Thailand’s Cabinet has just approved the creation of a 10-year visa for wealthy foreigners or digital nomads, the target demographic the government has focused on as a solution to the lack of tourism due to Covid-19. They estimated that a few high-quality (read: “big spend”) tourists could outweigh the dozens of unwanted budget-conscious tourists who flocked to Thailand before the Covid-19 pandemic.
A government spokesperson announced today that the Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of the Interior are already working on drafting regulations for a long-term visa allowing highly skilled digital nomads and wealthy expats to stay in Thailand long term. They say attracting these high-quality tourists will lead to economic stimulus and investment.
The 10-year visa is intended to attract wealthy travelers from 4 categories who have been at the heart of the government’s tourism efforts for several months:
- Digital nomads – professionals working remotely online
- highly skilled professionals who can move Thailand forward with their skills (and salaries)
- wealthy global citizens (government officials once predicted that these tourists would spend 1 million baht per trip)
- affluent retirees – wealthy retirees with plentiful disposable income each month
While eligibility rules are still being worked out, they have announced some promising pricing details. The visa will initially be granted for 5 years at a cost of 10,000 baht per year and can then be extended for another 5 years. With a total cost of 100,000 baht over 10 years, it is significantly cheaper than the current long-term visa options in the Thai Elite Visa program where a 5-year visa costs 600,000 baht, a 10-year visa costs 1 million of baht and a 20-year visa costs 2.4 million baht, including its annual fee, for a slightly more expensive reason than simply buying two 10-year visas.
The rest of the regulations are also being worked out, but the Ministry of Labor assures that foreigners who obtain this visa will be able to start working as soon as they arrive in Thailand and will not have to wait for their work permit application to be finalized. completed and for the issuance of a work permit. Once the rest of the rules are fully in place, the ministries will make an official announcement and the new visa can go live.
Individuals wishing to begin the application process for the new 10-year visa can submit their documents and obtain qualification certificates at the nearest Thai embassy or consulate or, if already in Thailand, at the Thai Board of Investment at Chamchuri Square in Bangkok.
For more information on how to enter Thailand during the pandemic, CLICK HERE