Are you aspired to be digital nomads? Then Thailand could be your next stop.
New proposals currently presented to the Thai Cabinet are expected to expand the opportunities for some foreigners to work in Thailand without a traditional permit. The Tourist Authority of Thailand said that the detail has already been agreed by the regulatory Board of Investment and the top-health committee, The Centre of Covid-19 Situation Administration.
For digital nomads, the new arrangement will allow them to stay in the country for up to four years without having to apply for the reformed, multiple-entry Smart visa. First launched in 2018, this type of visa requires a large cash investment or a high salary and is complicated to obtain. In fact, only several hundred have been issued, mainly to high-salaried workers in hi-tech industries. Smart is not suitable for the typical nomad, Pattaya Mail reports.
Under the latest guidelines, foreigners with tourist visas would be able to transfer to the four-year Smart visa. Foreigners eligible for this initiative must have an employment contract for at least six months, as well as proof of qualifications and experience. These revisions could suit many digital nomads, working on their online shop in a coworking space anywhere in the world. Such practices are already recognised with special visas in parts of Europe, the Caribbean and Mexico.
The Smart visa, if broadened sufficiently, could prove attractive to digital nomads since holders are excused 90 day reporting and the need for re-entry permits. They are also allowed to invite their family members to Thailand, who can also enjoy work or study privileges without traditional visa restrictions.
A spokesman for the pressure group International Flexitravel said, “The legalization of digital nomads has hardly begun in Asia. The current situation whereby nomads keep quiet and police hopefully ignore them is unsatisfactory. Thailand now has the opportunity to be a market leader because the latest technologies make the wholesale resumption of traditional office-based working less and less likely.”