Young Pioneer Tours

What’s the score with the new Thai Digital Nomad visa?

Many sources have recently been reporting on Thailand both letting in more countries visa free, as well as the new Digital Nomad visa. What though is all the fuss about and how does it compare with other similar schemes in the region?

Well while it is a very interesting development, there is as expected much to read from the fine print, as well as other schemes in close proximity that are slightly better.

Thai Digital Nomad visa

The Skinny on the Thai Digital Nomad visa

Thailand have essentially brought in the scheme to try and persuade more people to come to live in Thailand as Digital Nomads. In fact, lots of people already do this. In theory though this should make it easier right?

OK so the nexus of this new plan is that you prove you have about $10k USD in the bank and then you go pay $280 for a 180-day visa. You are then free to live in Thailand for this period without leaving. This is as opposed to going to an office every few months, or doing a visa run. This can then be expended for another 6 months for the same price and run around.

What is also does though, as Thailand were eager to announce is put you other tax radar. This goes from $4k to $28k per year and ranges from 5-20%. Quite how rigorously this will be enacted is yet to be seen, but when you factor in Thailand regularly does raids to catch foreign part time workers you can take an educated guess.

Thus here it should be noted that people are regularly arrested for doing jobs as innocuous as teaching swimming within the Kingdom of Smiles….

The Cambodian work visa vs the Thai Digital Nomad Visa

With this in mind we personally feel that the Cambodian work visa actually offers an excellent alternative to the Thai Digital Visa, not least for cost, but also ease of lifestyle and safety from state interference.

Technically a work visa is just that, a visa to work in the country which can be obtained by your employer. This works for people with a job. It should though be noted that unlike within other regional neighbours your work permit is not tied to your employer, so if you leave you can happily find another job.

You can read about getting a Cambodian visa here

And again unlike other nations you are not precluded from taking low skilled jobs, such as bartending and the like, with the freedom offered being comparable to living in your home country.

Should you not wish to find a job though and indeed be a digital nomad then things are even better. Firstly purchasing a work visa and permit in Cambodia costs around $530 a year making it comparable to the Thai Digital Visa. It should though be noted that it is for one year, not 6 months, thus removing one boring trip or an office.

To read about traveling by train in Thailand click here.

Unlike in Thailand said visa will allow you also to open a bank account within Cambodia. This not only gives ease with payment within the region, but also a bank account in a operate jurisdiction.

From a safety point of view too, the Cambodian work visa covers so many lines of employment that not only will you not be breaking the law, but that police raids on foreign workers simply do not take place.

Technically residency does open you up to taxation within Cambodia, something you should do your own research on, but this is not an issue I have ever known anyone to have. Generally speaking Cambodia seem happy that people choose to live and indeed spend their money there.

About Post Author