Thailand’s Cabinet has agreed to cut long-term resident visa fees by 50% to attract highly skilled foreigners to the kingdom. The fee for the LTR visa, which allows you to stay in Thailand for 10 years, has been reduced from 100,000 to 50,000 baht.
Changes to visa requirements could make the lucrative “digital nomad” lifestyle a more realistic option for foreigners who also want to work remotely in the kingdom.
Yesterday, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman, Ratchada Thanadirek, revealed that the Cabinet had agreed to make changes to the LTR visa. She said highly qualified foreigners can apply for the visa and pay a one-time fee of 50,000 baht to stay in Thailand for 10 years. Ratchada said the change would come into effect 90 days after the announcement, after it was published in the Royal Gazette.
The Cabinet hopes the changes will attract more foreign investment, skilled foreigners and boost the economy.
Who is eligible to apply for the LRT visa?
Ratchada said potential LTR visa applications could include wealthy foreigners, retired foreigners, foreigners with “special skills” and their families (spouses and no more than 4 children under the age of 20). LTR visa holders are allowed to apply for a work permit.
Notably, the spokesperson said foreigners who wish to work remotely in the kingdom could apply for the visa. Working remotely from your laptop while drinking a Mai Tai on a Thai island is a pipe dream for many foreign freelancers who can’t find a Thai visa to support their desired “digital nomad” lifestyle. An LTR visa offers remote workers a legal route to live and work in Thailand, as long as they meet the requirements.
What are the requirements?
To apply, the applicant must take out health insurance covering at least USD 50,000 to cover medical expenses for at least the first 10 months of their stay in the kingdom OR a social security certificate covering medical expenses OR a cash deposit of at least 100,000 USD in a domestic or foreign bank account for 12 months before applying for the visa.
“High-income” foreigners wishing to apply must have an annual income of USD 80,000 for two years before applying.
“Foreign specialists” must obtain an employment contract with a company in Thailand OR abroad. They are required to produce proof that they have worked in the “targeted industries” for at least 5 years.
Exceptions may be made for foreigners working in Thai universities, government research institutes and specified training institutes, or those with a doctorate.
The spokesperson added that Thailand aims to welcome up to one million foreigners to the country over the next five years. She said it could bring 1 trillion baht in revenue, including 800 billion baht in foreign investment.
For more information on retirement visas, click here.
THE SOURCE: Khaosod | Royal Thai Government | Thai PBS