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Everything You Need to Know about the Thailand Elite Visa

The Thailand Elite Visa is one of the many privileges that come with membership of the Thailand Elite Program.

The Thailand Elite Program was launched in 2003 by Thailand Privilege Card Ltd., a state-owned company operating under the supervision of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) as its sole shareholder. At that time, Thailand Elite was the first residency by investment program in Asia. Today, the program has over 15,000 members from 50 countries around the world.

The primary aim of the Thailand Elite Program is to support the local economy by attracting affluent visitors, investors, and businesspeople to Thailand. The program seeks to achieve this by facilitating immigration procedures and offering various other privileges to Thailand Elite Program Members. Indeed, as a state-owned enterprise operating under the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Thailand Elite is the only country membership program that offers its members special privileges in the areas of immigration, business and leisure.

The many different privileges afforded to members of the Thailand Elite Program include services from both the public and private sectors, such as special entry permits, VIP airport services, limousine services, 24/7 concierge services, and assistance with opening bank accounts. However, perhaps the most popular privilege for Thailand Elite members is the Thailand Elite Visa.

What is the Thai Elite Visa?

The Thailand Elite Visa is one of the main privileges available to members of the Thailand Elite Program. Known officially as a ‘Privilege Entry Visa’, it is a 5-year multiple entry visa. This means that the visa holder can enter Thailand as often as they like during the visa’s 5-year period of validity without being required to apply for a re-entry permit. Each time the visa-holder enters Thailand, they are permitted to stay for up to one year per entry. However, the visa-holder can also apply for an extension while they are in Thailand as long as they do so while the visa is still active.

By facilitating the immigration process and allowing for stays of up to one year or longer, the Thailand Elite Visa is ideal for anyone planning to stay in Thailand for an extended period or people who visit Thailand frequently, whether for business, education or pleasure.

Who is eligible for a Thailand Elite Visa?

Anyone who has already been accepted as a Thai Elite member can apply for a Thailand Elite Visa as one of their membership privileges. There is no age limit, except for the Elite Ultimate Privilege (Grand Package), which requires the member to be at least 20 years old. In addition to being a Thai Elite member, Thailand Elite Visa applicants must also have an active foreign (non-Thai) passport and currently not have any restrictions on their ability to enter or stay in Thailand according to Thai immigration laws. The only other restrictions relate to criminal history, bankruptcy and mental health.

What are the benefits of having Thailand Elite Card Membership?

Membership of the Thailand Elite Program comes with several benefits. These benefits begin as soon as the Thailand Elite member lands at the airport in Thailand, where they will be met by an Elite Personal Assistant who will assist with services such as exclusive fast track immigration for both arrival and departure and access to an exclusive airport lounge for both arrival and departure.
The Elite Member Contact Center is also available 24/7 to assist Thailand Elite members with any questions, problems or emergencies. Members also receive assistance from an Elite Personal Liaison with legal, insurance, real estate and banking services, as well as government transactions such as the 90-day service report or getting a Thai driver’s license.
The Elite Personal Liaison can also assist with accessing discounts and booking services with Thailand Elite partner establishments, which include restaurants, spas, hospitals, golf courses, and department stores, including the King Power duty-free store.

What are the benefits of having a Thailand Elite Visa?

One of the main benefits of Thailand Elite membership is the choice of Thailand Elite Visa packages. Offering members a long-term resident visa or long-stay visa, the Thailand Elite Visa is valid for an initial 5 years with the option of extending it for another 5. The Thai Elite Visa allows the holder to stay in Thailand for up to one year on each visit without having to leave the country every 90 days as is required with the other visas. Other Thai Elite Visa benefits include assistance with passport control, immigration and the 90-day reporting required by Thai Immigration.

How many Thailand Elite visa programs?

There are 7 types of Thailand elite visa programs, it offers different membership validity for 5, 10, and 20 years and also different membership fee and different benefits in each program.

Elite Easy Access (5 years membership validity, THB 600,000 (VAT included)

Elite Maxima Health (5 years membership validity, THB 1.5 Million VAT included)

Elite Privilege Access (10 years membership validity, THB 1 Million (VAT included) / Additional family member fee 800,00 THB)

Elite Family Alternative (10 years membership validity, THB 800,000 (VAT Included) / Additional family member fee 700,00 THB)

Elite Superiority Extension (20 years membership validity, THB 1 Million VAT included)

Elite Family Premium (20 years membership validity, THB 1 Million VAT included and annual fee 10,000THB / Membership transfer fee 20% of prevailing rate)

Elite Ultimate Privilege (Depends on the core member, THB 2 Million VAT excluded / and annual fee 20,000THB / Membership transfer fee 20% of prevailing rate)

How to apply for an Elite Visa in Thailand?

The Elite Visa is a type of long-term visa available to foreign nationals who wish to reside in Thailand for an extended period of time. To be eligible for an Elite Visa, you must meet certain requirements and complete the necessary application process.

Here are the steps you can follow to apply for an Elite Visa in Thailand:

Determine your eligibility: To be eligible for Elite Easy Access, no age restriction, but for the elite ultimate privilege, you must be over 20 years old.

Gather required documents: You will need to provide a number of documents as part of your Elite Visa application, including your passport, birth certificate, marriage certificate (if applicable), medical certificate, and police clearance certificate.

Submit the application: You can apply for an Elite Visa at the Thai embassy or consulate in your home country, or you can apply for a visa on arrival at a Thai airport if you are eligible. You will need to complete the necessary application form and submit it along with the required documents.

