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Remote workers looking to stay longer in Thailand may want to explore special programmes and visa options that allow an extended stay and multiple benefits.
While Thailand does not yet have a dedicated digital nomad visa program, there are alternative visa types that remote workers can look at as options. These offer a balance between work and leisure, allowing for exploration of Thailand’s many destinations while staying focused on projects and career goals.
Long-Term Resident or LTR Visa
Digital nomads or remote workers employed by major international companies are eligible for the LTR visa. It is possible to work legally in Thailand for a duration of 10 years, with an option to extend it further. With this visa, spouse and children can be brought to Thailand.
The LTR visa is available to four categories of foreigners
- Wealthy global citizens – having total assets of not less than US$1 million, personal income of not less than US$80,000 per year in the past two years, who invest in Thailand to the value of not less than US$500,000.
- Foreign retirees (wealthy pensioners) – having personal income of not less than US$80,000 per year.
- Work-from-Thailand professionals – having personal income of at least US$80,000 per year in the past two years, work experience of not less than five years, and be working in a legally registered company which has income of not less than US$150 million within the past three years.
- Highly skilled professionals – having personal income of not less than US$80,000 per year in the past two years, are skilful in the target industry, and have not less than five years of work experience.
Spouse and children under 20 years of age of an LTR visa holder also qualify (up to four dependants per visa holder).
The LTR visa offers multiple benefits to the holder. These being: a visa with 10-year validity (which can be extended); the requirement to report to immigration once a year instead of every 90 days; fast track service at international airports in Thailand; multiple re-entry permit; permission to work in Thailand (digital work permit); personal income tax rate reduction to 17% for highly skilled professionals; and exemption from the four Thais to one foreigner employment requirement ratio.
For more information on the LTR visa and to make an application, please visit https://ltr.boi.go.th/index.html OR contact the Expatriate Services Division One Stop Service Centre for Visa and Work Permit on Tel. +66 (0) 2209 1100 Ext. 1109-1110, during business days from 8.30-16.30 Hrs. (Bangkok local time), e-mail: [email protected].
Thailand Elite Visa
Another alternative to a digital nomad visa, the Thailand Elite Visa is a long-term visa granted to Thailand Privilege Cardholders. It allows residency in Thailand along with additional benefits for five, 10, or 20 years in return for a membership fee which ranges from 600,000 Baht to two million Baht for seven different types of memberships – Elite Ultimate Privilege, Elite Family Premium, Elite Privilege Access, Elite Easy Access, Elite Family Alternative, Elite Superiority Extension, and Elite Maxima Health.
The Flexible Plus Programme
Thailand Privilege Cardholders can apply for the Flexible Plus Programme, which offers privileges for members to work under the terms and conditions.
Members must invest at least 1 million US Dollars within a 1-year timespan after registration or approval of their membership. The three types of investments are real estate, Company Limited or Public Company Limited, and stock in the Stock Exchange of Thailand (other enterprises authorised by the Securities and Exchange Commission).
The three types of Elite cardholders who are eligible for the “Flexible Plus Programme” are Elite Ultimate Privilege, Elite Superiority Extension, and Elite Privilege Access.
For existing members to apply for the Flexible Plus Programme, their membership must be valid for at least 5 years or more.
The Flexible Plus Programme is valid for 5 years and for members to maintain their flexible plus status, they must present proof of investment annually.
The privileges for the Flexible Plus Programme members include a change in the visa type status from Privilege Entry visa to a Non-Immigrant (B) visa, which will allow cardholders to apply for a work permit. The Programme also allows legal spouses and children younger than 20 years of age (maximum 3 children) to change their visa type to a Non-Immigrant visa.
To maintain their status, Thailand Privilege Card participants are required to report themselves and provide investment documents to the Thailand Privilege Card Company Limited every year for 5 consecutive years starting from the beginning of investment.
For more information on the Thailand Elite programmes and to make an application, please contact Thailand Privilege Card Co., Ltd., Tel: 66 (0) 2352 3000, or Email: [email protected].
Thailand SMART Visa
SMART Visa is offered to foreign experts, executives, entrepreneurs and investors who wish to enter into the Kingdom of Thailand to work or to invest in the “13 S-Curve industries” or the country’s targeted industries – next generation automotive; affluent, medical and wellness tourism; agriculture and biotechnology; aviation and logistics; biofuels and biochemicals; digital; medical hub; smart electronics; food for the future; automation and robotics; alternative dispute resolution; human resource development in science and technology; and environmental management and renewable energy.
The SMART Visa is designed to attract highly skilled manpower and investors to help accelerate the development of the country’s targeted industries. It has a validity ranging from one to four years.
For more information on Thailand SMART Visal and to make an application, please visit https://smart-visa.boi.go.th/smart/index.html OR contact the One Stop Service Center for Visa and Work Permit (OSS) on Tel: +66 (0) 2209 1100 ext. 1109-1110, during business days from 8.30-16.30 Hrs. (Bangkok local time), E-mail: [email protected].
Thailand offers a balance between work and leisure, allowing for exploration of Thailand’s many destinations while staying focused on projects and career goals. All you need is a notebook or smartphone, and you can work hassle-free anywhere.