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Which Is Cheaper: Thai Elite or Business Visas?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the Thailand Elite program that is the Thai Elite Visa. For those who are unaware, these visas are part and parcel of a membership in the Thailand Elite program and the Visa status can be issued in 5 year increments at any given stretch so you have got a Visa sticker with a 5-year validity. Those that are in Thailand on Elite are giving a one year duration of status at any given entry which can be extended in one year increments throughout their stay. 

A question that comes up from time to time is "What is cheaper to stay in Thailand long term? A Business Visa or an Elite Visa?" And my answer is "They are really not the same thing. It is comparing apples and bowling balls." To use another metaphor, it is a different kettle of fish.

The Thailand Business Visa is exactly what it implies. It is a Business Visa and it can act as a platform for work authorization. As noted in other videos on this channel, the Thai Elite Visa does not act as a platform for work authorization. Those who are in Thailand on Elite Visa status cannot work in Thailand and in fact can be subject to deportation if they are found to be in violation of Thai Labour Law. 

Now that stated, for those who are looking to stay here, a lot of people especially younger folks that are looking at a long-term option including like Permanent Residence and citizenship, Elite doesn't get you there. Again, Thailand Elite is not Permanent Residence. It is not a status wherein once you have it you are just done worrying about visas or at least Immigration status in Thailand from that point forward and then obviously with citizenship you are a citizen and you are not having to deal with anything pertaining to Immigration from that point forward.  

But Elite is what it is. It is very beneficial for those, it can fit like a glove in many ways but for people that want to work in Thailand, a B Visa, it is not the same thing. So trying to compare it on a cost basis is a false comparison because it is two different things. It provides different benefits, has different attributes and it just is not the same visa for those here in Thailand.