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Which Visa for Digital Nomad?


drano37

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I work remotely with a laptop, so I can work wherever I want. My business is online. I'm a US citizen.

So if I'm in Thailand and I want to turn on my laptop to do some work, wouldn't that be illegal with a tourist Visa? What kind of Visa should I apply for?

People who work remotely online are referred to as "digital nomads" by the way.

I think it might be better for me to contact US thai embassy or talk to Pattaya business services.

Advice?

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I think they mean you are working in Thailand for a working visa...if you are working in the US then you pay taxes there not in Thailand.

 

Working remotely doesn't really matter in the eyes of the great tax lord.

Where are you RDPing into and where is your company registered?

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Well my company is registered in New York, USA. I don't know what RDP is.

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2 minutes ago, article22 said:

I think they mean you are working in Thailand for a working Visa...if you are working in the US then you pay taxes there not in Thailand.

 

Working remotely doesn't really matter in the eyes of the great tax lord.

Where are you RDPing into and where is your company registered?

What is RDP?

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I don't know what the law is but I suspect either way the Thai authorities will probably not like you doing what you intend to do. However if you keep what you are doing to yourself nobody in Thailand will know what you are doing. Just look at options that other people are using to stay long-term (while not working) and I think you will be OK. Don't tell anyone what you are doing as there are some real pricks in Thailand!

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8 minutes ago, drano37 said:

What is RDP?

It stands for remote desktop protocol. Basically it is using software to view and use the desktop of another computer across a network (including the internet).

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I am in a similar situation, having worked remotely from many countries over the last few years. I take the position that since my company is based in the US, I invoice from the US, and paid in the US, that I am technically working in the US.

Now if/when you take up residence in a foreign country do you begin to have an issue.

As a real-world example, I do work remotely from CA. Because I am not a resident, and spending less than 183 days in the state, I do not have a tax liability in CA.

In 15 years and 20+ countries, I have never been asked or had an issue.

Sent from my LG-V521 using Tapatalk

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38 minutes ago, Scumbag said:

However if you keep what you are doing to yourself nobody in Thailand will know what you are doing. 

If he lives in Thailand for months or years, don't you think he eventually get questioned what he is doing in Thailand by farangs, by Thais or by official Thai people (bank, immigration office, driver licence office, etc) ? 

"I'm on holiday" works the first month.

Re: visa, the correct one for working is Non Immigrant B Visa. Getting the visa I think is easy enough. The challenge is to get a work permit. Some other visa alternatives are tourist visa, family visa (get married with or get a kid with a Thai), student visa, retirement visa (50+), elite visa (convenient but expensive) and PR (convenient but troublesome to get).

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13 minutes ago, Douchebag said:

If he lives in Thailand for months or years, don't you think he eventually get questioned what he is doing in Thailand by farangs, by Thais or by official Thai people (bank, immigration office, driver licence office, etc) ? 

"I'm on holiday" works the first month.

I suspect that there are thousands of people who have been doing it in Thailand for many years. I know one guy who has lived in Thailand since I first visited in 2006.

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1 hour ago, moucher said:

I am in a similar situation, having worked remotely from many countries over the last few years. I take the position that since my company is based in the US, I invoice from the US, and paid in the US, that I am technically working in the US.

Now if/when you take up residence in a foreign country do you begin to have an issue.

As a real-world example, I do work remotely from CA. Because I am not a resident, and spending less than 183 days in the state, I do not have a tax liability in CA.

In 15 years and 20+ countries, I have never been asked or had an issue.

Sent from my LG-V521 using Tapatalk
 

so you just have a regular Tourist Visa? what kind of visa do you have?

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Just pretend you're not working and everything should be ok.
Seriously, just keep yourself to yourself and pretend you're just a tourist.
Most immigration stings are set up by jealous folks grassing others up.

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3 minutes ago, misteregg said:

Just pretend you're not working and everything should be ok.
Seriously, just keep yourself to yourself and pretend you're just a tourist.
Most immigration stings are set up by jealous folks grassing others up.

Exactly well said!! OP read this and take note...

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so you just have a regular Tourist Visa? what kind of visa do you have?

I always travel on a tourist visa, almost always visa waiver.

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I work for a bank in Hong Kong and have done since late 80's have had no option but to access work when in Thailand but absolutely keep it to myself and wouldnt dream of accessing it sat in a bar etc etc

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Working remotely like you described is irrelevant to your stay in Thailand. You can't get a work permit so there is no relevant visa. As already stated you just need to be discreet about working here.

Type of visa you would want depends on how long you intend to stay. If you are over 50 it is easier.

 

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If you want to become legal. Setup a Company and then you can get a Visa once the Capital is paid up. Not sure if that's the best option IMHO for most one man Digital Nomad operations. MrEgg's post is the best way.

Daryle

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2 hours ago, Daryle said:

If you want to become legal. Setup a Company and then you can get a Visa once the Capital is paid up. Not sure if that's the best option IMHO for most one man Digital Nomad operations. MrEgg's post is the best way.

If you got to the point that this was the best option you can think of I would suggest that using the Thai Elite program would be a better option. The Elite Easy Access option includes a visa for 5 years at a cost of 500000 Baht.

5 Years Elite Easy Access

 

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22 hours ago, drano37 said:

I work remotely with a laptop, so I can work wherever I want. My business is online. I'm a US citizen.

So if I'm in Thailand and I want to turn on my laptop to do some work, wouldn't that be illegal with a tourist Visa? What kind of Visa should I apply for?

People who work remotely online are referred to as "digital nomads" by the way.

I think it might be better for me to contact US thai embassy or talk to Pattaya Business Services.

Advice?

As far as I am aware the Elite program still does not provide you with a work permit.

You could not set up a Company as you need to employ Thai workers.

The only way is to do as others suggest and just do it and not tell anyone. However being aware that if caught fine of 2,000-100,000 baht and/or 5 years in prison.

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27 minutes ago, Insomniac said:

As far as I am aware the Elite program still does not provide you with a Work Permit.

Obviously it doesn't but if you keep quiet you don't need one in the OPs situation.

Incidentally I have been told that there are farangs working for Thia immigration looking for farangs selling stuff online in Thailand. Apparently they see it as a business activity (pretty stupid IMO). I am not saying this is relavent to the OP but something people should keep in mind

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If you stay in Thailand, on any visa, for 180 day+ in any calendar you are legally required to submit a Thai tax return. That said, very few actually do it,

Submitting a tax return does NOT mean you will pay any tax, as tax is only due on money earned IN Thailand. However the tax return itself is a legal requirement. As i said before, very few people actually do it and i have only heard of a very few cases where people have been picked up about it and those were when they were 'after" the person anyway for other matters.

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