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New Investor, Medical and Digital Nomad Visa Options

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  • New Investor, Medical and Digital Nomad Visa Options

    Thai cabinet approves new visa package to lure wealthy expats and digital nomads

    The government is forging ahead with a new visa package that targets rich expats, in an attempt to inject some foreign money into an economy decimated by Covid-19.

    The package will include attractive perks, such as a 10-year visa that covers not just the individual, but their spouse and children too.

    It also partially addresses the so-called digital nomads – people wanting to conduct their online businesses whilst living in Thailand. And foreign property ownership too.

    According to government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, also included is a Thai work permit, with visa holders paying the same tax rate as Thai nationals. They will also be exempt from tax on income earned abroad and entitled to own property and land.

    Thanakorn adds that starting next year, and over the next 5 years, the government believes it will lure over 1 million eligible people. So, who will they be? According to a Bangkok Post report, the new package will be available to 4 categories of investor:
    • Wealthy international travellers with assets in multiple countries. They will have to invest at least US$ 500,000 (16.5 Million THB) in government bonds, either through foreign direct investment or real estate. They’ll also need to have earned at least US$ 80,000 a year for the last 2 years, and own assets worth at least US$ 1 million. This group will also need to have health insurance coverage of at least US$ 100,000.
    • Up next are the rich pensioners over 50, who’ll need a big enough pension fund to cover their living costs in Thailand. They’ll also need to invest at least US$ 250,000 in government bonds and have an income of at least US$ 40,000 a year, plus health insurance coverage of at least US$100,000.
    • The third target group are the digital nomads or employees of foreign companies who want to work remotely from Thailand.
    • Finally, the package is also aimed at highly-skilled professionals coming to work as experts in selected industries. This also includes academic lecturers coming to Thailand to teach subjects of importance to those industries. They will need to have at least 5 years’ relevant work experience, a salary of at least US$ 40,000 a year, and health insurance coverage of at least US$100,000.
    • Amendments to relevant laws or regulations:such as laws related to land ownership and work management to allow foreign workers to work for their employers inside and outside the Kingdom, exemption of the previous requirement of one foreign worker per four full-time Thai employees, and others related to taxes and customs procedures.
    • Long-term resident visa issuance for a group of high-potential foreigners: They will receive various exemptions and benefits, such as an exemption for long-term resident visas and smart visa holders to not require a notice when their stay exceeds 90 days
    The Cabinet expected that the measures will be initially implemented for five fiscal years (2022-2026) and will increase the number of foreigners living in Thailand to 1 million people, increasing 1 Trillion THB of domestic spending, 800 Billion THB investment, and 270 Billion THB tax income. (it seems like these gamblers lost control about the number of digits and "0" at the forecasts.)

    Specifics on eligibility requirements were not made entirely clear and likely will not be until the final regulations are published in the Royal Gazette.

  • #2

    Alert | Bank Deposit Protection

    The above information is another sample of the stupidity of the current government. The newly released visa types are asking for investments of up to 16.5 Million THB.
    Thus, if someone is stupid enough to invest such an amount during the pandemic and while the military government is still in charge, one has no security for the funds because the Bank Deposit Protection only covers 1 Million THB

    Bank Deposit Protection cut to THB 1 Million from August 11.2021

    Thailand’s Deposit Protection Agency (DPA) said on Wednesday that from August 11.2021 onwards, it will only provide protection for 1 Million THB per account holder instead of 5 Million THB. As of May 31, 2021 DPA had 83.72 million account holders under its protection, up by 1.62 per cent or 1.33 million accounts compared to the end of last year. Of the new account holders, 97 per cent have less than 1 Million THB in their accounts. Deposits under DPA’s protection add up to 15.28 Trillion THB, up by 2.33 per cent or 347.9 Billion THB from the end of 2020.

