A work permit programme aimed at attracting rich foreigners and drawing in foreign investment has been launched by the Thailand Privilege Card company, which operates the Elite Card scheme. Cardholders who are eligible for the new Flexible Plus Programme must make an investment of US$1 million, which is around 30 million baht.
Under the new programme, cardholders with a membership of at least 10 years will be able to change their visa type from Privilege Entry to Non-Immigrant B, which will allow them to apply for a work permit. Spouses and children will also be able to change their visa type to a Non-Immigrant B, according to the president of Thailand Privilege Card Company Limited. The children of the cardholders must be under 20 years old to be eligible for the visa, and only three children per cardholder can apply.
An investment of 30 million baht is needed within a one-year timespan after approval of the membership. The three types of investments accepted under the programme include real estate, Company Limited or Public Company Limited, and stock in the Stock Exchange of Thailand, or other enterprises authorised by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The programme is open to those enrolled in the Elite Ultimate Privilege, Elite Superiority Extension, and Elite Privilege Access programmes, and their membership must be valid for at least 5 years.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand and other Thai government agencies overseas are introducing the programme to target markets in the US and Asian countries including China, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong. The launch of the programme in European countries is planned for later this year.
TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn says the programme is aimed at attracting foreign investors with “high-purchasing power” and boosting the country’s economy in line with the government’s post-Covid recovery measures.
In addition to the direct benefits, foreign investors and family members residing in Thailand can generate indirect benefits from their spending on tourism, accommodation, food and beverage, high-end products and services, plus more.”
An announcement from the Ministry of Interior on the new programme has been published in the Royal Gazette, making it official. The Cabinet approved the investment principle back in October 2021.
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