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A Thai Elite Visa Is Not a Work Permit

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the Thailand Elite system or the Thailand Elite program and specifically Visas associated therewith. 

For those who are unaware, we have done multiple videos on this channel specific to the Thailand Elite program but basically as a summation, the Thailand Elite program allows someone to basically purchase membership in the program and one of the perks of membership is a long term Thai Visa. They usually come in increments of 5 years so 5,10,15 all the way up to 20 years can be obtained in one go with respect to membership in the Thailand Elite program.

A question that often arises with respect to the Thailand Elite program is "Do I get work authorization with a Thailand Elite Visa?" And the answer that question is "No."  Thailand Elite status is essentially, for lack of a better term, it is like a VIP long-term tourist visa. Those who have an Elite Visa are stamped into the country for 1 year every time they are stamped in. They basically have concierge services with respect to 90 day reporting as well as certain services with respect to dealing with things like TM30, TM28, forms associated with Thai Immigration etc.

But that being said, these visas are not work authorized. These are specifically for folks who just want to come and it is sort of like a long vacation, long-stay visa. It is very useful for folks. In fact there is some speculation that perhaps maybe the Immigration apparatus is trying to replace certain elements of the Retirement Visa scheme. They are trying to sort of push it a little bit aside, maybe put Thailand Elite there. I don't think that is exactly going on. I think it is more a case of they have this program, they have tightened up certain aspects of Retirement Visas and as a result some folks are choosing to go ahead and move over to Elite status because it is just easier to deal with on a year-to-year basis. 

The thing to take away from this video, "No you are not work authorized if you have Elite status." You can obtain a Business Visa and have that Business Visa essentially run concurrently with Elite status.  So basically, one can go and obtain a Business Visa and then be stamped into Thailand in B Visa status while being part of the Elite program. That is certainly a possibility. It is definitely possible to be a member of Thailand Elite while also having a Business Visa and presumably maintaining a Work Permit; one does not preclude the other. That being said, the Thailand Elite Visa itself does not in and of itself provide work authorization.