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Spotlight on APAC Series: Thailand

In our Spotlight on APAC series we round up the latest immigration developments across the region.  In this post we focus on the changes to immigration opportunities for Thailand that became effective on 1 June 2024.

 

As part of a focused strategy to attract more tourism and long-term visitors to Thailand, the Government will implement a series of sweeping changes to the visa and immigration rules and policy, effective 1 June 2024.  The planned changes include:

  • Travellers from 93 countries will be permitted to remain for a stay of up to 60 days
  • Opportunities for Digital Nomads, Students and Retirees to stay in Thailand.

Digital Nomad Visa Opportunities

On 1 June one of the most notable changes to immigration policy became effective with the introduction of the five year visa for Digital Nomads.  The introduction follows a trend of APAC countries developing options for self-employed individuals and remote workers.  The visa enables individuals to remain in Thailand for up to 180 days per visit (across a duration of five years validity), a significant increase from the previous allowance of two 30 day stays.

To qualify for the new digital nomad visa, applicants must be at least 20 years old and maintain savings of 500,000 baht throughout their stay. The visa fee is 10,000 baht, and holders can extend their stay once for a maximum of 180 days by paying an additional fee of 10,000 baht.

The visa falls under the Destination Thailand Visa.  It is important to note that under this ‘umbrella’ category there are some limits and restrictions.

Eased Rules for Foreign Students and Retirees

Foreign postgraduate students will also benefit from the new rules, with an additional year of stay permitted after graduation. This extension is expected to encourage more international students to choose Thailand as their destination for higher education.

The Thai government has also significantly lowered the health insurance requirements for retirees. Previously, retirees aged 50 and above were required to have health insurance coverage of 3 million baht. The new requirement has been reduced to just 440,000 baht, making it more accessible for retirees to live in Thailand.

Additional Visa Details and Requirements

While the new Destination Thailand Visa (DTV) provides numerous benefits, it has specific requirements and restrictions. The visa allows holders to stay in Thailand and work remotely for companies or clients outside the country. Working for a Thai company, however, still requires a work permit.

The DTV visa differs from the Long-Term Residence Visa (LTV) or the “Work-from-Thailand” visa, which has its own requirements, including a minimum average income of USD80,000 and health insurance.

It is also important to note that the Thai Government will apply taxation to foreign income of individuals residing in Thailand for more than 180 days.   Individuals should ensure that they take specialist immigration and tax advice to ensure they are using the most beneficial and appropriate route of migration.

If you would like more assistance or information regarding Thailand please contact [email protected] and Rachel Ang at [email protected]

 

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