Guide To Digital Nomad Visas In Thailand

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Your Guide To Thailand Digital Nomad Visas

Thai farmer smiling at digital nomad who applied for Thailand LTR visa

 

Table Of Contents

 

You’ll be hard-pressed to find kinder human beings on this Earth than Thailand - just don’t piss them off. On the other side of their deep kindness is a national sport that rewards savage head kicks.

Thailand is one of the best places on Earth for digital nomads and remote workers to set up shop. And in recent years, Thailand has created several visas to attract top-tier talent and high-income individuals in the hopes of stimulating their economy.

While they don’t have a dedicated “digital nomad visa”, Thailand has several visas that digital nomads can qualify for and utilize to work and play in Thailand for extended amounts of time.

 

Thailand’s Best Digital Nomad Visa Option: Long Term Resident (LTR)

Digital nomad who has the LTR visa working from cafe in Thailand

 

Thailand’s Long-Term Resident visa (LTR) is likely going to be the best option for digital nomads who want to "move to Thailand", not only "travel to Thailand.

What Is Thailand's Long Term Residence Visa?

Thailand's LTR visa was introduced in 2021 and aims to bring four specific groups of people into the country;

Many digital nomads fall into the "remote workers/entrepreneurs" category, making the LTR the perfect visa for digital nomads in Thailand.

Pros Of Thailand's Digital Nomad Visa (LTR) For Digital Nomads

  • Unlimited re-entry
    • This is huge. If you want to go home for the holidays or maybe even pop over to another SE Asian spot like Siargao, you don’t need to worry about being denied entry like you would worry about if you’re on a tourist visa.
  • 10 year stay
    • The LTR offers an initial 5-year residence, with the option to extend it for 5 more years.
  • Grants you the legal right to work remotely in Thailand
  • Permits employment in Thailand for Thai companies
    • The LTR visa makes it significantly easier to apply for a work permit. For highly-skilled STEM professionals, work permits are usually granted in tandem with the LTR visa.
  • Reduced taxes for highly-skilled professionals working for Thai companies
    • Highly-skilled professionals with the LTR visa working for a Thai company pay a reduced personal tax rate of only 17%.
  • Remote workers, wealthy foreigners and wealthy individuals are exempt from paying income tax on foreign income.
  • LTR visa holders’ spouses and up to 4 children (below the age of 20) receive LTR visas as well.
  • LTR visa holders get fast track service at all international airports.
  • LTR visa holders only need to submit proof of resilience once every year, instead of the standard once every 90 days.
  • Grants visa holders the right to open a business in Thailand, and they are exempt from the “4 Thais to 1 foreigner” ratio (but hey if you’re opening a business in Thailand - support the locals ya?).

Cons Of Thailand's Digital Nomad Visa (LTR) For Digital Nomads

  • The registration fee for the LTR visa comes in at 50,000 Baht (~$1,500 USD)
  • LTR visa holders and any of their family members receiving the LTR visa need to maintain health insurance with a minimum of 50,000 USD/year coverage.
  • Must report residence location and show continued proof of health insurance every year.
  • If you're a digital nomad in Thailand on the LTR visa, there's a yearly 3,000 Baht to fee to maintain your right to work remotely.

Requirements For Thailand's Digital Nomad Visa (LTR)

  • LTR Visa Requirements For “Wealthy Individuals” Category Applicants
  • LTR Visa Requirements For “Remote Work Professionals” Category Applicants
  • LTR Visa Requirements For “Highly Skilled Professionals Working In Thailand” Category Applicants
  • LTR Visa Requirements For “Wealthy Retirees” Category Applicants

LTR Visa Requirements For “Wealthy Individuals” Category Applicants

  • Total assets totaling $1,000,000+ USD
  • $80,000+ USD annual income for past 2 years
  • $500,000+ USD investments in Thai property, government bonds and/or foreign direct investment (can be a combination of all these).
  • $50,000+ USD medical insurance coverage per year

LTR Visa Requirements For “Remote Work Professionals” Category Applicants

Thailand LTR visa holder startup founder who received Series A funding

  • $80,000+ USD annual income for past 2 years OR $40,000 USD - $80,000 USD/year with a Master’s degree (or greater) OR $40,000 USD - $80,000 USD/year with intellectual property OR $40,000 USD - $80,000 USD/year having received Series A funding.
  • Employer must be a publicly-traded company OR private company with combined revenue of $150,000,000+ combined revenue over the past 3 years.
  • Must have at least 5 years of experience as a remote work professional in the previous 10 years.
  • $50,000+ USD medical insurance coverage per year

