Thailand’s digital nomad visa: Everything you need to know


Joe Baker
Joe Baker
Senior Copywriter
Joe is a Senior Copywriter working on reports, news and analysis. Previously, he worked as a B2B copywriter, journalist and editor covering a broad range of topics, including technology, transport,… Read more

With its stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife and relatively low cost of living, Thailand has always been a popular destination for digital nomads. 

In a bid to boost its economy, the country has now relaxed its visa rules and introduced a number of new categories to boost its appeal to students, travellers and remote workers. One of the most interesting developments is the new Destination Thailand Visa, which has been specifically designed for digital nomads and remote workers. 

Below, we take a look at what the new visa offers international travellers and how you can apply, as well as a few tips to remember when starting your journey to becoming a digital nomad. 

How does the Destination Thailand Visa work?

Thailand is launching its new Destination Thailand Visa (DTV) as part of a number of short-term measures being launched by Thailand’s government this month and in July.

The DTV is valid for five years and will permit internationals to stay in Thailand for more than 180 days during each year (note: days don’t have to be consecutive). Previously, digital nomads could only work in Thailand for a total of 60 days, so this is a big improvement. 

Visa holders aren’t allowed to work for a company already based in Thailand (for which you would need a work permit). Having said that, you won’t need to show an employee contract as part of your application, so if you are self-employed you would be able to run your own business in the country. 

Visa holders are also reportedly able to bring legal dependents, including a spouse or children under 20, with them to Thailand. Meanwhile, the cap at 180 days per year means that, under Thai law, visa holders won’t have their foreign income taxes by Thailand.

Destination Thailand Visa: Am I eligible to apply?

To be eligible for the Destination Thailand Visa, you need to meet the following criteria: 

  • Be at least 20 years old
  • Have savings of 500,000 Thai baht (THB) (around £10,700 based on current conversion rates)
  • Pay an application fee of around THB 10,000 (roughly £214)
  • Not work for a company based in Thailand

How can I apply for a Destination Thailand Visa?

It’s likely that to apply for Thailand’s digital nomad visa, travellers will either need to make a specific appointment at their local Thai embassy or apply online through Thailand’s E-Visa website. Note that you need to be outside of Thailand and in an eligible country to apply online through this site. 

A similar process is required for a long-term resident visa, which remains valid for 10 years (but is much harder to get). 

However, the exact process for the Destination Thailand Visa hasn’t yet been confirmed and the website isn’t offering an option to apply for this visa category. The country will reportedly begin accepting applications later this month or in early July. 

Thailand’s new rules for short-term travellers, students and retirees

If you aren’t looking to commit to a longer-term visa yet or are thinking about visiting, there’s good news. Thailand’s visa-on-arrival policy is being extended to 31 countries, up from 19, while the number of nationalities that are exempt from visas for short-term visits has risen to 93. 

Previously, the visa exemption limit was 30 days, but this has now risen to 60, meaning travellers from eligible countries can stay in the country for longer without needing to worry about applying for a visa. 

It’s not just digital nomads and travellers that are set to benefit from the new Thailand visa rules. Foreign students will now be allowed to stay in Thailand for up to one year, which the government hopes will help boost employment in short-staffed sectors. 

In addition, applicants for a retirement visa in Thailand will benefit from more relaxed rules around insurance. Previously, applicants had to prove that they had around THB 3m in health insurance coverage to be eligible for the visa, but now they are only required to have insurance coverage of THB 400,000 for inpatient benefits (i.e. requiring overnight stays in hospital) and THB 40,000 for outpatient benefits.

Why is Thailand attractive for digital nomads?

Situated in the centre of Southeast Asia, Thailand’s blend of beautiful landscapes, culture, street food and friendly people make it a winner with travellers around the world. 

For digital nomads specifically, the region is becoming a particularly appealing prospect, with draws including fast internet speeds everywhere; an abundance of co-working spaces; and affordable and accessible accommodation. 

Thailand’s cost of living is particularly low, with THB 1 being equivalent to about GBP 0.02, meaning digital nomads can experience more of the country’s food, travel opportunities and culture for less. A number of communities have sprung up online to support and aid networking amongst nomads, such as Digital Nomads Thailand on Facebook. 

The extended five-year stretch on this visa also makes Thailand an appealing choice to nomads looking to work abroad in the same place for longer. In November, the United Nation’s Tourism Agency reported that out of 54 destinations it analysed, almost half offered visas up to one year, with Canada offering the shortest stay of just 30 days.

What else should I consider about being a digital nomad in Thailand?

If you’re thinking about taking the leap and becoming a digital nomad in Thailand, here are a few quick tips to get started

Research to find the right location

Thailand is home to several popular digital nomad destinations, from the mountainous Chaing Mai to the bustling streets of Bangkok. It’s important to think about what you want from your chosen location and whether it will not only suit your budget but also be somewhere you can imagine staying for the long-term. 

Make sure you stay up to date with documents

As the recent rule change shows, things can change quickly when it comes to making a visa application, so it’s a good idea to have a conversation with your local embassy before organising your application to make sure you are up to date with the latest fees and requirements. 

Use a specialist provider for money transfers

Setting up a new life as a digital nomad can be stressful, but something you shouldn’t have to worry about is the cost of moving money from one country to another. Specialist money transfer providers can help you to reduce the cost of transferring money from Thailand abroad. To find out more and compare money transfer providers in seconds, use our free comparison tool.

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