Thailand Elite is a long-term residence visa program managed by Thailand Privilege Card Company Limited (TPC). TPC is a 100%-owned special- purpose company under the Ministry of Tourism and Sport. The purpose of Thailand Elite is to promote Thailand to foreigners through the issuance of a special residence visa, giving them the right to reside in Thailand for up to 20 years.
TPC registered its incorporation under the Civil and Commercial Code on 29 August 2003, having the Tourism Authority of Thailand as its sole shareholder and having the status of state enterprise under the Budget Procedures Act B.E. 2502 (1959).
Thailand Elite was initiated according to Article 17 of the Immigration Law B.E. 2522 (2003). It is supported by all government agencies and successful applications are irrevocable. The program has had over 4,000 approvals since inception.
The applicant must have and maintain to have the following qualifications:
There are currently seven program options for the Thailand Elite residence visa. All options have common features such as airport immigration express services (elite personal assistance through immigration and access to executive lounges), access to a 24-hour contact center, and government concierge services.
The main differences between the program options are the term of the residence visa (either 5, 10 or 20 years), the nature of the airport transfer services, and other complimentary services included in the package.
The key factors that the applicant must consider when deciding on which program option to select are:
The application fees range from a non-refundable payment of THB 2,000,000 (exclusive of VAT) with a 20-year validity; THB 1,000,000 (inclusive of VAT) with a 10-year validity; to THB 500,000 (inclusive of VAT) with a five-year validity.
Successful applicants of the Elite Ultimate Privilege program are allowed a one-time transfer of the remaining validity of the residence visa to another person. A one-time transfer fee is payable at 20% of the prevailing application fee at the time of the transfer to Thailand Elite. Currently, the transfer fee is THB 400,000 (20% of THB 2,000,000 excl. VAT). After transfer, the term of the visa is subject to the remaining period.
Elite Easy Access is designed as a trial option for new prospects. Once the successful Elite Easy Access applicant gets familiar with and enjoys the Thailand Elite Residence Program and its benefits, the applicant is allowed to upgrade to the Elite Ultimate Privilege option for a fee.
Both programs provide the applicant with a 20-year residence visa and airport express services through immigration. The Elite Superiority Extension program, however, does not allow for the one-time transfer of the visa nor does it provide the complimentary services such as golf, spa treatments and the annual health check (which is included in Elite Ultimate Privilege). The Elite Superiority Extension program does not have an annual fee payable and there is no age restriction for applicants. Elite Ultimate Privilege requires a THB 20,000 (approximately USD 600) annual fee (excluding VAT) and applicants must be 20 years or older.
The services range from expedited immigration, visa processing and airport transportation services to complimentary golf, spa treatments and annual hospital check-ups; as well as a host of shopping, hotel, resort and dining experiences. The exact nature and quantity of the complimentary services will depend on the program option chosen. This can include:
Successful applicants will be welcomed by an Elite Personal Assistant (EPA) at designated Thai airports who will assist with all immigration formalities.
For all international flights, the applicant can make reservations with the Thailand Elite Contact Center for a short- and/or long-haul transfer service. Reservations must be made 48 hours before arrival in Thailand.
The short-haul distance is up to 80 kilometers from the airport.
The long-haul distance is up to 275 kilometers from the airport.
One annual health check-up is provided at participating private hospitals.
Applicants can enjoy free or discounted golf or spa treatments at participating golf courses and spa centers.
The successful applicant may simply send a request for service to the Thailand Elite Contact Center at email@example.com, or via +66 (0) 2352 3000 (24-hour service, seven days a week) in advance, as per the Thailand Elite service policy. The contact center team will coordinate with the service providers for reservation and service confirmation, which will be returned to the successful applicant within 24 hours.
The application process and required documents for the Thailand Elite residence visa are not onerous. The most important documents are the application form, a copy of the applicant(s) passport and color photos of the applicant(s). For family applications, proof of the relationship between the main applicant and family members must be included in the submission. The applicant must sign on all pages of the application form.
The applicant must fill in and sign an application form and provide the following supporting documents:
** This is only required for family applications to prove the relationship to the main applicant
*** Photo requirement: one inch (3cm x 4cm) in size; neutral color background; no-teeth smile; straight, facing the camera; no sunglasses; proper attire
All documents must be translated into English where applicable and such translations must be notarized.
Dependents who can write must sign on the designated space on the application form only. Dependents who cannot write, for example children, must provide a fingerprint on the signature area (right thumb). The parent (main applicant) must then initial upon the fingerprint.
There are no quotas.
Please note, that the following nationalities currently are ineligible to acquire the Thailand Elite Privilege Entry Visa: North Korea, Afghanistan, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Algeria, Iraq, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Syria, Yemen, Central Africa, Cameroon, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Chad, and Venezuela.
Approval will be given within 30 days from application submission.
The process overview is as follows:
Yes, the application fee can be paid by a third party. The relationship between the applicant and sponsor must be disclosed and supporting documents may be requested.
The residence visa can be affixed to the successful applicant’s passport at various locations:
The Thailand Elite residence visa has a five-year validity and will be renewed according to the validity of the Thailand Elite Residence Program option chosen. The residence visa will be affixed to the applicant’s passport according to the remaining validity of the passport. Should an applicant’s passport expire prior to the five years, any years remaining on the residence visa will be transferred to the next passport. This is according to the immigration regulations of the Thailand Immigration Bureau, whereby if the validity of the successful applicant’s current passport is not at least five years, the Thailand Elite residence visa will be affixed in accordance with the expiration date stated on the passport and the remaining validity will then be affixed to the new passport once obtained. Thailand Elite requires at least three blank pages of the current passport. For example:
Successful applicants can stay in Thailand as long as they wish according to the validity of the program option selected.
