Thailand offers 10-year visas to “wealthy global citizens”

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Thailand update

Thailand’s goal is to attract up to 1 million wealthy individuals by providing long-term visas to foreigners who invest in real estate or government bonds ranging from US$250,000 to US$500,000, and to profit from remote working professionals deported by Covid-19.

The visa program announced by the Prayuth Chan-ocha cabinet this week will target “wealthy global citizens”, wealthy pensioners, digital nomads working remotely, and skilled professionals.

The launch of the visa program coincides with the pandemic sweeping Thailand Tourism Industry, Damage business confidence and blow Thai Baht, This is one of the worst performing currencies in Asia this year.

Thailand is cautiously reopening its largest island, Phuket, and some other resorts to vaccinated foreigners, but officials admit that mass tourism is unlikely to return to the record number of 40 million visits in 2019 anytime soon .

In order to obtain a 10-year visa including family members, the Thai government stated that “wealthy global citizens” must invest at least US$500,000 in bonds or real estate and prove that they have a minimum annual income of US$80,000. Retirees need to invest at least US$250,000 and earn at least US$40,000 per year.

Bangkok plans to provide five-year preliminary test measures starting in 2022. During this period, the government stated that it expects the country to add 800 billion baht (US$24 billion) in investment and 270 billion baht in additional taxes.

Thailand will join several other countries, including Antigua and Barbuda and Barbados, which provide tax and visa incentives to attract digital nomads and other high-income foreigners.

“We hope that wealthy global citizens, retirees and highly skilled professionals welcome this opportunity,” said Juckchai Boonyawat, CEO of consulting firm Mercer Thailand.

“In other words, we need to pay close attention to how the government will change the laws on land and property ownership and applicable taxes, because these are the main considerations for foreigners who wish to invest in Thailand for a long time.”

A government spokesperson told the Financial Times that the plan will only be implemented after “further changes to laws and regulations are made.”

A digital nomad visa expert described the 10-year period as “a game changer,” but added that its importance will depend on the details, including whether freelancers who work for multiple clients are allowed to work for a single employer . Establish a base in Thailand.

“This is the holy grail of true digital nomads: obtaining a multi-year visa,” said Jeff Opdyke, editor of Global Intelligence Express.

Thailand’s year-round warm weather, vibrant cuisine, beaches and reliable private healthcare have attracted a large community of expats and retirees.

The latest coronavirus news

Pay attention to the on-site report and analysis of the British “Financial Times” on the global epidemic and the rapidly evolving economic crisis here.

“In general this [visa scheme] It’s a positive move, but it remains to be seen whether this reform will really attract the government’s expected investment,” Mercer’s Juckchai said.

However, some long-term foreign residents have recently complained about the poor government response to the Covid-19 vaccine and the cumbersome entry requirements for residents returning from abroad.

Thai Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul slammed “Frang” (Westerners) for being “dirty” and not wearing masks at the beginning of the pandemic, which angered some foreigners. He later apologized for these comments directed at tourists.

Twitter: @JohnReedwrites



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