    “The new rate will cover 82.07 million account holders at 35 financial institutes, equivalent to 98.03 per cent of all account holders in the banking system,” DPA director Songphol Chevapanyaroj said.
    DPA offers protection to both Thai and foreign individuals and juristic persons who hold accounts in the Thai currency in any of 35 financial institutions. The institutions covered include 18 commercial banks, 12 foreign banks with branches in Thailand, two finance companies and three credit foncier firms. Deposits covered include current account, savings account, fixed deposit, deposit card and deposit receipt.
    • Protection will only be provided to accounts in the Baht currency.
    In case a financial institution gets its licence revoked, the account holder will get their money back within the sum covered within 30 days,” Songphol said.


    • #3
      Thailand’s new rules for retiree visas sound alarm bells

      How will the new visa rules affect him ? The Thai Cabinet has agreed the framework of a new visa policy which has been under consideration by government committees for most of 2021. The general idea is to lure well-heeled foreigners to have a base in the kingdom whilst enjoying a number of perks which include a 10 year permission to stay, the end of 90-day reporting, an attractive income tax structure and owning land outright. However, the devil – or devils – lurk in the detail. As always.

      One of the eligible groups are “wealthy” retirees who are described as over 50 years and with an annual income of US$40,000, or US$250,000 in government bonds or ownership of real estate to the latter amount. At present retiree rules are very different. Ownership of property or of government assets doesn’t count, whilst the income rule is 800,000 THB in the bank or in foreign income shipped in monthly. That equates to only about US$25,000 and can sometimes be avoided if a friend loans you the cash.

      The immediate question is whether current retirees will have to move to the new regulations or whether they will be protected on the rules as they are. It is possible, though by no means certain, that they will be “grandfathered”, that is able to retain one year renewable extensions of stay but without any of the new perks promised for the wealthier group. An earlier government statement last June suggested that comprehensive insurance, as well as Covid-related, would be required for “all” retirement-based visas and extensions of stay issued by Thai embassies abroad and by the immigration bureau here. Lots of detail still to come on those issues.

      The Cabinet decision also seeks to encourage migration by rich foreigners – basically those with assets worth one million dollars US – by linking a ten year visa to an automatic work permit and a special-reduced income tax rate for those working in the Eastern Economic Corridor which is currently based in the Rayong area. These ideas seem to be based on the current four-year Smart visa for hi-tech experts and some digital nomads which does not anyway require a work permit or the 90 days reporting. Although not well known, the Smart visa has already broken new visa ground.

      The government says it is now committed to allowing “some” rich foreigners to own freehold land. This is likely to mean a newly-built house on specially-agreed estates with the proviso that the dwelling is bought directly from the developer. This perk was publicized as a possibility last June when it was suggested that some Elite visa holders might qualify provided they kept on investing over a five year period. But the most recent Cabinet statement doesn’t mention Elite.

      The overall aim is to boost the Thai economy and the Thai treasury by attracting one million or so wealthy foreigners to stay long-term without the traditional downsides. The proposals will appeal mostly to Chinese and other Asian investors who already dominate the foreign-bought condo market and the multi-billion (in any currency) import and export complex dominated by the Eastern Economic Corridor. The English-speaking, social media keyboard warriors are already ridiculing the idea that Thailand can attract hundreds of thousands of really wealthy guys and gals. However, the proposals are not primarily aimed at the current expat population.


      • #4
        Cabinet approves long-stay visa regulations as Thailand seeks more foreign investment

        As Thailand prepares to re-open without quarantine to select vaccinated tourists, 2 draft regulations related to long-stay visas have been approved in principle. According to a Bangkok Post report, the long-stay visa programme aims to attract 300 billion baht in foreign investment as the government tries to kick-start the economy.

        Spokesperson Traisuree Taisaranakul says the Interior Ministry issued the draft regulations which Cabinet approved in principle yesterday. The first regulation relates to foreigners obtaining the Thai Privilege Card, under which the Elite Visa is granted. The second regulation would grant TPC holders an extended stay in Thailand for work purposes. Both regulations form the basis for the Flexible Plus Programme, under which foreign nationals would have to invest at least 30 Million THB in exchange for a 1-year work permit.

