New 10-year Thai visa to attract wealthy foreigners and highly skilled professionals.

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A new economic stimulus package to encourage direct foreign investment from wealthy and highly skilled professionals has been approved by the Thai cabinet. It includes a much sought after 10-year Thai visa benefit. This is a move to hasten post-Covid19 economic recovery and will come into effect from next year.

Speaking on September 14th, 2021, government spokesman Thanakorn Wangbookongchana announced the immigration, tax and land ownership benefits available to the four groups of eligible foreigners. The Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) has been assigned to set up a new centre to implement and administer the programme.

Stimulus package benefits

Immigration

  • 10-year Thai visa for approved persons and their spouses and children
  • Automatic work permit issuance

Tax

  • Income tax rates to match Thai citizens
  • Tax exemptions for income earned abroad
  • 17% fixed income tax rate for qualified persons in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) scheme.

Property

  • Relaxation of restrictions on foreign ownership of land and property (although details are lacking)

Target groups of foreigners

1. Wealthy global citizens

  • High-income, travelling frequently and resident in more than one country
  • Long-term visa application requires USD500,000 foreign direct investment (FDI) in Thai government bonds or in real estate
  • Must prove earnings exceeding USD80,000 in the past two years and own assets worth at least USD1 million

2. Wealthy pensioners

  • Over 50 years of age with means to retire securely and live overseas
  • Must invest USD250,000 directly (FDI) into Thai government bonds or in real estate
  • Annual income must exceed USD40,000 a year
  • Health insurance with a minimum cover of USD100,000 per person

3. Work-from-Thailand professionals

  • Annual income must be sufficient to be financially secure (this is not defined but consider the USD40,000 a year income requirement in other categories)
  • Digital nomads (note this has previously meant having an employment contract with an overseas employer guaranteeing a salary)
  • Employees of large organisations who are close to retirement

4. Highly skilled professionals

(interested in coming to work in Thai ‘industries of importance’)

  • Includes experts or researchers coming to work in Thailand for state agencies or as university lecturers in ‘industries of importance’
  • Must show annual income exceeding USD80,000 for the previous two years or USD40,000 per year
 

Mr Thanakorn said the government expects more than a million qualified people to be attracted to Thailand in the next five years, beginning next year.

The government expects to raise THB800 billion in investments from 90,000 foreigners as investments to meet the visa requirements. Additionally, the foreigners in the scheme are expected to contribute a million baht per year to the Thai economy in living expenses, and 270 billion baht in taxes.

We agree that this raises a lot of questions from those interested in working or retiring in Thailand under the scheme, and we will bring updates from the government when we can.

Acclime Thailand specialises in advising and assisting foreigners looking for long-term immigration solutions, seeking to invest in property and in taxation. A free initial consultation with us can help you be clearer on the options available to you.

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