No announcement yet.

Overview | Elite Cards

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Overview | Elite Cards

    Click image for larger version  Name:	Thailand-Elite.jpg Views:	0 Size:	69.1 KB ID:	3493

    Thai Elite Visa

    What is the best Thai Visa for someone wanting to stay in Thailand? Is it the Thai Elite Visa, Thai Retirement Visa, Thailand Marriage Visa, or a Non-immigrant Business Visa? This featured article will offer a comprehensive look into the world of Thailand visas for foreigners wishing to live in Thailand.

    We have been working in the field of Thai immigration for the last 12 years. I started out working the night shift in the Bangkok headquarters for Thailand’s largest network of law offices. My responsibilities were to chat with visitors online and receive telephone inquiries to guide foreigners regarding which was the best Thai Visa for their travel to Thailand. I received calls and chats from nearly every country in the world. Each night I would consult with people from around the world who desired immigration advice for their upcoming long stay in Thailand. Nowadays, I lead the customer service team for Thai Immigration in the Bangkok law firm. I often speak to 15 to 20 people a day offering immigration advice for entering Thailand.

    It is interesting to note that Thai visa issuance policies change almost on a monthly basis. When I am home at night I will often read the forums and blogs trying to stay on top of the latest experiences of persons who have made visa applications for Thailand at the Thai Embassies and Consulates around the world. About ten years ago it was commonplace for foreigners to obtain a 1-year multiple-entry Thailand visa by post within their home country using an invitation letter from a Thai Company. However, Thai Embassies restricted that practice, first in the UK, then in Australia, and finally in the US for the 1-year Thai Visas.

    The Thailand Elite Visa is a long-term visa given to the Thailand Privilege Card members. It is categorized under Tourist Visa (Privilege Entry Visa “PE”) allowing residency in Thailand along with benefits for a period between 5, 10, or 20 years depending on the chosen package in exchange for a membership fee.
    • The Thai Elite Visa is a 5-year renewable multiple entry visa with an extendable 1-year length of stay per each entry.
    • The Thai Elite visa holder can have an uninterrupted stay in Thailand without the usual need to leave the country every 90 days as with the other visa types.
    • The Elite Visa holder will be represented by the Thai Elite staff on the 90-day reporting as required by the Thai Immigration.
    • Thai Elite Visa holders will receive expedited immigration formalities and passport control processing when arriving in Thailand
    Thai Elite Visa Qualifications

    The applicant/member must have and maintain to have the following qualifications:
    • Holder of a foreign passport
    • Being allowed to stay in Thailand in accordance with the immigration laws, which means the applicant has no overstay record in Thailand
    • No age limit is required for this program apart from the Elite Ultimate Privilege (Grand Package) which requires to be at least 20 years old
    • Not having been sentenced by a judgment to imprisonment in any countries except for an offense committed to negligence
    • Not having been adjudicated bankrupt
    • Not having been declared as a person of unsound mind, incompetence, or quasi-incompetence

    The application for the Thai Elite Privilege Card membership and the Thai Elite Visa may take 1 to 3 months.

    Thai Elite Visa Cost

    The Thai Elite Visa cost is based on the membership program. There are different membership programs available for Thai Elite Visa, each varying in validity, benefits, and cost, as follows:
    • Elite Easy Access
      • Thai Elite Visa validity of 5 years
      • It costs 600,000 Thai baht with no annual fee
      • You have an option to upgrade to Elite Ultimate Privilege
      • No age restriction; members can be any age
    • Elite Family Excursion (minimum 2 persons)
      • Thai Elite Visa validity of 5 years
      • It costs 800,000 Thai baht with no annual fee (2 persons)
      • For additional family member there is a fee of 300,000 Thai baht
    • Elite Family Alternative
      • Membership validity of 10 years
      • The Elite Visa validity of 5 years and renewable for another 5 years
      • It costs 800,000 Thai baht with no annual fee
      • For additional family member there is a fee of 700,000 Thai baht
    • Elite Privilege Access
      • Membership validity of 10 years
      • The Elite Visa validity of 5 years and renewable for another 5 years
      • It costs 1,000,000 THB with no annual fee
      • For additional family member there is a fee of 800,000 Thai baht
      • No age restriction; members can be of any age
    • Elite Superiority Extension
      • Membership validity of 20 years
      • It costs 1 million Thai baht with no annual fee
      • The Elite Visa validity of 5 years and renewable for another 5 years (4 sets of 5-year multi-entry visa)
    • Elite Ultimate Privilege
      • Membership validity of of 20 years
      • It costs 2.14 million Thai baht with annual fee of 21,400 Thai baht
      • The Elite Visa validity of 5 years and renewable for another 5 years (4 sets of 5-year multi-entry visa)
      • Members must be over 20 years old
    • Elite Family Premium
      • Applicable only to family members of Elite Ultimate Privilege members
      • Membership fee of 1 million Thai baht with annual fee of 10,000 Thai baht
      • Membership and Thai Elite Visa validity will be based on the membership and visa validity of the Elite Ultimate Privilege family member
      • Visa is renewable after 5 years (4 sets of 5-year multi-entry visa)
    How to Apply for Thai Elite Visa
    • Application for Membership and Background Check
      You can apply for the Thailand Elite Visa whether you are in Thailand or abroad. All you need to do is to send a soft copy of your passport and application form to an accredited Thai Elite Visa agent. Then, the agent will work with the Thailand Elite Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Bureau to do immigration and criminal background check. The process may take 1 month for most nationalities and up to 3 months for special countries.
    • Transfer of Membership Fee
      When the applicant has passed a background check and the application has been approved, the applicant will be instructed to transfer the membership fee. The membership fee ranges from 600,000 Thai baht to 2 million Thai baht depending on the membership package the applicant has applied for. The payment for the membership fee can be made through a bank transfer.
    • Membership Acceptance
      After completing the payment or bank transfer, the applicant will receive the Membership ID and instruction on how to receive the visa.
    • Visa Issuance
      The Thai Elite member can affix the Thai Elite visa at the Thai embassy or consulate in his/her respective country. The applicant has to drop his/her passport and come back to collect it on another day at the Thai embassy. If it is not convenient for the applicant to apply through the Thai embassy, it is also possible that the applicant obtains the Thai Elite Visa upon arrival in Thailand at Suvarnabhumi Airport. However, this option is unavailable during the COVID-19 travel restriction. In case that the Thai Elite member is in Thailand, the Thai Elite agent may arrange the visa issuance at the Immigration Bureau in Bangkok.
    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is the Thai Elite Visa?
    The Thai Elite Visa is a special visa introduced in 2003 by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports that aims to attract affluent visitors, businessmen, investors, and expats to stay in Thailand long-term. It is a visa classified as a Privilege Entry Visa that is valid for 5 years with multiple entries without having to deal with so much paperwork or visits to the immigration office. The Thai Elite Visa holder will be allowed to stay in the country for up to 1 year on each visit.

