The Thailand Elite visa was introduced in the early 2000s as a means for foreign nationals who want to enjoy some exceptional perks in exchange for their love and investment in the Kingdom. One of its objectives was to spur foreign tourism among those who have the wherewithal to contribute to the economy.
Fast forward to 2020 – the Thai economy is in shambles, as is the rest of the world. Foreign tourism remains closed, and the industry relies on spurts of domestic tourism during holidays and long weekends. Businesses are down for the count – there’s almost no one to sell to especially if you’re engaged in the tourist industry.
Is it still a good time to invest in Thailand Elite?
The answer, of course, is a big “Yes!” Now, more than ever, is a great opportunity to invest in membership in the Thailand Elite program. Here are some reasons why:
Flex One and Flex Plus
Flex One and Flex Plus are stimulus programs created by the government to attract new members to the Thailand Elite program. It includes all the perks traditionally given to all members of the premium visa program, with the addition of a few including:
- Automatic work permits, for those who express interest in investing a total of US$1 million to the economy within one year. Both new and existing members in the THB1 million per year tier will be able to take advantage of these perks.
- The ability to invest in real estate outside of condominiums. Foreigners who take the opportunity to invest in real estate valuing at least THB10 million will get an automatic Thailand Elite visa membership as part of the stimulus packages.
In addition, Thailand Elite members are among the groups of foreigners that have been given permission to enter Thailand again. Given the membership card’s affinity for long-stay visits, it’s the ideal investment as opposed to the Special Tourist Visa if you’re thinking about staying in Thailand for the long-term.
Why Not the Special Tourist Visa?
Special Tourist Visas are only good for those who are seeking to stay in Thailand for more than 30 days, but don’t want to return as frequently.
The visa awards holders an initial stay of 90 days. After that 90-day stay is over, they can extend it for 90 days more, and another 90 days. This brings their stay to 270 days total. That’s a lot of time indeed, but Thailand Elite is more advantageous.
One – the visa is good for 5 years. For 5 years’ validity, you have a one-year permit to stay automatically issued to you upon approval of your membership. If you’re coming to Thailand on business purposes, then an Elite Membership Card is definitely the one ideal for your needs.
Second, the Special Tourist Visa is uncertain. This is due to the government’s efforts to make sure that there are no secondary infections and, if there is a case of COVID-19 coming from the new tourists, that the relevant authorities are well equipped to handle the threat.
Contact us if you have any more questions on the Thailand Elite visa.