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Thailand looks at proposal to make it easier for expats and long-termers

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Thailand is looking to make it easier for expats and long-term visa holders to stay in the country. The Immigration Bureau is hoping to boost investments and the economy once the pandemic is over. The proposed changes could do away with 90 day reporting requirements which have been well-received by expats.

Recently, the online website to report 90 day check-ins has been down, citing maintenance issues. Hotel staff have also been dealing with the TM-30 reporting system being down. Chayotid Kridakorn, a former head of JP Morgan Securities Thailand, told the Bangkok Post that immigration hoops are a key pain point for foreigners working in Thailand.

“We want to make it easier for foreigners to live and work in Thailand.”

Meanwhile, plans to help Thailand recover economically have been detailed in a framework to be proposed to the government’s economic panel in the next month. Improvements to immigration regulations, work permits for foreign experts, and visa applications are on the framework list. Relaxing location reporting requirements for foreign workers which is done through the 90 day reporting, is also slated to be amended.

The framework also will include inducements for foreign investors such as corporate income-tax cuts, relaxed property-holding rules and incentives for retirees and start-up companies. An adviser to Thailand’s Deputy PM, says he aims to bring in 1 million retirees or pensioners over the next few years. He says expats could collectively contribute as much as 1.2 trillion baht to the economy each year. But Thailand’s gross domestic product growth won’t return to pre-Covid levels until the 3rd quarter of 2022, according to the Bank of Thailand.

 

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28 Comments

28 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Junkman

    Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 1:48 pm

    Revisting this again? Online 90 reporting down for 6 months. Should have been a prioty during Covid. How difficult is it to find an IT with minimal skills? They should also consider a change in foreign land ownership similar to Mexico. Restriction zones etc.

  2. Avatar

    Slugger

    Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 2:36 pm

    Baht1.2tn? You’ve got to be kidding. Most expats can only dream of Baht 30k a month.

  3. Avatar

    Ian Jones

    Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 3:17 pm

    “has been down, citing maintenance ” That’s funny! Probably some uncles son knew about “computers” and created it in WordPress, and now no one have a clue…

    I would never use there online for for reporting my 90-days, there is absolutely no security around that website, and they want my passport ID… Same as I don’t trust any COVID App from the government.

    But I really like the idea about relaxing things for us non Thai living here long term. We do spend money that comes from outside of Thailand, the kind of money Thailand needs now, let us continue doing that!

  4. Avatar

    Craig

    Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 3:34 pm

    I’ll believe it when I see it.

  5. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 5:00 pm

    A million more “retirees or pensioners”?

    That’s more than ten times the reported number of current retirement extensions (80,000)!

    If they live here all year round, that’s more “retirees or pensioners” here every day than there were tourists here every day in 2019!

    Where are they all going to go?

  6. Avatar

    David Mann

    Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 5:04 pm

    That’s great news. To be fair, I think it could raise more like 2.4 trillion baht. And if they allow foreigners to own land that would easily hit 5 trillion baht. Start issuing 10 year visas or permanent residency and now we are talking. It could easily raise 20 trillion baht. ???. Fantastic idea and I think they should start all of this tomorrow

  7. Avatar

    Jason

    Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 5:15 pm

    This all seems so belated. Expats are good for Thailand in so many ways and even more so when the country needs people who contribute to the bottom line significantly! It’s time Thailand treated expats as gold.

  8. Avatar

    Robert Elliott

    Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 6:06 pm

    A step in the right direction. My only concern is foreign ownership will drive up property prices making it difficult for the average Thai to own a home. This has happened in many countries where foreigners can easily by property.

  9. Avatar

    Gosport

    Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 6:08 pm

    Amazing policy for Boomers and Dreamers.

  10. Avatar

    Dreqo

    Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 6:55 pm

    Pass. I quite like the freedom of having no vested interests, and sitting back and not worrying about issues only a property owner/native would succumb to. I’d rather continue to lend my funds work for my wife and I abroad, and trickle in what I want when the ER is acceptable to me. They’ll have to try way harder to get me to establish any financial roots.

