Thai Smart Visa Targets Digital Nomads
Thailand's cabinet has approved a new Smart Visa in a bid to attract investors, start-up entrepreneurs, high-level executives and skilled professionals.
The Smart Visa does not require a work permit and will give recipients a four-year visa instead of the current one-year option. It also gives dependents the right to live and work in the country and extends the standard 90-day reporting period to immigration to an annual check-in.
According to officials, "the Smart Visa is intended to increase knowledge transfer and skill development in desirable fields such as technology and medicine". Eligible applicants will need to prove a minimum monthly income of 200,000 baht ($6,258). Applications for the visa began on February 1.
Other countries in Southeast Asia are also making efforts to attract digital nomads. Working in partnership with Malaysian urban regeneration group ThinkCity, the Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) is aiming to repopulate Kuala Lumpur's centre by creating co-working spaces that will attract foreign and local creative workers.
"Digital nomads will come in and bring new ideas," said Duncan Cave, ThinkCity's programme manager. "The synergies between them and local Malaysians should be great."
The Work/Life Revolution is gaining momentum across the globe. For more on the flexible workers who are swapping the nine-to-five for a nomadic lifestyle, see Tomorrow's Wandering Workers and Digital Nomads.