Thailand`s LTR Visa explained

What is an LTR Visa

The Long-Term Resident (LTR) Visa is for high-potential foreigners, targeting:

  1. Wealthy “global citizens.”
  2. Wealthy retirees over 50.
  3. Professionals working in Thailand.
  4. Highly skilled professionals.

The LTR Visa holder’s spouse and children under 20 can also be included, up to four family members.

LTR Visa Issuance Statistics

On May 30, 2024, the Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) reported that over 4,000 visas have been issued since the program’s inception.

By country:

  • 🇺🇸 USA: 791
  • 🇷🇺 Russia: 479
  • 🇬🇧 UK: 332
  • 🇨🇳 China: 277
  • 🇩🇪 Germany: 236
  • 🇯🇵 Japan: 207
  • 🇫🇷 France: 198

The program’s website regularly publishes statistics on the submitted applications:

Statistics of LTR Visa 7

Categories and Requirements

Wealthy Global Citizens

  1. Assets worth at least 1 million USD.
  2. Annual income of a minimum of 80,000 USD for the last two years.
  3. Investments in Thai government bonds, Thai real estate, or direct investments in Thailand, totaling at least 500,000 USD.

Note: All three criteria must be fulfilled. Investments in Thailand may count towards the total asset value.

What assets are accepted?

For the Wealthy Global Citizens category, the following assets are accepted:

  • Deposits in banks
  • Ownership of private and commercial real estate and land
  • Shares in privately-owned companies (closely held stocks)
  • Investments in publicly traded stocks and mutual funds
  • Gold held in financial institution accounts

Applicants have the option to declare other assessable assets with proper evidence of ownership and value.

However, the BOI excludes assets like cryptocurrencies, digital tokens, amulets, artwork, designer items, and personal adornments (e.g., watches and jewelry) from consideration.

Required Documents

Wealthy Pensioners

  1. Age 50 or older.
  2. Must have a passive annual income of at least USD 80,000 at the time of visa application.
  3. For incomes between USD 40,000 and USD 80,000, a minimum investment of USD 250,000 in Thai government bonds, real estate, or direct investments in Thailand is required.

Note: Income must be passive. Accepted types include pensions, rental income, dividends, royalties, and interest. ‘Active’ income, like wages or self-employment earnings, is not considered by the Board of Investment (BOI).

Required Documents

Work-from-Thailand Professionals

Income Criteria:

  • Minimum annual income of USD 80,000 in the past two years.
  • Alternatively, for incomes between USD 40,000 and USD 80,000:
  • Must have a master’s degree, intellectual property, or Series A funding.

Employment Criteria:

Must be employed by:

  • A public company listed on any stock exchange, or
  • A private company operational for at least three years with a total revenue of at least USD 150 million over those three years.

Experience Criteria:

  • At least five years of relevant work experience within the past decade.

Required Documents

Highly-skilled Professionals

Income Criteria:

  • A minimum annual income of USD 80,000 for the past two years.
  • Alternatively, for incomes between USD 40,000 and USD 80,000:
  • Must have a master’s degree in science and technology, or specialized expertise relevant to work in Thailand.
  • No income requirement for those employed by Thai government agencies.

Employment and Expertise Criteria:

  • Work in targeted industries.
  • Employment with Thai companies, universities, research centers, specialized training institutions, or Thai government agencies.

Experience Criteria:

  • A minimum of five years of experience in the relevant industry.
  • This experience requirement is waived for:
  • PhD holders in related fields.
  • Applicants working for Thai government agencies.

Targeted industries

At present, the following industries are considered targeted:

  1. Automotive Industry
  2. Electronics Industry
  3. Affluent Tourism Industry
  4. Agriculture, food, and biotechnology industry
  5. Transportation and logistics industry
  6. Automation and robotics industry
  7. Aviation, aerospace, and space industry
  8. Biofuels and bio-chemical industry
  9. Petrochemical and Chemical Industry
  10. Digital industry
  11. Medical industry
  12. National defense industry
  13. Direct and significant supporting industries for the circular economy, e.g. fuel production from wastes or water resource management, etc.
  14. International Business Center (IBC)
  15. Other industries in which the foreign applicants for the qualification endorsement must work with special expertise in one or more of the following areas:
  • Research and development in targeted industries or technologies, such as Biotechnology, Nanotechnology, Advanced Material Technology, Digital Technology
  • Human resource development in science and technology at vocational or higher education levels
  • Application of artificial intelligence, automation, and robotics in business operations
  • Planning and development of digital systems to enhance business productivity and services
  • Financial or Marketing Analyst or Advisory Services.
  • Environmental and energy management
  • Management or Advisory of incubation programs, acceleration programs, innovation, and startup ecosystems
  • Alternative dispute resolution services.
  • Promotion and support of economic development, trade, and investment by foreign chambers of commerce and organizations promoting trade and investment from foreign countries.