  11. Avatar

    Einar

    Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 7:50 pm

    One great step in the right direction would be to let pensioners having lived here for decades with work permit – and paid taxes and still paying taxes – apply for permanent residency!
    Today, despite having worked 20-30 years on consequtive non-B visas and extensions a pensioner is not allowed to apply for PR.
    I would apply and gladly pay the approx. 100,000 baht fee for PR (200,000 if not married to Thai woman)
    .

  12. Avatar

    Frank

    Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 9:01 pm

    Good step in the right direction, but like with many so called ‘plans’ they change next week or are removed from the list, living here for 18 years, I came here when I was 29 years old now 47 years was married, had my visas from everywhere now with a elite visa to get some peace in my life, I know thailand can do better and should first see us a HUMANS and equals to thai people no like white people

  13. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 9:08 pm

    Before you expats buy property, look at what happened in Goa.
    Suddenly without warning Goa stopped the sale of property to foreigners.
    At the same time they stopped anything over £500, I think, being taken out of the country.
    what do you think happened to house prices then if foreigners could not sell to another foreigner?
    House prices collapsed.
    OK if you did not intend to leave, but what could anyone lend on the property.
    What would the expat sell the property for if they had to return home because of medical reasons.
    Thailand could do the same . . .

  14. Avatar

    mark

    Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 9:37 pm

    could be your case 30.000 a month ,

    I spend about 15.000 a week , not including the price of my condo car motorbike etc…,

    just bough a new phone and laptop cost me over 80.000 bath ,

    and even to the people with 30.000 a month its money in the Thai economy that comes from outside ,

    a little is better then nothing .

    enjoy

  15. Avatar

    Michael Cooksey

    Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 12:46 am

    “relaxed property-holding rules”

    I wonder what this means

  16. Avatar

    Mr cynic

    Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 3:59 am

    once things pick up again any concessions to make life easier and cheaper for local expats will be withdrawn.ultimately many people do not want dirty smelly foreigners residing in the country.there isn’t much in it for the local wealthy.a steady stream of tourists to fleece for a couple of weeks at a time is by far prefable to the kee neow cheap charlie’s that reside here long-term.
    beware thais bearing gifts.

  17. Avatar

    ken chao

    Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 7:50 am

    it would be better to substitute the mandatory health insurance for OA visa with bank and/or proof of income requirement

    it can make sure people and expats have sufficient money to pay for hospital services

    the current mandatory insurance does not solve the problem of O visa or other categories visa not paying as it is not required by the latter group.

    Besides insurance not cover any pre existing condition AND most over age 65 has problem finding insurers

  18. Avatar

    Ben

    Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 8:21 am

    These are ideas on a white board. It’s good that they’re talking about these things. Remember this is happening during a time of crisis so once the crisis passes things can change again, especially in Thailand.

    Their goal is to get rich retirees into the country. If you’re not rich then you’ll only benefit if rule changes for the rich happen to affect you too.

    As far as bringing you’re money to the kingdom, be careful:

    -Don’t buy property unless you have the same rights and protections you have in your home country
    -Don’t bring your funds to a Thai bank account unless you can freely withdraw funds like in your home country

    I’m skeptical they’ll be successful because they’re not used to thinking from the perspective of their target audience. They’re not used to giving up control. It’s going to take a lot of “out of the box” action to succeed. There is logic and there’s Thai logic and those have to be reconciled.

    For the rich the system rewards coming in for a month and going on a weekend to KL or Singapore. Rinse and repeat. Go home after one month or two or three. Whatever you prefer. For the rich there is no reason to become “permanent”. Why would a rich western European or American want permanent residence in Thailand? They need to think hard to answer that question.

