New Thai Visa Option: Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Visa

EEC Visa Thailand

EEC Visa Thailand

In May 2024, the Thai cabinet approved the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC Visa), a new type of long-term visa option that caters to specialists, executives, professionals, and their dependents. This visa aims to support the development of targeted industries in Thailand such as automation, robotics, aviation, logistics, and biochemicals.

What is the EEC Visa Thailand?

The EEC Visa Thailand was created to attract experts from specific fields and industries to work in Thailand and support the development of their target industry. 

In particular, the visa is designed to bring skilled professionals to the provinces of the Eastern Economic Corridor, a special economic zone on the eastern seaboard of Thailand. Provinces that fall under the EEC are Chachoengsao, Chonburi, and Rayong, which have each been targeted for high-tech and industrial growth. 

EEC Thai Visa Duration and Details

The EEC Thai Visa comes with a 10-year validity period, delivered via a renewable 5-year multiple-entry permit that allows its holder to leave and enter Thailand without the need to apply for a re-entry permit each time. 

However, the length of stay in Thailand cannot exceed the duration of the employment contract, despite its validity. This means that if a holder of a visa is signed to a 1-year contract, their visa and entry permit are voided at the end of the contract, and the holder will need a different visa to stay in Thailand.

The ECC Thai Visa comes in four categories:

  • Specialists (EEC Visa “S”)
  • Executives (EEC Visa “E”)
  • Professionals (EEC Visa “P”)
  • Spouses and Dependents (EEC Visa “O”)

To change to and maintain this visa, applicants will have to pay an annual fee of 10,000 THB, while the application fee for an EEC work permit stands at a fixed one-time payment of 20,000 THB.

Benefits of the Thailand EEC Visa

Along with allowing its holder to remain in Thailand for 10 years, the EEC Visa also grants the following benefits:

  • A flat personal income tax rate of 17%: This is significantly attractive, as Thailand’s progressive income tax rate could go as high as 35%.
  • Expedited work permit processing: Holders will enjoy receiving their work permit sooner and at a reduced price through Thailand’s One-Stop Service Center.
  • Streamlined online reporting: Holders will no longer need to physically be present at the Thai immigration office to do their reporting.
  • Access to fast-track channels at international airports in Thailand: For holders who often travel in and out of Thailand by air, this privilege grants them the best experience at the airport.  

EEC Visa Alternative: LTR Visa

Unlike the EEC Visa Thailand, which is intended only for professionals headed to the EEC, the LTR Visa Thailand is available to professionals working for businesses located anywhere in Thailand. It grants the same 10-year stay in Thailand, a renewable 5-year multiple-entry permit, and similar benefits to the EEC Visa. However, the LTR Visa’s validity is not affected by the employment duration of the holder.

If you want to know more about this long-term visa option or need professional assistance with any visa application in Thailand, contact Siam Legal. Our team of legal professionals and visa consultants will facilitate your visa application and ensure a smooth process with minimal risk of delay and rejection.

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