At present, Thailand’s Visa on Arrival and 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!
A common question from homebuyers and real estate investors:
Can I get a long-term visa or permanent residence if I buy real estate in Thailand?
Unfortunately, permanent residence (PR) cannot be obtained through the purchase of property in the Kingdom. However, it is possible for real estate investors and homebuyers to apply for an Investment Visa or be eligible for the Thailand Elite Flexible One (EFO) program.
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 funds in a Fixed Deposit Account in a Thai Bank.
*These investment assets need to be held for a minimum period of 3 years before applying.
Foreign investors looking to apply for the Investment Visa program 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 Bt10 million minimum investment and requirements, unfortunately severely limits eligibility and benefits of applying to the investment program.
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 as dependents.
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.
What is the Thailand Elite Flexible One (EFO)?
“The Elite Flexible One” is a new residency program launched by Thailand Privilege Card, an entity operated by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
Thailand Privilege Card is commonly known for its Thailand Elite Card Residency Scheme. It launched the new residency program on January 1st as an attempt to stimulate the Thai real estate market and facilitate long-term residency of foreigners in the Kingdom.
The Elite Flexible One will offer real estate investors a 5-year multiple-entry visa when they purchase properties worth 10 MB through participating developers. The residency program’s membership fee is priced at 500,000 Baht.
This membership fee is relatively affordable compared to the other non-real estate backed Thailand Elite Residency Options. It is also more attractive compared to the Investment Visa as it offers a 5-year multiple re-entry visa.
For more information regarding the Elite Flexible One please visit:
Elite Flexible One Residency Program | Thailand Real Estate
Explainer Video: Thailand Investment Visa & Thailand Elite Card
Alternative Long-Term Thailand Visa Options!
It is important to note that Thailand offers a wide range of visa options from Non-Immigrant B Visa for working professionals, ED Visa for students and Retirement Visas for individuals over the age of 50.
Therefore, there may be other long-stay residency options that are more suited for your personal and professional needs. It is always recommended to consult with a lawyer to understand your residency options!
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