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British, European, American, South American, Asian, Australasian. Thailand is awash with Expats. Whether it be business executives living the high life in Bangkok with their western salaries and luxury condominiums, or the young backpacker turned English teacher living on a shoestring budget in the not so affluent parts of town.
for Bangkok Hotels see here
In places like Pattaya and Phuket, Thailand expats have set up shop as bar owners and dive instructors, and then there are the new breed that have appeared on the scene as a consequence of the internet – the digital nomads, with their online businesses and freelance digital technology skills.
In my younger years I had a strong urge to travel. I have lived and worked in Canada, California, Egypt, London, the Channel Islands, and Taiwan (I am a Scotsman). I was also a Thailand expat – living and working in Bangkok and Pattaya – for two years (between 2002 – 2004).
I worked as a traveling salesman for my first job in Thailand; I had a short stint at teaching English as a second language; I worked in Phuket selling timeshare for a while; and I had some online business interests – affiliate websites and some basic web design projects that kept me going too. And by the way, I had never sold anything before I relocated to Thailand so sales was all new to me.
Anyway, I loved living in Thailand – the weather and the laid-back lifestyle I had in Pattaya; the buzz of Bangkok when I lived and worked there. But in 2004 I decided to move back to the UK, as I have a half Thai daughter (and son now) that I wanted to get educated in the Scottish school system.
My plan is to move back to Thailand after my girl (16) and my boy (12) finish school. Until that day, however, extended holidays have had to suffice thus far.
As I have touched on above though, there are many ways to attain Thailand expat status, some of which include: teaching English as a second language, owning a bar or business (such as a scuba diving school), working for a multinational company, working for a foreign embassy, NGO and AID posts, web-based businesses, and web-based freelance jobs.
TESOL & TEFL courses are available online and will help in securing English Teaching work if teaching English is something that you might have thought about. Securing a work visa for teaching English in Thailand is relatively straightforward if you have the correct qualifications in order.
In regards to visas in general, making money on the internet is a bit of a grey area in Thailand and most people who do it don’t have a work visa. Loads of people operate online businesses in Thailand, such as online stores and drop-shipping stores, as well as those with freelance skills and those who own and run affiliate websites, and they all do it on nothing more than a tourist visa.
There are, however, different visas you can get – depending on your circumstances, that allow you to stay in Thailand without bailing for the border and back again every 30 days to renew your 30 day tourist visa. The best bet if you’re not retired and have no connection to Thailand – ie. Thai family, Thai wife, Thai children, is the Education Visa. An Education Visa can usually be obtained if you enrol at one of the many language schools where you can learn Thai.
You can also apply for a ‘6 Month Multiple Entry Tourist Visa’ from your home country – obtaining a ‘6 Month Multiple Entry Tourist Visa’ will allow you to come and go in Thailand for 6 months and the visa can be extended for a further 3 months if you require.
Visas aside, above all, the most important thing you will need – if thinking about relocating to Thailand, is an online presence. WordPress is a free open-source content management system which allows the user to construct easy and effective websites quickly without the need for specialised web design skills. There are loads of WordPress tutorials on youtube and WordPress recommended web hosting companies such as SiteGround come with a free WordPress install and domain name.
‘for more on WordPress & SiteGround see my blog post here‘
Thai-nomad is hosted at SiteGround. If you would like to establish your presence online then my advice is to take a leap into the digital world and sign up at SiteGround today – you won’t regret it, and you’ll have a website up and running in no time.
Another invaluable resource for budding internet entrepreneurs and recommended reading is The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferriss.
This online sensation spent more than 4 years on the ‘New York Times Bestseller list’ and has been translated into 35 different languages. The book has become the online entrepreneurs ‘Handbook’ and is considered essential reading for many in the digital nomad community. The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss can be purchased online at Amazon.
Chok Dee (good luck) in your endeavours to become a Thailand expat.
for Bangkok Hotels see here
‘The secret of getting ahead is getting started.’
– Mark Twain
Copyright © 2016 Raymond Carroll