In recent weeks Thailand has announced several new visa initiatives that will make it easier for both digital nomads and tourists to visit the country for an extended period. Officially approved by the Thai cabinet on 28 May 2024, we are checking the news daily for updates on this exciting visa.


60-Day Visa Exemption for Tourists

First, citizens of 93 countries, including the US, UK, most of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, can now travel to Thailand as a tourist visa-free for up to 60 days. This doubles the time allowed by the previous tourist visa scheme.

They have also added several countries to the list of eligible countries to apply for a 15-day tourist visa on arrival. You can find full lists of countries eligible for both programs on the Thai Embassy’s Facebook page.


Destination Thailand Visa

The new Destination Thailand Visa is an even more exciting prospect. It is aimed at remote workers and digital nomads, as well as people traveling to Thailand for sporting events or training in activities such as Muay Thai or Thai cooking.

The visa will be a five-year, multiple-entry visa that allows qualifying individuals to stay for up to 180 days per year. While the visa does not allow the holder to work within the local Thai economy, you can work for an international company and won’t be charged tax on this income in Thailand.

Full details of the application process have not yet been released, but it will probably be your closest Thai embassy or consulate. The application fee has been set at THB 10,000, which is about US$272. Applicants must also show that they have at least THB 500,000 (US$13,600) to support them during their time in Thailand. This suggests an accessible minimum income level of US$2,270 per month for digital nomads to qualify.

It has already been announced that lead applicants, who must be over 20 years old, will be able to sponsor family members to join them in Thailand for the duration of their visa. In this case, family members include a legally married opposite-sex partner and dependent children up to the age of 20.


Why Choose Thailand as a Digital Nomad

Thailand has long been a popular destination for digital nomads, and the Thai city of Chiang Mai was one of the first “international digital nomad hotspots” and remains a popular destination despite being popular for more than two decades.

You can read our full guide to Chiang Mai for digital nomads here.

But why is Thailand such a popular choice for digital nomads, aside from these recent visa announcements?


Affordable Cost of Living

This is first on the list as many digital nomads seek countries with an affordable cost of living so that their income can go further. The cost of living in Thailand is extremely affordable, with Numbeo estimating that a single person needs less than US$600 a month excluding rent.

Food, especially eating out, is very well-priced. However, you do need to choose local fare, as imported goods can be both expensive and hard to come by. But with Pad Thai and Thai Green Curry on the menu, not to mention fresh coconut water and Singha beer, it’s no problem.

Public transport is cheap, and the country is well-served. You can also get internal flights at good prices. Renting a motorbike is a convenient and affordable way to get around too.

Rent is affordable, ranging from US$200-$1,000 per month depending on where you are and what you choose. Utilities can be pricey, but you can get a decent internet connection for less than US$20 per month in most of the larger cities.

One digital nomad shared their monthly living expenses for Thailand in Chiang Mai in 2023 saying they spent:

  • US$300 on rent, utilities, and internet
  • US$200 on food, including lots of eating out
  • US$100 on scooter rental and gas
  • US$70 on evenings out

While that might be a modest budget, it is clear that for most people your money will go a lot further in Thailand.


Beautiful Country

There are many beautiful countries around the world, but Thailand must be one of the most beautiful. It has long Southeast Asian coastlines extending down both the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea and has hundreds of small islands. They all feature white sandy beaches with shady palm trees.

Turn your attention inland, and you will find a lush green interior of mountains, jungles, and rice paddies to explore. While it has big cities, much of the coast and countryside feel untouched, with welcoming cities acting as gateways to traditional villages.


Fascinating Culture

Thailand is known as the land of smiles because it is known as a welcoming country where people tend to practice gratitude and look on the bright side of life. Built on Buddhist principles, there are thousands of beautiful Buddhist temples, old and new, to discover.

While Bangkok is a megacity of more than five million people, the rest of Thailand is dominated by much smaller cities with populations between 50,000-200,000, and small villages. This makes it easy to discover the traditional side of Thai life, which involves delicious spicy curries, fresh fruits, and seafood, food and craft markets, Muay Thai fighting, and monks walking the streets.

On the flip side, Thailand is extremely patriotic, and its royal family is beloved. Visitors should be careful to respect the royal family at all times. Respect and social hierarchy are important in Thailand more generally.


Warm Weather

Thailand is perfect for sun chasers as it has warm weather throughout the year. Expect highs in the mid-20s in the winter and the mid-30s in the summer. There is Monsoon season to contend with, usually between May and October, but it hits different parts of the country at different times, so you can avoid the worst of it with careful travel planning.


Well-Established Digital Nomad Culture

Thailand has been a popular destination with digital nomads and expats for decades, so there is a well-established community with good infrastructure in place. In Bangkok and Chiang Mai, you won’t just find excellent coworking spaces, but coliving spaces, digital nomad communities, and services such as yoga studios and coffee houses designed with digital nomads in mind.

While there are fewer facilities in other parts of the country, almost everywhere you will be able to find a great place to work with good internet speeds.

However, be aware that English language proficiency among locals is usually enough to communicate with visitors, but not necessarily enough to form deeper relationships and connections immediately.



Healthcare in Thailand is excellent, as good as in the West, and many people travel to Thailand for elective medical procedures. While foreigners will have to pay for medical care, the prices are very reasonable, making it an affordable alternative for foreigners from places like the United States.


Heading to Thailand?

Thailand has always been a popular destination for digital nomads, and that is set to increase as it becomes easier to visit both for 90 days visa-free as a tourist and up to 180 days at a time on a digital nomad visa. Hopefully, this will see even more great facilities for digital nomads popping up around Thailand without negatively impacting the local culture and economy of the wonderful visitor experience.