Thailand, a renown global destination and a prominent Southeast Asia business hub, has continuously gained its reputation as one of the most popular places Westerners look to live and retire in Thailand. Given the current pandemic and currency exchange rates, many expatriates look to make the most out of their dollar and relocate to this beautiful tropical country.
There’s something special about the land of smiles. The contrasting lifestyles of the modern West and the exotic East works in perfect harmony. Thailand has access to modern comforts, conveniences, delicious foods, amazing shopping experiences, great housing options, affordable medical care, and much more. Thailand’s bountiful nature includes mountains, white-sanded turquoise beaches, and ancient temples, all at drivable distances and makes living in Thailand acclimatizing. It’s a soulful country where you can’t help but feel alive.
There’s no wonder why many tourists visiting turn into long-term residents, while the country gains further popularity as a hub spot with trendy digital nomads. Many expatriates and digital nomads come to Thailand with the intention of a short visit and end up with extending their stay.
Here are top 10 reasons on how Thai-Elite membership – under the concept of ‘Pay to Stay’- is great for expatriates that are looking for an exclusive long-term residency status for themselves and family members.
Reason 1 Avoid Visa Headaches
With a country that welcome over 40 million tourists annually, Thailand is strict on foreigners that intend to stay long-term. As a foreigner entering Thailand, a limited number of days are allowed per visa entry to Thailand. If you intend to stay longer, you need to apply for visa extension and go through a series of government administrative procedures. Overall, it’s just an avoidable headache.
For those who seek a worry-free life in Thailand, the minimum 5 years Thai-Elite Easy Access membership costs THB 600,000. It means 5 years of visa-free worries, equivalent to THB 10,000 per month.
This outlay might even equate to the amount spent on visa runs, without the conveniences and the perks of an actual Thai-Elite membership.
Reason 2 5-20 Years Long-Term Residency
Thai-Elite Membership is a privileged multiple-entry visa that enables non-Thai nationals long-term residency in Thailand from 5 years, 10 years, and 20 years.
There are a total of 7 membership packages are available to match any lifestyle. The Elite Easy Access, Elite Family Excursion, Elite Family Alternative, Elite Privilege Access, Elite Superiority Extension, Elite Ultimate Privilege, and Elite Family Premium. Each membership has its own terms and conditions.
Reason 3 Fast-Track Immigration at the Airport
Thailand Elite membership provides impeccable assistance and service for Thailand Elite members to ensure a comfortable travel and stay within Thailand such as:
Airport Services include Exclusive lounges (arrival & departure)
Personal Greetings and Escort by Thai-Elite Personal Assistants (arrival & departure)
Accelerated processing of immigration and passport with Thailand Elite Personal Assistant
Transfer Service from the airport to hotel or residence location with a limousine (Individual or Group)
With the VIP treatment, a Thailand Elite membership may provide comfortable conveniences for you and your family members. You’ll surely be impressed when you’re greeted at the plane gate with a golf cart by a Thailand Elite Personal Assistance.
Reason 4 Access to Government Concierge
Get ready to utilize Thai-Elite services. The government concierges and facilitation services include immigration matters, business network connections, assistance in obtaining a driver’s license, to opening a bank account in a foreign currency. It just makes your life easier and eliminates the whole language-barrier in administrative matters as an expat living in Thailand.
Reason 5 Family Friendly
Coming with family? Not a problem. Thailand Elite membership packages such as the Elite Family Excursion, Elite Family Alternative, Elite Privilege Access, and Elite Family Premium, have great offers for families alike. You could add on your spouse or children for an ad hoc fee.
These memberships will provide your family with a worry-free visa status so you and the rest of your family can enjoy the best life Thailand has to offer.
Reason 6 Retirement in Thailand
The differences between a Thailand Retirement Visa and a Thailand Elite Membership are the following:
Retirement visas consist of a yearly validity, while Thailand Elite visa lasts between 5-20 years.
While on retirement visa, the individual and family members will need to still show up for 90 days’ reporting at the Thai Immigration Bureau while there’re no reporting duties under the Thailand Elite membership.
To upkeep your retirement visa, you’ll have to receive THB 80,000 into your Thai bank account monthly; requiring an overall THB 800,000 to be brought-in annually. There’s no monthly income requirement for Thailand Elite.
Private medical insurance is mandatory, while it is not as a Thai Elite member.
Retirement Visas will need to be renewed annually, with agents’ fee ranging from THB 20,000-40,000 not including the documentations you’ll have to prepare. For Thai Elite members, no agent fees to upkeep.
Multiple entry into the country: Individuals on retirement visas will have to spend approximately up to THB 6,000 to renew visa and apply for re-entry permit per year. As a Thailand Elite member, you have the multiple-entry visa valid throughout your membership.
The benefits of fast-track immigration, airport limousine, and airport lounges are readily available for Thai Elite Visa members. Retirement Visas do not have access to these.
Both options are allowed a Thai bank account. Only Thai Elite members are allowed USD/EUR/RMB/JPY bank account opening.
Thai Elite members are given availability for Tax ID. Retirement Visa Holders cannot hold a tax ID.
Reason 7 Eliminate 90-Days Reporting Trips to Thai Immigration Bureau
With most of us considering our time worthwhile, being a Thailand Elite member allows for the elimination of 90-days reporting trip to the Thai Immigration Bureau for members living in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya & Phuket. Unless you’re someone who likes to spend half a day (or often a full day) in queue to extend your visa in a Thai government building, this is a minor yet relevant perk.
Reason 8 No Offshore Tax Income
Thailand’s generous personal income tax system does not tax offshore incomes that are not remitted into the country.This feature makes Thailand, in general, and the Thai Elite Visa, in particular, an attractive destination for digital nomads.
Reason 9 World-Class Private Medical Hospital
Thailand has a worldwide reputation of being a medical hub. With the country’s strong healthcare infrastructure and skilled doctors and healthcare professionals, Thailand leads Southeast Asia in providing top-tier medical service for quality and at affordable price.
Since 2002, the country has implemented universal healthcare system for local Thais and the healthcare industry is supported by over 1,000+ public hospitals and 300 private hospitals, not including independent clinics. Thailand’s medical system is renowned for providing services and assortments of advanced treatments such as open-heart surgery, laser eye surgery, organ transplants, cancer treatments, plastic surgery, and many more.
It’s no wonder why US Magazine CEOWORLD ranked Thailand as the sixth best country for best healthcare systems in the world, according to the Bangkok Post.
Reason 10 Great Housing Options
Rental options in Thailand are various. Choose from low-rise apartments, an alleyway townhouse, standalone houses, to a Chaopraya riverside high-rise, all types of accommodations are available around town. Depending on the area one chooses, the price and the quality will vary – but excellent deals can be found. One can even consider choosing a selected real estate project that comes with a complimentary Thai-Elite Membership, starting at a minimum of THB 5.8 million in Phuket and THB 10 million in Bangkok.