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Cabinet announces 10-year ‘long-stay’ visas for senior tourists

BANGKOK: The Cabinet on Tuesday (Nov 22) extended to 10 years from one the long-stay visa for foreigners aged 50 or older but they must report to immigration police every 90 days.


Bangkok Post

Wednesday 23 November 2016, 07:05PM

It was not made clear whether the 10-year visa would replace or complement the existing one-year visa option. Photo: The Phuket News
It was not made clear whether the 10-year visa would replace or complement the existing one-year visa option. Photo: The Phuket News

The visa will be valid initially for five years and could be renewed for another five, Col Apisit Chaiyanuwat, Deputy Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, said.

The visa fee was set at B10,000, he added.

In addition to the age requirement, the visa requires eligible foreigners to have a monthly income of at least B100,000 or a bank deposit of at least B3 million, to be maintained for at least one year after receiving the visa.

Eligible applicants must also have health insurance coverage for at least US$1,000 (about B35,590) for outpatient care and $10,000 (about B 355,900) or more for inpatient care per policy per year.

They must also report to immigration police every 90 days.

The revised rule aimed to promote medical and wellness tourism in line with the government’s policy.

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The target groups for the visa are long-stay visitors from Australia, Canada, China, England, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Taiwan and the United States, Col Apisit said.

It was not made clear whether the “10-year long-stay visa” would replace existing visa options or become a new visa option for people wanting to stay in the country long-term.

Also on Tuesday, to lure more tourists to the Kingdom the Cabinet resolved to temporarily waive for three months the B1,000 fee for tourist single entry visas and to halve the B2,000 visa-upon-arrival fee for tourists from 19 countries from Dec 1 to Feb 28.

The 19 countries are: Andorra, Bulgaria, Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, the Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

Tourism authorities said the three-month tourism promotion measure was aimed at boosting the number of visitors by 350,000 and generating income of B28 billion.

Read original stories here and here.



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missyou | 03 January 2017 - 10:08:08

swerv and ematt: perfectly summarized, thanks! As a resident in TH for many years I'm too fed up with the permanent unsubstantial whining. This is THEIR country not ours; accept it or leave. This doesn't exclude controversial discussions, as long as applied in a civil manner, and not like the guy called jogi. I'm somewhat surprised about the discussion referring health insurance. The demands of the TH government are absolutely reasonable. If you are not citizen of a welfare state you need a HI anyway, normally starting the day you're born. For me (age > 60 Y) being with the same company more than 50 years it is currently 620€/month; tendency increasing. However, they pay everything without limit. But even if your government pays you may have an accident, a stroke or MI, and acute major treatment, even in TH easily runs into millions. For affluent foreigners the 5+5 visa concept is a brilliant idea as long as it does not replace the 1-year rule.

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ematt | 29 November 2016 - 12:17:30

Hmmm.... Not sure who SIr Burr is referring to, but for the record, I have zero  interest in Social Warfare nor am I in any way "outraged" - just commenting. And by the way, I speak strictly for myself; never on "other people's behalf". 

Sorry if my comments struck a nerve...

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Sir Burr | 28 November 2016 - 12:48:03

Strewth! A bunch of namby-pamby Social Justice Warriors being outraged on other people's behalf.

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swerv | 28 November 2016 - 11:36:11

ematt: Could not have put it better myself.
I am sick of the whingeing, moaning, disrespectful attitude  towards Thai people, Thailand and Phuket.
Why are these people  still here if everything is so bad?

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ematt | 28 November 2016 - 09:56:34

Kurt, Rorii, Jogi... As a guest in this country for over 15 years, I feel lucky and privileged to be able to reside here on a full time basis. As such, I make it a point not to criticise Thai people, Thai culture, or the Thai government. Unlike your good selves.

In the case of immigration policy, you might consider that it is the responsibility of the government to do what it is best for Thailand, not just best - or easiest - for you. With all due respect, that cow that you may have bought for your wife's family in Isaan not withstanding, your continued presence here - especially if all you do is complain - may not in fact be in the country's best interest.

The reality is that unless you are a wealthy retiree or own a business here with paid up capital in excess of THB 10 million, your economic benefit to this country is for all practical purposes zero. In addition, if you take a condescending, disrespectful, post-colonial attitude toward the place - why in the world should they want you here?

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ematt | 28 November 2016 - 09:24:11

Captain Jack... "international investment from global corporations"? Yes please.  Dirtbag foreigners over 60 with no money in the bank and no health insurance? No thanks.

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CaptainJack69 | 25 November 2016 - 21:17:10

Way to go Thailand, this is how to integrate yourself into the global community, to attract international investment from global corporations, to strengthen your economic position in the ever smaller world of the 21st century, to enrich your countries pool of educated hard-working professional people, that's right, by encouraging pensioners to move here. That's what I call progress, NOT.

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Joe12 | 25 November 2016 - 19:57:33

Rorii...contrary to what you say, I am a highly intelligent individual. I have not been critical of anything, but agreeing with mirth, ematt's insightful comment. The article is very clear concerning the current state of the law. I find Kurt's comments are unintelligible. 

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Kurt | 25 November 2016 - 15:47:29

@ jogi, Interesting comment you wrote. 
But just keeping it to the Retirement visa thing ( not talking about tax and income technicalities), if government skip the health insurance thing, probably there will be a group of expat people to pay interest.

I not see the 'discrimination need' in this matter: 
1: short stay tourists, up to 5 months, ( 2+2 months, + a visa run) not need a health insurance. While that is accident wise the most risky tourist group.
It are always these tourists who fall from balconies, drown, motorbike accidents, hang themselves, etc.

2: 10 year visa, with this funny health insurance thing? That while thai health insurances have the freedom to kick you out of insurance by reaching the age of 70?
Thai government needs to fix that problem law wise!
It is to idiot to realize that thai health insurances are allowed to kick expats out of a health insurance program.
Thai government has to fix that.

'Authorities & 'thoughts' do not in Thailand belong in the same sentence. ( is a expression)

Much more flood water has to run down Thailand before this 10 year stuff is ready to be implemented. 
Thai Government should do a survey first  among 'senior tourists', of course they mean ...'Expats'.
Foreigners living permanent in Thailand with many years Retirement Visa are not a tourist!
They are expats! 
Contributing to the thai society, in marriage, having children in school, contribute money wise a lot to the thai economy!  ( property, cars, pool- and house cleaners, plumbers, painters, electricians, gardeners, shopping, etc.)
It is about time the Thai Government realize that.

But government has to review also that no sense making 90 day report. At least make it now a 180 day report.
AEC!!  Get things in line with how it works in surrounding AEC countries. 
Step by step.  Thailand, Don't stay behind!

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swerv | 25 November 2016 - 14:39:37

Kurt: I was commenting on my own situation, don't know, don't care what situation other people are in.
My main comment was that this 10 year visa is not compulsory.

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