Since the lifting of the strict lockdown 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 in bringing its economy back up to pre-pandemic levels in order to compete with its Asean neighbours, not to mention the world.
Therefore, in June this year, the Royal Gazette formally announced the introduction of an initiative between the Ministry of Interior (MOI), the Ministry of Labour (MOL), and the Board of Investment (BOI) in the form of a Long-Term Resident (LTR) visa that is designed to attract a new wave of foreign direct investment (FDI) and knowledge transfer experts.
The government anticipates that the scheme will attract over one million foreigners over the next five years, drawn by the low cost of living and vibrant lifestyle here. The LTR visa scheme is focused on making 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 extra investment into Thailand of more than 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 updated on an ongoing basis. Based on the cabinet’s resolution in the previous year, most of the core qualifications remain the same. However, there are new additional criteria that applicants need to meet as stipulated by the BOI as follows:
The LTR visa holders will receive the following benefits:
- 10 years renewable visa with multiple re-entry permit (five years upon arrival with another five years extension)
- Spouse and children of the LTR visa holder are eligible for the same visa (maximum of four persons per family)
- 90-day report requirement extended to one year
- Renewable digital work permit; however, the validity period will be as per the employment agreement, or for non-employees; the validity period will be five years
- 17% Personal Income Tax for highly skilled professionals who work in the target industries
- Fast Track Lane Service at International Airports in Thailand
- The application process will take place at the One Stop Service Center at Chamchuri Square Building for Visas and Work Permits
In addition, the government fees will be based on the regulations of the MOI and MOL; therefore, the visa fee will be 50,000 baht each time and a digital work permit will be 3,000 baht per year.
Furthermore, while some of the related official regulations were enforceable in the middle of this year, others will be gradually implemented from the end of August 2022 to early September 2022 as the BOI plans to start accepting applications from Sept 1, 2022, onwards. However, there has been no announcement regarding the actual starting date or official online system to support the applications.
Nevertheless, the LTR visa will provide the above attractive incentives to the holders as granted by the Thai government.
Thanyaluck Thongrompo, Partner, Kudun and Partners (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sikarin Sripaoraya, Associate, Kudun and Partners (Sikarin.email@example.com)
For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Series Editor: Christopher F. Bruton, Executive Director, Dataconsult Ltd, email@example.com. Dataconsult’s Thailand Regional Forum at Sasin provides seminars and extensive documentation to update business on future trends in Thailand and in the Mekong Region.