With many expats now searching for a long-term visa option that gives them security, some are currently evaluating the possibility of applying for a Thailand Elite Visa. You have probably read about it; indeed, it has been heavily promoted by several companies and a well-known local Vlogger. However, it appears that very few people are aware of precisely what it is, how much it costs, and the benefits associated with it. This article will give you some of the basic information about the visa and leave you to make up your mind if it is right for you.

The basics

Thailand Elite is effectively a “club” with members all having a membership card known as the Thailand Privilege Card. Holders are entitled to a form of Tourist Visa, called the Privilege Entry Visa “PE”, and it allows them to live in the Kingdom for between five and ten years. Of course, to be a club member, you must pay a membership fee with the current prices available on the Thailand Elite Visa website.

How long does the visa last, and what will I be entitled to?

The visa is a 5-year renewable multiple entry visa, which can be extended depending on how long you joined the club for with membership packages available for five, ten or twenty years. The holder is not required to leave the country every 90 days but will need to complete 90-day Reporting at their nearest Thai Immigration Office. On arrival in Thailand, they will be “fast-tracked” through immigration, and some formalities will be expedited.

How do I qualify for a Thai Elite Visa?

Unlike many other long-term visas in Thailand, the rules regarding obtaining this form of visa a relatively straightforward. The rules are:

  • The applicant must hold a foreign passport
  • The applicant must not have any record of the previous overstay
  • Applicants for the Elite Ultimate Privilege must be 20 years old or above. Applicants for all other forms of Thailand Elite Visa can be any age
  • They must not have been imprisoned in any country
  • They must not be adjudged bankrupt
  • They must be of sound mind and be physically competent

The steps for applying for a Thai Elite Visa

  1. The application can be submitted in Thailand or abroad. The application form, along with a soft copy of your passport, should be sent to Thailand Elite. They will then commence a criminal background check.
  2. After the criminal record, check has been completed, and the authorities are satisfied, you will then be required to submitted payment for your visa, which will (currently) be between THB500,000 and THB2 million, depending on the type of Elite Visa you have applied for.
  3. Membership will be accepted and an ID number issued along with instructions on how to receive the visa – the instructions will vary depending on the country where you applied for the visa.
  4. The visa will be issued at the Thai Immigration Department if the application was made in Thailand or at a Royal Thai Embassy or consulate.

The entire application process takes between 30 and 90 days.