LTR Visa Requirements For “Highly Skilled Professionals Working In Thailand” Category Applicants

  • $80,000+ USD annual income for past 2 years OR $40,000 USD - $80,000 USD/year annual income with a Master’s degree (or greater) in science and technology field OR $40,000 USD - $80,000 USD/year annual income with relevant experience to employment in Thailand
  • Thai employer must be in STEM field

LTR Visa Requirements For “Wealthy Retirees” Category Applicants

  • Applicants must be 50+ years old
  • $80,000+ USD annual income the year the applicant applies OR OR $40,000 USD - $80,000 USD/year annual passive income with at least $250,000 USD investments in Thai property, government bonds and/or foreign direct investment (can be a combination of all these).

How To Apply For Thailand's LTR Visa

  • Ensure you fall into one of the five categories for the LTR visa.
  • The required documents depend on which of the five categories you fall into - so check and prepare accordingly.
  • Apply for the visa on Thailand's official e-visa website.
  • You should receive word within 20 days on whether your application is approved.
  • Upon approval, you'll need to go to a Thai Embassy/consulate in your current country (or Immigration Offices if you are in Thailand already) to complete the visa process.

Cost Of Thailand's LTR Visa

  • Thailand's 10-year LTR visa costs 50,000 Baht (~$1,500 USD)

 

Alternatives To Thailand's Digital Nomad Visa (LTR)

digital nomad friends who received Thailand's multiple entry tourist visa

 

What if you don’t qualify for Thailand's LTR Visa? Or maybe you’re not looking for a 5 to 10 year residence? Here are some alternative Thailand digital nomad visas that may tick the box for you.

 

Thailand’s Multiple Entry Tourist Visa

What Is Thailand's 6-Month Multiple Entry Tourist Visa?

Aside from Thailand’s LTR visa, this is going to be the most convenient and cost-effective visa for remote workers. It allows digital nomads to stay up to 6 months in Thailand with unlimited re-entry, requiring you to leave only once every 60 days.

 

Thailand’s Multiple Entry Tourist Visa Pros & Cons

Pros Of Thailand's Multiple Entry Tourist Visa For Digital Nomads:

  • Allows for unlimited re-entry to Thailand
  • One of your 60-day stays can be extended to 90 days by applying for a visa extension
  • The visa costs only 5,000 Baht (~$150 USD)
  • As of early 2024, 23 nationalities can apply for Thailand’s Multiple Entry Tourist Visa online
  • Don’t need to report residence, unlike other longer-term visa types

Cons Of Thailand's Multiple Entry Tourist Visa For Digital Nomads:

  • This visa technically doesn’t allow you to work while you’re there. Will you probably be fine? Very much, probably.
  • The mandate to leave the country once every 60 days may be a drawback for some.
  • This visa is only valid for 6 months, so digital nomads and remote workers seeking longer-term stays may not find this visa as attractive.

Thailand’s Multiple Entry Tourist Visa: Requirements

  • Must show proof of at least $50,000 USD health insurance coverage
  • Must show proof of funds (at least 200,000 THB, ~$6000 USD)
  • A passport with at least 6 months validity past your planned departure date from Thailand
  • At least 2 blank pages in your passport
  • Proof of an onward flight within 60 days of your visit to Thailand (remember, you’ll need proof of onward flights every time you enter Thailand on this visa).

Thailand’s Multiple Entry Tourist Visa: How To Apply

Visit Thailand’s official e-visa website and see whether you’re able to apply for the visa online. Different countries have different document requirements, so be sure to follow those closely.

Thailand’s Multiple Entry Tourist Visa: Cost To Apply

 

Thailand’s Visa-Exempt Entry

 

Thailand visa exempt entry for digital nomads

 

What Is Thailand's Visa-Exempt Entry?

Citizens of 64 countries receive “visa-exempt entry”, which basically means you get an entry stamp upon arrival and don’t need to visit an embassy or fill out paperwork beforehand. Citizens of countries not on this list can apply for a Tourist Visa (TR).

Is Thailand's Visa-Exempt Entry Good For Digital Nomads?

I generally don’t recommend this route if you’re looking to stay in Thailand long-term, because if you’re doing a “border-hop” (leaving for a couple days and re-entering to restart your visa), being denied entry is really just a matter of who is working the airport immigration line that day.

If they see multiple visa-exempt/tourist visa entries over the previous several months, they can deem it as “suspicious”, and you’re on the next flight out.

