Staying in Thailand Long-Term with LTR Visas

Since the program was rolled out last year, Thailand’s Long-Term Resident Visa (LTR) program gives wealthy expats the option to live, work, and invest in the country for up to 10 years. The program offers several tax and non-tax incentives designed to make Thailand an attractive residence and investment destination for skilled and wealthy individuals as well as to bring much needed technological expertise into the country.

The goal of the program is to help stimulate the economy by enticing wealthy and high-income expats, particularly those working remotely, to invest in the country and participate in local industries. With an ambitious objective, Thailand aims to attract one million affluent or highly skilled foreign residents over the next five years.

Who is eligible for the LTR visa?

The LTR visa is aimed at four distinct groups:

  1. Wealthy Global Citizens: Individuals who hold at least $1 million in assets and have invested at least $500,000 in Thailand.
  2. Affluent Retirees: Retirees aged 50 years old and above with a stable annual pension or income.
  3. Professionals Working Remotely from Thailand: Remote workers employed by well-established overseas companies.
  4. Highly Skilled Experts in Specialized Fields: Professionals or experts in targeted industries working for Thai entities, government agencies, research centers, or specialized training institutions.

Family members of the LTR Visa holder, namely spouses and children under the age of 20, may also be included under the same visa program, up to a maximum of four family members.  The marriage must be registered. At present, Thailand does not recognize same-sex marriages or partnerships.

Categories and Requirements for Obtaining an LTR Visa

To qualify for the LTR Visa, applicants must meet specific criteria based on which category they fall under.

Wealthy Global Citizens:

  • Assets valued at a minimum of $1 million.
  • A minimum annual income of $80,000 over the past two years.
  • Investments in Thai government bonds, real estate, or direct investments in Thailand totaling at least $500,000.

Wealthy Pensioners:

  • Must be 50 years or older.
  • A minimum annual passive income of USD 80,000 as of the date of visa application.
  • Alternatively, if income is between USD 40,000 and USD 80,000, applicants must also invest at least USD 250,000 in Thai government bonds, real estate, or direct Thai investments.

It is worth noting that only sources of passive income such as pensions, rental income, dividends, royalties, and interest payments will be considered for this category.

Work-from-Thailand Professionals:

  • A minimum personal income of USD 80,000 per year for the past two years.
  • Alternatively, if income is between USD 40,000 and USD 80,000, applicants must meet additional criteria, including a master’s degree, ownership of intellectual property, or having received Series A funding.
  • Employment at a company listed on any stock exchange in any country, or at a private company that has operated for at least 3 years and has a combined revenue of at least USD 150 million over those 3 years as of the application date.
  • A minimum of five years of relevant work experience in the past decade.

Highly-skilled Professionals:

  • A minimum personal income of USD 80,000 per year for the past two years.
  • Alternatively, if income is between USD 40,000 and USD 80,000, applicants must possess a master’s degree in science and technology or specialized expertise relevant to their role in Thailand.
  • No specific income requirement for those working for Thai government agencies.
  • Engagement in targeted industries.
  • Employment at educational institutions, research centers, specialized training institutions, or Thai government agencies.
  • A minimum of five years of work experience in relevant industries, except for PhD holders or government employees in related fields.

Targeted industries

At present, the following industries are considered targeted:

  1. Automotive Industry
  2. Electronics Industry
  3. Affluent Tourism Industry
  4. Agriculture, food, and biotechnology industry
  5. Transportation and logistics industry
  6. Automation and robotics industry
  7. Aviation, aerospace, and space industry
  8. Biofuels and bio-chemical industry
  9. Petrochemical and Chemical Industry
  10. Digital industry
  11. Medical industry
  12. National defense industry
  13. Direct and significant supporting industries for the circular economy, e.g fuel production from wastes or water resource management, etc.
  14. International Business Center (IBC)
  15. Other industries in which the foreign applicants for the qualification endorsement must work with special expertise in one or more of the following areas:
    • Research and development in targeted industries or technologies, such as Biotechnology, Nanotechnology, Advanced Material Technology, Digital Technology
    • Human resource development in science and technology at vocational or higher education levels
    • Application of artificial intelligence, automation, and robotics in business operations
    • Planning and development of digital systems to enhance business productivity and services
    • Financial or Marketing Analyst or Advisory Services.
    • Environmental and energy management
    • Management or Advisory of incubation programs, acceleration programs, innovation, and startup ecosystems
    • Alternative dispute resolution services.
    • Promotion and support of economic development, trade, and investment by foreign chambers of commerce and organizations promoting trade and investment from foreign countries.

