Thailand is a mainstay on lists of the best places for digital nomads, thanks to the Southeast Asian country's tempting combo of picture-perfect beaches (Phuket is pictured above), uniquely thrilling cities—starting, of course, with Bangkok—and a low cost of living for American and European expats.
Starting September 1, Thailand aims to sweeten the deal even further, opening applications for a new 10-year visa for certain remote workers looking to relocate.
Specifically, Thai Board of Investment deputy secretary-general Narit Therdsteerasukdi told Nikkei Asia that the long-term resident visa is intended to attract "foreign human resources with high potential and skills."
If you're a foreign human resource (otherwise known as a person) working in technology, Thailand considers your potential and skills especially desirable, but remote employees in other fields are welcome to apply for the decadelong visa as well. Ditto for foreigners with financial assets of more than $1 million and retirees who can demonstrate they have "stable incomes," according to Nikkei Asia.
Applicants who succeed in getting the long-term work permit will lock in a discounted personal income tax rate of 17% while in Thailand—less than half the 35% the government charges in the upper brackets.
According to Thailand's Board of Investment, the eligibility requirements for professionals applying for the new long-term resident visa include:
• an annual income of at least $80,000 for each of the past two years (with exceptions if you have an advanced degree or special skill)
• at least 5 years of experience in your field
• employment with a company with combined revenue of at least $150 million in the last 3 years
If you're still interested, online applications open next month. Go to the Board of Investment's website for more information.
Thailand's effort to draw in more digital nomads is one of several measures the country is taking or considering to boost tourism revenue after severe losses due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As Fortune points out, the 8 million visitors Thailand expects to welcome by the end of 2022 are a relatively sparse crowd compared to the 40 million annual tourists who poured in before Covid came along. (Thailand lifted travel restrictions related to the virus on July 1.)
In addition to adopting the digital nomad plan, the country is mulling over a proposal to allow casinos in several key cities as a way to bring in more international visitors and boost the economy.
Bloomberg reports that Thai lawmakers could decide whether to move forward with that idea by the end of next month.