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Chinese Nationals Represent a Major Area of Growth for the Thailand Elite Visa

With the termination of covid controls it is not just the numbers of Chinese tourists which is exploding.

With the termination of covid controls it is not just the numbers of Chinese tourists which is exploding.  More and more Chinese are seeking long term residency in Thailand. Around 60,000 Chinese are now resident in Thailand, with an even increasing number of Chinese nationals who are already with Thailand Elite Visa membership. What is Driving This Development?

Why are Chinese moving to Thailand?

There are several factors driving this.  First is a level of comfort with Thai culture and vice versa.  Almost constant Chinese immigration to Thailand for a thousand years, due to their common land border, has resulted in an estimated 10 to 14% of the population being of Chinese descent and many aspects of Chinese culture permeate Thai thinking.

Is wealthy Chinese interest in investment particularly in Thai real estate a factor?

Second, Chinese business people can see Thailand’s potential – as an investment, a manufacturing hub and as a consumer market.  The dramatic rise in Chinese purchases of condominiums, in particular, has partly underpinned the recent real estate boom in Bangkok.

Next large Chinese corporations and government organizations send a significant number of staff to Thailand. As well, individual business people and entrepreneurs move to Thailand, finding better business opportunities than in China’s increasingly competitive environment.

Additionally, there are young Chinese – digital nomads, students and workers in call centres, as well as employees of Chinese commercial offshoots or Thai companies with Chinese interests.  Plus, as always investors, both in Thailand and across Indo-China, who choose to make Thailand their base.

What other factors in Thailand interest people seeking long term residence?

When talking of all these groups, we must take into account several other key factors that are less apparent.

Firstly, Thailand’s low cost of living could bring a better lifestyle despite often a lesser salary than they could earn in China.  Apartment rental, in particular, reveals that they can get a much more luxurious apartment in Bangkok than what is obtainable on their budget in a Chinese city.

Many appreciate Thailand’s weather, its relaxed environment, ease of regional travel, and plethora of activities and sightseeing.

What interests them in the Thailand Elite visa?

The result has been a huge uptick in numbers of people applying for the Thailand Elite visa with Chinese nationals being a very large group.

The visa grants residency in the country for a period of 5 up to 20 years, depending on the application, for a membership fee starting at THB 600,000 (USD 17,000 at time of writing). The visa allows multiple entries. The stipulated period is always 5 years.  However, you can renew it when you require it.

For Chinese condo buyers there is now a special version of this visa, called Elite Flexible One.  Purchasers of one or more units totalling THB 10 million in value receive a five-year residency visa at no charge or at a discounted rate.  The usual cost is THB 600,000.

Why do Chinese buy the Thai Elite visa?

All Thai Elite visa holders receive exclusive VIP treatment when entering and leaving Thailand – access to Personal Assistants on arrival and departure; fast Track immigration and passport control; complimentary round-trip limousine transfer (for selected programs); use of the Miracle arrival and departure lounge.

The card also provides discounts at shopping malls, duty free, spas, shopping and at many entertainment venues like golf courses. There is no requirement for health insurance with the Thai Elite Visa.

Are the Chinese customer service staff a popular innovation?

Chinese-speaking customer service staff man the support center, providing a huge perceived advantage. They can act as interpreters or as a concierge service, helping with things like opening Thai bank accounts and foreign currency transfers, drivers licenses and even immigration requirements, as well as business networking & immigration services. The service operates in Mandarin.

Thaielite Express has been an authorized General Sales and Services Agent since 2013. We hope that with our guide, you can better comprehend Thai Elite Visa costs and benefits and find a suitable option. Should you have any questions, however, please do not hesitate to visit our website for more details on Thailand Elite Visa and Membership, or send your questions directly to us via email: bastien@thaielite-express.com. We support English, French, German, Japanese, Turkish, and Chinese languages. We reply within 24 hours.

Walk-in consultancy is welcome at our Bangkok office at 1 Empire Tower, River Wing East, 29th fl., Tower 2, Unit 2904 South Sathorn Road, Yannawa, Sathorn, Bangkok 10120 Thailand, Tel: +66 2 670 1848.

Stay in Thailand long-term.
With a Privilege Entry Visa
that is valid from
5 years up to 20 years.

Stay in Thailand long-term.
With a Privilege Entry Visa
that is valid from
5 years up to 20 years.

