Making Phuket your home is an exciting venture, however, obtaining a visa for Thailand can be time-consuming, confusing, and frustrating, and in some cases costly. For those who are intending a lengthy stay in the country or frequent business travellers, it might be worth applying for the Thai Elite Visa. The Elite Visa has been designed to attract visitors who can help improve the local economy, including those who live here long-term or are involved in business ventures or investments. It allows residency and a range of benefits for a period of between 5 and 20 years depending on the chosen package, in exchange for a membership fee. Benefits of Elite Visa
The Elite Visa has been designed to attract visitors who can help improve the local economy, including those who live here long-term or are involved in business ventures or investments. It allows residency and a range of benefits for a period of between 5 and 20 years depending on the chosen package, in exchange for a membership fee.
Thailand Elite Visa | Credit: Thai-Elite
The main benefit of this government-approved programme is that it allows foreigners a lot more flexibility to live in Thailand long term, with a 5-year renewable multiple entry visa. Just think about it – no more hassle applying for a new visa every year, or waiting in long embassy queues, and there are plenty of other benefits on offer that will make your life here in the Land of the Smiles flow more smoothly.
Most people are eligible to apply, either on an individual basis or to include the whole family, and with a choice of packages available, each with a definite set of requirements, costs and rewards, there is something for everyone. The tax advantages are also extremely helpful, with non-residents only liable for paying tax from any income received within Thailand.
Thailand Elite Visa | Credit: itsbetterinthailand
Once you are approved for the Thailand Elite visa programme, members receive the Elite card that entitles them to more services, dependent on the selected package. Some of the services on offer includes giving priority access at the airport with a personal assistant on hand to greet you and guide you through immigration, avoiding the long lines at passport control, free airport transfer and access to the airport VIP lounge. Other benefits include annual medical checks in private hospitals, exclusive shopping and food discounts, complimentary spa procedures and access to premium golf clubs.
Here is a quick rundown of some of the packages:
Thailand Elite Visa | Credit: Thaivisa-Express
1. The Elite Easy Access Membership has a validity of 5 years and costs 500,000 THB. Services include airport service, use of the arrival and departure lounge, short-haul transfer service on international flights, discounts, access to 24-hour call centres and government concierges.
2. The Elite Family Excursion is for a minimum of 2 people, also with a membership validity of 5 years, and costs 800,000 THB with added fees for extra family members. Services include airport service, departure and arrival lounge access, short-haul transfer service (4x per year), long haul transfer service (6x per year), a range of shopping and other discounts, access to call centres, and government concierges.
3. The Elite Family Alternative Package has a visa validity of 10 years and costs 800,000 THB, with an additional 700,000 THB for extra family members. Services include airport service, departure and arrival lounges, discounts, call centres and government concierges.
4. The Elite Privilege Access Package offers a visa for 10 years. The fee is 1,000,000 THB with each other family member an extra 800,000 THB. Services include airport service, departure and arrival lounges, short-haul transfer service on international flights up to 18 times per calendar year, one annual health check, discounts, call centres and government concierges.
5. The Elite Ultimate Privilege has a fee of 2,000,000 THB plus an annual payment of 20,000 THB for a 20-year visa. Services include unlimited airport and limousine pickup, golf, and spa services up to 24 a year, one annual health checkup, and government concierges.
If you are considering investing in a home in Phuket and you are not working or ready for retirement, then this visa may be the right one for you.