Wait for a decision: The processing time for an Elite Visa application can vary, but it typically takes a few weeks to several months to receive a decision. (It will take 1 month or up to 3 months for special nationalities)

Renew your visa: If your application is approved, you will be issued an Elite Visa that is valid for one year. You can renew your visa annually by submitting a renewal application along with supporting documents and paying the required fee.

It’s important to note that the requirements and application process for an Elite Visa may change over time, so it’s a good idea to check the latest information and requirements before applying. You can find more information about the Elite Visa and the application process on the website of the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

FAQ:

The process of applying for both the Thai Elite Privilege Card membership and the Thai Elite Visa can vary from as little as 3 weeks to as much as 3 months. The factors affecting the length of the application process include the nationality of the applicant and time to check the immigration status and criminal history of the applicant.

When applying for Thai Elite membership and the Thai Elite Visa, the applicant will need a valid passport as well as a color ID photo, a completed Thai Elite Visa application form, and proof of relationship for any family member applying with the main applicant.

No. It is not necessary to have any of the supporting documents notarized or certified when applying for a Thai Elite Visa. Scanned copies of the required documents can be sent via email.

It is not necessary to appear in person during the initial Thai Elite membership application process. A sales agent will represent the applicant and attend all appointments during the process of applying for Thailand Elite membership. However, it is necessary for the applicant to attend in person when the visa is issued, whether it is issued at a Thai Embassy abroad, at Suvarnabhumi airport, or at the Bangkok immigration office.

The Thailand Elite Visa is a privilege of Thai Elite Card Membership and therefore does not incur an additional cost on top of the original membership fee, which ranges from 600,000 Thai baht to 2 million Thai baht depending on which Thai Elite Card the member holds.

No. Aside from the application fee, there is no financial requirement for the applicant to earn a minimum level of income or have a set amount in a bank account. However, the applicant must not have been declared legally bankrupt.

Classed as a special tourist visa or privilege entry visa, the Thailand Elite Visa includes various privileges. For example, it is not necessary for the Thai Elite Visa holder to pay income taxes on income earned from outside of Thailand. However, any income generated in Thailand may be subject to local income tax.

There are a number of differences between the Thai Elite Visa and the Thai Retirement Visa. Unlike the Thai Elite Visa, the Thai Retirement Visa requires a set amount to be deposited in the visa holder’s bank account and it must be renewed every year.

As will all foreigners, Thai Elite Visa holders are allowed to own condominiums in their own name. However, they can also own land and a house by obtaining a long-term lease (up to 30 years) for any land they want to acquire and applying for a construction permit to build a house in their own name.

At the time of writing, the least expensive option is the Elite Easy Access visa, which costs 600,000 Thai Baht, with no annual fee. It is described by Thai Immigration as a renewable, 5-year multiple entry visa, enabling the holder to enjoy extendable one-year stays in the country.

Whichever of the Elite Visas you intend to apply for, you are unlikely to be successful in your application if you have a criminal record, either here in Thailand or in your home country. The exception to this rule is for those whose offences were due solely to negligence and not any criminal intent. If you require any clarification regarding this rule, we recommend that you contact the Thailand Elite team directly.

The relatively new Thailand Long-Term Resident Visa is a visa that is designed to appeal to affluent visitors, including independently wealthy individuals, pensioners, skilled professionals and those who make a substantial income working from home. In order to qualify for this visa as an independently wealthy individual, you must have assets of US$1 million or more, an annual income of US$80,000 or more and a Thai government bond investment portfolio of at least US$500,000. Similar requirements apply to other categories of people who qualify for the LTR visa.

An Elite Visa, on the other hand, can be applied for by anyone who possesses the required fee and has a clean record, regardless of assets, income or the state of their personal finances. If you apply for one of the Elite Visas, you will, however, need to pay a large up-front fee and, depending on the type of visa you choose, possibly an annual fee as well. This is in contrast to the LTR, which does not involve any such fees.

We should point out that if your goal is to secure permanent residence in Thailand,

neither an Elite Visa nor an LTR Visa will grant you this privilege. If this is indeed your goal, it will be necessary for you to pursue alternative options once you have been living in the country for a while.

No, you do not have to be in Thailand to apply for a Thailand Elite Card. You may also apply for an Elite Card from outside of the country. If you wish to do so, it is recommended that you approach an accredited Thailand Elite agent, who will work with government officials to complete the necessary immigration and criminal background checks.

There is no Thai-speaking requirement for Elite Visa applicants. However, if you acquire some basic Thai language skills, you’ll find your time here a lot easier and more enjoyable. Consider booking one of our self-learning or classroom-based Thai language courses before you arrive.

According to the latest update as of June, 2023, there have been changes to the Thailand Elite visa program, specifically related to the Family Excursion Visa package. The previous package, Family Excursion with a fee of 800,000 Thai Baht for the primary member and 300,000 Thai Baht for additional family members for a 5-year visa, has been canceled.

Instead, there are now two types of Thai Elite packages available for the Family Excursion Visa. The first is Elite Family Alternative, which offers a 10-year visa for a fee of 800,000 Thai Baht for the primary member. Additional family members can be added to the visa for 700,000 Thai Baht per person. Only offers VIP services. 

The second package is Elite Privilege Access, which also provides a 10-year visa. The fee for this package is 1 million Thai Baht for the primary member, with additional family members requiring a fee of 800,000 Thai Baht per person. The Elite Privilege Access package offers additional benefits such as annual health check-ups, 18 short-haul transfers, and VIP services.

Both packages require a single fee payment for the full 10 years, and payment is not necessary until after the visa application is approved. This ensures that there is no financial risk involved in submitting an application. But you still need to do at 5 years renewable.

To find out how ALA can help you with your Thailand Elite Visa application process or to book an appointment. read more FAQ of Elite Visa

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