Families love Thailand. Its low cost of daily living, ancient culture, world-class education, and medical service make it a perfect destination for families wanting extended holidays or looking to move and start a new lifestyle. All foreigners require a visa to enter Thailand long-term, and they can be tricky when organizing an entire family. A Thai Elite Family Alternative visa is the perfect solution for couples, and families with children or elderly parents who want to create a wonderful life for the next 10 years.
There are many long-term visa options for Thailand. But few that easily cater to diverse families. Often, a long-term visa must be organized for each individual, with different requirements and restrictions. These visas need to be renewed every year. This can lead to a lot of paperwork and time.
Thailand Privilege Card Company Limited is a subsidiary of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports. They provide Tourist Visas to foreigners who no longer want to organize short-term visas but are looking for long-term, regular travel or permanent relocation to Thailand.
Thailand Elite visas promote Thailand to affluent families who are searching for an extended stay in the country. It bypasses many restrictions and offers longevity, ease of use, and additional benefits for its members. Thai Elite families feel exclusive in Thailand, and there are multiple family visa choices that suit any personal or financial lifestyle.
People learned during the pandemic that travel and cultural experience can be taken away at any moment. As countries implemented tough travel restrictions, parents couldn’t show their children the larger world. Covid-19 is all some children knew. It was a world of lockdowns and rules that stopped them from just being kids. Restrictions lifted, and travel is possible again, but Covid created a shift in how people think about travel now. People don’t want to feel trapped. Instead of organizing short-term vacations, people are looking at long-term solutions to provide their families with different cultural experiences. The Elite Family Alternative makes this easy for couples and parents who love the Land of Smiles and want to share it with their families for years to come.
Overview of the Elite Family Alternative
The Thai Elite Family Alternative is a 10-year tourist visa for affluent and high-earning foreign couples and families. It opens up Thailand as a frequent holiday destination and allows unlimited entries to Thailand over 10 years for up to a year at a time.
If you are looking to create a new life in Thailand, an Elite Family Alternative permits families to live in Thailand for up to a year before needing to leave the country and re-enter. Children can attend school for the whole year without parents worrying about disruptions from “visa runs” or annual renewals. With a 10-year visa, a child could enter Thailand in Primary school and be accepted to university before the family visa expires.
The Elite Family Alternative is a Tourist Visa, so families are required to leave and re-enter the country, but there is no minimum time members must stay outside the country before returning. There are also no minimum stay restrictions inside the country. It is a great opportunity to introduce your children to other parts of Asia while knowing it will be easy to come home. If you cannot leave the country at the end of the year for some reason, you can contact Thailand Elite Privilege and they will help you extend your stay for another year. This gives you two years of uninterrupted living.
There are a few eligibility requirements for an Elite Family Alternative visa. Members don’t need to prove any income or hold money in a Thai bank account. They do not need to attend an Educational Institution or do volunteer work. There are no age restrictions, and members don’t need to renew their visa each year or deal with immigration interviews.
The Family Alternative visa is available to all immediate family members. Some visit or live with their spouse, and some with their children. Other Family Alternative members want to share a life in Thailand with their retired parents or grandparents. There is no limit to how many people can be part of a Family Alternative visa, and additional applicants receive their visa for a lower fee.
The fee for a 10-year Family Alternative visa is 800,000 Thai Baht for the first applicant. Additional family members can be added to the visa for 700,000 baht/person. The minimum number of applicants required for this visa is 2, so a couple can live in Thailand for over 10 years for as little as 1,500,000 baht. Additional family members receive all the benefits of the visa at a lower cost.
The visas are issued for 5 years at a time. One fee is payable for the full 10 years on approval and there is no annual fee. Because no payment is needed until your visa is approved, there is no financial risk in lodging an application.
When applying for an Elite Family Alternative visa, Immigration will complete a background check on all applicants under due diligence. If potential members do not have a criminal record or outstanding overstay in Thailand, they will be approved. Upon approval, the member pays their visa fee, and their first 5-year visa is issued.
Elite Family Alternative members are treated like VIPs when arriving in Thailand. Immigration formalities and passport processing is expedited on arrival and concierge service is available so travelers are met at the airport and taken to their accommodation by a private driver. Members contact Thai Elite Privilege, provide their arrival date, and the rest is taken care of.
Thailand Elite Privilege wants their visa holders to feel special. Their visas are designed to make life simple. When a foreigner stays in Thailand for more than 3 months, they must report to a local Thai Immigration office every 90 days. All family members must attend, and this can be a nightmare for families with small children or elderly parents. Elite Family members don’t need to present themselves at Immigration. A Thai Elite staff member organizes and represents the family for this immigration formality. There are no long queues or waiting with children and elderly members for Thai Elite visa holders.
