Your Ultimate Guide:

Becoming a Digital Nomad
in Thailand

Navigating the Visa and Work Permit Process in Thailand to Serve You Better



Book a free consultation and receive your complimentary
Thailand SMART & Long-Term (LTR) Visa Requirement Checklist

Book a free consultation and
receive your complimentary
Thailand SMART & Long-Term (LTR) Visa Requirement Checklist

Your Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Digital Nomad in Thailand

Your Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Digital Nomad
in Thailand

Have a look at Your Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Digital Nomad in Thailand. Digital nomads agree that Thailand is among the top places to live and work. This opinion is to be expected, given its many benefits; it is not only a picturesque group of islands but also home to some of the world’s most advanced and dynamic metropolises.

With that, this guide will explore the process of acquiring a Visa and your  most suitable options such as:

1.Thailand Smart Visa

2.Thailand Long-Term Resident Visa

3. Employer of Record Service for Visa & Work Permit

1. Acquiring a Thailand SMART Visa

1. Acquiring a Thailand SMART Visa

The Thailand Smart Visa is a visa category that has been developed specifically to attract highly skilled labor, investors, executives, and startup business owners. It provides a visa opportunity for those who are interested in working or investing in the Kingdom of Thailand in the specific industries listed below:

  • Affluent, Medical and Wellness Tourism
  • Agriculture and Biotechnology
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Automation and Robotics
  • Aviation and Logistics
  • Biofuels and Biochemicals
  • Digital
  • Environmental Management and Renewable Energy
  • Food for the Future
  • Human Resource Development in Science and Technology
  • Medical Hub
  • Next-Generation Automotive
  • Smart Electronics

There are various categories you can apply for depending on the purpose or activity that you wish to conduct.  They include: 

  • T (Talent): Professionals in the scientific and technological fields who earn more than THB 100,000 monthly.
  • I (Investor): Investors willing to invest THB 20 million.
  • E (Executive): Bachelor’s degree or higher, at least ten years of professional experience, and monthly wages over THB 200,000.
  • S (Startup): Founders of startup companies, depositing THB 600,000 with a 3-month hold period and possessing at least 25% ownership of the company within 12 months.
  • O (Others): Members of a smart visa holder’s immediate family.

The Application Process for Acquiring a Thailand Smart Visa

To apply for a Thailand Smart Visa, follow the application process outlined below:

  1. Register for a Thailand Smart Visa qualifying endorsement at and set up an online account.
  2. Fill out the application form for the category of Smart Visa you want (T, I, E, S, or O) and have a PDF version of the required papers to upload and submit. You agree to the qualifying endorsement requirements by submitting the online application form.
  3. Then, the OSS will notify the applicant, Immigration, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the appropriate agencies of the outcome of the qualification endorsement application within 30 working days of receiving all required documentation.
  4. Within 60 days of the date the endorsement letter was issued—which will be one of the supporting documents for the application—the qualifying applicant can then move forward with applying for the issuance of a Smart Visa. The processing charge is 10,000 Baht in cash for each year of the valid visa.

You can apply directly but if you need assistance with this process, you can reach out to the Aster Lion team for a Free Consultation.  You can also get your Free Digital Nomad Checklist!

Even with your SMART or LTR Visa, you need to remain compliant with tax and statutory requirements. Engage Aster Lion to get your visa and look after these requirements while you focus on growing your business!

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2. Acquiring a Thailand Long-Term Resident Visa (LTR)

2. Acquiring a Thailand Long-Term Resident Visa (LTR)

The Thailand Long-Term Resident Visa is a 10-year relocation permit for highly skilled foreigners who wish to settle in Thailand. This permit aims to encourage international investment in the country and promote economic growth, particularly in the post-pandemic period.

