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New "Long Term Residence Visas" for Thailand?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the possibility of a new long-term Residence Visa here in Thailand. This came to our attention via an article in the Bangkok Post, that is, the article is titled: Cabinet Approves Visa Changes to Woo Wealthy Foreigners. Quoting directly: "The Cabinet on Tuesday approved Visa changes intended to attract affluent foreigners for lengthy stays targeting the rich, retirees, remote workers and skilled professionals." Quoting further: "Deputy Government Spokesperson Rachada Dhnadirek said the new regulations were in two draft, (key here) two draft Ministerial announcements submitted by the Interior Ministry and the Labour Ministry." I will come back to that in a minute. Quoting further: "The Interior Ministry proposals provide for long-term Residence Visas each for up to four family members including children up to 20 years old. The Board of Investment will set the qualifications of the applicants." Now I urge those who are really interested in this to go check out that article and read it in detail, there is a lot more detail going on here. 

Now my analysis with respect to this. A couple of key things. Again, it appears at least for now this is approved in principle so fundamentally we haven't seen really a substantive change to the situation since we were talking about this all the way back in April of 2021. Now, it looks like things are moving quickly so it might change sooner rather than later but it remains to be seen. So “draft Ministerial announcements”, that is a key point. Another part which isn't quoted here, they do note that there are specific time frames associated with these so the term Residence Visa to me is a little bit of a misnomer insofar as Residence, at least in my mind, sort of denotes permanence but apparently these are issued in five year increments with a max of 10 years; again all proposed. We have not seen the regulations on this. They remain to be seen so until we see that, it is all kind of an effort in speculation if you will.

A final thing to bear in mind with respect to this, I want to quote this again: "The Board of Investment will set the qualifications of the applicants". As I have been discussing in other videos on this topic again going back into April, May of 2021, a lot of the requirements associated with this seem to be a pretty high threshold. For those who think that this is going to be kind of an opening of the floodgates, that is probably not going to be the case. I have kind of analogized or likening this proposal to something akin to the so-called Smart Visa initiative which if I recall correctly that all came down the pike around 2018, '17, '18 and while useful for the folks that it pertains to it has proven in my opinion to be a much more narrow Visa category than most lay people, people that aren't like me who sit around following Immigration news quite closely, I think it could be a more narrow subset of people using these proposed visas than would seem at first blush.

Again, we haven't seen the regulations rolled out on this; we have not seen them finalized and until that time, again all of this is something of a speculative endeavour. That said, it seems to be that we are now getting further and further clarity as far as what this might look like. We will certainly keep you updated on this channel as the situation evolves.