You’ll have to invest $500,000 in real estate or Thailand government bonds. You also have to have a minimum of $80,000 over the past two years. Most of us aren’t going to meet these criteria. Still, if you do, there are several additional benefits like VIP services throughout the country.
  • Digital nomads
    • Most entrepreneurs, employees, and freelancers will fit in this category. You have to have proof of $40,000 income from the previous 12 months and health insurance up to $100,000. Under a new plan, the $40,000/year income may be reduced.
  • Retirees
    • You have to be over 50 to qualify for the retirement visa with an annual income of $40,000. You also need to invest $250,000 in Thai government bonds or real estate. You have to have health insurance coverage of up to $100,000.
  • Skilled workers
    • To meet this criterion, you have to have a skill that makes you an asset to the country. For example, one ex-pat specialized in creating documentaries on world issues. He received a job at the Royal Thai University to produce a documentary about the sex trade in Thailand. Some jobs also give you incredible perks like luxury accommodation, private drivers, and more. Another area for skilled workers is high-end hotels that hire highly experienced foreign supervisors to cater to rich westerns.

There are even benefits to entice you to stay and invest in the country. You can purchase land and property, which is something that hasn’t been possible for foreigners before. These changes for foreign workers, retirees, and people working online give you unprecedented benefits. Work permits are not necessary, and it’s possible to secure visas for up to 10 years.

Benefits of Working and Living in Thailand

There is more to Thailand than you can ever imagine. They have the most stunning beaches in the world with perfect turquoise water. Massages are as little as $10 an hour, and if you want to experience luxury, you can be spoiled for surprisingly low prices. The wifi is lightning fast and available everywhere. There are abundant options for furnished apartments wherever you choose to live. It’s very safe, partly thanks to the Buddhist culture. Thailand was actually recently voted the best country for digital nomads.

Every town offers hub spaces with all the amenities you could possibly need to run your business. You can rent an office for about $100 a month with your own landline and connections for computers. If you’d rather hang out in a café, Thailand has the most magical places to drink coffee and work, and they don’t mind you hanging out there all day.

The thriving digital nomad lifestyle in Thailand means you’re going to meet plenty of like-minded people. There are groups on every island and city for online workers to meet up, have drinks, go on excursions, and more.

It doesn’t matter how young or old you are. Thailand is great for everyone, no matter the age and lifestyle. I lived in a small, intimate apartment building. There was indeed a mixed bag of people with different cultures, ages, and ideals. The new visas will soon be available. There will be an even greater diversity of people and experiences in Thailand.

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