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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawA New Thai Visa Option for "Digital Nomads"?

A New Thai Visa Option for "Digital Nomads"?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing possible Visa options in Thailand for so-called "digital nomads". Primarily what we are talking about in this video is the so-called Smart Visa. We have done a number of videos on this topic. The thing that should be understood with respect to this sort of as a preface to the rest of this video is a lot of this is currently still being discussed so it is kind of hard to say whether or not it is actually going to come to fruition.

In a recent article from Pattaya Mail, that is, the article is titled: Working Without a Permit in Thailand About to Get Easier. Quoting directly: "Proposals currently before the Thai Cabinet will dramatically expand the opportunities for some foreigners to work in Thailand without a traditional Permit according to the Tourist Authority of Thailand. The detail has already been agreed by the Regulatory Board of Investment and the top Health Committee, the Center of COVID-19 Situation Administration." Quoting further: “The new rules would dramatically expand the opportunities for "digital nomads" to stay for up to 4 years without a work from it by obtaining the reformed multiple entry Smart Visa." Quoting further: "Smart is not suitable for the typical nomad." A lot in this article. Again, Again, the article is: Working Without a Permit in Thailand About to Get Easier

Some commentary on this. First of all "proposals". We have seen a lot of proposals in the last year regarding possible changes to the Immigration system; changes to different protocols associated with entering Thailand, we have just seen a lot of proposals generally. I have been talking about the Travel Bubble Scheme for example for nearly a year and we haven't seen anything come to fruition on that score. For example, with this situation on changes to the Smart Visa, we have yet to see anything promulgated on this so there isn't any new regulation that I have yet to see or any new laws that have been created regarding this. Yeah I do think that there are multiple ways in which "digital nomads" could benefit from the Smart Visa scheme. Another thing to think about, people bring up the fact a lot as noted in the title of this article, that Work Permits are not required on Smart Visas. That is true insofar as yes you don't need a separate one but there is an inherent work authorization in the Smart Visa itself and there is an extra layer of adjudication in the Smart Visa application process associated with adjudication of one's ability to be employed in Thailand and there is a lot of scrutiny associated with this.

So folks who are looking at this, depending on the circumstances it may in some circumstances be better to just seek a standard B Visa and a Work Permit as there may be less scrutiny or the circumstances of the case that may be a better fit. It may not be a terrible idea to contact a legal professional if one is sort of looking at both options because there are a lot of pros and cons associated not only with a standard business Visa and Work Permit but a Smart Visa as well.