Thailand’s exclusive residence program gives foreigners the right to live in the country for up to 20 years. It’s the first program of its kind worldwide, offering unlimited access to the jewel of Southeast Asia as well as a range of complimentary VIP privileges.
The special residence visa is issued by the Thailand Privilege Card Company Limited (TPC) – a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Tourism Authority of Thailand. The ‘Land of Smiles’, as it’s often referred to because of the friendly disposition of its citizens, has become one of the most sought-after destinations in Southeast Asia, with an increasing number of wealthy families and retired individuals wanting to take advantage of its temperate climate, spectacular landscape and outstanding leisure facilities.
To receive the Thailand residence visa, foreigners must be a member of Thailand Elite, an exclusive program offered by TPC.
Thailand Elite offers seven program options, each varying in validity, benefits and costs. The following are the three most popular options available:
|1.||Elite Ultimate Privilege – 20-year residence visa for individuals who pay a one-off fee of approximately USD 60,000, plus an annual fee of approximately USD 600. Applicants must be aged 20 years or older. The residence visa can be transferred once during the 20-year validity at 20% of the prevailing rate.|
This package includes the following complimentary privileges:
|2.||Elite Privilege Access – designed for family applications with a 10-year residence visa for each applicant. The one-off fee is approximately USD 30,000 for the main applicant and USD 22,500 for each dependent. Dependents may include legitimate parents, step-parents, spouse (including by civil union), children and step-children. There is no annual fee and no age restriction. The residence visa cannot be transferred. The package includes complimentary privileges such as VIP transport services (limited to 18 short-haul airport transfers for international flights), government concierge services, plus one annual health check per person at a local private hospital.|
|3.||Elite Easy Access – popular option for expats or business persons to enter and exit Thailand. For this five-year residence visa, the one-off fee is approximately USD 15,000. There is no annual fee and no age restriction. The residence visa cannot be transferred, but can be upgraded to the Elite Ultimate Privilege option for approximately USD 45,000.|
Procedures and Time Frame
TPC has an efficient application process. It takes less than one month to get visa issuance at designated international airports.
TPC will only approve in principle after a personal profile check has been done, which takes one week after submission of the application. In some cases, TPC may request additional documents. An approval letter will be issued together with the one-off fee payment request. The residence visa will be issued within two weeks after TPC has confirmed receipt of the full application fee. Prior to physically obtaining the visa, the approved applicant and dependents must inform TPC seven days in advance of their arrival time and airport in order to get the visa affixed at the immigration lounge.
Successful applicants of Thailand Elite can reside or stay in Thailand for as long as they wish up to the validity of their chosen package. The only limitation is a requirement to inform TPC when reaching a continuous 90-day length of stay in Thailand.
Key Advantages of the Program
- Residence in Thailand is possible for a few days; a few months; or an unlimited period within the validity of the chosen package. There is no minimum stay requirement
- Attractive tax benefits. Successful applicants are only taxed on income sourced in Thailand – foreign sourced income is tax free as long as it is not remitted to Thailand in the same tax year in which it was earned
- It is possible to acquire a tax number if you have income sourced in Thailand (for example rental income). Tax certificates are available for residents who stay more than 180 days per year in Thailand
- Complimentary VIP services including a dedicated Elite personal assistant for international flights and lounge access, airport transfers, and a 24-hour member contact center which operates in several languages
- A low-cost, high standard of living