Thailand is a top-rated tourist destination and has been so for a long time and many reasons. Its attractions include a diversity of giveaways such as monuments, several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and colorful nightlife.
Other equally attractive features of the country include:
- Its vast natural bounties.
- A robust export framework that amounts to nearly 60 percent of its GDP.
- Availability of a skilled workforce.
- Several reforms support entrepreneurial ventures.
- The rapid advancement of infrastructure.
The Thai Government launched the Thailand Elite Residence Program to enhance its promotional agenda. It is essentially an option offered to foreigners to reside in Thailand and enjoy the country’s benefits in consideration of a membership fee. Of course, there is more to the program than one can gather, so I have enumerated more details below. Here are things you should know about the program:
A brief introduction to the program
Before we jump on the specifics, let me briefly tell you about the program. The Thailand Elite Residence Program is essentially an entry visa program that offers privileged residence for the long term (maximum 20 years) in the country. The program is overseen by the wholly-owned subsidiary of the Ministry of Tourism, and Sport called the Thailand Privilege Card Company Limited (TPC). From Article 17 of the Immigration Law B.E. 2522 (2003), the said program finds its validity.
What are the membership fees?
Now you must know that there are seven options under the program. These options generally share common features. However, the difference lies in terms of the visa, the nature of the aviation transport services, and other benefits. Regarding duration, the applicant can opt for five, ten, or 20 years; different membership fees are applicable.
A non-refundable payment of THB 2,140,000 for a visa with 20-year validity. THB 1,000,000 for a visa with 10-year validity; and THB 600,000 for a visa with 5-year validity.
What qualifications must the applicant have?
A slew of requirements has been stipulated under the program. These include:
- The applicant must have sufficient financial resources and not have been declared bankrupt.
- He must not be of unsound mind and health.
- Thai Immigration laws allow the applicant to stay legally in the country.
- He must hold a foreign passport.
- The applicant must not have overstayed more than one Thai visa.
- The applicant must not have been sentenced to imprisonment in any country; the only exception is made to the offense of negligence.
What benefits to enjoy under the program
Under the program, you have extended privileges through several complementary services. Of course, these services’ nature depends upon the chosen option, but let me enumerate them for general reference.
- The visa holders will be assisted by an Elite Personal Assistant (EPA) at select airports in Thailand. The assistant will provide all the necessary assistance in finalizing the immigration process.
- The program has selected certain private hospitals in the country where the visa holders can get an annual health check-up.
- All the visa-holders under the program will be entitled to complimentary or discounted spa or golf services in select places.
- Similar benefits are extended for dining and shopping purposes.
A General Idea of the Application Process
The time taken in the application process depends on the application and, at times, the applicant’s nationality. But, all in all, it should not take more than two months to have the entire process completed. To ensure no time is wasted, you should submit a soft copy of the application form and passport to a Thai Elite Visa Agent who will coordinate with the Thailand Elite Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Immigration Bureau. A thorough background check will be conducted, successful clearance of which will be followed by the membership fee payment. Soon after, the Membership ID and the modalities of the visa reception are intimated to the successful applicant.
Source: Ceo World