Cabinet approves plans to attract long-stay foreigners to Thailand

A tourist enjoys the view of the Hong islands from the infinity pool of a resort on Koh Yao Yai island in the Andaman Sea on November 23, 2020. (Photo by Mladen ANTONOV / AFP)

The Thai cabinet has approved, in principle, two ministerial announcements aimed at attracting four specific groups of foreigners to stay in Thailand for up to ten years, in the hope that they spend their wealth, invest or make use of their special skills for the development of the Thai economy.

According to Deputy Government Spokesperson Dr. Rachada Dhnadirek, the people to be targeted by the Thai government are the wealthy people or pensioners, professionals who want to work from Thailand and highly-skilled professionals.

All these people will be granted long-term residence visas, which are good for ten years but must be extended after the fifth year of their stay in the kingdom, with the extension period to last for only another five years.

Those who believe they are in one of these groups can apply for a qualification certificate by providing evidence and relevant documentation to prove their status with the Thai Board of Investment (BOI) or Thai embassies and consuls abroad.

Those who obtain the certificate can apply for long-term residence visas for up to ten years for themselves and their escorts. The visa fee is 10,000 baht per year for each applicant. They will be required to report to authorities once a year to confirm their place of residence.

With the certificate, foreign professionals who want to work from Thailand and highly-skilled professionals can apply for a work permit as special cases for economic development.

The work permit for a foreigner under an employment contract will last as long as the duration of the employment contract, but not exceeding five years. The permit can be extended in line with the contractual period, but not more than five years. The work permit expires at the time of the expiration of the residence visa.

Those who do not comply with the requirements may be disqualified. The visa type can be changed in accordance with immigration rules.


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