Thailand poised to welcome digital nomads.

Thailand’s government stepped closer last week to approving new smart visas that would allow ‘digital nomads’ to work legally in the Kingdom, a bold move in response to the changing ways in which people work in the digital age.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said the Board of Investment (BOI) and the government’s COVID-19 task force had already agreed on the details of the proposal, according to local media reports.

Digital tourists have needed creative visa agents to find ways of applying for a visa to stay in the country. The Smart Visa category would allow additional flexibility for potential nomads, currently in specific professions and require a high minimum monthly salary.”

Smart visas, launched not long before the pandemic, have been mainly limited to highly paid employees in the tech industry.

“Thailand now has the opportunity to be a market leader because the latest technologies make the wholesale resumption of traditional office-based working less and less likely,” said a spokesman for the lobbying group International Flexitravel.

This new proposal calls for overhauling the visa to allow digital travelers to remain in the Kingdom for up to four years without a work permit. Those able to obtain a new, multiple-entry Smart Visa under the terms of the proposal would be exempt from 90-day reporting or having to obtain re-entry permits.

Their family members would also be entitled to accompany them under the same flexible conditions. Foreigners with tourist visas could transfer to the Smart Visa if they had proof of at least six months’ employment and evidence of qualifications and experience, the Pattaya Mail reported.

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