It is hard to imagine positive outcomes from the recent pandemic, but one effect of Covid-19 is that people now appreciate international travel more. They no longer look at short-term travel but seek long-term solutions for visiting the country they love. Thailand Elite Privilege offers this solution through its Thailand Elite visa scheme. Thailand Privilege Card Company Limited is a subsidiary of the Ministry of Tourism and Sport.
There are many long-term visa options for Thailand. These visas can have age, financial, or educational eligibility requirements. The Thailand Elite visas promote Thailand to affluent visitors who are looking for long-term access to the country. It bypasses many requirements and restrictions to offer longevity, ease of use, and additional benefits for its members. Thai Elite visas offer exclusivity to foreigners for their time in Thailand, and there are multiple visa options to suit any personal or financial lifestyle.
For those who think they want to call Thailand home but want to test the waters, they can enter the Thai Elite program with an Elite Easy Access Visa. This visa is perfect for singles, remote workers, retirees, entrepreneurs, and potential investors who are working on a budget.
Overview of the Elite Easy Access
The Thai Elite Easy Access is a 5-year tourist visa. For those wanting a holiday visa, it allows unlimited entries to Thailand over the 5-year term, so members can visit as often as they want. If you are looking for a living visa, an Elite Easy Access visa allows you to stay in Thailand for up to a year before needing to exit and reenter. There is no minimum time a member must leave, nor any minimum stay requirement. They can return home or visit another country for a day before returning. If your situation does not allow you to exit at the end of a year, you can contact Thailand Elite Privilege and they will help you extend your stay for another year.
Elite Easy Access has few eligibility requirements. A member does not need to prove income or hold money in a Thai bank account. There are no age restrictions for members. Members do not need to complete any immigration interviews or renew their visas annually.
Immigration will complete a background check under due diligence and if a potential member does not have a criminal record or an outstanding overstay in Thailand, they are welcome to apply. Upon approval, the member pays their visa fee, and a visa is issued for 5 years.
An Elite Easy Access holder receives expedited immigration formalities and passport control processing when arriving in Thailand. A concierge service is available and travelers are met at the airport by a private driver to take them to their accommodation. All a member needs to do is advise Thai Elite Privilege of their arrival date.
Thailand Elite Privilege wants its visa holders to feel special. They are VIP visitors in Thailand. When staying for extended periods, foreigners are required to complete “90-day reporting” at a local Thai Immigration Office. Elite Easy Access members will have a Thai Elite staff member organize and represent them for this immigration formality. There are no long queues or waiting for Thai Elite visa holders.
Thai Elite Easy Access members receive discounts and benefits at many shopping outlets, restaurants, and leisure activities throughout Thailand. They can present their Thai Elite Privilege card at any partner location and receive these benefits. The best part is these benefits extend to visiting friends and family.
Elite Easy Access is perfect for those who are “feeling out” a life in Thailand. The visa has a one-time fee of 600,000 baht that is paid on visa approval, so there is no cost to the applicant if their visa is not approved.
If you decide Thailand is going to be home and you want to secure your future, the Elite Easy Access visa can be extended to the 20-year Elite Superiority Extension visa. It is an easy process that gives you a further 15 years of unlimited access to the Land of Smiles. The Elite Superiority Extension will normally cost 1,000,000, but an upgrading Elite Easy Access holder will only pay a balance of 400,000.
Elite Easy Access
- 5-year Tourist Visa with unlimited entries
- Up to 1-year stay per arrival
- 600,000 Thai Baht/person with no annual fee
- Upgrade to 20-year Elite Superiority Extension
- Assistance with bank accounts, licenses & 90-day reporting
- Expedited arrival processing and private transport
- Shopping & leisure benefits
Applying for your Elite Easy Access visa
The easiest way to apply for an Elite Easy Access visa is through one of their registered agents. Working with an agent, you can apply while in Thailand, or from your home country. The process will normally take 1-3 months depending on your nationality, and the agent will advise what information they need in order to submit the application on your behalf.
