Golden visas for longer stays in Southeast Asia: how to apply

By Hoang Phong   September 16, 2023 | 03:00 am PT
Golden visas for longer stays in Southeast Asia: how to apply
Passengers walk in Singapore's Changi Airport Terminal 3. Photo by Reuters
Many Southeast Asian countries have started offering 'golden visa' policies to lure wealthy foreigners with longer stays and exclusive benefits but each country has its own requirements.


Indonesia has become the latest country in Southeast Asia to launch its so-called "golden visa" program earlier this month, allowing foreign investors to stay in the country between 5 and 10 years, depending on the value of their investment.

To be eligible for 5-year visa, foreigners need to set up a company worth $2.5 million, while for the 10 years visa, a $5 million investment is required.

For foreign investors who do not intend to open a business in Indonesia, there are different requirements.

They have to deposit funds worth $350,000 for a 5-year stay permit, and $700,000 for a 10-year stay permit. These funds may be used to purchase Indonesian government bonds, shares of publicly traded companies, or savings/deposits in Indonesia.

After obtaining the golden visa, foreign nationals do not need to apply for a temporary stay permit while they would enjoy priority security screening at airports and easier entry and exit processes.


In July 2022, Cambodia introduced its golden visa program known as "My 2nd Home" that enabled foreigners to stay for up to 10 years.

To be eligible, applicants must be at least 18 years of age and have an investment capital of not less than $100,000 in Cambodia.

They also have to own a real estate project approved by the Cambodian government.

No Khmer language proficiency or academic qualifications are required by those wishing to join the program.

Successful applicants will be issued 10-year visa and can apply for Cambodian citizenship after 5 years. They will also gain access to insurance coverage and VIP medical treatment and enjoy unlimited entry/exit without conditions.


Thailand already unveiled its long term residence visa program last year. Also known as "Golden Visa", the program is valid for 10 years and offers multiple entries to compete with regional countries.

The program is offered to four categories of foreign individuals: wealthy global citizens, wealthy pensioners, work-from-Thailand professionals and highly-skilled professionals.

The common requirement is applicants must have health insurance with at least $50,000 coverage or at least $100,000 deposit in a Thai bank account.

Each category has different eligibility requirements.

To be eligible for the visa program, wealthy individuals must hold at least $1 million in assets and have an annual income of at least $80,000 for the past two years.

Minimum investment of $500,000 in Thai government bonds, foreign direct investment, Thai property or any combination is also required.

Retirees aged 50 years or older are required to have personal income of at least $80,000 a year at the time of application.

If personal income is between $40,000 and 80,000 a year, applicants must invest at least $250,000.

For remote workers and highly-skilled foreign workers, they are required to have personal income at least $80,000 a year in the past two years.

If personal income is between $40,000 and 80,000, applicants must have a Master’s degree or own intellectual property or receive Series A funding.

The application cost for the LTR program is 50,000 baht but applicants will enjoy a series of exclusive benefits including fast track service at international airports, multiple re-entry permit, work permission and tax exemption for overseas income.


Last year, Malaysia also launched its premium visa program that allows holders to stay in the country for up to 20 years with a renewal option for a further 20 years.

To be eligible for the visa, participants are required to make a local fixed deposit placement of RM1M (US$213.500) with no withdrawals allowed on the principal value for the first year.

Applicants are required to provide proof of offshore income of at least RM40,000 a month or RM480,000 a year.

In addition, they are required to provide a Letter of Good Conduct from the authorities of the country they are currently residing in.

Applicants are required to pay a one-off RM200,000 participation fee; and a one-off RM100,000 participation fee will be levied for each dependent.

Visa holders are allowed to conduct business in Malaysia, study, purchase residential and commercial real estate, in addition to invest in permitted sectors.


Singapore has one of the best golden visa schemes in Asia officially known as Global Investor Pprogram (GIP) that was launched in 2004.

To qualify for the visa scheme, applicants must have an investment of at least SGD2.5 million in a new business entity or expansion of an existing business operation, or an investment for SGD2.5 million in one of the GIP-approved funds.

Successful applicants will be issued a permanency residence permit valid for 5 years.

After two years of permanent residence is Singapore, applicants are allowed to apply for citizenship; however, Singapore is a strictly single-citizenship country and each applicant must relinquish all existing citizenship before naturalization is possible.

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