        The government is on a mission to attract wealthy foreign investors, who are being encouraged to invest in property, limited or public companies, and the stock market. The TPC would also be extended to their spouse and children under the age of 20, with the programme allowing them to exchange temporary visas for 5-year non-immigrant visas.

        The Tourism Authority of Thailand predicts the programme could attract around 10,000 foreign investors, meaning around 300 Billion THB for the Thai economy.

        The TAT really believes it's own daily bullshit and thinks "rich people" are lining up to invest 30 Million THB for a 1 year !! working permit.... at the border of a country runned by an incompetent military regime, a weak currency unit, economical problems and ongoing protests against the goverment ?


        • #5
          Deputy PM | Foreign Ambassadors to discuss 10-year Visa

          Deputy PM Supattanapong Punmeechaow says the government is anxious to promote new measures for attracting wealthy foreigners to Thailand. He says he will be arranging meetings with every foreign ambassador in order to promote a new long-stay visa programme aimed at highly-skilled professionals and wealthy investors. It’s hoped the new visa will help revive Thailand’s economy post-pandemic.

          Under the new scheme, qualifying foreigners can get a 10-year visa, which also covers their spouse and children. The visa entitles the holder to a work permit, tax exemption on overseas earnings, and the right to own property and land. They would also pay the same rate of tax as a Thai citizen. The scheme is aimed at frequent travellers who have assets in several countries, wealthy retirees over the age of 50 who can cover their costs while living in Thailand, highly-skilled professionals, and digital nomads employed in other countries but who want to work from Thailand.


          • #6
            Government officials meet to discuss long-term visa options for foreigners

            A government spokesman says the Thai PM has met with several members of his cabinet to discuss long-term residency options for foreigners. Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana says PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is currently in talks with a number of ministries and relevant agencies as to how to attract more foreign investment to the kingdom.

            The Bangkok Post reports that the PM met yesterday with Deputy PM Supattanapong Punmeechaow, Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda, Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, Customs Department director-general Patchara Anuntasilpa, and members of related agencies. Thanakorn says the officials discussed various long-stay visa options aimed at highly-skilled professionals and wealthy investors. The Cabinet recently approved in principle 2 draft regulations related to the visas.

            At yesterday’s meeting, officials also reviewed visitor numbers since Thailand re-opened with minimal quarantine for vaccinated tourists from approved quarantines. Since the November 1 re-opening, over 20,000 foreign visitors have arrived. According to the Bangkok Post report, the Tourism Authority of Thailand has previously forecast an average of 300,000 arrivals every month between now and the end of 2021.

            Meanwhile, Dr. Apisamai Srirangson from the CCSA says out of the 22,832 who’ve received in Thailand since the beginning of the month, just 20 have tested positive for Covid-19. So far, most arrivals are from Germany, the US, the UK, Japan, and South Korea.

            “The policy to allow fully vaccinated tourists to get into the country without quarantine will benefit the economy and enhance public health security.”
            Thanusak Phungdet from the Phuket Chamber of Commerce says there’s been a steady increase in foreign tourist numbers since the start of the month and this is expected to increase by 30% during the forthcoming peak season. The Russians too, are making a return, with the first Aeroflot flight from Moscow touching down in Phuket on Saturday. As Russia has not made Thailand’s list of 63 approved countries, arrivals will be participating in the island’s sandbox scheme.


            • #7
              10-year long term visa scheme takes a step forward, measures approved by PM

              Plans to roll out a 10-year long term visa scheme have made a step forward. Measures to attract wealthy foreigners and investors through the long term residency scheme were approved in principle by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha at today’s Economic Situation Management Committee Meeting, according to Thai media.

              Four groups of foreigners are targeted for the scheme including wealthy international travellers, rich retirees, digital nomads or employees of foreign companies who work remotely from Thailand, and highly skilled professionals. The measures had been approved by the Cabinet in September.