The advantage to working with a registered agent is they can provide additional services to make your transition and time in Thailand easier. They provide one-on-one service from start to finish and keep you updated on the progress or any outstanding requirements of your application.
1. Application Submission
The first step is to contact your agent. They can advise what visa might best suit you and how to start the process. An agent will send you a questionnaire with the initial information needed. This will include:
- Full name
- Date of Birth
- Passport number and validity dates
- Contact details
- Current visas or information about previous overstays in Thailand
Upon receiving your completed questionnaire, they will prefill your Thai Elite application form and email it to you for signing.
Your application will include:
- A signed application form
- Colour copy of your passport profile page
- A high-quality passport-sized photo
Your agent will submit the signed application on your behalf and liaise with Thailand Elite Privilege and Immigration. They will advise if any additional information is needed for approval.
2. Background Check
Thailand Immigration will conduct a background check for all applicants. This check will include:
- Criminal convictions within Thailand or another country
- Any outstanding overstays in Thailand (where an overstay fee has not been paid)
- If an applicant has any current active visas in Thailand, i.e. Education, Retirement, or Work Visa. Existing visas must be canceled before a Thai Elite Visa can receive final approval.
3. Payment of Membership fee (credit card or bank transfer)
No payment is needed until you receive final approval. When your visa is approved, you will receive a Welcome Letter from Thailand Elite Privilege and your agent. The letter outlines the next steps in starting your visa and the full benefits available to you.
You will also receive a letter with all payment options available. The visa fee can be completed by credit card, international bank transfer, or internal transfer if you already have a Thai bank account. The fee is payable as a single amount upon approval. If you have a daily transfer limit, you can discuss the situation with your agent.
From the time you receive your approval and welcome letter, an Elite Easy Access member has 3 months to pay their visa fee and start their visa term.
4. Issuance of the visa (embassy, airport, or Thai immigration)
There are several options available for affixing your visa to your passport.
- A member can visit the Thai Embassy in their country
- A member can be met at the airport when they arrive in Bangkok, Thailand, and have the visa affixed before completing passport control
- An appointment can be made to visit the Thai Embassy in Bangkok
Working with an agent streamlines the above process and allows a central point of correspondence. There are no additional fees payable when enlisting the service of a good registered agent.
Additional Considerations and Restrictions
When conducting a background check, an applicant must meet the following criteria:
- Not having been sentenced by a judgment to imprisonment in any country except for an offense committed to negligence
- Not having been adjudicated bankrupt
- Not having been declared as a person of unsound mind, incompetence, or quasi-incompetence
Working in Thailand
Thai Elite Visas are classified as Tourist Visa. In order to work or earn an income within Thailand, a person must hold a valid work permit. This permit is not offered under a Thai Elite visa. If a person wants to seek employment or start a business in Thailand, they can contact their Thai Elite agent and discuss avenues of attaining a work permit.
There are some countries that are restricted to apply. Citizens from the countries are not eligible for a Thailand Elite Visa:
- Africa: Central Africa, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Sao Tome, Principe, Sierra Leone, Somalia, and Sudan.
- Middle East: Algeria, Iraq, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Syria, and Yemen
- Asia: North Korea, Afghanistan, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri-Lanka
Why Choose Thailand as Your New Home?
There are many reasons why people holiday or relocate to Thailand.
Thailand Has a Low Cost of Living
- Living outside the city can be done at a very low cost
- It is true that Bangkok & Phuket can be expensive for luxury living
- Food options
- Reasonable transport system
Thailand offers First Class Medical Care
- Thailand boosts some of the best medical facilities in Asia
- It costs a fraction of health services in Western countries
Thailand is the Prime Travel Destination for SE Asia
- Thai airports provide easy access to many SE Asia destinations using LCC airlines
People who have enjoyed Thailand in the past now know what it feels like to be cut off from their favorite destination. The mindset has changed from one of the easy-to-organize getaways to spending extended periods of time in a beautiful place that offers a dream lifestyle for a fraction of the cost. Thai Elite visas allow people to pursue these dreams easily and provide long-term solutions for those who want a second (or first) home.