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Telling Immigration officers you work online, if questioned at border


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Let's say 53 year old remote worker and 53 year old early retiree, both receiving the same amount of money per month...are you honestly going to say that 53 year old retiree is somehow more valuable to Thailand or his home country than that still working other guy?!

3 remote workers Vs 300,000 retirees on the same income.

Which group has the most value?

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Staying long long term on tourist visa, living in the same long term rental at a steep discount is not what the Tourist folks generally have in mind. How any of these arguments will fare when bounced against the simple argument "hey, I am here and spending money in Thailand", only time will tell

HA HA HA! "Steep discount"...since when farangs have gotten that kind of deals in Thailand?! More like the exact opposite.

Some people just do not like remote workers no matter what. They absolutely hate the fact the world has changed and where you work from does not matter that much anymore.

For Thailand it is a win-win situation. Money coming in, 5-15 times of average Thai salary per month. No obligations to pay anything back, like social security or even hospital bills.

Let's say 53 year old remote worker and 53 year old early retiree, both receiving the same amount of money per month...are you honestly going to say that 53 year old retiree is somehow more valuable to Thailand or his home country than that still working other guy?!

Apart from the fact that the digital nomad is not paying tax here like all the other legal workers.

Why don't you actually speak with digital nomads to ask if they would be willing to pay tax if a formal arrangement could be made, rather than spicing up your mundane life with yet another message-board "win"?

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Let's say 53 year old remote worker and 53 year old early retiree, both receiving the same amount of money per month...are you honestly going to say that 53 year old retiree is somehow more valuable to Thailand or his home country than that still working other guy?!

3 remote workers Vs 300,000 retirees on the same income.

Which group has the most value?

Not only have you seemingly plucked numerical figures from out of thin air, but your comparison is not consistent with the post you quoted—Timwin was using an example in which two individual subjects of the same age are compared. Do you understand what a valid scientific process is?

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Once I got 24 likes for an extremely witty post. I felt guilty, knowing TV would be paying me for such great content. I reported myself to immigration.

Then I went home and did a 45 minute video on what i ate today.

11 instagram pictures, 234 twitter posts, 2 new facebook friends, and now i'm going to write an e-book and get money from all these minions who worship me.

oh wait.......check from youtube.......11 cents

wut up now

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Here is the link to the story in question. I think Thai Visa should allow this at it adds relevance to this topic: http://afarangabroad.com/2015/11/immigration-don-muang-airport/

At the end of the day this guy tells Immigration that he is in Thailand on holiday - which is a complete lie. He is entering Thailand to run his Thailand related website/business, effectively working on a tourist visa and obviously without a work permit.

I don't want to turn this into another argument on whether digital nomads/bloggers are legal when working in Thailand. My own view is that Thailand should offer some kind of real visa for these people as they contribute to the local economy.

However, let's get it right, the guy told a blatant lie to the immigration officer.

If he had said something along the lines of: "Hello officer, I'm on a tourist visa, but I'm not a tourist. I live in Thailand most of the year and run a website about Thailand, which accepts advertising from other businesses in Thailand and therefore allows me to earn a salary in Thailand. I do this without a work permit, because of my tourist visa status. Oh and I don't pay any tax on the income I earned in Thailand".... I don't think the Immigration officer would have been quite so friendly!

Hi there,

I did not lie to the immigration officer, I do not come to Thailand to work (I hate work in fact), I came here to have a very long holiday. Thankfully I am in a position where I earn an income without having to do anything.

For a lot of people this is something new, being able to generate an income without working 40 or more hours per week. I am in a lucky (and very grateful) position to be able to be on a permanent holiday. They call digital nomads the 'new rich', which means while they are not millionaires, they live simliar lives in terms of not having to work and life is just 100% lesiure.

I choose to spend most of my time in Thailand because it's such an amazing place and there are so many things to see. It's impossible to see the whole of Thailand is just 6 months.

You would need a good few years (at least) to fully understand this amazing country and its amazing people. I have been on a holiday in Bangkok for the last few years eating great food and talking to the locals, I still feel I've only scratched the surface of what this amazing country has to offer.