Thailand Visa-Exempt Entry/Tourist Visa: Pros & Cons

Pros Of Thailand's Visa-Exempt Entry/Tourist Visa For Digital Nomads:

  • Visa-exempt entry and Tourist Visa grants a 30 - 90 day visit (depending on country)
  • Can be extended 30 days at a cost of 1,900 Baht by visiting Thai Immigration Bureau
  • Visa-exempt entry requires no paperwork, visits to embassies, etc.

Cons Of Thailand's Visa-Exempt Entry/Tourist Visa For Digital Nomads:

  • You must present proof of onward air travel in the coming 30 days upon entering. Yes - even if you plan to extend.
  • There’s the possibility of being denied entry with consecutive border hops.
  • While nobody will stop you, you’re not “technically” allowed to work remotely in Thailand on a visa-exempt entry or tourist visa.

Thailand Tourist Visa/Visa-Exempt Entry: Applicant Requirements

  • You’ve applied for a Tourist Visa or are a citizen of one of the 64 countries that receive Visa-Exempt entry to Thailand.
  • If you’re entering on a Visa-Exempt entry, you have proof of onward air travel within 30 days (bus tickets are not accepted).
  • Tourists may need to demonstrate sufficient bank account funds (20,000 THB), onward travel tickets, and first-night accommodation details.

Thailand Visa-Exempt Entry/Tourist Visa: How to Apply

  • Citizens eligible for Visa-Exempt Entry will receive their stamp to enter on arrival at the airport. So citizens from visa-exempt countries do not need to do any paperwork prior to entering Thailand. Just show up with your passport and with your proof of onward air travel.
    • While no paperwork is required, you may be required by immigration to show onward flight details. It’s a good idea to have your onward flight screenshotted, in case you haven’t set up your e-sim and don’t aren’t able to get wifi once you’ve landed.
  • If you need a Tourist Visa, you can apply on Thailand’s visa page here.
  • Again, if you’re a citizen of one of the 64 countries on Thailand’s, “visa-exempt entry” list - you don’t need to apply for a visa ahead of time before entering Thailand.

Thailand Visa-Exempt Entry/Tourist Visa: Costs to Apply

  • Visa-exempt entry is free.
  • Tourist visa costs ~$40 USD.
  • 30-day visa extension fee is 1,900 Baht.

 

Thailand’s Elite Visa

What Is Thailand's Elite Visa (Privilege Visa)?

Thailand’s Elite Visa (also called Thailand’s Privilege Visa) is a visa that targets wealthy individuals. It’s basically a “buy your residency” power move, and it’s a very sought-after visa by wealthy remote workers around the world.

Thailand’s Elite Visa offers residency in 5-year blocks (multiple 5-year blocks, depending on which Elite program you pay for), and these residency packages come with some serious perks.

Thailand’s Golden Visa: Pros & Cons

Pros Of Thailand's Golden Visa For Digital Nomads:

  • Offers long-term residency (5 - 20 years, depending on which package you select).
  • Each package comes with an annual “points” award, and you can redeem points for;
    • Airport transfers/lounge visits
    • Spa packages
    • Dining experiences
    • Dental/health checkup packages
    • Private excursions
    • Roundtrip domestic airfare
  • Unlimited re-entry to Thailand
  • Dedicated airport check-in services at select airports
  • Open a Thai bank account easily
  • Can easily start investing in Thai stocks, properties and other investment vehicles
  • Can obtain Thai driver’s license
  • Not required to have health insurance, unlike other visa types

Cons Of Thailand's Golden Visa For Digital Nomads:

  • High membership cost; the Gold package (the lowest tier) starts at $26,000 USD/person while Diamond (the highest membership package) clocks in at ~$145,000 USD/person.
  • Still required to report proof of residence once every 90 days that you’re in the country.

Thailand’s Golden Visa: Requirements Requirements

  • Applicants cannot have a criminal record in any country (other than negligence).
  • Applicants cannot have ever declared bankruptcy.

Thailand’s Golden Visa: How to Apply

Thailand’s Golden Visa: Costs to Apply

  • $26,000 USD - $145,000 USD/person, depending on the package.

 

Thailand is making big moves to attract remote workers and digital nomads - and they’ve made it incredibly easy to live and work from the chaos of Bangkok, the beaches of Koh Samui or the mountains up north.

Northern Thailand sunset a good place for digital nomads who get Thailand digital nomad visa



If you’re looking to start your digital nomad journey and not quite sure where to begin, check out our resources on how to become a digital nomad.


And if you’re looking for gear to help you level up your remote work game, check out the 2-in-1 laptop case-stand: Tilt.

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