The Thai Cabinet recently planned significant changes in immigration policy and rules on foreign land ownership.
The Cabinet plans to offer a 10-year visa to attract “wealthy foreigners” to Thailand by approving a selection of economic and investment policies designed to entice high-potential foreigners to settle in Thailand.
The first objective is to attract over a million expats to Thailand while targeting four particular groups:
1. “Wealthy” citizens of the world with an income of at least $ 80,000 over the past two years and $ 1 million in assets. Another requirement is to invest at least 16 million baht in real estate or government bonds.
2. Digital nomads – or professionals working in Thailand – must earn $ 80,000 in the past two years or $ 40,000 per year, and be self-employed or employed by a foreign company with the option of using Thailand as a location. of work. Another additional requirement is a master’s degree and work experience of at least five years.
3. “Wealthy” retirees – this includes people aged 50 or over, who can invest at least $ 250,000 in government property or bonds, and who have a minimum pension fund of $ 40,000. In the event that retirees do not wish to invest, a minimum pension fund of $ 80,000 per year is required.
4. Highly skilled workers of SET-listed companies or enterprises with an annual income of over $ 50 million. In addition, they must have earned at least $ 80,000 in the past two years or $ 40,000 per year. As with digital nomads, they must have a master’s degree and at least five years’ professional experience in the targeted industries.
The next goal is to boost domestic spending by 800 billion baht and generate 270 billion baht in additional tax revenue.
The ultimate goal is to strengthen the expertise of the Thai workforce by attracting foreign experts to settle in Thailand to support the country’s economy.
Other additional measures under consideration for approval include:
- A new type of long-term visa for eligible high potential foreigners would allow such people to reside in Thailand for up to 10 years; in addition, the usual 90 day report will not be required. Measures concerning long-term visas will start to be implemented from April 2021 to March 2022. Subsidiary laws will be announced between August 2021 and November 2022. A service center for long-term visas will be set up around January in February 2022.
- Amendments to related laws or rules regarding foreign land ownership and allowing foreigners to work in Thailand without a work permit are also under consideration. In addition, the policy of one foreign employee for four full-time Thai employees is also under consideration.
The Cabinet tasked the National Council for Economic and Social Development (“NESDC”) to work with the Bureau of Investments, the Home Office, the Ministry of Labor and the Royal Thai Police Bureau to consider the final points before that the new policies are not formally adopted. announcement.
The National Council for Economic and Social Development (“NESDB”) anticipates that these measures will be rolled out over five years.
Other measures aimed at attracting expatriates are being considered by the NESDB:
- Long-term residence benefits (LTR) can be valid for ten years, including dependents or spouses and children
- Income tax exemption for foreign income
- Property rights / long-term rent of the property (including land)