Thailand is a popular destination for foreigners seeking to obtain a long-term residence visa, and it offers a range of visa options to meet their needs. Among them is the relatively new Long-Term Resident Visa (LTR). In this article, we'll delve into the differences between the LTR visa and another popular Thailand residence visa, the Thailand Elite visa, which grants a stay of 5 to 20 years in the country.
Thailand Residence Visa (LTR)
Introduced on September 1, 2022, the LTR visa program offers a 10-year visa for foreigners seeking to live and work in Thailand. The aim of the program is to attract more foreign residents and stimulate investment in the country. The LTR visa program provides a long-term option for those who wish to establish a permanent residency in Thailand and enjoy the country's culture and lifestyle, as well as contribute to its economy through business and employment opportunities.
Long -Term Resident Visa (LTR) is offered to four categories of foreigners:
- Wealthy Global Citizen
- Wealthy Pensioner
- Work – From – Thailand Professional
- Highly – Skilled Professional
- Spouses and dependents of LTR visa holders will also qualify for the same visas.
Obtaining an LTR visa in Thailand requires meeting certain criteria, which vary depending on the type of applicant. Here are some of the requirements :
- Wealthy Global Citizen : Applicants must have at least USD 1 million in assets, a personal income of at least USD 80,000 per year, and invest at least USD 500,000 in Thailand.
- Wealthy Pensioner aged 50 and over :
Personal income of at least USD 80,000/year at the time of application
In case of personal income below USD 80,000/year but no less than USD 40,000/year, applicants must invest at least USD 250,000 in Thai government bonds, foreign direct investment, or Thai property
Health insurance with at least USD 50,000 coverage or social security benefits insuring treatment in Thailand or at least USD 100,000 deposit
Personal income under LTR : Wealthy Pensioners’ definition is “unearned income such as a pension, rental, stock/share, dividend, etc”. Earned income (salary) will not be considered eligible income for LTR: Wealthy Pensioners application.
- Work – From – Thailand Professional : Applicants must have a personal income of at least USD 80,000 per year, a minimum of 5 years' work experience, and be employed by a company with revenue of at least USD 150 million in the last 3 years.
- Highly – Skilled Professional: Applicants must have a minimum personal income of USD 80,000 per year, be qualified in one of the target sectors, and have at least 5 years of work experience
Spouses and children under 20 years of age of LTR visa holders may also apply, with a maximum of 4 dependents per LTR visa holder.
Benefits of the Thailand Residence Visa (LTR)
The LTR visa is a Thailand residence visa that offers numerous privileges for those seeking to live and work in the country for the long term. LTR visa holders can enjoy the following benefits:
- A 10-year renewable residence visa ;
- Reduced personal income tax ;
- Removal of the requirement for employers to hire four Thai citizens per foreigner ;
- A fast-track procedure at international airports ;
- One year of immigration registration instead of 90 days ;
- Authorization to work in Thailand, with the ability to obtain a digital work permit
The Thailand Elite Visa is classified under the category of tourist visas (Privilege Entry Visa "PE") in Thailand. It is the longest residence visa issued in Thailand (5 to 20 years). Designed for foreigners engaged in business, digital nomads, retirees, investors, and families looking to settle in Thailand, the Elite Visa allows for a stay in Thailand for one year without any formalities for each entry to the country.
Requirements for Elite Visa application
- Applicants can apply from anywhere. Membership to Thailand Elite has no age restrictions, no income requirements, and no private medical insurance requirement.
However, applicants are required to have and maintain the following qualifications:
- Hold a foreign passport from an accepted country (citizen of an eligible country, non-sanctioned country*);
- Be authorized to stay in Thailand in accordance with immigration laws or any other relevant law of Thailand;
- No overstay in Thailand in the last 3 years;
- Not declared mentally ill, incompetent or quasi-incompetent; and
- Not convicted by a judgement of imprisonment in any country (except for a negligence offense).
If the applicant meets all the conditions, they can submit their application via the online application portal. The Thailand Elite membership application process is simple and secure with very few documents required: a passport copy, membership form, and a photo.
Click here to learn more about the Elite Visa.
Thai Elite Visa Benefits
The visa comes with benefits based on the chosen membership:
- 5 to 20-year multiple entry residence visa;
- The member does not need to experience visa runs, visa conditions, extensions, paperwork, and immigration office procedures for 5 to 20 years;
- No health medical insurance required;
- VIP escort by EPA upon arrival and departure, round-trip limousine service between airport and residence/hotel;
- Exclusive access to airport lounges and concierge services, expedited passport and immigration procedures;
- Personalized assistance for the 90-day reporting;
- Simplified banking operations in Thailand;
- Free annual health check-up in selected international hospitals;
- Access and exclusive discounts to spas, golf courses, hotels, travel agencies, cooking schools, department stores, Muay Thai gyms, and other leisure activities;
- Tax exemption on any income earned outside Thailand; Possibility to obtain a tax identification number;
- Assistance in obtaining a driver's license;
- 24/7 customer service assistance.
In conclusion, Thailand offers a range of residence visas for foreigners wishing to stay long-term. The Thailand LTR residence visa is a popular choice due to its numerous benefits, but it also has strict criteria regarding its requirements. On the other hand, the Elite Visa requires fewer conditions and offers many privileges in exchange for a one-time fee.