The Thailand Elite Visa program is, by far, the simplest and easiest way for foreigners to obtain long term residency in Thailand. Ask a former or existing member and you will find how even at the entry level, there are significant benefits and conveniences to reap. Thailand Elite Visa Prospects, without proper guides from an authorized Thailand Elite agent can easily fall into misunderstandings about some components of the program.
This article will help you avoid those unnecessary errors, providing you with a list of the most common understandings about the Thailand Elite Visa program and, of course, the correct information for your smooth stay in Thailand:
- Misunderstanding 1: “With Thailand Elite visa, I can legally work in Thailand.”
As a Thailand Elite member, an individual is granted a “Privilege Entry Visa” (PE Visa) which is an exclusive, multiple-entry visa that allows one to live, travel, and participate in any activity one desires across Thailand.
Practically, thus, it appears as a residential-visa program, but legally, however, the PE Visa is still categorized under Tourist Visa.
Under such a visa category, Thailand Elite members are not allowed to work or apply for a work permit in Thailand.
To get a work permit in Thailand, one needs an initial visa, a “Non-Immigrant Visa,” in which our PE Visa, simply put, does not belong and cannot thus act as that “initial visa” for you to get a work permit.
As a Thai Elite member, however, you can still become a shareholder or Director of a Thai company, invest in a condo, open a bank account, even get a driving license.
- Misunderstanding 2: “All types of Thailand Elite Visa are renewable.”
So, this is just a bit complicated. As mentioned above, a Thai Elite member is granted a PE Visa.
The PE Visa consists of a total of seven versions in accordance with a total seven membership packages of the program.
The Elite Privilege Access, for example, offers a five-year PE Visa that is renewable, while the Elite Easy Access offers a non-renewable five-year PE Visa.
The primary factor behind this system is not a random selection, but a package’s membership validity. The Elite Privilege Access’s PE Visa is renewable after five years because it grants a 10-year membership validity while the Elite Easy Access’s PE Visa is non-renewable because its membership validity is at 5 years.
The matter in which your PE Visa is renewable or not after that fundamental validity of five years depends precisely on how long your Thailand Elite membership is valid.
Of all seven membership options, in summary, only two such as Elite Family Premium and Elite Easy Access offer a five-year membership validity and thus a five-year PE Visa that is non-renewable.
- Misunderstanding 3: “My Thailand Elite membership offers me a visa validity of 5 years. So, I can stay continuously for 5 years.”
Practically, as a Thai Elite member, you can, of course, stay continuously, i.e., without leave, for 5 years in Thailand. You are granted that privilege, of course, but not without a stay extension.
Most people don’t understand that a visa validity and a permitted length of stay are a separate unit, functioning independently from each other. All Thai Elite programs grant a fundamental visa validity of 5 years but only a stay length of 1 year per entry. If during a certain entry, you want to reside continuously for more than 1 year in Thailand, you must apply for a 1 year stay extension. Don’t panic just yet. The process, fortunately, is quite simple and indeed more a mere formality. Still, a failure to apply for it when you intend to reside longer than that can result in an overstay status and fine.
- Misunderstanding 4: “The membership fee for Elite Family Excursion is for only one member.”
The Thailand Elite program offers a total of seven membership packages. Of all its seven packages, four can be classified as individual membership, and three can be classified as a family membership.
Of all the three family membership options, one option called “Elite Family Excursion” is quite a special one, designed as a couple’s package and thus requiring at least two persons for a successful application. The membership fee is THB 800,000, and it is all-in for both applications not a separate fee for each one.
- Misunderstanding 5: “Anyone can apply for Elite Family Premium.”
The final misunderstanding often occurs with Elite Family Premium, the ultimate family option among all. People often find themselves wanting to invest in this ultimate option only to realize that they are, unfortunately, not qualified without a core applicant.
The option is possible only for a family member of an Elite Ultimate Privilege’s member (20 years’ visa at 2 mil. THB + VAT + annual fees). Thailand Elite Family Premium option cannot be activated without its primary one.
So, not anyone can apply for it, but only family members of an existing member of the Thailand Elite Ultimate Privilege.
Thailand Living: Summary
As you can see, most misunderstandings stem from quite simple and basic details that seem unimportant, but when one misunderstands it, it can cause not simply confusion but disadvantages in your application and experiences as a Thai Elite member.
For more information on the Thailand Elite visa program and membership, please feel free to visit our website. We hope that with our guidance, you can comprehend which Thailand Elite membership suits you best.
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