Thailand’s Cabinet has agreed to reduce the Long Term Resident visa fee by 50% to attract highly skilled foreigners into the kingdom. The fee for the LTR visa, which allows you to stay in Thailand for 10 years, has been reduced from 100,000 to 50,000 baht.
Changes to the visa requirements could make the lucrative “digital nomad” lifestyle a more realistic option for foreigners who wish to work remotely in the kingdom too.
Yesterday, Spokesperson for the PM, Ratchada Thanadirek, revealed that the Cabinet agreed to make changes to the LTR visa. She said highly skilled foreigners could apply for the visa and pay a one-time fee of 50,000 baht fee to stay in Thailand for 10 years. Ratchada said the change would come into effect 90 days after the announcement, after it’s posted in the Royal Gazette.
The Cabinet hopes that the changes will draw in more foreign investment, skilled foreigners and boost the economy.
Who is eligible to apply for the LRT visa?
Ratchada said the potential LTR visa applications could include wealthy foreigners, retired foreigners, foreigners with “special skills” and their families (spouses and no more than 4 children under 20 years old). LTR visa holders are allowed to apply for work permits.
Notably, the spokesperson said that foreigners who wish to work remotely in the kingdom could apply for the visa. Working remotely from your laptop while you drink a Mai Tai on a Thai island is a pipedream for many foreign freelancers who can’t find a Thai visa to support their desired “digital nomad” lifestyle. An LTR visa provides remote workers with a legal route to live and work in Thailand, as long as they fit into the requirements.
What are the requirements?
To apply, the applicant must buy health insurance covering at least US$50,000 to cover medical fees for at least the first 10 months of their stay in the kingdom OR a social security certificate covering medical expenses OR a cash deposit of at least US$100,000 in a domestic or foreign bank account for 12 months before applying for the visa.
“High-income” foreigners who wish to apply must have an annual income of US$80,000 for two years prior to applying.
“Foreign specialists” must obtain an employment contract from a business in Thailand OR abroad. They are required to produce evidence that they have worked in the “targeted industries” for at least 5 years.
Exceptions can be made for foreigners working in Thai universities, government research institutes and specified training institutes, or those who have a PHD.
The spokesperson added that Thailand aims to have up to one million foreigners staying in the country in the next five years. She said this could bring income up to one trillion baht, including 800 billion baht in foreign investment.
For information about retirement visas click here.
SOURCE: Khaosod | Royal Thai Government | Thai PBS
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