Important factors to consider in residence planning
With its rich cultural history, affordable yet exceptionally high standard of living, and favorable tax regime, Thailand is becoming an increasingly attractive destination for travelers and professionals, even as a second home destination.
Thailand’s exclusive residence program gives foreign nationals the right to live in the country for up to 20 years. The Thailand Elite Residence Program is 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 residence permit (privilege entry visa) is issued by the Thailand Privilege Card Company Limited (TPC) — a wholly owned subsidiary of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, under the Ministry of Tourism and Sport. The ‘Land of Smiles’, as the country is often referred to due to 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 seeking to take advantage of its temperate climate, spectacular landscape, and outstanding leisure facilities.
There is no minimum residence requirement and residents can stay in the country for as long as they wish within the parameters of their chosen program.
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 businesspeople to enter and exit Thailand. With a five-year privilege entry visa, the one-time fee is THB 500,000 including VAT (approximately
Elite Family Excursion — Designed for a minimum of two people, with a five-year residence visa for each member. The one-time fee of THB 800,000 including VAT (approximately USD 25,000) covers both applicants, with an additional charge of THB 300,000 including VAT (approximately USD 10,000) per dependent. The core applicant's dependents may include legitimate parents, stepparents, spouse (including by civil union), children, and stepchildren. 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 privilege entry visa for individuals who pay a one-time fee of
TPC has an efficient application process. It takes approximately four months to get visa issuance at designated international airports.
TPC will only approve an application in principle after a personal profile check has been done. In some cases, TPC may request additional documents. An approval letter will be issued together with the one-time fee payment request. The residence permit can 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 at the designated 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.