Living and working in Thailand involves many complicated things for somebody who is not a Thai national. Not least is the case of a Visa that permits a non Thai to enter and to stay in the kingdom. Over the years, the different Thai governments have alter the rules and regulations for people to qualify for a visa. For an alien living in Thailand it has been imperative to keep up with current restrictions and allowances in terms of visa requirements. Recognised property developers in Pattaya, such as the Global Top Group, have always assisted in helping their buyers to have the correct legal documentation to purchase a property and to be able to reside in Thailand.
The Thailand cabinet on Tuesday the 22nd of November 2016 announced a change in the visa allowed for people over 50 years of age. Originally this visa was nicknamed the White Haired visa, it was a one year visa that allowed people to reside in Thailand for twelve months providing they satisfied certain requirements. To be over 50 and have sufficient income to support themselves. The new visa is extended to last for 10 years, with the stipulation that the person reports every ninety days to their local immigration office. On application the visa will be valid for five years with a further 5 years extension following. Apart from the age requirement, the visa requires eligible aliens to have a monthly income of at least 100,000 baht or a bank deposit of at least 3 million baht, to be maintained for at least one year. On top of this, foreigners must have health cover for at least $1,000 for outpatient care and $10,000 or more for any inpatient care per year.
The government cited that the visa was revised to promote medical tourism in line with their existing policy. It also listed a group of countries that the new legislation is aimed at, including; Australia, Canada, China, England, France, Germany, India, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Holland, Taiwan, and the U.S.A. This new visa has already been coined the Rich Visa by media and expats alike. It is obvious why it has collected this nickname due to the hefty requirements to qualify. Government spokesman Athisit said that applicants are likely to be foreigners who live in provinces such as Chon Buri, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. The government obviously see the benefit of making it easier for wealthy tourists to stay in the kingdom, buy property and generally spend their money on the Thai economy. It will have to be seen if these changes to visa requirements will actually make any impact whatsoever, but it is comforting that the current government is thinking of how to attract foreign currency into Thailand and encourage those that do come to make investments in real estate, local businesses and the general economy.