This article also appeared in the Phuket News on 4 September 2022.
Starting this month, wealthy expats will be given another option to live, work, and invest in Thailand via the upcoming Long-term Resident (LTR) Visa program which will allow those who meet the program’s requirements to stay in the country for up to 10 years.
The program aims to give expats a more streamlined way of staying in the country, doing away with many of the yearly and quarterly reporting requirements imposed on regular Non-B visa holders. Holders of an LTR Visa will also be eligible for several other benefits that are not given to regular visa holders.
What is the Long-term Resident Visa Program?
The LTR program is the Thai government’s latest initiative for attracting high-net-worth individuals and highly skilled workers into the country amid the rise of remote work. As Thailand is already home to several multinational corporations and has an active incubator and startup community, the government hopes that the additional benefits given by the program will attract new ‘high potential’ residents who will not only bring new technologies and skills into the country, but also contribute to domestic spending, thereby fuelling Thailand’s post COVID-19 economic recovery. The government aims to attract at least one million wealthy or highly skilled individuals through this program.
What are the benefits of the LTR Visa Program?
The program provides qualified individuals and their dependents a stay visa in Thailand that will be valid for five years and extendable by another five, giving it a total validity period of 10 years. Holders will also be entitled to several benefits which can be split between tax and non-tax incentives.
- Tax exemptions on all income generated overseas.
- Discounted personal income tax rate of 17% per year for highly skilled professionals.
- Fast track services at airports.
- Use of the one-stop service center for visa and work permit renewals.
- Digital work permit.
- Reporting of address every year rather than every 90 days.
- Exemption from the 4:1 Thai-to-Expat employee ratio.
Who will be Eligible for LTR Visa Program in Thailand?
The Office of the Board of Investment states that LTR visas are available for five types of foreigners: Wealthy Global Citizens, Digital Nomads, Wealthy Pensioners, Highly Skilled Individuals, and their Dependents. Each type is subject to differing requirements.
Applying for a LTR Visa
While the requirements and processes seem simple on paper, applying for a LTR visa involves numerous steps and meeting various prerequisites. It is important to keep in mind that this is not an expedited program, meaning it will take time for applicants to prove they meet the qualifications, submit the right documents, and then go through the formal review to get a final approval. This can be complex.
The documents required for each type of foreigner vary; and even among applicants under the same category, requirements are considered on a case-by-cases basis. To ensure the likelihood that your application gets approved, it is important to get the help of experts in the field who will check your eligibility, ensure that you meet all the criteria before applying, and submit the correct applications.
Silk Legal is familiar with the complexities of this new program, on top of other visa programs, and can help you better understand what you need to do and the documents you need to submit to secure your LTR visa.
For any questions you may have about the program, please reach out to us at [email protected]. Our team will be ready to help you.