Since the lifting of strict confinement in the first quarter of 2022, and the decrease in the number of Covid-19 cases, the Thai economy has shown signs of recovery.
However, Thailand still faces a battle to bring its economy back to pre-pandemic levels to compete with its Asean neighbors, let alone the world.
Therefore, in June this year, the Royal Gazette officially announced the introduction of an initiative between the Ministry of Home Affairs (MOI), the Ministry of Labor (MOL) and the Board of Investment (BOI) under the form of a long-term Resident Visa (LTR) arrangement designed to attract a new wave of foreign direct investment (FDI) and knowledge transfer experts.
The government expects the program to attract over a million foreigners over the next five years, attracted by the low cost of living and vibrant lifestyle here. The LTR visa program aims to make Thailand an even more attractive destination by simplifying the visa and work permit process and offering attractive incentives. It is hoped that this will bring additional investment in Thailand of over 750 billion baht by 2026.
The LTR visa will benefit certain foreigners and their dependents who meet the criteria set by the BOI which are divided into five categories. The concept of the LTR visa was introduced in 2021 and has been continuously updated. Based on the previous year’s cabinet resolution, most basic qualifications remain the same. However, there are additional new criteria that applicants must meet, as stipulated by the BOI, as follows:
LTR visa holders will enjoy the following benefits:
- 10-year renewable visa with multiple re-entry permit (five years on arrival with another five-year extension)
- The spouse and children of the LTR visa holder are eligible for the same visa (maximum of four people per family)
- 90-day reporting requirement extended to one year
- Renewable digital work permit; however, the period of validity will be in accordance with the employment contract or for non-employees; the period of validity will be five years
- 17% personal income tax for highly skilled professionals working in target industries
- Fast Track Lane service at international airports in Thailand
- The application process will take place at the one stop shop in the Chamchuri Square building for visas and work permits.
In addition, government charges will be based on MOI and MOL regulations; therefore, the visa fee will be 50,000 baht each time and a digital work permit will be 3,000 baht per year.
Additionally, while some of the related official regulations were enforceable midway through this year, others will be phased in from late August 2022 to early September 2022, with the BOI planning to start accepting applications from September 1, 2022. However, there has been no announcement regarding the actual start date or the official online system to support applications.
Nonetheless, the LTR visa will provide holders with the above attractive incentives as granted by the Thai government.
Series Editor: Christopher F. Bruton, Managing Director, Dataconsult Ltd, [email protected] Dataconsult’s Thailand Regional Forum in Sasin offers seminars and comprehensive documentation to inform businesses of future trends in Thailand and the Mekong region.