With the two new Thailand visas, becoming a digital nomad in Thailand is easier than ever before.

Thailand Digital Nomad Visa: SMART vs. Long Term Resident Visa

In this article we will share details on how to compare Thailand Digital Nomad Visa: SMART vs. Long Term Resident options for your to consider your best option. Thailand is one of the greatest places in the world for digital nomads thanks to its perfect blend of favorable cost of living, high quality of infrastructure, lightning-fast internet, and picturesque location.

Consequently, Thailand has established Digital Nomad Visas to attract new international residents, and talents. This helps Thailand boost domestic consumption, investment, and, thus, the country’s economy.

This guide will feature a comprehensive look into two Thailand Digital Nomad Visas: Thailand Smart Visa and Thailand Long-Term Resident Visa.

The Thailand Smart Visa

The Thailand Smart Visa is a new type of visa intended to attract highly skilled labor and investors to help accelerate the growth of the country’s core industries. These core industries are referred to as the 13 S-Curve industries:

  • 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

Categories of Thailand Smart Visa

Thailand Smart Visa applicants will be assigned one of the following categories of Smart Visas based on the nature of their intended activities while in Thailand:

  • 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.

Benefits of Thailand Smart Visas

The Thailand Smart Visa offers the following advantages:

  • A four-year visa.
  • Removes the need to apply for a work visa.
  • A spouse and dependent children can join the Smart Visa holder in Thailand and enjoy the same job and residency privileges.
  • Extends the reporting period from 90 days to a full year.

The Thailand Long-Term Resident Visa

To encourage “high-potential” foreigners to make Thailand a regional center for living and doing business, the Thai government has recently established the Thailand Long-Term Resident Visa. This form of visa offers a variety of tax and non-tax perks.

Categories of Thailand Long-Term Resident Visa

There will be four categories of foreigners eligible for the Thailand Long-Term Resident visa:

  • 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 holder’s spouse and children are entitled to the LTR visa.

Benefits of Thailand LTR Visas

The Thailand Long-Term Resident Visa offers the following advantages:

  • Ten years of visa status that can be renewed.
  • Allows for an exemption in the mandatory ratio of four Thai workers for every one foreign worker.
  • Changes the reporting time frame from 90 to 365 days.
  • Permits entry and employment in Thailand (Digital Work permit).

Thailand has several different visas that can accommodate people from all walks of life, including digital nomads; all you have to do is figure out which one is suited best for you. With so many opportunities awaiting you in the Land of Smiles, let nothing hold you back in processing your Thailand Digital Nomad visa.

Check out our "Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Digital Nomad in Thailand"


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