Relocate to Thailand through Shelter’s Umbrella Partnership Program

If you are a freelancer, digital business owner, or independent contractor and you wish to relocate to Thailand, you may apply for the Shelter Umbrella Partnership Program. Under this program, you will get a Thai Business Visa (Non-Immigrant B), digital work permit, and Thai Social Security Card for one year, renewable. 

You must work in software development, blockchain technology, design, marketing, business development, or other online, tech/digital-related activity and be able to invoice a minimum of USD $2,500 per month.

The business visa is personal, so you cannot include dependents. Your spouse and/or children may have to apply for a Non-Immigrant O Visa (short stay), tied to your Non-Immigrant visa.

Once you hold 3 consecutive 1-year visa extensions, tied to the same work permit, you may apply for permanent residency. You must have a monthly income of THB 80,000, earned in Thailand (THB 30,000 if married with a Thai Spouse for 5 years) or invest a minimum of THB 3-10,000,000 in Thailand, and attend an interview, where you must demonstrate knowledge of the Thai language.

The permanent residence permit will allow you to stay in Thailand indefinitely without needing a visa. However, a re-entry permit must be applied to leave Thailand, otherwise your PR may be cancelled.

With the permanent residence permit, you will still need a work permit to work in Thailand.


  • Are at least 22 years old
  • Work in software development, design, or other online, tech / digital-related activity
  • Have a relevant university degree, plus two years’ experience in your field, or at least five years’ total experience
  • Have an existing company / client base or ability to find your own clients
  • Bill a minimum of $2,500 USD per month
  • Ability to commit to a one-year contract

Restricted Nationalities

No nationality is officially restricted.

Documents Required

  1. Original Professional Reference Letter (Not older than 6 month)
  2. University diploma
  3. Professional and academic certificates
  4. Eight passport-size photos
  5. Original and photocopy of passport


  • Low tax jurisdiction
  • Territorial tax system
  • Low cost of living
  • High quality of life
  • Warm climate
  • Fast and easy process

Country Details

  • Currency: Thai Baht (THB)
  • Area Code: +66
  • Capital: Bangkok
  • Continent: Asia
  • Native Languages: Thai, English
  • Population: 67,000,000

The Kingdom of Thailand, formerly known as the Kingdom of Siam, is a Southeast Asian country and a member of ASEAN. It is located to the north of the Southeast Asia subregion, bordering to the east and north with Laos, through the Mekong River, southeast with Cambodia and the Gulf of Thailand, to the south with Malaysia and the west with the Andaman Sea and Myanmar (Burma).

Thailand is inhabited by 68 million people, of which more than a half live in rural areas. Its capital and most populated city is Bangkok (also known as Krung Thep Mahanakon), with over 8 million inhabitants, and 14.5 million including the whole metropolitan area. Its official language is Thai, although there are several regional languages and dialects. Its official currency is the Thai Baht (THB).


To be a tax-resident in Thailand you must spend at least 180 days in a calendar year in the country

Tax residents are subject to personal income tax on their income derived from Thailand and their foreign-source income remitted to Thailand in the year in which it is accrued. Income earned outside Thailand remitted after 1 year is tax-exempt.

Non-residents are subject to income tax on their Thai-source income.

Personal income tax is progressive at rates up to 35% for annual income exceeding THB5,000,000. Expatriates working on companies under certain tax incentive regimes (Regional Operating Headquarters (ROH), International Headquarters (IHQ), and International Trade Centers, ITC) may be entitled to be taxed at a 15% flat rate.

Dividends and interest are subject to a final withholding tax of 10% and 15%, respectively.

Capital gains are treated as ordinary income. However, those obtained from the sale of securities listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand or any other ASEAN stock exchange are tax exempt, though certain exceptions may apply.

Thailand does not have controlled foreign companies (CFC) regulations, so profits retained in foreign entities owned by tax-residents may not be attributable.

A 12.5% real property tax is levied annually on the rental value of the property. Inheritances over THB100,000,000 are taxed at a 10% rate, though reductions may apply under certain circumstances. A gift tax applies on donations of assets exceeding THB20,000,000 (10 million in the case that recipient is not a descendant, ascendant or spouse).

There are no taxes on net wealth in Thailand.

Regarding corporate taxation, resident entities are taxed on their worldwide income at a 20% rate. SMEs may be subject to lower progressive rates, provided that paid-in capital and net taxable profits do not exceed certain amounts.

