High-Skill Visa Draws 56,000 Foreign Nationals to Thailand

Published by Adrien on

June 5, 2024

Thailand has welcomed over 56,000 foreign nationals with approved visas and work permits, including approximately 50,000 foreign executives and experts engaged in investment promotion projects, according to the Board of Investment (BOI).

On June 4, 2024, Mr. Chai Wacharong, spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office, attributed this influx to Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s initiatives aimed at enhancing Thailand’s competitiveness and transitioning to a new economic model.

Efforts to streamline various visa application processes have resulted in more than 56,000 foreign nationals obtaining approved visas and work permits in Thailand. These include visas for foreign experts under investment promotion projects, Long-Term Resident Visas (LTR Visas), and Smart Visas, all facilitated by the One Stop Service Center.

Mr. Chai highlighted that the BOI, in partnership with the Immigration Bureau and the Ministry of Labor, has been assisting foreign nationals with special skills, investors, and those wishing to work and reside in Thailand. This support is provided through the One Start One Stop Investment Center (OSOS) at Chamchuri Square Building, which offers a consolidated service eliminating the need to contact multiple authorities. This includes the SINGLE WINDOW online visa and work permit system.

BOI data reveals that Thailand hosts over 56,000 foreign nationals with approved visas and work permits. This group comprises about 50,000 foreign executives and experts involved in investment promotion projects, over 4,000 LTR visa holders from countries such as the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, China, Germany, Japan, and France, and 2,170 Smart Visa holders and startup members, mainly from the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Germany.

The Long-Term Resident Visa (LTR Visa) is designed to attract four categories of high-potential foreigners: experts, remote workers, high net worth individuals, and retirees, including their dependents. Holders can stay in Thailand for up to 10 years, enjoy unlimited entry and exit, and are permitted to work. The income tax for highly skilled experts is reduced to 17 percent, and the mandatory reporting to the Immigration Department is relaxed from every 90 days to once a year. This visa has been granted to many experts and senior executives of leading international organizations with investments or branches in Thailand.

Additionally, the Cabinet has introduced the Destination Thailand Visa (DTV) for foreign nationals with skills to work remotely via digital systems, such as remote workers or digital nomads. This visa, expected to launch in June, aims to attract more highly skilled foreigners to work and travel in Thailand.

“The Prime Minister places great importance on attracting investment and improving Thailand’s competitiveness. He believes that continuously updating and adapting policies to current conditions is essential for attracting foreign talent in the long run, thereby stimulating investment in modern, future-oriented, and targeted industries for Thailand’s maximum benefit,” Mr. Chai stated.

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