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Legal Matters: Got a million dollars?

High Net Worth foreigners may now apply for work permits under the new Flexible Plus Programme

Sunday 27 March 2022, 11:00AM

Wealthy foreigners seeking a way to live and work in Thailand will now be able to obtain a work permit under the recently rolled out Flexible Plus Programme which was approved by the Thai Cabinet in October 2021. The programme was conceived as part of the government’s effort to promote investment into Thailand’s target industries and help with its economic recovery by attracting high net worth investors. 

Under the Flexible Plus Programme, qualified foreigners will be able to stay in Thailand under a non-immigrant visa which will allow them to apply for a work permit and legally conduct business activities they would otherwise not be able to perform. Those interested in the programme who already hold certain types of Thailand Privilege Cards or are staying in the country under a Thailand Elite Visa for at least 10 years may qualify depending on their status. They are, nevertheless, advised to seek guidance if they wish to proceed with the application process.

The crux of the programme, however, is that a foreigner needs to have invested at least US$1 million in the country (approximately B32 million) within a year of the application. This could either be in real estate, the Stock Exchange of Thailand or a Thai limited company. While specific details regarding investments have yet to be announced, it is likely foreign investment approvals from regulatory bodies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission will be required.

In addition, the Thai government is also considering lifting restrictions on foreign ownership of land to supplement the country’s attractiveness as an investment destination. However, this process may take some time and is expected to come with certain limitations. Silk Legal will provide further updates in due course once more information is available.

Phuket Property

What is a Thai Elite Visa?

Designed primarily for high-net-worth individuals, the requirements for a Thai Elite Visa are minimal and generally only require applicants to pay the fees, which vary according to the length of time they wish to stay in Thailand. Packages and memberships cost anywhere between B600,000 to B2mn and give an applicant a five- to 20-year multiple-entry visa on top of other privileges such as airport limousine services, shopping privileges and golf club memberships.

By Dr Paul Crosio

Those interested in the Flexible Plus Programme are welcome to contact Silk Legal for more information. Please reach out to them at info@silklegal.com or by using the contact form on their website.

Comment on this story

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christysweet | 29 March 2022 - 22:48:43

So if you pay a 'girl' (hopefully an adult) to marry you, isn't that an apt definition of a  s*xpat? I cannot imagine doing such a thing- it would be sickening. 

Capricornball | 28 March 2022 - 15:05:58

Christy is correct, wealthy people that are attracted to this country are often up to no good, and the corruption and double standards are attractive options. Paying off local officials to turn a blind eye to shady business (like a certain Patong prostitution biz), and paying police to stay away (like a certain Patong prostitution biz).  Why risk getting burned in real estate, like so many do?

christysweet | 28 March 2022 - 11:15:43

Rich people are not going to want to reside in a developing  country with a corrupted police force  unless they are operating shady businesses.  They can afford   to pay as they go for prostitutes and forgo the 'girl' to marry (as if only men are Thai expats.)  

Kurt | 28 March 2022 - 09:14:27

Venom in the tail. ..."Things come with certain limitations". These limitations give you a false start compared with a Thai who start same business/investment. Remember the max 49% limit for you, obligated to have a 51% thai partner, who can put you on the money drain. That is still in place.

Kurt | 28 March 2022 - 09:07:40

@ Sir Burr, the answer on your question is:  A Thai bureaucraat who arrives in morning at his office desk, has nothing to do, and starts fantasize a 'paper' that next starts to live a own life supported by saying 'that is the law', even when it is not.

Sir Burr | 28 March 2022 - 04:49:24

Cheaper to just pay a Thai girl to marry you. A non-Imm O for marriage allows you to work and you only have to show 400K Baht each year. Who comes up with these schemes that nobody will use?


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