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Step-by-Step Guide to Getting a Thailand Investment Visa

Learn about the various guidelines you should be aware of when applying for an investment visa in Thailand.

Who is eligible for a Thailand investment visa?

The Thai Investment Visa is meant to help the Thai economy and will only be available to a small number of people. This category of Thai Investment Visas is for rich middle-aged people who desire to enjoy the relaxed and picturesque Thai lifestyle without the hassle of short-term visa runs.

Anyone who wants to travel to Thailand and can spend at least 10 million baht qualifies for an Investment Visa. It is common among those under the age of 50 who do not wish to work in Thailand and those over the age of 50 are more likely to apply for a Retirement Visa.

Key Points:

  • If you plan to stay in Thailand for an extended period of time, this type of visa may be one of your options.
  • You’ll still need a work permit, to work in Thailand.
  • Family members of an investor are also eligible for long-term residency in Thailand if they can provide proof of their relation to the investor.

What is an Investment visa?

Foreigners who invest THB 10 million or more have been eligible for a one-year renewable non-immigrant IM visa to stay in Thailand since August 29, 2014. Foreigners will get a one-year Investment Visa by investing at least 10 million baht in one of the following: Purchasing condominium units in new developments for at least 10 million Baht, Purchasing Thai government or state enterprise bonds worth and depositing the funds in a Thai bank’s Fixed Deposit Account.

International investors who wish to apply for an Investment Visa can invest in a variety of assets. One of the most major benefits of applying for and receiving a visa in this category is those who holder a Thai Investment Visas are granted a one-year visa that can be renewed annually, and the investors’ family members, such as their spouse and children, are also eligible to apply.

What is the procedure for obtaining an investment visa?

1. Get a non-immigrant visa – You can apply for a Non-Immigrant Form “B” Visa from your local Thai embassy if you don’t have a Non-immigrant visa. This is the same type of visa that people who want to come to Thailand to work have and you should inform the Thai embassy that you are planning to invest.

Due to the rarity of this form of visa, your local Thai embassy can experience difficulty issuing it. To meet the visa requirements, you must visit Thailand at least once and have previously invested. A valid passport, bank statement, and proof of Thai investment are typically required to apply for this visa.

2. Extend your visa – You can apply for a stay extension based on investment at your nearest Thai immigration office if you have a Non-Immigrant Visa. This is a unique type of visa extension, and your local immigration officer may not be aware of your needs. Be specific, and the documentation you’ll need will be similar to or identical to what you requested when you applied for the visa.

Investors must report their addresses every 90 days and must have a work permit to beable to work in Thailand.

What are the requirements needed for an investment visa?

A Non-Immigrant Visa is required, as well as a minimum investment of 10 million baht in one of the following: A Thai government-approved condominium, a Thai bank account with a fixed deposit, and/or Thai government bonds.

1. International transfer – A sum of at least 10 million baht which you must send to invest that money. It can be difficult to open a Thai bank account if you don’t have a work permit or a Non-Immigrant Visas so you should open a bank account with a Thai bank that has at least 51% of its shares owned by Thais as this will help you qualify for a fixed deposit account.

2. Buying a condo – You’ll need to invest at least 10 million baht in a condominium in Thailand. However, be aware that if you buy a condo for 11 million baht but the Department of Land declares it to be only 9 million, you will not be eligible for an Investment Visa based solely on the condo purchase.

It is preferable to verify the value with the Department of Lands directly and hold the transfer tax receipt. If the value of your condo drops below 10 million baht after you buy it, you will not be eligible to get and renew your Investment Visa unless you can send the immigration office a transfer tax receipt showing the value of your condo when you bought it.

For an Investment Visa, you can’t just buy any condo, the condo must be approved by the Thai government or a related organization. This means that in order to qualify for the Investment Visa you must purchase a new condominium from a developer and keep it for at least 3 years.

3. Have a Thai bank account with a fixed balance – You can invest 10 million baht in a fixed deposit bank account with a majority Thai-owned bank. The visa should be straightforward as long as you can open a bank account with them and keep in mind that you cannot withdraw these 10 million baht while your investment visa is still effective.

4. Have government bonds and a state-owned company – In order to obtain an Investment Visa, you must purchase government or state enterprise bonds. You should be able to purchase them from any Thai bank and It’s important to keep in mind that these bonds sell out fast once they’re issued, also there’s a limit to how many you can purchase. Because of these limitations, investing 10 million baht in government bonds alone is difficult but it can be made in combination with other types of investments.

5. Have a combination of investments – You can get an Investment Visa by combining the 3 forms of investments, as long as the total investment sum exceeds 10 million baht. For example, it may be a condominium worth 5 million baht, a fixed deposit account worth 4 million baht and government bonds worth 1 million baht.

Thai Investment Visa holders are given a one-year visa which can be extended annually.

Is it possible to obtain residency in Thailand by making investments?

You must invest at least 10 million baht in a limited company, a public company, the stock market or a state-issued security and state enterprise security to obtain permanent residence status in Thailand. This means that if you want to get citizenship with an Investment Visa, you’ll need to spend another 10 million baht in Thailand.

What are the other forms of investment visa?

An elite visa is often interpreted as another form of investment visa.

Some claim that having a 20-year Elite Visa is a better offer and the sovereignty extension package costs 50,000 baht a year. They will make even more money on the investment and use the profits to pay for the Elite Visa if they spend 10 million baht elsewhere. Obtaining an Elite visa is also much more convenient as It takes much less documentation and you can contact an Elite Visa representative for assistance.

The Elite Visa, on the other hand, has the major disadvantage of being unable to obtain a work visa, preventing you from working legally in Thailand. However, you can continue to operate your foreign company from Thailand, and the Elite Visa costs add up when bringing family members to Thailand.