I'm not a backpacker who visits several places in a short space of time, I really want to experience a country and everything it has to offer. Thailand for me is an amazing place and I want to see everything. The people are so amazing!

Going by the "he's not on holiday he is here to work logic" means that everybody in the world who has a website, answers a work email or does anything work related is in volition of their visa anywhere in the world. Thankfully Thai immigration are smart and they use common sense. I told them the truth that I run an online business and they were happy with my answers.

Also, you can setup a bank account on a tourist visa at Bangkok Bank, I've written about it on my website.

Thailand actually likes bloggers as they bring in more toruism: http://www.bangkokpost.com/business/tourism-and-transport/731868/bloggers-log-on-to-thai-tourism

So I don't think they care 1 little bit about digital nomads, as they recently held a huge blogging expo in Thailand that got major press.

If anyone has any appropriate questions, I will do my best to answer them.

Thanks for listening, I hope you all have a wonderful time in amazing Thailand,

Harvie

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Let's say 53 year old remote worker and 53 year old early retiree, both receiving the same amount of money per month...are you honestly going to say that 53 year old retiree is somehow more valuable to Thailand or his home country than that still working other guy?!

3 remote workers Vs 300,000 retirees on the same income.

Which group has the most value?

The Thai elite do not like smart, industrious people in their country. They may pose a challenge in the future.

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I think its important to make a distinction between those online workers where their work is actually back in the UK or wherever home is (ie they manage a website for a UK business) and are able to show payments into a UK bank account. They simply are on extended holiday travel but are working for boss back home/even if boss is oneself...

The second category is an online worker who is making money from advertising marketing or click throughs from anything related to Thailand. And I'd suggest a travel blog might fall into this category.

I base this on dealings with my accountant and lawyer in bangkok where I get my tax and legal affairs managed as I have a business here self employed with all the little details to comply with.

They were very clear about defining where business was based and what based on.

When I enquired if I arranged all payments into foreign account would I simply be able to use my home country business and I was told as long as I could show my work was unrelated to being in Thailand (and blogging about Thailand is related to Thailand) and it was present existing ie I didn't start doing it whilst already in Thailand then OK.

For my situation I'm not totally online so had to register a business here etc - - still cheaper than home.

So when saying you work online to immigration I'd sttgly suggest you have proof of salary or payments ihtova foreign account and ability ticshownthem the type of online work you do to be very clear and make it easier for immigration officer as we know their attitude and knowledge vary from officer to officer and location to location.

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Just saw in a Bangkok facebook group this report...

You saw it, but did you believe it?

I did, it reminded me of other anecodotal reports on Thaivisa:

When I got my last visa I was asked how I supported myself I told them I work on line and showed them statements confirming I was paid into my UK account, they were happy with this and gave me a visa. I've got no interest in being "under the radar"

http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/749038-with-a-thai-elite-visa-can-a-person-work-legally-as-a-digital-nomad/page-7#entry8314920

Also the blog owner who posted the report is quite well known and has been featured in major Thai media.

Thank you for this additional information.

If I understand it correctly, the person referred to in post #1 was questioned at an unknown border entry point when he made the third entry into Thailand with his triple-entry tourist visa on an unknown date, and the person mentioned in post #5 was questioned when he applied for a visa of an unknown type at an unknown Thai consulate or embassy on an unknown date.

Both cases are interesting and worth noting. Still, is a pity that both did not give more details, for example a verbatim report of the – probably short – conversation with the immigration/consular officer. The dates would also be useful, as things seem to be changing fast.

On the whole, it is a positive sign if immigration and consular officials are not singling out so-called digital nomads for punishment for allegedly working illegally in Thailand.

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The dates are known at least to the extent here:

thaivisa.jpg

So while he was issued a 3 x entry Tourist visa in UK in May 2015, he won't be getting another one. The MFA has not 'singled out' the digital nomad. It has just eliminated the 2x entry Tourist visa issued in countries bordering/neighboring Thailand which was the modus operandi of choice of the long-term digital nomad staying in the country on successive tourist visas.

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