Citizens of the world are not all equal when it comes to travelling in Thailand
For Western and south-east Asian nationals, entering Thailand is a mere formality. Whatever the purpose of the visit, and as long as you enter the country by plane, you will be granted a 30-days’ stay without needing a visa. You are just required to fill in the arrival card that is handed over to you on the plane and give it to the customs officer with your passport. What is more - most visitors don’t know about it - you can extend your stay by another 30 days as long as you can show your return ticket, this will cost you 2,000 THB and half a day at the bureau of immigration (near Don Mueng airport if you are in Bangkok).
There are 2 categories of countries for which citizens are exempted of visa to enter Thailand.
- the “Tourist Visa Exemption Scheme” group accounts for 60+ countries including USA, France, UK, Germany, Australia, Canada, Italy, Spain, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, etc;
- the “Bilateral Agreement” group comprises 12 countries including notably Hong Kong, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Russia, Brasil, and Argentina;
Things are a little more complicated if you are of Chinese, Indian, Taiwanese or Ukrainian nationality for example. For these countries, and the 20+ others falling in the same category, citizens must head to the airport’s immigration counter and apply for a 15-days’ visa on arrival – maximum allowed period of stay. After a several hours’ long trip, this process is sometimes tiring and irritating, all the more if your flight has been delayed or if another flight coming from China or India has landed just before yours. See full list of citizenships which require a visa on arrival below
And if your country isn’t in the good books of Thailand’s ministry of Foreign Affairs, that is, in more than half of the countries in the world including the large majority of African and Central American countries for instance, you must apply for a visa before flying to Thailand, at the Thai embassy or consular services in your country of residence or any other country. This means that citizens of these countries can’t decide on a last-minute trip to Thailand.
(from Department of Consular Affairs, 9 October 2018).
What is the “Thai Investor Visa” and how to get it?
For all the nationals for which a visa is compulsory (either before coming to Thailand or upon arrival), the Thai investor visa is an excellent option.
Only 2 conditions are required:
- to have brought an amount equivalent to 10 million THB in foreign currency into Thailand (on a Thai bank account in your name – for more information on the process to open an account go to https://senseproperty.com/open-a-bank-account-in-thailand
- to have evidence that the amount was used to purchase a new condominium (directly from the developer), and that the unit was under “foreign quota” (https://senseproperty.com/how-to-buy-property-in-thailand)
Once you have bought an eligible condominium unit, you can obtain a 3-month multi-entry investor visa, followed by a 12-month multi-entry investor visa (with obligation to report to the immigration services every 3 months like for all other long-term visas), renewable year on year as long as you own the property. No more endless queues at the airport, no more stress before traveling to Thailand!
Note: for more information on how to get a visa in Thailand or the type of via that is adapted to your needs, CONTACT US or visit our page https://senseproperty.com/administrative-and-legal-support.
Summary of Countries and Territories entitled for Visa Exemption and Visa on Arrival to Thailand
Department of Consular Affairs, 9 Oct 2018
- Passport holders of Brazil, Republic of Korea and Peru are entitled for tourist visa exemption scheme. Meanwhile, Thailand also holds bilateral agreements on visa exemption for holders of diplomatic, official and ordinary passports for a visit of not exceeding 90 days with Brazil, Republic of Korea and Peru.
- Passport holders of Vietnam and Hong Kong are entitled for tourist visa exemption scheme. Meanwhile, Thailand also holds bilateral agreements on visa exemption for holders of diplomatic, official and ordinary passports for a visit of not exceeding 30 days with Vietnam and Hong Kong.
Alternatively, foreigners can apply to The Thailand Elite Residence Program. Thailand Elite offers residence options ranging from a five-year privilege entry visa for a one-time fee of THB 500,000 up to a twenty-year privilege entry visa for THB 2.14 million.
The program offers the following benefits:
- VIP Airport Service (express immigration service, lounge, complimentary shuttle, etc)
- Liftestyle benefits (access to luxury golfs, free medical check up, spa treatments)
- 24/7 Assistance (business and legal matters)
- Discounts and preferred access (hotels, restaurants, retail centers, etc)
For more information about Thailand Elite conditions and benefits, click here.
It`s important to note that Elite Visa is categorized under Tourist Visa, which does not allow to apply for a work permit in Thailand. Holders of a Non-Immigrant B Visa need to cancel it before they apply for the Elite Visa.