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On the increase of price of Thai Elite and other alternatives for visa in Thailand HP Visa Work Permit Long Term Residence in Thailand Immigration Lawyers in Bangkok 1

Last month of August 2023, it was announced the surge of fees for Thai Elite in 50%, meaning from the existing fee of 600,000 THB to 900,000 THB. It was also made public the increase of the price of new immigration products under Thai Elite, in some cases a surge of 150% such as the visa for 20 years. All the changes and new fees will be enforceable after 15th of September 2023.

In this context, our law firm in Thailand H&P is being consulted by many private individuals about other alternatives or options to Thai Elite for long term stays in Thailand. Based on these recent enquiries to our lawyers in Bangkok, we have prepared a brief summary of other options or alternatives to Thai Elite that exist now under Thai Immigration Law.

Although there are student visas and volunteer visas, we will focus in the most realistic visas for long term in Thailand highlighting the positive and negative aspects of each one:

Non-B Visa under a Representative Office

In our opinion this is one of the best options under Thai Law as it provides with a Non-B Visa and a valid work permit, therefore the applicant will be able to stay in Thailand in the long term as well as legally work here.

The positive aspects are that you will have a Non-B Visa (so you are not considered a tourist), you can legally stay in Thailand while you look for business opportunities here, you can renew every year the visa without complications and you can bring dependents and spouse attached to your visa.

The negative aspects are that the Representative Office requires a minimum compliance (meaning an accountant and yearly audit), needs to have a company overseas to appoint the foreigner as a director and you need to register in Social Insurance only 1 Thai Employee.

The Representative Office requires a minimum capitalization within the first three years of operations, but we do not see this as a problem as the capital injection will be under the control of the applicant and can be used the next day.

Although the Representative office is a business entity, this is one of the most popular solutions for H&P clients in Thailand and we believe it will become even more popular due to the recent increase of Thai Elite fees.

Long Term Residence or LTR

In our opinion, this is one of the best options under Thai Immigration Law, however not all the applicants are eligible for this visa. Our Immigration Attorneys in Thailand always send a questionnaire to assess if it is worth or not to apply for this visa as the requirements are very strict in some cases.

This visa aims to attract foreigners who want to stay in Thailand in the long term such as 10 years in the following categories:

– Wealthy global citizens

– Wealthy pensioners

– Work from Thailand professionals

– Highly skilled professionals.

The advantages, in addition to the long-term stay, is that you can legally work in Thailand and global tax optimization by becoming Thai Tax Resident. The spouse and descendent of the applicants can apply for a dependent visa.

The disadvantages are that it is not a visa for everyone and some of the private clients who contact our law firm in Bangkok are not eligible after checking the requirements.

Retirement Visa

Based on our Bangkok immigration attorneys experience, this is one of the less complex visas to obtain for our clients.  Our lawyers in Thailand can assist you to apply for a Non-Immigrant O Visa which can be obtained in the Embassy or Consulate of Thailand of your country.

The requirements are very straightforward. You need to be above 50 years old. You need to open a bank account in Thailand and deposit 800,000 THB (transferred from abroad) for at least 3 months. There is also another alternative for the retirement visa.

You need to renew the retirement visa on a yearly basis. The negative aspect is that you need to be 50 years old (age requirement) and you are not allowed to work in Thailand.

Thai Smart Visa

Smart Visa main objective is to attract into Thailand global highly-skilled experts, investors, senior executives, startup entrepreneurs (with their spouses and children), in certain targeted business sectors such as Automotive, Medical, Digital, Aviation, Logistics and Robotics.

Regarding high skilled professionals, they should receive a remuneration of at least 200,000 THB from a Thai company. As a result, they will receive a 4-year visa.

Regarding investors, the minimum investment is 20 million THB and they must keep the investment across the duration of the visa. The investment must be ensured by the government.

Regarding senior executives, they should also receive a remuneration of at least 200,000 THB, have a bachelor degree with 10 years’ experience in the same field, have a Thai employer who are under the 10 S-Curve industry.

Regarding foreign start up business people, they should have at least 600,000 THB in Thailand or abroad, health insurance, set up a company and have a certification under a government agency. In our opinion the benefits are less attractive than in the other categories.

Regarding highly-skilled, they should also receive a remuneration of at least 200,000 THB, have a bachelor degree with a certification of highly skilled in Science and Technology issued by the government. The employer must be ensured by the government.

In H&P professional practice during the last years, we have not seen many applications of Smart Visa. However, the positive aspect of the Smart Visa is that it allows the dependents to legally work in Thailand.

We, H&P, provide tailor-made immigration solutions in Thailand for our private clients as we firmly believe each case is different and require a comprehensive understanding of your needs and plans.

If you need to consult with our lawyers in Bangkok about visas and immigration, please contact our law firm in Thailand at [email protected]

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