              According to the Thai government’s PR department, the prime minister agreed on measures including, “providing economic and investment incentives for highly potential foreigners, measures to promote investment in cloud service enterprises, measures to promote investment for technology businesses and startups, and finally measures to attract foreign film production companies to Thailand.”

              UPDATE: 02.02.2022

              10 Year Visa Approval

              The 10-year visa scheme for wealthy foreigners and skilled professionals was approved in principle by the Thai Cabinet, targeting foreign investors, highly-skilled professionals and wealthy retirees. Experts say the 10-year visa scheme for wealthy foreigners and skilled professionals should help fill the country’s anticipated shortage of digital workforce talent and boost the Thai economy. Chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries, Supant Mongkolsuthree, told reporters that engineers and IT experts should be given priority when applying for the new long-stay visa scheme.

              And according to managing director at Krungsri Finnovate under the Bank of Ayudhya แซม ตันสกุล, the visa scheme could help draw in more professionals specialized in blockchain, data science, and artificial intelligence, and help fill the anticipated shortage of an estimated 50,000 to 100,000 jobs in the digital workforce. The rate of around 10,000 technology graduates each year is not enough to keep up with the growing demand in the digital workforce, he adds. More people in the technology workforce is also seen to be a benefit to local startups.


              • #8
                Is the 10-year visa attracting Europeans and others to Thailand?

                Officials in Thailand have been heavily pushing the new10-year golden visa options for digital nomads and rich expats, with Europeans as a primary demographic, but is it really a big draw? The government has predicted that 1 million wealthy tourists will jump at the chance to live long-term in Thailand over the next 5 years, but the programme that preceded this new visa, the Smart Visa, has only attracted 1,200 travellers since it was launched in February of 2018.

                Officials projected that the 10-year visa will generate about 1 trillion baht, or about US $27.6 billion., which would depend on 1 million people using the visa and each one spending an average of 1 million baht in Thailand. But, as the Smart Visa program attracted about 50% European travellers, the new visa expects half the tourists using it to be European. The executive director of the Netherlands-Thai Chamber of Commerce said there was some buzz over the new visa in the community, but mostly tepid interest in it.

                “The first reactions have been lukewarm. I guess it needs more time and much more communication towards the target audience to get some traction. I am not of the opinion that it will be a game changer for future Dutch investments.”
                The executive director of the European Association for Business and Commerce in Thailand agreed, saying that some people already living in Thailand might benefit, but he’s not seeing a stampede to get the visa and pour into Thailand.

                “Several businesspeople already in Thailand have expressed interest in applying as it would alleviate administrative overhead for them. To date, we have not seen a material uptick or interest in moving operations to Thailand in anticipation of the scheme.”
                Thailand has its sights set on attracting wealthy digital nomads, but so does the rest of Southeast Asia, with Indonesia eying a 5-year digital nomad visa and Cambodia already incentivising tourists willing to invest US $100,000 in their “My 2nd Home” campaign. The Thailand Board of Investment believes the kingdom is so popular with European travellers, with the EU’s nearly 715 billion baht topped only by Japan in Foreign Direct Investment figures, that the Long-Term Residence scheme will ultimately be successful as it prepares to launch.

                On September 1, the 10-year visa option will be extended to four categories of travellers with an annual income of US $80,000 and at least $1 million 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.The specific categories have additional requirements, with “Highly Skilled Professionals” being limited only to jobs in sectors that the Thai government has rated as essential.

                Wealthy Global Citizens need to invest at least US $500,000 into the Thai economy via property or bonds and “Work-From-Thailand Professionals” need to be working for companies with a minimum of $150 million in revenue over three years. But both of these demographics are not currently served by any previously existing visa in Thailand. The new visa would allow them to live long-term in the country without a Thai sponsor. Many see these visas as a viable option to attract Europeans and others from around the world but worry that the rules and process will be too complex and convoluted. They say it is imperative that the paperwork be streamlined and supporting documents to meet requirements be easy and minimal in order for the program to succeed.