The Thai government approved a “Smart Visa” for business professionals today. It will be a major boost for Thailand as a Nomad hub, as it will invite more Digital Nomads and help them stay for longer durations than 3 months. They have currently limited the applicants to startup business owners, investors, high leveled executives, or other highly-skilled professionals. This visa may not work out for all Digital Nomads and all the details are not available at the moment. Currently, DNs can pay taxes as a foreign company or register the company in Thailand. (Thailand registered companies can get a tax holiday for 3 to 8 years)
A work permit won’t be necessary with this “Smart Visa”. Rather than reporting to authorities every 90 days now “Smart Visa” holders will only need to report to the immigration bureau every one year. This visa can also extend to family members. Although, it may not apply for all Digital Nomads, especially those working as content writers and other professions not fitting into the highly-skilled professional category.
This was long awaited by Digital Nomads as Thailand saw a sudden ‘boom’ of Digital Nomads since 2014. Most Digital Nomads are still working there on tourist visas without work permits. The work permit was considered as a major gray area, with some co-working spaces in Chiang Mai getting raided for unknown reasons. The government expects that this move would boost business growth leading to long-term economic benefits. Application for this visa would be available from January 2018. This is quite similar to the French Tech Visa introduced earlier this year.
More details available on PMDU Thailand.
Will be updating this post as soon as we find the application link/site.
For more on Visas for Digital Nomads: http://movingnomads.com/blog/visas-for-digital-nomads/