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Russians Seek Refuge In Thailand As The Ukraine Conflict Approaches It’s First Year

Published: February 23, 2023 at 4:18 pm

Russian tourists in phuket beach

With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, an increasing number of Russians have sought refuge in Thailand.

In the year following the invasion, tens of thousands of Russians wishing to escape conscription and economic devastation traveled to Thailand, mostly searching for a new home.

Russians are spending half a million dollars or more on off-plan condominiums in Phuket as a relocation or to establish a landing pad for a future time when they may feel obliged to leave their motherland.

According to statistics from Phuket International Airport, between November 1, 2022, and January 21, 2023, over 233,000 Russians landed in Phuket, bringing them the largest group of tourists.

Phuket has always been a popular getaway from the harsh Russian winter. Still, property sales have soared since Russia’s President Vladimir Putin issued his first military mobilization since World War II in September. This indicates that many Russian tourists want to stay for far longer than a regular vacation.

Several individuals have opted to stay in Phuket for 3 to 6 months, and some prefer to stay for a year.

To stay in Phuket, Russians need homes, schools, employment, and visas, which takes time in Thailand, where gaining long-term resident rights can be challenging.

Money is not a concern for individuals who are prepared to leave their war-torn homelands for life in Thailand. As the war is in its first year, real estate agents in Russian-controlled portions of Phuket reported that the surge of wealthy tourists, fueled by the realization that there is no end in sight has pushed property prices to record highs.

Recently, it was possible to rent a luxury condominium for around $1,000 per month. The same condominiums may now be rented for three times that amount. Nevertheless, luxurious villas priced at $6,000 or more are reserved up to one year in advance.

Likewise, the buyers’ market is red-hot. According to the Thai Real Estate Information Center, approximately 40 % of all condos sold to foreigners in Phuket in 2022 were purchased by Russians (REIC). According to the REIC, Russians accounted for $25m in sales, which is numerous times the amount paid by Chinese nationals, the next biggest group of buyers.

Local real estate brokers say some buyers have paid out over $500,000 on luxurious pre-planned seaside properties.

Several Russians have arrived in Phuket with one-way tickets and tourist visas, according to a Russian travel agency that requested anonymity. The Russians just did not return home. They are here to avoid conscription.

Koh Samui, Thailand’s second-largest island where a sizable Russian population has been established in the beach town of Jomtien for years, is also seeing an increase in Russian tourists.

Since October, several Russians have migrated to Pattaya. Mikhail Ilyin, head priest of the All Saints Russian Orthodox Church in Pattaya, told Al Jazeera that the majority of those affected are young couples who worry for their safety.

Some wealthy Russians also apply for visas known as “Elite Card,” which allows a family to have long-term residency in the country for around $25,000.

SOURCE: Al Jazeera

Stay in Thailand with your family for 5 years or up to 20 years with a Thailand Elite Visa. This visa has been created to make your long-term stay in Thailand hassle-free and convenient. For more information, CLICK HERE.







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