Elite Family Alternative members receive many discounts and benefits at partnered shopping outlets, restaurants, and leisure activities in Thailand. Although Thailand is famous for its low cost of living, it can still be expensive to enjoy leisure activities with the kids. To take advantage of these perks, members present their Thai Elite Privilege card at any partner location and receive instant benefits. These benefits can be shared with non-member friends and family who visit.
The Elite Family Alternative is a simple visa solution for families who love Thailand and want to spend the next decade in a beautiful country.
Elite Family Alternative
- 10-year Family Tourist Visa with unlimited entries (2 x 5-year visas)
- Available to all immediate family members
- Up to 1 year stay per arrival
- 1,500,000 Thai Baht for 2 people with no annual fee
- 700,000 Thai Baht for additional family members
- Bank account, driver’s license, and 90-day reporting assistance
- Expedited arrival processing and private transport
- Shopping & leisure benefits
Apply for your Elite Family Alternative Visa
There are many ways to apply for your Family Alternate visa. The easiest way is with a registered agent. Working with an agent, you can apply from within Thailand, or from your home country. The process takes 1-3 months depending on your nationality, so you can plan ahead and have everything ready for when you arrive. The agent will advise what information they need for all family members and submit the application on your behalf. They monitor the progress and keep you updated for your approval.
The advantage of working with a registered agent for families is they handle all the paperwork and can provide additional services to make your transition and time in Thailand easier. They can provide notary services and liaise with prospective schools. They know organizing documents for multiple people can be a nightmare, so your agent provides a one-on-one service from start to finish, and keeps you updated on the progress of your application or any outstanding requirements.
1. Application Submission
The first step is to contact your agent. They will advise which visa best suits your family situation and how to start the process. The agent sends you a questionnaire for each family member 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
It is important to note that each applicant will need a valid passport, including children. All family members must apply at the same time as additional family members cannot be added to an existing visa.
When you return your completed questionnaire, your agent will prefill your Elite Family Alternative application form and email it to you for signing. They will notify you of all documents required, i.e. wedding certificates, civil union certificates, birth certificates, etc. Your agent removes all confusion about what you need to provide.
Your application will include:
- A signed application form
- Colour copy of your passport profile page
- A high-quality passport-sized photo
- Any additional documents for family members
Your agent submits the application on your behalf and will liaise with Thailand Elite Privilege and Immigration. They will be notified if any additional information is needed for approval during the process.
You need to make sure you have 5 years of validity in your passport when applying. If your passport will expire before the end of your 5-year term, a visa will be issued until the expiry date of your current passport. When you receive your new passport, your agent will help make an appointment with the Thai Embassy. You take your existing and new passport to the appointment and a visa sticker will be affixed for the rest of your 5-year term.
2. Background Check
Under due diligence, 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)
The minimum cost for an Elite Family Alternative visa is 1,500,000 Thai Baht. This provides two people unlimited access to Thailand for 10 years. Additional family members are added to the visa for 700,000 Thai Baht/person.
No payment is needed until you are approved. When your visa is approved, you will receive a Welcome Letter from Thailand Elite Privilege. Your agent also receives a copy. The letter outlines the next steps, payment options, and details of the benefits available to you.
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, but if you have a daily transfer limit, you can discuss the situation with your agent.
After receiving the approval and welcome letter, an Elite Family Alternative member has 3 months to pay their visa fee and start their first 5-year 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 a 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 your process and gives you a central point of contact. A good agent will not charge any additional fees for their service.
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 income within Thailand, a person must hold a valid work permit. This permit is not available under a Thai Elite visa. If a person seeks employment or wants to start a business in Thailand, they can contact their Thai Elite agent and discuss avenues for obtaining 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 for people to 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
- Delicious cuisine
- Reasonable transport system and infrastructure
Thailand offers First-Class Medical Care
- Thailand boasts some of the best medical facilities in Asia
- It costs a fraction of health services in Western countries
Thailand offers First-Class Education Facilities
- Thailand has many world-class international primary, secondary and tertiary institutions to offer children and young adults high levels of education at a fraction of the cost you would pay in fees at home.
Thailand is the Prime Travel Destination for SE Asia
- Thai airports provide easy access to many SE Asia destinations using LCC airlines
- Thailand is the perfect base to stretch out and explore the SE Asian region
The Thai Elite Family Alternative visa is for families who have a good idea of what they want for the next decade. Whether it is a beautiful holiday destination year on year, or a new home for their family, a Family Alternate visa opens unique culture to children as they grow. The visa is for those familiar with the wonderful things Thailand offers and looking to their future. As travel mindsets shift, people don’t want to be in a position where they can’t travel. They are moving away from quick getaways and looking longer term. Thai Elite is for those who are starting a family or want to spend extended periods in a beautiful place with their children and parents.