Required Documents

Family Members

  1. The spouse and children of an LTR visa holder can be included on the visa, up to a maximum of four family members.
  2. Marriages must be legally registered. Currently, same-sex marriages or partnerships aren’t recognized in Thailand, but this is expected to change with the anticipated introduction of a marriage equity bill.
  3. The LTR Visa is available for children up to the age of 20.

Required Documents

General Requirement for All Applicants

Applicants must have one of the following:

  1. Health insurance with a minimum coverage of $50,000.
  2. Social security benefits that cover medical treatments in Thailand.
  3. A deposit of at least $100,000 (or $25,000 for dependents).

What Property in Thailand is Considered as Investments?

For LTR Visa purposes, recognized investments in Thai property include:

  1. Freehold (Ownership): Condominium units, buildings, or houses. The property must be registered in the applicant’s name.
  2. Leasehold (Rental): Apartments, houses, and land plots. The lease must have at least 10 years remaining, with the applicant as the lessee.

Properties owned by a corporation are not considered as qualifying investments.

Currency Exchange Rates for LTR Visa Purposes

The conversion of income, investments, assets, and deposits from various foreign currencies into US dollars is done using the exchange rates set by the Board of Investment (BOI).

LTR Exchange 1 1
LTR Exchange 2

General Privileges for LTR Visa holders

  • 10-year visa (5+5 years) with renewal potential.
  • Digital work permit and exemption from the four Thai employees per foreigner rule.
  • Annual reporting at a specialized center, avoiding regular 90-day immigration reports.
  • No re-entry permit is required.
  • Fast-track airport services.

Tax Benefits for LTR Visa holders

  • Highly skilled professionals: 17% flat income tax rate, bypassing progressive taxation.
  • Tax exemption on foreign-source income for Wealthy Global Citizens, Wealthy Pensioners, and Professionals working from Thailand.
  • Subject to rules and conditions set by the Revenue Department.

Read further:

Personal Income Tax in Thailand

Implementation of the 17% Tax Benefit

The tax benefit for “Highly Skilled Professionals” visa holders is not automatic. The following procedure must be followed to activate it:

  1. The employer must notify the tax authority of the employee’s entitlement to the benefit.
  2. After submitting the notification, the right to the benefit is activated.
  3. The employer withholds tax from the employee’s salary at the preferential rate of 17%.
  4. The employee must annually submit a tax declaration for this income, in accordance with the law.

Additional Information:

  • The employee must separately declare incomes not related to the LTR scheme.
  • The preferential 17% rate does not apply to incomes earned before notifying the tax authority, nor to incomes not resulting from employment activities.
  • Failure to comply with requirements, such as timely submission of tax declarations, will result in loss of the preferential rate. In such cases, the standard progressive tax scale will apply.

LTR Visa Application Process

To apply for an LTR visa, applicants need to submit a form through the program’s website and attach the required documents. The Board of Investment (BOI) may request additional documents. The request for and submission of additional documents also takes place online through the applicant’s account.

The official processing time for the application is 20 business days from the day all necessary documents are provided. In practice, depending on the situation, the review process may take two to three months, especially if additional documents are needed.

After approval, the applicant has 60 days to schedule an appointment for visa issuance at the “One Stop Service Center” at Chamchuri Square in Bangkok or at Thai embassies/consulates abroad.

The applicant will be able to change the location for receiving the LTR Visa stamp once the application status shows ‘Qualification Approved’. For dependents, the visa issuance place must be the same as that of the main LTR applicant.

The fee for a 10-year multiple-entry visa is 50,000 THB per person if the LTR visa is obtained in Thailand. If the LTR visa is obtained at Thai embassies or consulates abroad, the fees can vary depending on the location. Here are some examples of the fees from various Thai consulates:

  • USA (Washington D.C.): USD 1,600
  • UAE (Dubai): AED 8,000
  • UK (London): GBP 1,500
  • Australia (Sydney): AUD 3,000
  • France (Paris): EUR 1,750
  • Italy (Rome): EUR 1,750
  • Russia (Moscow): USD 2,000
  • Singapore: SGD 2,500
  • India (New Delhi): INR 125,000
  • Japan (Tokyo): JPY 220,000
LTR Timeline jpg

Work Permits for LTR Visa Holders

  1. “Wealthy Global Citizens,” “Wealthy Pensioners,” and their dependents are eligible for work permits after their visas are processed.
  2. For “Highly Skilled Professionals,” work permits are usually issued along with the visa.
  3. “Professionals Working from Thailand” category does not qualify for work permits.
  4. Those employed by a legal entity in Thailand must apply for a work permit right after receiving their LTR visa or before beginning their employment.
  5. The application is submitted via the LTR visa application system, typically processed in 3 to 5 business days, although it may take longer if extra documents are needed.
  6. Upon approval, LTR visa holders can arrange an appointment at the One Stop Service Center for Visa and Work Permit, located in Chamchuri Square, Bangkok. The fee for issuing and annually renewing the work permit is 3,000 baht.
  7. LTR visa holders are allowed to work temporarily in Thailand while their work permit application is under review.
TimeLine Digital Work Permit jpg

If you have any questions about obtaining an LTR visa, please feel free to email me or use the form below.

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