Thai government announces new 10-year visa scheme to attract high-net-worth individuals and specialists

In a bid to promote foreign investment and bring needed technical skills into the country, Thailand’s Cabinet approved on Tuesday new measures aiming to attract high-net-worth investors and highly specialized technical specialists with 10-year visas. According to government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, the government expects to see over one million applicants over a five-year period, injecting the Thai economy with approximately THB 800 billion in foreign investment and THB 270 billion in tax revenue.

The new measures aim to attract four main groups of foreigners, namely wealthy individuals, high-income retirees, highly skilled professionals, and high-income workers who wish to be based in Thailand. On top of 10-year visas, the new measures are expected to provide several other incentives, such as foreign tax exemptions and allowing workers employed by overseas companies to be based in the country. The government has also indicated upcoming amendments on regulations surrounding land ownership to incentivize investment into Thailand’s real estate market, as well as the possible lifting of the requirement to employ four Thai nationals for every foreign member of staff. Moreover, amendments will be made to existing visa regulations in order to accommodate these measures, which are expected to take place no later than mid-2022.

The government has assigned the Board of Investment, the Interior, Finance, and Labor Ministries, and the Royal Thai Police to form plans and procedures for implementing the upcoming measures. The entities responsible will be given 90 days to do so and implementation will be overseen by the National Economic and Social Development Council.

What can be expected?

While full details about the measures will be announced at a later date, several requirements have already been outlined. Wealthy individuals are required to have an income or pension of at least USD 80,000 over the past two years with minimum net assets of at least USD 1 million. Retirees under this scheme must have pensions or other income of at least USD 80,000 and should not have previously invested in Thai government bonds. Highly skilled professionals, who are required to earn at least USD 80,000 over the last two years, are also required to be working in targeted industries, such as infrastructure building, logistical systems, and digital systems. Those employed by overseas companies who wish to work from Thailand must have more than five years of work experience, while earning at least USD 80,000 over the past two years.

However, the details surrounding the 10-year visa scheme, as well as other incentives, are subject to further changes. Silk Legal will continue to monitor developments surrounding these measures and will provide updates when available.

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