This is a guest post by my husband, Nick. You can find him on YouTube vlogging our daily life on the road!
These visa suggestions are specific to USA-based travelers, however there are similar if not identical visa options for many other countries. If you are not from the USA, I hope you will use this guide as a framework and then conduct your own research based on your country of residence.
Thailand has been an established mecca for digital nomads for several years now. The combination of low cost of living, excellent weather, western amenities, and expat community make it an extremely attractive place for people looking to bootstrap new businesses or run their existing businesses.
If you’re looking to come to Thailand either for a short term trip, or to make Thailand your digital nomad home base, you’ll need to consider visa options for your stay.
After several trips in and out of Thailand as a digital nomad, I’ve determined that there are three visa options best suited for digital nomads.
30-Day Visa Exemption
The simplest (and cheapest!) of them all. Show up, fill out an immigration card, and you’ll get 30 days in Thailand without a paper visa. This option is great if you already know your travel plans and are confident that you won’t need more than a month in Thailand.
60-Day Single Entry Tourist Visa
If you want to spend 1-2 months in Thailand before traveling on to another destination, a single entry tourist visa is a perfect option. You can apply at any Thai embassy or consulate around the world, not just one in your home country. I’m currently in Thailand on a single entry visa I applied for in Singapore. The exact cost will vary depending on the currency used for payment but it should not exceed $50 USD.
6-Month Multiple Entry Tourist Visa
This is a relatively new visa option for USA-based travelers and it affords the most flexibility of all three options. This visa must be applied for in your home country, which means you won’t be able to acquire one if you are already on the road. Once you have one of these visas in your passport, you will be able to come and go from Thailand as much as you please over a 6 month period and you are granted 60 days per individual entry.
and now the kicker…
30-Day Visa Extension
1900 THB ($50-60 USD)
Any of the three visa options listed above can be extended for 30 days once you are already on the ground in Thailand! This does include the 30-day visa exemption. The steps are simple.
1. Go to the immigration office nearest you
2. Bring your passport with current visa and two passport photos
3. Fill out the necessary forms at the immigration office
4. Pay 1900 THB
This process effectively turns a 30-day visa exemption into a 60-day visa, and a 60-day single entry visa into a 90-day visa!
For the multiple entry tourist visa, you can apply an extension to each individual entry, meaning the extension can be applied multiple times throughout the course of the visa.
My recommendation for the multiple entry visa is to enter Thailand just before your visa expires. You will be granted another 60 day stay in Thailand (even if your visa expires during the stay) and then you can further extend that stay to 90 days! In practice, this means that your 6 month visa will net you 9 months of travel in and out of Thailand, provided you stay for 3 months at once at the very end of your visa.
I hope you’ve found this post useful. Please let me know if you have any other questions about visas in Thailand! I’ll be happy to help!