By Uglobal Staff
Thailand has announced a new long-term visa program that would allow wealthy foreigners to stay in the country for a period of 10 years.
The visa program is part of a new economic stimulus government package announced earlier this week following a Cabinet-level meeting as the country looks for ways to give a shot in the arm to its pandemic-hammered economy.
Government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said the long-term visa would be open to wealthy foreigners as well as highly-skilled professionals from abroad, according to NNT - the National News Bureau of Thailand, which operates under the Public Relations Department of Thailand.
Foreigners with at least $1 million in assets and minimum $80,000 income over a period of two years would be considered as wealthy global citizens, according to media outlets. Foreign pensioners would need to have a minimum pension of $80,000 during the last two years. Remote workers and highly skilled professionals would also need to show a minimum income of $80,000 during the last two years.
INCENTIVES FOR WEALTHY FOREIGNERS
Applicants for this long-term visa would get "automatic work permits", the spokesman said.
Applicants who work remotely for foreign companies would be exempted from taxes on their global incomes; for others, the tax rate would be the same as it is for Thai citizens.
Also, taxes on foreign ownership of property and land would be exempted.
Long-term visa holders would also be allowed to bring in their spouses and children into the country. Additionally, they would not be required to report to Thai immigration authorities every 90 days like before.
THAI GOVERNMENT OBJECTIVES
The main objective of the Thai government is to generate funds for its tourism dependent economy which has seen severe losses following the global pandemic.
The Thai government is aiming to bring in at least a million high net value foreigners within five years through this long-term visa program. If everything goes to plan, the government spokesman said, the visa program would generate around 1 trillion baht (roughly $30 billion) in spending, 800 billion ($24 billion) baht in investment and 270 billion baht ($8 billion) in tax collections within that short period.
The latest visa program for foreigners comes after the government dropped hints in April of taking steps to attract investment in the country.
Thailand launched the Smart Visa scheme in 2018 that allowed foreigners working in certain key sectors like smart electronics and robotics to obtain four-year long visas.
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