One of Our Favorite Southeast Asian Countries Just Launched a Digital Nomad Visa

The new Destination Thailand Visa will allow remote workers to stay for up to five years. Here’s what you need to know.

A small wooden boat with a flag tied to an anchor in the sand and soaring island rocks in the background on the beach in Phuket, Thailand

Spend your weekends exploring Phuket as a remote worker based in Thailand.


With more people working remotely in a post-pandemic world, numerous countries are rethinking how to appeal to and attract global workers. In recent months, Türkiye, Canada, Italy, and Japan have all rolled out digital nomad visas, inviting travelers who work remotely to live within their borders for six months to a year. Not to be left out, Thailand not only announced a similar visa scheme—but also upped the ante.

On May 30, the Southeast Asia nation unveiled a splashy new digital-nomad visa program that will allow remote workers to stay in the country, working from buzzy coworking spaces in Bangkok or beach cafés in Koh Samui, for up to five years. And unlike other visa programs, it extends to people interested in long-term cultural immersion in the country. According to the official announcement, “The effective date of the new measures will be announced upon the completion of final legal procedures.”

Called the Destination Thailand Visa (DTV), it’s aimed at “digital nomads, remote workers, and freelancers, as well as those who want to learn muay Thai [boxing] and Thai cuisine,” Chai Wacharonke, Thailand’s foreign ministry spokesman, said during a press conference announcing the visa program in May.

Applicants must be at least 20 years old and either be self-employed or work for a business outside Thailand. The application fee for the visa is 10,000 Thai baht (about US$272 based on current conversion rates).

There is currently no specified minimum income, a common requirement for remote worker visas (for example, Spain requires $2,800 a month and Iceland demands roughly $7,700 a month). The Destination Thailand Visa is a big departure from Thailand’s Long-Term Residence Visa, previously the only way to stay in the country for a prolonged period, which required a $1,600 visa fee and proof that the applicant made at least $80,000 a year, among other significant financial hurdles. Those who are approved for the new digital nomad visa are welcome to bring their spouse and children, who are not required to get a visa of their own.

Once the visa is live, people interested can apply online through the official Thai e-visa website (an option only available to some nationalities, the United States being one of them) or by making a visa appointment at a Thai consulate or embassy.

While the visa allows you to stay in the country for up to five years, there is one unique stipulation you may want to consider before submitting an application. Destination Thailand Visa holders are required to leave and reenter the country every 180 days, and they have to pay the visa fee again each time.

Thailand has long been popular with digital nomads (even though they could previously stay a maximum of 60 days on a tourist visa and technically weren’t supposed to work there) and expats—the country recently ranked as one of the top countries in the world for expats—due to the low cost of living, the cuisine, the friendliness, and the ease of finding good, affordable housing. Additionally, it is one of the countries in the world where the American dollar goes furthest for travelers.

However, there’s a chance the Land of Smiles will be more in demand in the coming years, in part due to the popularity of the HBO anthology miniseries The White Lotus, which will see its third season, tentatively scheduled for release in 2025, based in Thailand. The first two seasons resulted in such an influx of travelers to the filming locations, Hawaii and Sicily, that it became known as “The White Lotus Effect.”

Bailey Berg is a freelance travel writer and editor, who covers breaking news, trends, tips, transportation, sustainability, the outdoors, and more. She was formerly the associate travel news editor at Afar. Her work can also be found in the New York Times, the Washington Post, National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, the Points Guy, Atlas Obscura, Vice, Thrillist, Men’s Journal, Architectural Digest, Forbes, Lonely Planet, and beyond.
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