The LTR visa is available to the following 4 groups:

  • Wealthy Global Citizen: High-net-worth individuals with assets of at least $1 million.
  • Wealthy Pensioner: Retirees above the age of 50 with an annual pension or regular source of income.
  • Work From Thailand Professional / Nomad: Independent contractors for large, well-known enterprises in other countries.
  • Highly Skilled Professional: Professionals or specialists in specific areas working for Thai businesses, universities, research centers, training facilities, or government agencies.

The LTR visa allows foreigners to remain in Thailand for up to ten years and a total of four dependents (such as spouse and children) may be granted a visa as well.

  • Valid for a period of 10 years.
  • No more 90 reporting
  • Multiple re-entry permits
  • Possibility to obtain a work permit
  • Income tax incentives
  • Airport Fast Track service

The Application Process for Acquiring a Thailand Long-Term Resident Visa

To apply for a Thailand Long-Term Resident Visa, follow the application process outlined below:

  1. Sign up and submit your LTR visa endorsement application and supporting documentation online.
  2. The government will review each application, and applicants will get notified of the outcome within 20 business days.
  3. Within 60 days following the issuance of an endorsement letter, eligible applicants can submit their applications for LTR visas at designated offices. Previously, the processing fee for a 10-year visa with multiple entries was THB100,000; now, it is only THB50,000.
  4. Applicants can pick up work permits issued digitally in person at any provincial labor office in the country. 

You can apply directly but if you need assistance with this process, you can reach out to the Aster Lion team for a Free Consultation.  You can also get your Free Digital Nomad Checklist!

Still deciding which option is better for you.  You can check out this article on Thailand Digital Nomad Visa: SMART vs. Long Term Resident to help you decide. 

3. Employer of Record Services for Visa & Work Permit

3. Employer of Record Services for
Visa & Work Permit

If options #1 & #2 do not apply to your situation, you can consider engaging an Employer of Record (EOR) such as Aster Lion to assist in securing your Visa & Work permit. An EOR enables you to leverage our services to look after your onboarding and administrative activities relating to your employment and ongoing payroll and statutory requirements without having to register an entity in the respective country. 

Many tourists and digital nomads visit Thailand yearly for good reasons. No matter which type of Thailand digital nomad visa you need, we hope this comprehensive guide will assist you in realizing the exciting new life that awaits you in the Land of Smiles.

Book a Free Consultation and Receive Your Thailand
SMART & LTR Visa Requirement Checklist

Book a Free Consultation and Receive Your Thailand SMART & LTR Visa Requirement Checklist

Do Thailand Digital Nomads Have to Pay Tax?

Do Thailand Digital Nomads
Have to Pay Tax?

Your obligation to pay tax will vary greatly depending on the type of Visa you secure.  Because of the complexity, it’s best to engage with a Tax or Employer of Record expert such as Aster Lion to ensure you are compliant with your tax and statutory requirements. 

Best Places in Thailand for Digital Nomads

Best Places in Thailand
for Digital Nomads

Beach in Thailand

There are many beautiful places to stay long term in Thailand. Here’s a breakdown of the top destinations that have everything a digital nomad could need:

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is a remote worker hotspot, having been named the digital nomad capital of the world for its affordable living, thriving nightlife, delicious food scene, fast internet and plentiful coworking spaces.

There are multiple digital nomad communities here, making it easy to get advice, make friends and transition into a longer stay. It has affordable accommodation, many restaurants and bars, street markets, a buzzing nightlife and plenty of cafes. Here are a few coworking spaces to try out:

  • The Hub Chiang Mai
  • Punspace (Tha PhaeGate)
  • Hub53 Coworking and Co-Living Space


Bangkok is bigger than Chiang Mai and can seem a little more manic, with huge multi-lane roads, buzzing traffic and high rise condos towering into the skyline. While it is the most expensive Thai city to live in, it has lots to offer the eager digital nomad.

And, you’ll be spoilt for choice regarding where to eat, with plentiful local and international restaurants and local hawker markets down side streets.

