Three Reasons to Choose the Thailand Elite Visa

26 November 2019


The Royal Thai Government offers two attractive retirement visa options for those looking to enjoy the idyllic lifestyle of the ‘Land of Smiles’: retirement visa O-A and retirement visa O-X. The O-A visa is available to all foreigners who meet the minimum requirements and the O-X visa is only available to 14 nationalities. While both offer an affordable retirement option, interest is steadily mounting in a third visa option — the more easily accessible Thailand Elite Residence Program, a residence-by-investment program that provides a long-term visa to wealthy investors.

The Thailand Elite Residence Program affords successful applicants a privilege entry visa that can be obtained through a seamless, one-time application process, does not require annual visits to the immigration office, and has no investment or minimum stay requirement — giving the residence-by-investment visa a competitive edge over the two government visas.

Here are three reasons to choose the Thailand Elite visa.

1. Capital contribution

All visa options have capital requirements, with retirement visa O-X coming in as the most expensive option. For a THB 3 million (approximately USD 98,000) deposit into a Thai bank account or an accumulated THB 3 million within one year of entering Thailand through deposit and income, applicants can acquire a long-term retirement visa. The second government visa O-A requires a deposit of THB 800,000 (approximately USD 25,000).

The Thailand Elite Residence Program, on the other hand, offers seven different program options that grant successful applicants residence for five to twenty years for an economic contribution of between THB 500,000 and THB 2.14 million (approximately USD 16,000 to USD 68,000). There is no age requirement or annual fees (with the exception of the Elite Ultimate Privilege and Elite Family Premium streams), making this an attractive option for anyone looking to relocate to Thailand.

2. Visa validity

The Thailand Elite visa grants successful applicants the right to legally reside in Thailand for a five- to twenty-year period, while enjoying the benefit of easy travel in and out of Thailand.

The retirement O-A and retirement O-X visas are valid for a period of one year and five years, respectively. While these visa validity time frames may suit some applicants, the Thailand Elite Residence Program also comes with many added complimentary services and benefits, such as seamless travel through border control and immigration procedures, a personal VIP assistant, and complimentary health check-ups at leading hospitals.

3. Visa benefits

The retirement O-A visa is a multiple-entry visa that is renewable indefinitely, while the retirement O-X visa allows holders to work as volunteers and is valid for a five-year period, but it can only be renewed once.

The Thailand Elite visa, however, is a multiple-entry visa that affords its holders long-term residence with a range of exclusive services and benefits, assistance to obtain a two-year Thai driver’s license, and the possibility to open bank accounts in Thailand. With a one-time application process, the visa is transferrable on two program options and does not require its holders to re-apply on an annual basis.

For more detailed information on the differences between the various residence visas, download our easy-to-read comparison chart.

Henley & Partners is the official global concessionaire for the Thailand Elite Residence Program. Our experienced global team is best placed to guide you through the process of acquiring Thai residence. We provide personal consultation throughout the process of choosing the right program option for you and the submission of your documentation.

The Thailand Elite Official Application Portal makes the process quick and simple, allowing you to apply and track your progress online, with complimentary assistance available upon request