What is a Thailand Investment Visa?
As of 2014, foreigners who invest 10 million Baht or more are eligible to receive a one-year Non-Immigrant Visa and can renew their visa after staying in Thailand for a year. Foreigners will be granted an Investment Visa by investing the stipulated amount into a condominium, purchasing state enterprise or Thai government bonds, or depositing the funds into a fixed deposit account in a Thai Bank. Prospective applicants of an Investment Visa can invest a number of assets to become eligible to apply. The primary benefit of acquiring a Thailand Investment Visa is that the holder can renew their visa annually to stay in Thailand longer, and the holder's family members are also eligible applicants.
Who Can Apply for a Thailand Investment Visa?
The Thai Investment Visa intends to support the economy in Thailand and is only available to a small group of individuals. A Thailand Investment Visa is most suited for wealthy middle-aged individuals who wish to live a relaxed lifestyle in Thailand without the complications associated with short-term visas.
Any foreigner who wishes to travel to Thailand and can afford to spend a minimum of 10 million Baht is eligible to apply for a Thai Investment Visa. The visa category is particularly common among foreigners younger than 50 who don't plan on working in Thailand. Foreigners above the age of 50 who have the same intentions typically apply for a Retirement Visa.
Steps for Obtaining a Thai Investment Visa
Get a Non-Immigrant Visa
If you don't hold a Thai Non-Immigrant Visa, you can apply for one at your nearest Thai embassy. As the Non-Immigrant Visa is also required of those who wish to work in Thailand, you must inform your local Thai Embassy that you intend to invest.
The Investment Visa is relatively rare, so the Thai embassy may have difficulty issuing it. You must have invested in Thailand in the past and must travel to this country at least once to meet the visa requirements. You will also be required to present your bank statement, a valid passport, and proof of your investment in Thailand.
Extend Your Visa
If you visit Thailand with a Non-Immigrant visa, you can apply for an extension at a Thai Immigration Office based on your investment. As the Investment Visa is unique to other visas, you must be clear and specific regarding your extension so your local immigration officer can understand your needs better. Your documentation must be identical or as similar as possible to the documents you presented when you first applied.
Requirements of a Thai Investment Visa
You are required to hold a Thai Non-Immigrant Visa and invest at least 10 million Baht into a fixed deposit account of a Thai bank, a government-approved condo, or Thai government bonds.
You can transfer a total of at least 10 million Baht into a fixed deposit account in Thailand. If you don't have a Non-Immigrant Visa or a work permit, it may be difficult to open an account with a Thai bank, so you must open an account with a Thai bank of which a minimum of 51% of shares belong to Thai citizens. This will facilitate the process of opening a fixed deposit account.
Buy a Condominium
You can invest a minimum of 10 million Baht into a condo in Thailand. Keep in mind that your eligibility for an Investment Visa depends solely on the purchase price of the condo. Thus, if you purchase a condo for 11 million Baht but the property is declared to be worth 9 million Baht by the Department of Land, you will not be eligible for an Investment Visa.
For this reason, you are advised to verify the condo's value directly with the Department of Land and keep the transfer tax receipt. This will serve as proof to the immigration office that the condo was valued above 10 million Baht at the time of purchase before its price dropped. If you cannot present a transfer tax receipt and the condominium is valued lower than 10 million Baht, you will not be able to obtain an Investment Visa.
Furthermore, only the purchase of condos that the Thai government has approved will qualify you for an Investment Visa. Therefore, to obtain this visa, you must buy a new condo from a developer and own it for a minimum of three years.
Have a Fixed Balance in a Thai Bank Account
To meet the requirements of the Investment Visa, you can also invest at least 10 million Baht into a fixed deposit account with any majority Thai-owned bank. You will not be able to withdraw any of these funds while your Investment Visa is in effect, but acquiring the visa should be relatively straightforward if you can open an account with a Thai bank.
Hold Government Bonds or State Enterprise Bonds
You can purchase government bonds or state enterprise bonds at any local Thai bank, but such bonds tend to sell out rapidly once issued, so some limits may apply to the amount you will be able to purchase. Investing at least 10 million Baht in state enterprise or government bonds may be challenging, but it serves as a valuable contribution in addition to other investments.
Have Diverse Investments
You can obtain a Thailand Investment Visa by combining the abovementioned investments, provided the total sum invested is at least 10 million Baht. For instance, you can purchase government bonds worth one million Baht, a condo worth five million Baht, and invest four million Baht into a fixed deposit account.
Can A Foreigner Obtain Residency by Investing in Thailand?
To obtain Thai permanent residence status, you are required to invest 10 million Baht minimum in a public company, a limited company, the stock market, or a state enterprise security and state-issued security.In short, you will need to invest another 10 million Baht in Thailand to gain citizenship using an Investment Visa.