General Requirement for all applicants

Applicants are required to have health insurance coverage of at least $50,000, social security benefits covering medical treatments in Thailand, or a minimum deposit of USD 100,000 (USD 25,000 for dependents).

What Property in Thailand is Considered as Investments?

Property in Thailand that is recognized as an investment for the purpose of an LTR Visa includes:

  • Freehold (Ownership): Apartments in condominiums, buildings, or houses. The ownership must be registered in the name of the applicant.
  • Leasehold (Rental): Apartments, houses, land plots. The remaining lease term must be no less than 10 years, and the lessee must be the applicant.

Corporate-owned properties do not qualify.

Privileges Offered

LTR Visa holders enjoy a range of privileges to simplify their life in Thailand. These include:

General Privileges:

  • A 10-year renewable visa. Permission is initially granted for a stay in Thailand for five years. This period can be extended for another five years if qualifications are met.
  • Work permission without the requirement to hire four Thai citizens per foreign employee.
  • Fast-track services at international airports.
  • Annual reporting to Immigration instead of conventional 90-day reporting.
  • Unlimited re-entry without a re-entry permit.

Tax Benefits:

  • Highly-skilled professionals enjoy a flat 17% tax rate on employment income.
  • Income tax exemption for Wealthy Global Citizens, Wealthy Pensioners, and Work-from-Thailand Professionals on income from the previous tax year that arises from a post or business carried on abroad, or from assets located abroad, and that has been brought into Thailand.

The tax concessions are subject to rules and conditions set by the Revenue Department.

LTR Visa Application Process

To apply for an LTR visa, applicants need to submit a form through the program’s website and attach the required documents. The Board of Investment (BOI) may request additional documents. The request for and submission of additional documents also takes place online through the applicant’s account.

The official processing time for the application is 20 business days from the day all necessary documents are provided. In practice, depending on the situation, the review process may take two to three months, especially if additional documents are needed.

After approval, the applicant has 60 days to schedule an appointment for visa issuance at the “One Stop Service Center” at Chamchuri Square in Bangkok or at Thai embassies/consulates abroad.

The fee for a 10-year multiple-entry visa is 50,000 baht per person if the LTR visa is obtained in Thailand. If the LTR visa is obtained at Thai embassies/consulates abroad, the fee may vary and could be higher than 50,000 baht. The fee also depends on the exchange rate in each country.

Work Permits for LTR Visa holders

LTR visa holders in the categories of “Wealthy Global Citizens,” “Wealthy Pensioners,” and dependents can obtain work permits after their visas have been processed. For “Highly-Skilled Professionals,” work permits are typically granted concurrently with the visa issuance.

For the category of “Professionals Working from Thailand,” work permits are not applicable.

LTR visa holders employed by a legal entity in Thailand are required to apply for a work permit immediately after obtaining their LTR visa or before starting their employment with an organization in Thailand. Applications for work permits are submitted through the LTR visa application system. The process takes between 3 to 5 business days (this duration may extend if additional documents are required).

Upon approval of the work permit application, LTR visa holders can schedule an appointment for work permit issuance at the “One Stop Service Center for Visa and Work Permit,” located in the Chamchuri Square in Bangkok. The cost for processing and annually renewing the work permit is 3,000 baht.

While the work permit application is under review, LTR visa holders are temporarily permitted to work in Thailand without a work permit.

In conclusion, Thailand’s LTR Visa program opens doors for individuals seeking long-term residency with various eligibility categories and a plethora of benefits. Whether you’re a retiree, a remote worker, a skilled professional, or a wealthy global citizen, Thailand beckons with open arms, offering a vibrant life amidst its rich culture and stunning landscapes.

Curious about how the LTR visa can benefit you? Talk to our team and get all your queries answered.

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