The Thailand Elite program, offers an easy and efficient solution compared to the more traditional permits otherwise required to reside in Thailand on a long-term basis. It was specifically set-up to cater to foreigners seeking an efficient and transparent application process.
Thai immigration laws are complex and subject to constant changes. Before the Thailand Elite schemes were introduced, only the bravest would persevere to wander through complex and opaque immigration rules, sometimes for months, before they could identify the right way they could settle in Thailand or renew their hard-earned initial permit.
Thailand Elite now offers foreigners a fast and clear path. Those signing up to the scheme are not mere immigrants. Instead, they are valued “members” and as such they enjoy a number of perks to remind them of the privilege of joining such an elite community. Some of the advantages granted to members include VIP and priority services at the airport, medical benefits, 24/7 call center in multiple languages, personal concierge services, special discounts to luxurious SPAs, golfs, shopping malls and activities, etc.
It has never been easier to travel and stay in Thailand. Thailand Elite membership is available for either 5 years, 10 years or 20 years. The submission can be done online (regardless of whether the applicant is at the time within or outside Thailand) and requires only simple documentation. Thailand Elite members do not have to exit Thailand or renew their visa at regular intervals, which is a substantial advantage compared to other types of visas.
Due to flexibility and various choices of Thailand Elite packages available, this program attracts a broad spectrum of members, including expatriates, investors, digital nomads, businessmen, retirees, frequent visitors and families.
Digital nomads and frequent travelers appreciate moving freely with the 5 years Elite Easy Access scheme. Perhaps due to its success, the membership fee is now THB 600,000 (previously THB 500,000). If an Elite Easy Access applicant wishes to extend his/her time in Thailand, he/she can simply upgrade to a 20 years membership by paying an additional THB 400,000.
The Elite Easy Access scheme could also suit businessmen, but from our experience this category of applicants often find that the Elite Ultimate Privilege offers more of the advantages they are looking for. This is a 20-year membership at just over THB 2 million, which gives the member luxurious benefits such as limousine service from/to the airport, SPA, golf etc. In addition, the member may include family members (spouse and minor children) by applying to the Elite Family Premium (for an incremental cost of around THB 1 million) in addition to the Elite Ultimate Privilege.
Retirees often compare the Thailand Elite to a retirement visa, but the Thailand Elite is preferred for its convenience and flexibility. It does not require a medical insurance nor freezing money in a Thai bank account. The 5 years Elite Maxima Health kills two birds with one stone as it combines a health insurance with a Thailand Elite visa for a total cost of THB 1,500,000.
Some young retirees are considered too young to obtain a retirement visa, which is not available to individuals under 50 years old. Hence, the Thailand Elite is then a real 20 years' alternative. In the last few years, we have seen the Elite Superiority Extension gain in popularity, thanks to its affordable price of around THB 1 million.
Finally, investors seeking to combine a long-term visa together with real estate investment can combine their property purchase with an Elite Flexible One. This is a 5-year Thailand Elite visa, which is granted in conjunction with a real estate purchase in approved projects located in Bangkok, Hua Hin, or Phuket. This is attractive because the purchase price already includes the price of the Thailand Elite visa.
There are other options in between. For instance:
- the 10 years Elite Privilege Access at THB 1,000,000 (plus THB 800,000 for each additional family member);
- the 5 years Elite Family Excursion at THB 800,000 for 2 people (plus THB 300,000 per additional family member); and
- the 10 years Elite Family Alternative at THB 800,000 (plus THB 700,000 per additional family member).
In a nutshell, there is a Thailand Elite scheme that suits the needs of most individuals and families. An authorised agent will be able to assist clients identifying the best scheme available for applicants to achieve their goal at an affordable price. Thai Elite Express, powered by Harvey Law Group, has been an authorized agent of the Thai Elite program since 2013.