The new Smart Visa and digital nomads

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They can be backpackers-with-a-laptop or high-end executives making squillions by playing the stock and financial markets.


The new Smart Visa might be a visa solution for some, but not all, of the ‘digital nomads’ that have been become ubiquitous in Thailand, from all over the world. Whereas the young professionals might have taken off around the world on a break between their schooling and the start of their professional careers, now they’re taking their professional careers along with them and logging in to their job remotely from some far flung cafe overlooking rice paddies in Chiang Mai for a beach in Phuket.

Digital nomads come in all shapes and sizes, professions and ages. In common will be their laptop and all their accessories and spare batteries spread over a table in a cafe offering free wi-fi. They can be backpackers-with-a-laptop or high-end executives making squillions by playing the stock and financial markets.

Cafes don’t particularly like the digital nomads because they buy one coffee and sit, taking up a table, for hours whilst they log in and do whatever they do. The new trend of co-working spaces are also a popular temporary office for the digital nomad.

Here’s the story of one young Australian digital nomad, Chris, with his top six destinations in Thailand for the digital nomad life.

Here are the most popular professions for the digital nomad.

  • Website or App Development
  • eCommerce Entrepreneurship
  • Online marketing
  • Infopreneurship, blogging & affiliate marketing
  • Copywriting / Content writing and production
  • Web, UI and graphic design
  • Coaching & consulting
  • Software entrepreneurship

There are also professional bloggers and travel writers who gain a social media following and create enough audience to attract advertisers and product endorsements.

Up to now, they’ve usually just played the Tourist Visa game and do the visa runs and border crossings to stay in the Kingdom.

But, will the new Smart Visa be of any assistance to them?

According to the scant information on the new Smart Visa, it will apply to a fairly narrow band of skill sets Thai authorities want to attract – IT, ‘tech’ industries, health. The visa has also been designed to allow investors to be able to work and live in the Kingdom. The precise list and aunts of investment required have not been made clear at this stage. According to the information we do have, applicants for the new Smart Visa will need to prove a monthly income of 200,000 baht per month, probably more than most digital nomads make.

Bottomline: Consult your Thai Embassy or Thai immigration office before applying. And we’ll keep you up to date with the requirements of the new Smart Visa when they become avialable.

Here’s some more information and resources for digital nomads from the neverendingvoyage.com HERE.

Courtesy: Published at Phuket Gazette on December 29, 2017 by Tim Newton

Thank you for your time, and keep visiting phuketbreeze.com also in future for latest news of Phuket Business, Phuket Tourism and Phuket Events.

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