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Frequently asked questions

Who is eligible for Thai elite visa?
The applicant/the Member must have and maintain to have the following qualifications: Being allowed to stay in Thailand in accordance with the immigration laws or any related law of Thailand.(no overstay record) Holding foreign passport. Not having been sentenced by a judgment to imprisonment in any countries except for an offense committed through negligence. Not having been adjudicated bankrupt. Not having been declared as a person of unsound mind incompetence, or quasi incompetent.
How long can I stay in Thailand with Elite Visa?
Thailand Elite offer a 5,10 or 20 years membership and ensure the renewal of your visa during the validity of the membership. Each time a member goes through the Thai immigration, he/she will automatically get a one-year visa stamp in his/her passport until expiration of the membership. If the member happens to stay for more than 1-year consecutively in Thailand, then a simple renewal at the immigration office will grant another 1-year visa stamp.
Is Thailand Elite a scam?
The Thailand Elite Visa is a program initiated and approved by the Royal Thai government in 2003. The Thailand Privilege Card Co., Ltd, which runs the Elite Visa program is a fully owned subsidiary of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, under the Ministry of Tourism and Sport. ThaiElite-Express empowered by HLG Law Firm is an authorized sale agent.
Can I work with Thailand Elite?
After becoming an Elite member and obtaining your Thailand Elite Visa, you can apply anytime to a non-immigrant business visa and a work permit allowing you to work in Thailand. You also have the option of applying to the Elite Flexible Plus, invest at least 1 million USD in Thailand either in real estate, a limited or public company, or in stock exchange, and be granted a work permit.
How do I pay for Thailand Elite?
The payment is required only after submission of your application, the immigration background check by the Thai immigration, and receipt of the Approval Letter by email. Applicants could then choose to proceed to their membership fee by local or overseas bank transfer, credit card or depositing money to Thailand Elite bank account directly.
Is the Thailand Elite visa for Digital Nomads?
The Thailand Elite Visa is perfectly suitable for Digital Nomads. As business or retirement visas are not necessary a good match for digital nomads, the Elite Visa answers to all nomads with numerous privileges to cater members’ needs. With very little documentation needed, as well as the flexibility of applying from anywhere, regardless abroad, on arrival, or within Thailand. The process is seamless and fast. Moreover, from a study by The Instant Group, Bangkok has recently been voted as the world’s second-best city to work in as a digital nomad (best city in Asia). This is down to the innumerable benefits in which Bangkok brings, which are but not limited to; Internet broadband speed, culture, scenery, transportation, weather, affordability, cuisine, and more. Having already welcomed 35 million digital nomads from all over the world, in 2021, it’s forecasted that there would be more arrivals to the Land of Smiles with constant technological and infrastructure improvements.
What is the long term visa available in Thailand?
Applying to a Thailand Elite program is a viable and easy solution to stay and live for a long period of time in Thailand. Only Thailand Elite can offer a 5,10 or 20 years membership and ensure the renewal of the visa during the validity of the applicant membership. As of today, all other non-immigrant visa options are limited to a validity period of 1 or 2 years.
Thailand elite vs Retirement Visa
To retire in Thailand, the Elite Visa is a worry-free option compared to the Retirement Visa from the application, during holding period to the renewable. At the application time, for an Elite, the documentation is minimal, and no medical insurance nor proof of funds is required for instance. During the holding period, Elite members enjoy numerous privileges such as an assistance for their 90 days report, a fast track at the airport immigration, the lounge access and airport limousine, assistance in opening a bank account in local or foreign currency, a 24/7 call center and much more. The Elite Visa offers you an easy renewable of the Privilege Entry Visa for the duration of your membership.
What is the long term visa available in Thailand?
Applying to a Thailand Elite program is a viable and easy solution to stay and live for a long period of time in Thailand. Only Thailand Elite can offer a 5,10 or 20 years membership and ensure the renewal of the visa during the validity of the applicant membership. As of today, all other non-immigrant visa options are limited to a validity period of 1 or 2 years.
Is the Thailand Elite Visa legit?
The Thailand Elite Visa is a legal and legit program under Thai law to stay long-term in Thailand. The “Thailand Elite” is operated by Thailand Privilege Card Co., Ltd. It has been initiated in 2003 by the Royal Thai Government itself. The company is fully owned subsidiary of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, under the Ministry of Tourism and Sport.

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