A common question from homebuyers and real estate investors:
If I buy a property in Thailand, can I apply for a long-stay investment visa?
At present, Thailand’s Tourist Visas offer a maximum validity of 60-days with the possibility to extend for an additional 30-days. While this may be ideal for holidaymakers, individuals looking to live in Thailand for longer periods, may want to explore long-term residency options!
What is a Thai Investment Visa?
To keep it simple, foreigners can obtain a one-year Investment Visa by investing a minimum 10 Million Baht (MB) in the following:
- Buying condominium units of at least 10 Million Baht in new developments.
- Buying Thai government or Thai state enterprise bonds worth at least 10 Million Baht.
- Deposit the funds, in a Fixed Deposit Account in a Thai Bank.
Foreign investors looking to apply for the Investment Visa programme, are permitted to invest in a combination of assets at their discretion.
As an example an investor can buy 2 condo units at 5 MB each or alternatively a 4 MB condo and deposit the remaining 6 MB in a Fixed Deposit Account; just as long as the minimum investment requirement of 10 MB is fulfilled.
It is important for potential investors to note:
- Thai Investment Visas do not allow foreigners to work in Thailand.
- Applicants must already hold a Non-Immigrant Visa.
- Investments can only be made in new builds directly from a developer.
The entry-level of 10 MB minimum investment and other requirements stated above, unfortunately severely limits eligibility and benefits of applying to the investment programme.
The biggest benefits of applying and obtaining a Visa of this category:
- Holders of Thai Investment Visas are granted a one-year visa that can be renewed on an annual basis.
- The immediate family of the investors (I.e. Spouse and Children) are eligible to apply for the visa.
Who should apply?
The Thai Investment Visa is mostly aimed at boosting the Thai economy and would be appealing to a relatively restricted field of potential applicants.
This Thai Investment Visa category, is aimed squarely at wealthy middle-aged individuals, looking to enjoy the relaxed and idyllic Thai lifestyle without the hassle of short-term visa runs.
It is important to note that Thailand offers a wide range of visa options from Non-Immigrant B Visa for working professionals to Retirement Visas for individuals over the age of 50. Therefore it is always recommended to consult with a lawyer to understand your residency options!