A comfortable condo with a pool can be rented for as little as 6,000 Baht ($177.99) a month and transport options are abundant like the BTS Skytrain, MRT Subway, taxis, tuk tuks, motorbike taxis and khlong boats. A few coworking spaces to check out include:

Common Ground –  home of one of Thailand’s largest coworking communities and leading Coworking space. Modern, stylish offices to an extensive range of support services, Common Ground has designed their workspaces and amenities to build a community and lifestyle to help your business succeed.

More than just a shared typical serviced office rental, their locations across Thailand provide you with a platform to meet like-minded people who can help to push your business forward.

Whether you need a hot desk or a custom HQ buildout, you’ll be joining a vibrant community in Southeast Asia that allows you to enjoy more flexibility and greater networking opportunities.

Koh Lanta

Koh Lanta is a popular island with long stretches of white sand. Because of its size, you can always find a stretch of beach that is uncrowded. It has many great restaurants, bars and cafes, plus a popular coworking space by the beach called KoHub.

The working environment here is relaxed, but has all the mod cons a digital nomad needs like high-speed wifi, Skype rooms, tropical garden views, hammocks and co-living accommodation. Oh, and it’s 5 minutes from the beach so you can cool off after a hard day’s work!

Koh Phangan

With plenty of stunning beaches, quiet resorts and bungalows next to the beach with fast internet connections it’s also an ideal place for the Digital Nomad Life. It also has a few coworking and co-living spaces worth checking out:

 Koh Samui

Koh Samui has something for everyone, from luxurious resorts to cozy bungalows by the beach to work and relax in. It has affordable accommodation, many restaurants and bars, cafes, beaches and a bustling nightlife.

Because of the comfortable way of living here, there are already many digital nomads and expats who have made this place their home. The island has adequate internet and a range of coworking spaces to get work done and meet like-minded individuals. The best places to work in Koh Samui include:

  • Mantra Work Lounge
  • WYSIWYG Coworking Space and Café



Stephen Park
Stephen Park

Senior Well Test Supervisor

“When you are a professional working remotely from Thailand you need a reliable and efficient agency for your HR related matters. Aster Lion have done exactly that over the last 2 years giving me peace of mind to get on with my work, worry free. Thoroughly recommendable!”.

Bruno Butragueno
Bruno Butragueno

Business Development

"Since the first communication with AsterLion, it has all been great service and easy steps. The team is extremely professional and always is there to solve your questions or doubts.  The whole process of getting established might seem like a big deal, but the AsterLion team walk you through it step by step with the outmost professionalism. What seemed to be hard and slow, becomes easy and fast with the services provided from Aster Lion."

Jane Wang
Jane Wang

Managing Director - D.E. Consulting

“We have worked with Aster Lion for several years. They are professional, efficient and friendly. Tailor made solutions to our needs are the best part of their services. Their staff are very experienced and hard working. We are impressed of their focus and dedication in what they do!“

Andrew Plumridge
Andrew Plumridge

Business Development

“Aster Lion have been supporting me in business now for 2 years and had set the bar very high for their service back in 2020. At every step of the way, they have maintained this high level of service throughout. Their knowledge and experience has given me stress free management for my business requirements.”

Ian Cardno
Ian Cardno

Marine Warranty Surveyor

“I was very lucky to be connected to Aster Lion as they assisted me with my HR requirements to get set up in Thailand. The process was carried out in a very professional and timely manner, without any issues and the communication was also very clearly explained to me throughout the engagement. I would highly recommend Aster Lion to anyone with HR or Payroll requirements in Thailand.”

Capt. Chris Baker
Capt. Chris Baker

Offshore Installation Manager

"During the time that I have been working with Aster Lion Consulting, I have found them to be efficient in handling my business in all respects. I have found their staff to be professional, courteous and timely in both organising my affairs and in keeping personal appointments. I have already recommended them to several of my colleagues who have taken advantage of their service and would do so again without hesitation."