    According to the article they want to attract 1 million retirees spending 100,000 baht per month each. Someone above said there are only 80,000 retirement extensions. Pipe dream numbers. They could do it if they instituted rules where:

    -You could come and go as you please without tracking and reporting
    -Buy anything you want with protections
    -No income taxes of any kind

    This is to much for them to swallow. I do hope expats get something out of this process.

  19. Avatar

    7.62mm of darwin

    Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 8:44 am

    This would be good for Thais but not dirty smelly hairy Farangs. All money spent in Thailand remains in Thailand. No thanks, I come with money and leave with less then I come again. You might as well chuck your money out the door to invest, if you could or buy property. An aquaintance of mine owns three condos in Jomtien and hasnt seen them since covid began. Let me know when things go back to normal and I and my money will come again.

  20. Avatar

    Cupid Stunt

    Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 11:49 am

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for this to become reality.

  21. Avatar

    Mr cynic

    Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 3:55 pm

    The real rich foreigners use singapore as their local base.they can live there tax free,simply go out and buy a property if they want one and it is safe for them and their money.if you are reasonably wealthy and want to reside in the region malaysia is probably a better idea.they have the fairly straightforward m2h program with numerous benefits.
    If you live in the north of malaysia you can drive over to thailand to your heart’s content and also pick up some pretty cheap duty free while your at it,well useful if you like a drop of wine.
    I personally know several thai/european who do just this.they all got so fed up with the official bu**shit and consistent changes in policy they voted with their feet.those couples moving have cost the thai economy quite a bit.all are well educated retired professionals with decent pensions and they can not be the only ones.
    Ultimately most people choose to live in thailand because it’s a fairly cheap place to live.
    the thais are at least 20 years behind their neighbours and are only giving this a bit of thought at the moment due to the present crisis.its to little to late and any concessions will probably be withdrawn if/when mass tourism picks up again.

    • Thaiger

      Thaiger

      Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 4:05 pm

      The only problem with Singapore is that it’s in Singapore.

  22. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 4:45 pm

    @Einar, if you lived here for “20-30 years on consequtive non-B visas and extensions” and you didn’t apply for PR when you were eligible you can hardly blame Thailand for that. You can also still apply if you are married.

    The requirements are probably less than for PR in your own country.

  23. Avatar

    Stardust

    Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 8:27 pm

    @slugger I dont know one western expat who lives with 30 000 baht a month in Thailand (including condo rent etc) . They even get more when they unemployed from their insurance than 30 000 baht a month in most european countries. So you just make your hate speach against westerners. Salaries in Germany are 10 times higher than in Thailand so I wonder from where you got your big mouth compare to the standards of western countries. By the way also Chinese salaries and incomes are low compare to europe and China is still listed as a development country because of their poor standards.

  24. Avatar

    Mel Burn

    Friday, April 16, 2021 at 5:23 am

    I’ll die sooner than I’ll trust the Thai government with my money. Trust takes a long time to develop.

  25. Avatar

    CF Duke

    Sunday, April 18, 2021 at 11:37 am

    1. If anything meaningless is announced, it is for publicity reason as the economy is bad.

    2. If anything meaningful is announced, it is the reason the economy is tanking fast!

    Did anyone know when aliens left Thailand 30 years ago, you need to request a tax clearance certificate near Kao San Road tax office, and the immigration officer at Don Muang would allow you to leave? After this requirement was removed, we now have the TM30 and TM47 as replacement!

  26. Avatar

    Ray

    Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 2:40 pm

    All plan to earn money from the foreigners is failed and now ready for plan!

    Welcome to Thailand.

  27. Avatar

    BJoe

    Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 12:08 am

    Hopefully EXPATs finally realize that they have never been welcome in Thailand, and can never expect to be treated as anything except as a Cash Cow. But on top of everything, even if that doesn’t matter to these disillusioned men, the incompetence of the whole immigration system is equivalent to facing double jeapody. A 30 day visitors visa should be sufficient to satisfy what the country has to offer.

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Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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