Thailand Retirement and Digital Nomads – Missed Visa Opportunities | VIDEO


Two visas that Thailand should promote now!

If there were two other groups, more suited to the Thai lifestyle, I don’t know what they are.

Thailand’s long-stay immigration laws have always been a challenge, retirement is just one of those categories.

It would seem like a perfect win-win situation to invite people to come and live in your country to see their leisure years and then be able to access the country’s hospital system, public and private, in their later years. Of course, they have to prove some sort of adequate income level and make sure that they will never be a burden on the Thai healthcare system.

Retirees spend a lot, they have time to travel and to enjoy the money they have accumulated over the course of their lives. They rent out properties from Thai owners and circulate their disposable income through the Thai economy.

But slight changes and adjustments in what is known as the retirement visa, or the Geeza visa, over the past few years have made it increasingly difficult for people over 50, the lower minimum age, to enjoy a long stay in Thailand.

And once they’re here, they still have to make their 90 reports and apply for their visa renewal. The requirements for money in the bank and proof of income have also reached levels that will exclude a wide range of potential retirees who do not necessarily want to live a luxury life in Thailand but who otherwise have sufficient funds for a style. comfortable living.

Unlike some of Thailand’s neighbors, there is certainly no program to actively attract retirees, facilitate the importation of a car or furniture, or provide some kind of concierge service to facilitate your settlement in Thailand.

The other group shunned by the Thai immigration system, and a huge missed opportunity, are the digital nomads.

Now we all have our own take on what a digital nomad is… usually someone would camp out in a cafe using free wifi and stay there for hours on end trading stocks, writing blogs, or setting up meetings with other digital nomads.

In reality, most digital nomads are relatively high spenders, stay in Thai hotels or rent an apartment, often for a long time. As “nomads” they also tend to travel. While many companies have businesses registered in other countries, mechanisms are in place for nomads working in Thailand to pay their share of taxes and the obligation to purchase the appropriate insurance so that they are not a burden for the Thai health system.

The new Smart Visa, launched in recent years, and modified to make it more widely available, provides a partial solution for some people who call themselves digital nomads but only concerns a small part of the population.

It is difficult to understand why the Thai government is making it difficult for these two groups, retirees and digital nomads, to enter and live long term in Thailand.

In the past, the Thai government has argued that the fight against transnational crime is the main reason it is difficult to live long term in the country without a lot of paperwork to weed out the new “goods and criminals”.

But now, with Covid-19 and border closures ravaging Amazing Thailand’s tourism strategy, the need to open immigration lines for more retirees and digital nomads just makes sense, both short and long. term.

Thailand could become the premier of Southeast Asia… dare I say it… “hub” for retirees and digital nomads, not only by tolerating them, but by promoting Thailand as THE place to take its retirement or work remotely.

The number of people of retirement age around the world is increasing. And Covid-19 has made teleworking a legitimate form of work for businesses large and small.

Thailand has the infrastructure for both… for retirees with many varieties of accommodation and a selection of different locations, and for digital nomads, one of the fastest and most reliable internet speeds in the world.

Thailand could change a few of its current visa categories to make things much easier for retirees and digital nomads, or they could just as easily add new visa categories that set parameters for both.

We all recognize Amazing Thailand and see the potential to replace the tourist shortage with a new flow of visa applicants… retirees and digital nomads… who can also contribute to the Amazing Thailand of the future.

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About Andrew Miller

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