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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawOverstay and the Thailand Elite Visa Program

Overstay and the Thailand Elite Visa Program

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the Thai Elite Visa program. 

For those who are unaware of what this program is, it provides long-term status for those who enter the program. The program is somewhat expensive compared to other visa plans but it does provide a number of perks and benefits for those who are going ahead and entering it. There many other videos on this channel specifically pertaining to the Elite Visa Program. I suggest going over to the search function in this channel and just typing in Elite Visa and you will probably get a dozen videos come up where we discuss Elite Visa and the various subcategories of the Elite Program in further detail. 

That being stated, what we are discussing here is the elite Visa application processing specifically. Our firm handles a number of Elite Visa applications on a monthly and yearly basis. We have been handling more in the recent aftermath of Thai Immigration enforcement regulation changes and we are seeing more and more as things progress.  Many are finding the Elite Program to be quite convenient especially for those who don't really fit into a category otherwise. This is younger retirees, folks under 50 who don't meet the age requirement for Retirement Visa status, various other kinds of entrepreneurs and business people that don't necessarily need to do business in Thailand, nor wish to do business in Thailand, but wish to base themselves in Thailand and not exactly in a tourist capacity. They simply want to let Thailand act to act as a hub as it were in order to maintain their status here, live here, perhaps travel rather frequently depending on their situation, but for the most part not really be engaged with the Thai economy in the traditional sense of living in Thailand. 

That being said, it has recently come to my attention that a couple of things are changing with respect to processing of Elite Visa applications; most notably the process has become a lot more stringent. The backlog has increased rather substantially and the requirements of the Immigration Officers who are adjudicating and vetting the applicants for an Elite Visa is just becoming more time consuming. Where once it took a couple of weeks now it's taking 4 to 6 and it's just taking more time. 

But something else came to my attention here recently when we were corresponding with Thailand Elite. To quote directly from prior correspondence with Thailand Elite directly. To quote directly: "Please note that those who have overstayed more than once in the past three years, even if the fine  has been paid, they will be rejected when getting the Elite Visa sticker affixed to the passport." So overstayed more than once in the past three years even if the fine has been paid may not be able to go ahead and enjoy the Immigration benefits associated with the Thailand Elite Visa. That is a substantial development.  We haven't seen that in the past and it would seem to denote stringent Immigration Policy being applied even with respect to the Thailand Elite Visa. A couple of other things which should be noted with respect to this issue is the fact that although one may not be able to get the Visa itself, the benefits may still be conferred. So for that reason it may be a problem for folks who are entering the Elite Visa unaware of this  regulation who can't enjoy the Visa benefit and they presumably I don't know if they necessarily be refunded or what for their joining of the Elite Program because the Elite Program is not exclusively a Visa issue. There other things that come attached with joining the Thailand Elite Program. 

So we will keep you updated as things progress but stand by because if we see anything else we will certainly report it and we will report it on this channel as soon as we can.