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If you are looking for a change of scenery and a new challenge, you might want to consider remote working in Thailand.
Thailand is a popular destination for digital nomads who enjoy the tropical climate, the low cost of living, and the vibrant culture.
There are many reasons why Thailand is a great place to work remotely, such as:
- Weather: Thailand has a warm and sunny weather all year round, with an average temperature of 28°C. You can enjoy the beaches, the mountains, and the lush nature anytime you want.
- Cost of living: Thailand is one of the most affordable countries in Southeast Asia, with a monthly budget of around $1,000 for a comfortable lifestyle. You can find cheap accommodation, food, transportation, and entertainment options everywhere.
- Community: Thailand has a large and diverse community of digital nomads, especially in cities like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket. You can network, socialize, and collaborate with other remote workers from different backgrounds and industries.
- Culture: Thailand is known for its rich and diverse culture, with a mix of influences from India, China, and Southeast Asia. You can experience the Buddhist traditions, the spicy cuisine, the colorful festivals, and the friendly people.
How to work remotely in Thailand?
If you are interested in working remotely in Thailand, here are some steps you need to take:
- Visa: The easiest way to stay in Thailand for a short term is to get a tourist visa on arrival, which allows you to stay for up to 30 days. You can extend it for another 30 days at an immigration office for a fee. However, if you want to stay longer, you will need to apply for a special visa that suits your purpose, such as an education visa or a retirement visa. You can also apply for a Smart Visa, which is designed for highly skilled professionals and investors who want to work or start a business in Thailand.
- Internet: Thailand has a reliable telecom infrastructure, which means a relatively fast and stable internet. In Southeast Asia, Thailand’s internet connection is among the best. You can find free wi-fi in many cafes, restaurants, hotels, and co-working spaces. However, if you need a more secure and consistent connection, you can also buy a local SIM card or a mobile hotspot device.
- Accommodation: There are many options for accommodation in Thailand, depending on your budget and preferences. You can find cheap hostels, guesthouses, apartments, or villas on platforms like Airbnb or Booking.com. You can also look for co-living spaces that offer shared facilities and amenities with other digital nomads. Some popular co-living spaces in Thailand are KoHub in Koh Lanta, Punspace in Chiang Mai, and The Hive in Bangkok.
- Co-working: If you need a dedicated workspace with high-speed internet and other facilities, you can join one of the many co-working spaces in Thailand. Co-working spaces are great places to meet other remote workers, join events and workshops, and access business services. Some popular co-working spaces in Thailand are Hubba in Bangkok, CAMP in Chiang Mai, and Phuket Coworking Space in Phuket.
What are some remote work opportunities in Thailand?
If you are looking for remote work opportunities in Thailand, you have plenty of options to choose from. You can either work for an existing company that allows remote work or start your own online business or freelance service. Some of the most common remote work opportunities in Thailand are:
- Customer Care Representative/Staff: This is one of the top remote work opportunities in Thailand, as many companies need customer service agents who can handle inquiries and complaints from customers via phone, email, or chat. You will need good communication skills, problem-solving skills, and knowledge of the product or service you are supporting.
- Web Developer: This is another popular remote work opportunity in Thailand, as many companies need web developers who can create and maintain websites and web applications using various programming languages and frameworks. You will need technical skills, creativity skills, and knowledge of web design principles and best practices.
- Translator: This is a good remote work opportunity for bilingual or multilingual people who can translate written or spoken content from one language to another.
Thailand’s Remote Work Ranking
The CEOWORLD magazine report evaluated 66 countries based on 11 factors: cost of living, internet speed, quality of life, safety, health care quality, visa requirements, taxation, cultural diversity, entertainment options, coronavirus situation, and freedom of speech. Each factor was given a score from 1 to 100, with 100 being the best.
Thailand scored 41st overall with a total score of 54.9 out of 100. The highest scores were for cost of living (82.6), quality of life (74.8), and entertainment options (72.4). The lowest scores were for taxation (28.6), coronavirus situation (33.3), and freedom of speech (35.7).
The top five countries for remote work according to the report were Canada, New Zealand, Germany, Switzerland, and Australia. The bottom five were Nigeria, Iran, Kenya, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
Thailand’s Visa Requirements
One of the main challenges for digital nomads who want to work remotely in Thailand is the visa situation. Thailand does not have a specific visa for remote workers or digital nomads yet, although there have been some proposals to introduce one in the future.
The most common options for digital nomads are:
- Tourist visa: This visa allows you to stay in Thailand for up to 60 days per entry, with a possibility to extend for another 30 days at an immigration office. You can apply for a single-entry or multiple-entry tourist visa at a Thai embassy or consulate in your home country or online through the e-visa system. The fee varies depending on your nationality and the number of entries.
- Non-immigrant visa: This visa is intended for foreigners who want to work or do business in Thailand legally. It allows you to stay in Thailand for up to 90 days per entry, with a possibility to extend for another year at an immigration office. You can apply for this visa at a Thai embassy or consulate in your home country. The fee varies depending on your nationality and the type of visa (such as business, education, media, etc.). To obtain this visa, you need to have a valid work permit or an invitation letter from a Thai company or organization that sponsors you.
It is important to note that none of these visas allow you to work remotely in Thailand legally. According to Thai law, any foreigner who performs any work or service in Thailand, whether online or offline, whether paid or unpaid, whether for a Thai or foreign employer or client, needs to have a valid work permit and pay taxes in Thailand. However, many digital nomads choose to work remotely in Thailand on tourist visas without obtaining work permits or paying taxes, as the enforcement of this law is lax and inconsistent.