    How long is the Thai Elite Visa application process?
    The Thailand Elite Membership and Thai Elite Visa application process may take 3 weeks to 2 months depending on the nationality of the applicant and in case of immigration or criminal record of the applicant.

    Do any Thai Elite application documents need a notary stamp or to be certified?
    No. It is not required for the Thai Elite Visa application forms and copy of passport to be notarised or to be certified. A scanned copy sent through email or photocopy of these documents is sufficient.

    What is the passport validity that is required for this Elite visa process?
    Ideally, you need to have at least 5 years remaining in the validity of your passport. However, in case you have less than 5 years, the Thai Embassy or Immigration Bureau will affix the Thai Elite Visas based on the expiration date stated in your passport. The remaining validity of your visa will then be affixed to your new passport. It is also good to note that you need to have at least 3 blank pages in your passport.

    Do I have to appear in person for the Thai Elite application?
    No, it is not required to personally appear during the Thai Elite membership application. You will be represented by a sales agent during the membership application. However, your presence is required during the issuance of the visa whether it is at the Thai Embassy abroad, at Suvarnabhumi airport, or at the Bangkok immigration office.

    What are the required documents for application for the Thai Elite Visa?
    The required documents for the application of the Thai Elite membership are a copy of the profile page of your passport, colored ID photo with white background, duly accomplished Thai Elite Visa application form, and copy of proof of relationship for any family member applying with the main applicant.

    Is there an income requirement to hold the Thai Elite visa?
    There is no income requirement to hold the Thai Elite Visa. The applicant only needs to pay the membership fee which will range from 600,000 THB to 2 Million THB. Although there is no income requirement, one of the requirements to qualify as a member is that the applicant has not been adjudicated bankrupt.

    How does the Thai Elite visa differ from the Thai Retirement visa?
    The Thai Elite Visa differs from the retirement visa in such a way that the financial requirement or membership fee is non-refundable. The financial requirement for a retirement visa is deposited in the visa holder’s bank account as his/her own savings. The retirement visa must be renewed every year whereas the Thai Elite visa does not need to be renewed every year. Both Thai Elite Visa and Retirement Visa require 90-day address reporting.

    Do I have to pay income taxes in Thailand as a Thai Elite visa holder?
    The Thai Elite Visa is a privilege visa which falls under the special tourist visa or privilege entry category. The Thai Elite Visa holder does not need to pay income taxes especially when the income was derived abroad. There are instances where a Thai Elite Visa holder may voluntarily pay income tax in Thailand.

    Can Thai Elite Visa holders buy real estate in Thailand?
    Just like other foreigners, Thai Elite Visa holders can own condominiums in their own name. If applicants wish to acquire land and build a house, they can obtain a long-term lease on the land (for up to 30 years). They will need to apply for a construction permit to build the house in their own name. This way applicants can own the house and have a secured long-term lease on the land.

  • #2
    Foreigners with Investments of 30 Million THB can get a Work Permit with Elite Cards
    Click image for larger version  Name:	Elite-Card.jpg Views:	0 Size:	257.6 KB ID:	3290

    The Thailand Privilege Card company, which operates the Elite Card scheme, has launched a new programme aimed at wealthy foreigners in need of a work permit. For an investment of 30 million baht, the new Flexible Plus Programme will allow eligible (read, rich) foreigners to obtain a work permit. The move is aimed at attracting investors and boosting Thailand’s recovery following the economic devastation of Covid-19.

    According to a Nation Thailand report, the proposal was approved by Cabinet in October, and investors accepted through the Flexible Plus Programme will also be given the right to work in the kingdom. Those who are eligible to participate in the new programme include Elite Card members with a card validity of at least 10 years. For those enrolled in the Elite Ultimate Privilege, Elite Superiority Extension, and Elite Privilege Access programmes, cards must be valid for at least 5 more years. In all cases, foreigners need to have invested at least 32 million baht within a year.

    The programme is primarily aimed at investors from China, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK, France, the US, Singapore, and Russia. Nation Thailand reports that there are currently over 16,000 members enrolled in Thailand Privilege Card programmes.


    • #3
      Work Permit Programme launched for Elite Cardholders

      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 THB.

      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.