Foreign experts, professionals, eligible high net-worth individuals, and retirees can start applying online today for Thailand’s new 10-year visa, said an adviser to the Thai prime minister, Chayotid Kridakon.
Chayotid believes the new visa will boost industry and commerce in the country and has set a target of attracting about one million wealthy or talented foreigners over the next five years.
Radhika Rao, an economist with DBS Bank Ltd., in Singapore, said the pandemic disrupted workplace policies and introduced flexibility in terms of location as well as job scope, and countries are now looking to capitalize on this by offering long-term residencies with attractive benefits.
“Host countries also count on such arrivals to add to the talented labor pool in the country as well as boost the economy from incremental demand lift-off.”
Chayotid believes the visa initiative will generate about 1 trillion baht (US$27 billion) annually by way of investment and purchase of properties by the new entrants.
“The program will also help draw professionals to industries such as electric vehicles, smart electronics, and digital technology that Thailand is focused on promoting.”
Duangjai Asawachintachit, secretary-general of Thailand’s Board of Investment, reckons the long-term resident visa program will help Thailand in the post-Covid-19 economic recovery.
“The validity period of LTR is the longest probably, and with so many expats working in Thailand for a long time, this meets a long-standing demand.”
The new initiative will eradicate professionals and foreign experts having to deal with one-year work, retirement, or marriage permits that generally need several trips to government offices, lawyers, and fixed deposits in local banks.
The Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce said the new visa regime will make Thailand an attractive place to work and buy a second home for global citizens.
Vibeke Lyssand Leirvag, chairwoman of the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce in Thailand believes the work permit and visa situation has been the biggest obstacle for people investing in Thailand for over the past decade, and LTR offers a solution.
“If we do this right, the five-year one million targets and one trillion baht domestic spending should be reachable.”
The 10-year visa option will be extended to four categories of travellers with an annual income of 80,000 dollars and at least 1 million dollars in assets. It comes with multiple entries permitted and a work permit issued and covers up to four dependents like children or spouses. Companies utilising these visas won’t be required to follow the standard four Thai employees per one foreigner rule.
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