Thai cabinet approves new visa package to lure wealthy expats and digital nomads


The government is forging ahead with a new visa package that targets rich expats, in an attempt to inject some foreign money into an economy decimated by Covid-19. The package will include attractive perks, such as a 10-year visa that covers not just the individual, but their spouse and children too. It also partially addresses the so-called digital nomads – people wanting to conduct their online businesses whilst living in Thailand. And foreign property ownership too.

According to government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, also included is a Thai work permit, with visa holders paying the same tax rate as Thai nationals. They will also be exempt from tax on income earned abroad and entitled to own property and land.

Thanakorn adds that starting next year, and over the next 5 years, the government believes it will lure over 1 million eligible people. So, who will they be? According to a Bangkok Post report, the new package will be available to 4 categories of investor:

1. Wealthy international travellers with assets in multiple countries. They will have to invest at least US$500,000 (16.5 million baht) in government bonds, either through foreign direct investment or real estate. They’ll also need to have earned at least US$80,000 a year for the last 2 years, and own assets worth at least US$1 million. This group will also need to have health insurance coverage of at least US$100,000.

2. Up next are the rich pensioners over 50, who’ll need a big enough pension fund to cover their living costs in Thailand. They’ll also need to invest at least US$250,000 in government bonds and have an income of at least US$40,000 a year, plus health insurance coverage of at least US$100,000.

3. The third target group are the digital nomads or employees of foreign companies who want to work remotely from Thailand.

4. Finally, the package is also aimed at highly-skilled professionals coming to work as experts in selected industries. This also includes academic lecturers coming to Thailand to teach subjects of importance to those industries. They will need to have at least 5 years’ relevant work experience, a salary of at least US$40,000 a year, and health insurance coverage of at least US$100,000.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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