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Thailand woos wealthy expats with the Long Term Residency Visa, LTR Visa

The Thai government wants a million wealthy expats to uproot and move to the country over the next five years to kick-start a trillion baht boost to the economy.

The scheme was launched as ministers grapple with how to increase Thailand’s low economic growth.

They expect the expats to contribute at least a trillion baht (£23 billion) to the GDP of the Asian Pacific nation over the next five years.

Applications for Thailand’s Long Term Residency Visa opened on September 1.

The visa is an attractive package for expats, offering an extendable 10-year residence visa alongside a work permit.

Who qualifies for the Thai LTR Visa?

But the scheme is not open to everyone, and there are some doubts that enough expats will beat the high bar for acceptance.

The visa is open to four types of expats:

  • Wealthy expats with cash and assets worth US$1 million or more
  • Pensioners with an annual income of US$80,00
  • Remote workers who can set up in Thailand who can show they have an annual income of no less than US$80,000 during the past two years, work experience of at least five years and that they work for a company with revenues of at least US$150 million over the past three years
  • Professionals earning at least US$80,000 a year and have at least five year’s work experience

The terms of the visa also accept a spouse and up to three children under 20 years old.

Benefits of a Thai LTR Visa

Expats qualifying for the visa can enjoy a range of benefits, like:

  • A 10-year visa which is extendable
  • Reporting to immigration reduced to once a year instead of every 90 days
  • Fast-track service at Thai airports
  • Permission to re-enter Thailand multiple times
  • Permission to work in Thailand
  • Personal income tax rate cut to 17% for highly skilled professionals
  • Exemption from the four Thais to one foreigner employment requirement ratio

Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of Thailand’s tourist authority, said, “The new long-term resident visa is aimed at enhancing Thailand’s attractiveness to ‘high-potential’ foreigners as a regional hub to live and do business in. Also, it will embrace a crucial role in promoting Thailand as a ‘Remote Worker Friendly’ destination and help us tap this targeted segment.

“It is expected to attract foreign talent and expertise that can contribute to domestic spending and support economic growth. With the long-term resident visa, the Thai government wants to bring one million wealthy and talented foreigners to Thailand in the next five years.”

Thai Long Term Residence Visa FAQ

What is an LTR VIsa?

A Long Term Residence Visa (LTR VIsa) is a bundle of tax and residence benefits aimed at attracting wealthy expats to settle in Thailand.

Can I really live in Thailand for 10 years with an LTR?

Yes, expats who qualify for the LTR visa are granted an initial five-years residence in Thailand, which can be extended for another five to 15 years.

Why move to Thailand?

Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, is an international travel hub and the Asia Pacific headquarters of many multinational companies. Thailand is also a major tourist destination with many places of natural beauty.

Does real estate count as an LTR investment?

Yes, real estate is an acceptable investment for expats settling in Thailand. Expats can opt to buy a freehold property or lease a property no less than ten years from the visa application date on the rental agreement. The property can be residential or commercial.

Can expats come and go from Thailand as they please with an LTR Visa?

Yes, the LTR VIsa allows multiple re-entries to Thailand.

Where can I find out more about Thai LTR visas?

For more information about applying for an LTR VIsa, go to the Thai Tourist Authority website.

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