Thailand News Today | Thai government approves 10-year visa program

The 10-year visa regime for wealthy foreigners and skilled professionals has been approved in principle by Thailand’s Cabinet, targeting foreign investors, highly skilled professionals and wealthy retirees.

Experts say the 10-year visa program for wealthy foreigners and skilled professionals is expected to help fill the country’s anticipated digital labor shortage and boost Thailand’s economy.

Federation of Thai Industries president Supant Mongkolsuthree told reporters that engineers and IT experts should be given priority when applying for the new long-stay visa regime.

And according to Managing Director of Krungsri Finnovate under Bank of Ayudhya แซม ตันสกุล, the visa regime could help attract more professionals specializing in blockchain, data science and artificial intelligence, and help fill the expected shortage approximately 50,000 to 100,000 jobs. in the digital workforce.

The rate of around 10,000 tech graduates each year is not enough to meet the growing demand for the digital workforce, he adds. The increase in the number of people in the tech workforce is also seen as a benefit for local startups.

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And while plans for the 10-year visa regime move forward, proposals to increase the foreign ownership quota for condominiums and the maximum lease for foreigners have been rejected by the Thai Center for Administration of the economic situation. However, the proposal to allow foreigners to hold ownership of one rai of land for residential purposes was agreed in principle.

At its meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, officials decided to drop proposals to extend lease rights to the current maximum of a 30-year lease for expatriates to a lease of 50 years as well as an increase in the foreign ownership quota for condominiums, which is currently set at 49%.

Some say foreign ownership quotas still haven’t been met, so the rejected proposal won’t have much impact. An executive from property developer AP Thailand told reporters that even in the expat-dense cities of Bangkok and Phuket, properties are falling short of the 49% quota.

The chairman of real estate consultancy CBRE Thailand said the government should reconsider the proposal to extend lease rights from 30 to 50 years as it would make investing in large-scale projects more attractive. Foreigners cannot buy freehold homes, so a longer lease would potentially increase demand in the low-rise housing market.

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The revamped Test & Go program opened up to new applications yesterday as 46 international flights, carrying around 2,500 passengers, landed at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Most of the arrivals were from neighboring countries, including Singapore and Malaysia, with some coming from Europe. Under the revamped entry scheme, hotels are now required to send drivers to the airport at least an hour before guests land, in a bid to ease congestion.

It remains to be seen how successful (or not) Test & Go Version 2 is – or, as some have called it, Test & Go & Come Back & Test & Go Again (and that’s assuming one doesn’t). contract Covid between tests).

All arrivals are now required to take a PCR test on Day 1 upon arrival and again on Day 5. This, in addition to the PCR test, they will have passed 72 hours before leaving their home country. For testing on Days 1 and 5, they must also show proof of a paid reservation at SHA Plus hotels, where they must wait in their room until they receive a negative test result.

If social media is to be believed, would-be foreign tourists have scoffed at the new rules and are touting the Philippines, Cambodia and several other destinations as better alternatives. However, several Facebook groups for Thailand Pass or Sandbox applicants would indicate that there is no shortage of people currently planning their trips to the kingdom.

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Under the revamped Test & Go entry scheme, hotels are now required to confirm Thailand Pass reservations within 30 hours or applications will automatically be rejected.

Hotels must verify room reservations and PCR test appointments with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in order for a Thailand Pass application to be approved. Governor of Tourism Authority of Thailand ยุทธศักดิ์ สุภสร, says the new rule has been introduced to ensure the testing requirement is met in all cases.

He added that “the reopening of the Test & Go program depends on 100% monitoring of PCR results, and the TAT must encourage more tourists to download the MorChana app”.

ศิริปกรณ์ เชี่ยวสมุทร of the TAT added that currently there are 39 provinces across the country which have a total of 2,247 SHA Extra Plus hotels. In the case of locals and expatriates who cannot find such a hotel in their province of residence, they will have to travel to a neighboring province.

Meanwhile, มาริสา สุโกศล หนุนภักดี of Thai Hotels Association says that while PCR testing on Day 5 may be needed in the early days of Test & Go, the requirement should eventually be waived or replaced with a test kit of antigen.

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The police officer who sped his Ducati motorbike through Bangkok and struck and killed an eye doctor walking on a zebra crossing now faces a total of nine charges, but the victim’s parents say the charges are still too light and that they fear that there is none to do justice to their daughter.

Officer นนวิชญ์ บัวดก Ducked his motorcycle Ducati between 108 and 128 kilometers per hour when he struck the Dr. ววาลัคน์ สุภวัตสุภวัต จจิยากุล who walked on the crossing of the zebra on the road from Phaya Thai on January 21 . Waraluck worked as an ophthalmologist at Chulalongkorn University Medical School on Phaya Thai Road. She was days away from her 34th birthday.

The charges Norrawit faces include…

Reckless driving causing death
Speeding
Violating traffic laws by driving a vehicle without a license plate
Failure to keep the motorcycle in the left lane
Failure to give pedestrians the right of way at a crosswalk
Car law violation by using a vehicle with an unpaid annual tax
Use an incomplete vehicle (His motorcycle did not have a mirror)
Use of a vehicle without liability insurance as stated in the Motor Vehicle Accidents Act 1992
Driving without worrying about the safety of others

After speaking to police from Phraya Thai station, the doctor’s parents were asked by Thai media about updates on the case. Reports say the father says the charges are still too light and the mother fears they won’t get justice. The father added that he wanted his daughter’s case to lead to stricter traffic enforcement to prevent similar accidents in the future.

Thai Police Colonel Phraya Borwonpop Sunthornrekha also gave an interview to Thai media. He shared that information, witnesses and evidence will be collected and submitted to prosecutors by February 11.

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A Greek family traveling in Phuket claim around 200,000 baht in cash was stolen. Thai media reports that the family of five are demanding the money back and even promising to give the thief 500 euros if he returns the money.

The family filed a complaint with the police and asked the hotel to verify CCTV footage, but there were no new developments. They asked a longtime Thai friend to help spread the word. The friend posted a message on Facebook to share the family’s story.

According to the message, the family had decided to transfer their money to the car while the maid cleaned the room. They didn’t have a safe in the room so they assumed keeping the money in the car would be safe, but they forgot to lock the car and their money was gone.

The family also printed a message in Thai and stuck it on the rental car. The note says in Thai “To whoever took my money, we have children, and now we are going through a hard time. Please bring our money back. We promise not to file a complaint with the police and to give you 500 euros.

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