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Sun Legal Update: Long-Term Resident Visa Begins Sept. 1 – Do You Qualify?

Sun Legal Sunbelt Update

The government announced the launch of the Long-Term Resident Visa recently, stating applications will open on Sept. 1. After months of discussion and changes in benefits, the 10-year LTR visa now seems set to go.

LTR holders will see discounted personal income tax rates, the removal of the requirement for four Thai employees for a work permit, annual reporting at Immigration instead of every 90 days, and fast track at international airports.

LTR holders will be able to use the One Stop Service Center for visa and work permit. Applicants must first submit their qualifications online with supporting documentation. On approval, they can then apply for the LTR at a Thai embassy or consulate.

The LTR is open to:

  • Wealthy foreigners with a personal income of no less than $US80,000 per year in the two years before applying for the visa and will directly invest no less than $500,000 in either a Thai limited company or public company, or in Thai government bonds.
  • Pensioners who are at least 50 years old and receive a regular pension income of no less than $80,000 a year. Alternatively, the retiree can have a pension of $40,000 and invest no less than $250,000 in a Thai limited or public company, government bonds or condominium purchase.
  • Thailand-based professionals must show personal income of no less than $80,000 a year for the past two years. Alternatively, income of $40,000 can be used if applicants have a master’s degree or above, and own intellectual property. Additionally, the applicant must have at least five years of working experience in the relevant field to the current employment and the current employer must be a public company listed on the stock exchange of any country, or a private company in operation for at least three years and a total combined revenue of more than $150 million in the last three years.
  • Highly-skilled professionals working in a business in a targeted industry in Thailand with a personal income of no less than $80,000 a year or $40,000 with a science and technology master’s degree or above, or have particular highly-skilled expertise relevant to the job assignment in Thailand.

If the applicant is working for a Thai government agency or a state-owned higher education institution, or a state-owned specialized training institution in Thailand then there is no minimum personal income requirement.

Finally, the applicant must have at least five years of working experience in the targeted industries except for those working for a Thai government agency or a state-owned higher education institution or a state-owned specialized training institution in Thailand or applicants with a doctorate.

All of these categories are also required to have health insurance with no less than $50,000 coverage through the entire period of stay in Thailand or social security that covers hospitalization in Thailand.

The recent announcement did not cover the possibility of land ownership but there may be further revisions coming from the government. Contact us for more details using the form below.

Gov’t to streamline licensing procedures

The government plans to reduce the steps and procedures for various licensing procedures. The Office of the Public Sector Development Commission has identified processes that are the most time-consuming, with repetitive and unnecessary steps.

It plans to implement electronic systems that integrate databases between government agencies, allowing them to operate each procedure in parallel, rather than separately.

The OPSDC also will review laws and regulations that are repetitive, obsolete, unnecessary or no longer applicable in light of repealing them.

The OPSDC plans to start implementation of these changes by the end of the year. That could have major effects on the ease of doing business and obtaining licenses in Thailand and we at Sun Legal will continue to monitor this development.

Exports jump 10.5% in May

Exports jumped 10.5% year-on-year in May and are expected to rise 10% in the first half the year compared with the same period last year.

Exports are one of the key drivers in the economy, which is predicted to grow 3% this year and 3.7% next year. Other key drivers in the growth are increased tourism and domestic demand. Around 2 million tourists visited Thailand during the first five-plus months, between 5.7-7.4 million tourists are expected to visit by the end of the year.

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