Thailand launches new incentives to attract wealthy global citizens and retirees

Foreign investors, professionals and retirees will be able to take advantage of a number of new incentives in Thailand, as the government seeks to attract high-income foreign residents to help the country recover from COVID-19.

The Thai cabinet passed a resolution on September 14, 2021, introducing immigration, tax and land ownership incentives for foreign investors and skilled professionals. The incentives are part of an effort to stimulate the Thai economy which has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this article, we take a look at what incentives will be available and who is eligible to apply for them.

The incentives fall into three categories: immigration, tax and real estate.

Qualified applicants can receive a 10-year long-term resident visa to live in Thailand, including for their spouse and children. Qualified applicants will also receive an automatic work permit. This is a new type of visa that previously did not exist in Thailand.

Unlike other types of visas, holders of long-term resident visas will not have to submit a written notification to the competent authorities to stay in the country for more than 90 days. Potentially, they will not be subject to restrictions on hiring foreign workers, such as the requirement that employers hire four Thai workers for each foreigner, although that remains to be determined.

Qualified applicants will be able to benefit from the same income tax rates as Thai citizens, as well as tax exemptions for income earned abroad. In addition, they can claim a fixed tax rate of 17 percent according to the Eastern Economic Corridor scheme.

Qualified applicants will be able to benefit from relaxed restrictions on foreign ownership and rental of land and property.

The incentives will be overseen by the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council of Thailand. They will be in place for five fiscal years from 2022 to 2026, when the authorities will assess their performance and decide to extend them.

The incentives apply to four categories of foreigners: wealthy citizens of the world, wealthy retirees, working Thai professionals, and highly skilled professionals.

Individuals with income of at least $ 80,000 in the past two years and assets of at least $ 1 million may be eligible for the incentives. In addition, they must have medical insurance covering at least $ 100,000 and invest at least $ 500,000 in Thai government bonds or real estate.

Retirees with a stable pension of at least USD 40,000 per year and aged 50 or over can apply. They too must have medical insurance covering at least $ 100,000 and invest at least $ 250,000 in Thai government bonds or real estate.

Work of Thai professionals

Foreign professionals working remotely from Thailand (often referred to as digital nomads), with an income of at least USD 80,000 in the past two years and at least five years of professional experience will be eligible.

This category refers to professionals with an income of at least $ 80,000 in the past two years or $ 40,000 per year who work in targeted industries, including construction infrastructure, logistics systems and digital systems, or experts and researchers who work with state agencies or as university professors.

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This article was first published by AseanBriefing which is produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm assists foreign investors across Asia from its offices worldwide, including in in China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore, India, and Russia. Readers can write to [email protected]

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