Rules to woo rich foreigners get the nod
The cabinet yesterday approved rules to woo affluent foreigners for lengthy stays. The targets are the rich, retirees, remote workers and experts. It aims to boost the economy and investment in the country.
Deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek said the new regulations were proposed via two ministerial announcement drafts by the Interior Ministry and the Labour Ministry.
They target foreigners with enormous wealth, wealthy pensioners, foreigners who want to work from Thailand, and highly skilled professionals.
The Interior Ministry's rules offer long-term resident (LTR) visas to applicants, each with up to four family members including legal children aged not over 20. The Board of Investment (BoI) will set the qualifications of the applicants.
The visas will be valid for five years and be renewable for up to five years. The total validity period is capped at 10 years. Visa holders will pay an annual fee of 10,000 baht and will inform officials of their residential addresses yearly.
After receiving their visas, the successful applicants can apply for a work permit. Both they and their accompanying family members can request different kinds of visas later in compliance with the rules set by the Immigration Bureau. The other announcement draft came from the Labour Ministry, Ms Rachada said.
It allows foreigners to start working as soon as they file their work permit request, without having to wait for their work permits to arrive.
If they have employers, their work permits will be valid as long as their employment contracts last, up to a maximum of five years. However, the work permits can be extended to meet their employment contracts for up to five years at a time.
Those who have their own business can seek work permits for up to five years and the permits can also be renewed for up to five years at a time.
Anyone who violates the regulations under the ministerial announcements will lose their LTR visas and work permits immediately, Ms Rachada cautioned.