The Cabinet on Tuesday approved visa changes aimed at attracting wealthy foreigners for long-term stays, targeting the wealthy, retirees, single workers, and skilled professionals. The aim is to increase investment in the country and boost the economy.
Rachada Dhnadirek, the deputy government spokesman, stated that the new regulation, contained in two draft ministerial communiqués submitted by the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Labor. These regulations apply to foreigners who wish to work remotely in Thailand as professionals.
They target very wealthy foreigners, wealthy retirees, foreigners seeking to work remotely in Thailand, and highly skilled professionals.
The Ministry of Interior proposes to offer Long Term Residence (LTR) visas for up to four family members each, including children under the age of 20. The investment committee will determine the eligibility of applicants.
The visa is valid for five years and can be renewed for up to five years. The total period of validity is limited to 10 years. Visa holders will have to pay an annual fee equivalent to 10,000 baht and declare their residential address once a year.
Once a foreigner has obtained a visa, they can apply for a work permit. Ms. Ratchada said they could then apply for a change in visa type according to immigration rules. It will allow foreigners to start working as soon as they apply for a work permit without waiting for their work permit.
If foreigners have an employer, their work permit will be valid for as long as their employment contract lasts, but not longer than five years. The validity of their work permit can be extended up to five years at a time, to comply with their employment contract.
Foreign nationals who have their own business may apply for a work permit for up to five years and work permits are renewable for up to five years each time.
Transgression of any rule established by the ministerial announcements will result in the withdrawal of visas and work permits.
Ms. Rachada said that the new visa regulations must be officially announced by the two government ministers. She added that the Prime Minister wants this to happen quickly.