Digital Nomad Visa Comparison: United Arab Emirates vs. Thailand

A comparison of remote work visas for United Arab Emirates and Thailand.

Digital Nomad Visa Comparison: United Arab Emirates vs. Thailand

Digital Nomad Visa Requirements: United Arab Emirates vs Thailand

If you're a remote worker looking to travel and work, there are now more options than ever when it comes to visa programs for digital nomads. In this article, we'll compare the digital nomad visa requirements of United Arab Emirates and Thailand, two countries that offer unique opportunities for digital nomads.

United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) recently introduced a Virtual Working Programme in response to the growing trend of remote work. This program allows digital nomads to live and work remotely in Dubai while enjoying the city's modern amenities and world-class infrastructure.

Requirements for the Virtual Working Programme

Cost of Visa US$611 (including application fees, processing fees, pre-application medical exam, and emirates ID)
Length of Stay 1 year, renewable upon re-application
Income Requirement Yes - a minimum of US$5,000 per month salary
Remote Work Allowed Yes
Local Employment Prohibited Virtual Program document holders and their dependents cannot perform work for a local employer in Dubai or provide any services to any person or entity carrying out business in Dubai
Health Insurance Requirement Must have a health insurance with UAE coverage validity
Proof of Employment Proof of employment from current employer with a one-year contract validity
Bank Statements Must have a minimum salary of US$5,000 per month along with last month's pay slip and 3 preceding months bank statement, Business owners must provide proof of ownership of their business, and should have an average monthly income of US$5,000 along with 3 preceding months' bank statement
Criminal Record Check No


Thailand's Long Term Resident Visa Program is another attractive option for digital nomads. Thailand is known for its beautiful beaches, friendly people, and delicious cuisine, making it an appealing destination for remote workers looking for a change of scenery.

Requirements for the Long Term Resident Visa Program

Cost of Visa Government Fee: THB 50,000 per person for 10-year visa with Multiple entry • Government Fee: THB 3,000 per year to maintain Digital Work Permit
Length of Stay Visa will be granted to stay in Thailand for the first time for five (5) years which can be extended for five (5) more years if qualifications are met
Income Requirement US$80,000 annually • If the income is between US$40,000 to US$80,000, Applicant is required to at least have a Master's degree, own intellectual property, or receive Series A funding
Remote Work Allowed No work limitations, however, the individual needs to be aware of the PE issue for the activity carry on in Thailand for benefit of foreign entity
Local Employment Prohibited -
Health Insurance Requirement The applicant should have health insurance with coverage of at least US$50,000 or Social Security Benefits supporting treatment in Thailand or a bank deposit of no less than US$ 100,000
Proof of Employment If the income of applicant is between US$40,000 to US$80,000 in the past two years, he is required to have at least a Master's Degree, receive Series A funding, or own intellectual property. The applicant is required to have at least relevant working experience of five years over the past 10 years, His current employer should either be a public company (listed on a stock exchange anywhere), or a private company with at least three year of operations with revenue for the last 3 years should be at least US$150 Million
Criminal Record Check A letter of verification issued within the last 10 years by the country of Residence/ Nationality indicating clear criminal record might be required

Choosing Between United Arab Emirates and Thailand

Both United Arab Emirates and Thailand offer unique experiences for digital nomads. UAE is an ideal destination for those looking to experience the modern lifestyle in the Middle East, with access to world-class infrastructure and amenities. In contrast, Thailand is great for those seeking an immersive cultural experience, with its stunning landscape, rich cuisine, and warm-hearted locals. Ultimately, the decision comes down to personal preference, such as work requirements, lifestyle, and the desired level of cultural immersion when choosing between these two visa programs to begin your digital nomad journey.