Entities approved by the Board of Investment may have tax holidays up to 8 years. Companies under The International Headquarters (IHQ) and International Trade Center (ITC) regimes may be exempted from CIT for up to 15 years, among other tax incentives.

  • Property Tax: Yes
  • Transfer Tax: Yes
  • Inheritance Tax: No
  • Net Worth Tax: No
  • CFC Law: No
  • Tax Residency Days: 180
  • Personal Income Tax Rate: 35%
  • Capital Gains Tax Rate: 35%
  • Investment Income Tax Rate: 15%
  • Territorial Taxation: Yes


1. Pre-Approval

Unless you were already pre-approved by one of representatives, the first step is to submit a Shelter Application Form (~5 minutes).

We will be looking to see that you meet the five basic requirements:

  • Are at least 22 years old
  • Have either one of the following:
    • (a) an IT-related university degree, plus at least 2 years of relevant work experience
    • (b) any type of university/college/school diploma or certificate, plus at least 5 years of relevant work experience
  • 2+ years experience in software development, blockchain, design, marketing, or other online, tech/digital-related activity
  • Existing client base or business
  • Can bill at least 1,500 USD through Shelter

2. Document Collection

The first step will be to gather all of the documents we need in order to approve your job title. The general requirements are twofold: an IT-related university degree and 2 years working in that field. However if your degree is not in an IT-related field or you only have a high school diploma, then you need to have 5 years related work experience.

You will need to gather your university degree and letters or certificates from previous employers. If you have set up a legal entity, you can write a self-reference letter as a director of your company.

Note on translation If your documents are not in English or Thai, then you need to have them translated by a Thailand-based translation company. We can recommend a few services who can do the translation on your behalf.

3. Title Approval

Next, send the documents to Shelter to have your title approved. The process takes around 8-10 days.

4. Receive Business Visa Package

The next step is to get you the visa package you will need to present when applying for your Non-Immigrant type “B” visa. It should take around 2-3 days for us to prepare all the documents you need.

If you’re in Chiang Mai, you can simply pick up all the documents from our office. If not, we can have them delivered to you. For international delivery, please allow up to 2 weeks.

5. Apply for Visa at Thai Embassy

The next step is to visit a Thai embassy or consulate outside of Thailand to submit your application and pick up your visa.

If you’re still in your home country, you should apply at the Thai embassy in your country. If you’re in Thailand already, then you need to exit Thailand and apply at a Thai embassy or consulate in a neighboring country.

We personally recommend going to a Thai consulate or embassy in Malaysia if you fall into this category. At the Penang and Kuala Lumpur Thai Consulates, you can drop off your application and pick up the passport the next day. Malaysia is also convenient because citizens from most western nations receive visa-free entry for up to 90 days.

Shelter will prepare the company documents according to the requirements of the Thai embassy you choose to visit. On your part, you’ll need to fill out the application forms, provide standard passport photos, and make the payment based on the fee charged at the embassy. The visa that you’ll be issued is a Non-Immigrant type “B” visa that will be valid for a single entry of up to 3 months.

6. Enter Thailand

When you arrive in Thailand, your Non-B visa will be activated. As Thailand receives many tourists on visa-exempt entries, you should double-check to make sure that the Immigration staff processed you correctly. Before walking off towards the baggage claim, look to see if your Non-B visa page was stamped as it should be.

As soon as possible after arrival, please scan the Non-B page, arrival stamp, and departure card, and then send these to us so we can start on your work permit application.

7. Obtain Work Permit and Extend Visa

The last step has 2 parts—getting your Thailand work permit and extending your visa. If you’re in Chiang Mai, this step will take around 2 weeks to complete. If you’re in Bangkok it can be done in one day for an extra fee.

When extending the visa to 1-year, you can choose to apply for a re-entry permit at the same time. It is recommended to do this if you plan to travel outside Thailand during the upcoming year because it will save you another trip to Immigration. You can choose between a single re-entry permit or multiple re-entry permit.

The single re-entry permit costs 1000 Thai baht, and the multiple-entry costs 3800 baht.

After this, you will be all set with your Thai work permit and 1-year Non-B visa.

Breakdown of visa extension and work permit fees:

  • 3800 THB for multiple re-entry permit (1000 THB for single)*
  • 3000 THB for work permit
  • 1900 THB for visa extension

*Please note that the re-entry permit is optional

Our visa support doesn’t stop there. Our team will help with your 90 day reporting and are more than happy to answer your questions regarding Thai Business Visa or Work Permit.


4 Jun