Thailand's 10-year visa program popular with American, Chinese tourists

By Hoang Phong   December 14, 2022 | 11:31 pm PT
Thailand's 10-year visa program popular with American, Chinese tourists
Tourists visit Maya bay at Krabi province, Thailand, January 3, 2022. Photo by Reuters
American and Chinese visitors have submitted the most applications for Thailand's 10-year visa program since its launch on September 1, a Thai official said.

Narit Therdstreerakul, secretary-general of Thailand's Board of Investment (BOI), said that more than 1,600 applicants have submitted applications for the new tourist visa, according to Nikkei Asia.

Americans submitted the most applications so far, followed by Chinese, British, and Germans, said Narit.

The new Long Term Residence visa program, which will be valid for 10 years and will offer multiple entries, is an effort to boost its economy post pandemic. The program was launched to attract "high potential" foreigners and investors to boost the economy.

To be eligible for the visa program, foreigners must hold at least $1 million in assets, have a validated annual personal income of a minimum of $80,000 for the past two years and an investment of at least $500,000 in Thai government bonds, foreign direct investment or Thai property.

The visa is also open for retirees aged 50 years and older who have an annual pension or stable income, which is at least $80,000 per year at the time of application.

Other Southeast Asian nations, such as Indonesia, Cambodia and Malaysia, are also vying for wealthy foreigners by launching golden visas with stays of up to 20 years.

After reopening to international tourism on March 15, Vietnam stopped issuing multi-entry visas for three months or longer, and is now only issuing 30-day, single entry visas.

Many foreigners see Vietnam as an ideal place for retirement with friendly people, natural landscapes and diverse tourism activities. However, strict visa policies are keeping them away.

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