Thailand Elite Residence Program
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.
The Thailand Elite Residence Program offers seven program options, each varying in validity, benefits and costs. The following are the three most popular options available:
Elite Easy Access — a popular option for expats or business people to enter and exit Thailand. With a five-year residence visa, the one-time fee is THB 500,000 including VAT (approx. USD 16,000). 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 THB 1,605,000 including VAT (approx. USD 50,000)
Elite Family Excursion — designed for a minimum of two people with a 5-year residence visa for each member. The one-time fee of THB 800,000 including VAT (approx. USD 25,000) covers both applicants with an additional charge of THB 300,000 including VAT (approx. USD 10,000) per 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 VIP privileges such as airport transfers for international flights and government concierge services
Elite Superiority Extension — 20-year residence visa for individuals who pay a one-time fee of THB 1 million including VAT (approx. USD 32,000). There is no annual fee and no age restriction. The package
Procedures and Time Frame
TPC has an efficient application process. It takes approximately 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 up to four weeks after submission of the application. In some cases, TPC may request additional documents. An approval letter will be issued together with the one-time fee payment request. The residence visa will be issued within one week 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 the Thailand Elite Residence Program 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