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Travel Options for Digital Nomads in Thailand

Travel Options for Digital
Nomads in Thailand

Tuk Tuks in Thailand

There are multiple ways to get around in Thailand depending on your budget and needs. The options include:

  • Taxi. to run on a meter
  • Bicycle Many locals and guesthouses will rent bicycles by the day and monthly.
  • Tuk Tuk. Affordable way to travel short distances. Agree on a price before you go.
  • Motorcycle Taxi. Great way to travel in busy, congested cities such as Bangkok as they zip in and out of traffic.
  • Private buses are used to travel long distances like between cities and some have sleeper options.
  • Great for long distance travel and to enjoy a more scenic ride. Can get overnight trains between major destinations.
  • Rented Motorcycle. If you stay long term, a rented motorcycle will save you money on travel. Daily rates range from 120-600 Baht and monthly 3,500-10,000 Baht.

How Hiring a Professional Employer of Record Partner Can Help

How Hiring a Professional Employer of Record
Partner Can Help

Glasses and book on table

A professional Employer of Record (EOR provider) can help your firm fulfill your Thailand staffing requirements and you can save money, paperwork, labor costs, and legal troubles by working with a firm that specializes in Thailand EOR & payroll solutions.


These specialized firms already know and comply with Thai employment law, whether you need a local labor force supplemented by in-person or remote workers, or you just need assistance paying your employees properly.

How Aster Lion Can Help

How Aster Lion Can Help

Reach out to our team for a free consultation to understand the requirements and steps involved in getting you set up and running a business in Thailand.

We’ll help you navigate through the entire process to ensure you’re up and running with the least amount of steps.  You can reach us directly by entering your details below and someone from our team will reach out.

Aster Lion is an Employer of Record based in Thailand providing the following services:

  • Visa & Work Permits Including Digital Nomad Visa options
  • Corporate Secretary Services
  • HR & Payroll Solutions

Let us know how we can help you!

Relevant Resources to Support Your Business

Relevant Resources to
Support Your Business

Stack of white folders

Thailand has a series of laws and regulations governing employee-employer relationships. Learn what these laws are and what entitlements you have. Learn here: Navigating Thai Labor Law.

Do you plan on employing Thai people in the future? Then you need to know about Thailand’s strict labor laws. Read more here: Five Things You Should Know About Employing People in Thailand.

Throughout the world, Thailand is known as a safe haven for businesses. The Board of Investments (BOI) supports companies here. Read more about their policies and processes: Board of Investment Support – Businesses in Thailand.

China aims to restructure international trade through the Silk Road which will become known as the One Belt, One Road (OBOR). This connects China with Asia, Europe and Africa: One Belt, One Road – Thailand’s Place in the Silk Road Initiative.

Thailand already has a great infrastructure, but plans are in place to make significant upgrades. For more details, you can refer to this article: Thai Infrastructure.

The Thailand 4.0 economic initiative is the master plan to free the country from the middle-income trap and become a high income nation. Read about the four objectives here: Thailand 4.0.

Thailand is a leading destination for foreign direct investment and the world’s fastest growing region. So, what does this mean? Learn more: World’s Fastest Growing Region.

Thailand has a stable economy with a strong export base. It is the second largest economy in Southeast Asia, only behind Indonesia. Read more details here: Thailand’s New Engines of Growth.

The kingdom of Thailand has come far since it was formerly known as Siam in 1949. It’s now become an economic and political center and is an investors gateway to Asia. Read more: Gateway to the Lucrative Southeast Asia Region.

Thailand has a long history of being a generous and liberal trading partner. Read more about Regional and International Cooperation in Thailand

Thailand has streamlined laws, regulations and application procedures for businesses. Thailand’s Business-Friendly Climate ranked it 26th of 181 countries for doing business.

Under the Thailand economic model 4.0, science and technology in Thailand is becoming more of a focus to continue driving prosperity.


Need Help? Contact Us For a Free Consultation

Need Help? Contact Us For a
Free Consultation

And Receive Your Thailand SMART & LTR Visa Requirement Checklist

And Receive Your Thailand SMART & LTR Visa Requirement Checklist

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