Thailand eyes 1 million new expats with 10 year visas and land ownership

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Thailand hopes that offering 10 year visas and the option to own land for residential use will help to attract 1 million new expats, which in turn will generate over 1 trillion baht to the local economy.

Up until now, foreigners owning land in Thailand had been prohibited.

However, government spokesperson Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana on Friday (July 15) confirmed plans to relax Thailand’s rules on land ownership for foreigners.

The move, first reported by Hua Hin Today earlier this week, and still subject to cabinet approval, would see foreigners granted permission to own land for residential purposes providing they invest 40 million baht, (approximately US$1 million) in Thailand over three years.

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The investment can be made in property, securities or infrastructure funds, Mr Thanakorn said.

Thai government spokesperson Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana. File photo

The Land Department has already started to draft the regulations that would permit foreigners to own land. The regulations are expected to be ready by September, Mr Thanakorn added.

In addition, the government believes its new 10 year Long-Term Resident (LTR) visa, applications for which open on September 1 (as also first reported by Hua Hin Today), will attract foreigners of “high potential” to live and work in Thailand.

The 10 year LTR visas will be offered across four categories: Wealthy Global Citizens, Wealthy Pensioners, Work-from-Thailand Professionals, and Highly-Skilled Professionals.

For ‘Wealthy Pensioners’, these are defined as retirees aged 50 years and older who have “personal income of at least USD 80,000/year at the time of application”.

Mr Thanakorn said that the new 10 year visas and enabling foreigners to own land would increase foreign investment by some 800 million baht, as well as generating an additional 270 million baht in additional tax revenue.

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