No. An individual is not eligible to acquire a Thailand Elite residence visa in this case. The individual is required to leave the country if they are overstaying on their current entry.
Yes. Successful applicants that remain in Thailand for a continuous stay of more than 365 days per entry will need to pay an Immigration Bureau fee of THB 1,900 (approximately USD 60). Applicants must contact Thailand Elite 14 days in advance in order for a Thailand Elite representative to proceed to the Immigration Bureau on behalf of the successful applicant.
No, there is no requirement in any circumstances.
A 90-day report is a mandatory protocol for all foreigners living in Thailand to physically present themselves at the Immigration Bureau for security purposes.
For Thailand Elite residence visa holders, the applicant merely needs to inform TPC 14 days in advance of the intention to stay over 90 days and request TPC to submit the 90-day report on their behalf. To do so, the Thailand Elite visa holder must hand-deliver or courier his/her own passport to TPC’s head office in Bangkok. No additional costs are incurred.
Yes, applicants can own condominiums in their own name. If applicants wish to acquire land and build a house, they can obtain a long-term lease on the land (for up to 30 years). Applicants will need to apply for a construction permit to build the house in their own name. This way applicants can own the house and have a secured long-term lease on the land.
Yes, successful applicants can buy a car in Thailand. The Thailand Elite residence visa includes government concierge services that assist with the application for a driver’s license in Thailand.
A driver’s license can be obtained from the Department of Land Transport. The necessary documents are as follows:
All documents must be translated into English and notarized.
The Thai driver’s license application process includes:
Yes, successful applicants can open a bank account but only if they have a residential address, either purchased or leased, in Thailand.
There are many international health insurance companies available in Thailand, such as Allianz, AXA, Generali, and AIG. A package providing world- class private hospital care in Thailand starts from an annual premium of USD 2,000 with maximum lifetime coverage of USD 2.25 million for an insured 45-year- old. The cost of annual premiums can be as low as USD 500; however, these are not recommended because top private hospital charges are higher than the coverage by low-premium insurance.
Yes, this is possible subject to the specific school’s own rules. Thailand has many well-known international schools whose graduates include prominent people such as a former US Secretary of Treasury, Olympic athletes, actors, artists, and singers.
The Thailand Elite residence visa itself does not entitle applicants to work in Thailand. The applicant still needs to apply for a Non-Immigrant – Business visa and a work permit from the relevant government authorities. However, the successful applicant can obtain a Non- Immigrant – Business visa and then apply for a work permit.
Yes. All existing Thai Non-Immigrant visas will be canceled if an applicant subsequently applies for and is granted a Thailand Elite residence visa. The Thailand Elite residence visa is considered as the highest privileged visa for foreigners. However, once receiving the Thailand Elite residence visa, the person can then re-apply for a Non-Immigrant – Business visa followed by the work permit in order to be able to work in Thailand.
There are no restrictions for applicants who want to set up a company in Thailand. However, in most cases, a foreign individual/entity cannot hold 100% ownership and conduct business in Thailand unless the company applies for Foreign Business License under the Foreign Business Act. Otherwise, the applicant can apply for business promotion by the Board of Investment Thailand, which allows 100% foreign ownership or gives incentives — such as tax exemption — on many promoted businesses. The applicant can become a director of the company under the terms and conditions of the business license.
A residence visa obtained through the Thailand Elite program does not lead to either permanent residence status or Thai citizenship.
To apply for PR, the applicant must have held a Thai Non-Immigrant visa for at least three consecutive years prior to the application submission.
A person who wishes to apply for Thai citizenship must hold Thai permanent resident status for no less than 10 consecutive years. Annual quotas for naturalization will be announced by the Ministry of Interior.
In terms of the taxation in Thailand, individuals residing in Thailand may be subject to personal income tax in Thailand, depending on the source of income and the duration of their stay in the country.
An individual is deemed to be tax resident in Thailand only if he/she stays in Thailand for an aggregate period of not less than 180 days within a calendar year. Any Thai or foreign individual who derives assessable income from sources in Thailand or for work performed in Thailand is liable to pay personal income tax, whether or not such income is paid within or outside Thailand.
In addition, a resident of Thailand is liable to personal income tax on assessable income derived from sources outside Thailand and remitted into Thailand in the same year in which such income is derived (remittance in the following year is not subject to tax).
The same logic applies to all types of income (including pensions, capital gains, interest, etc.). They are tax free if they are earned abroad (from foreign sources/ companies/shares) and not brought into Thailand within the same tax year.
Successful applicants can get a tax resident certificate (TRC) only when they accumulatively spend more than 180 days in Thailand in any tax (calendar) year.
Applicants that receive income in Thailand (e.g. rental income from an investment property) can declare such income in that calendar year during the tax filing period (1 January–31 March of the following year) and a tax identification number (TIN) can be obtained.
We provide two different application processes. With the ‘Assisted Application’ you can take advantage of a convenient, fast and simple application process directly supported by our staff. Feel free to contact your personal guidance via email or call.
The ‘Apply Yourself’ option is apparent in the dashboard section, where all five required process steps are clearly mentioned. Feel free to complete each online process step yourself. Both application process options are free of charge.