Will Thailand’s New Visa Scheme Improve Its Economy?

Thailand has begun accepting applications for a visa scheme this month targeted at courting wealthy foreigners, but analysts are mixed on whether it could prove to be a “big win” in the country’s efforts to stimulate the economy.

The Long-term Resident (LTR) visa scheme aims to attract 1 million wealthy or talented foreign nationals to Thailand over the next five years to contribute 1 trillion baht (US$27 billion) to the economy.

“This visa will be a big win for Thailand,” said Kashif Ansari, co-founder and CEO of real estate technology firm Juwai IQI Group. “No one will apply for a residence visa anywhere in Asia without first looking at Thailand’s options … We have no doubt Thailand is right for enough applicants to achieve its investment and economic goals.”

Eligible applicants for the wealthy global citizens group need to hold US$1 million in assets, an annual income of at least US$80,000 per year and a minimum US$500,000 investment in Thailand.

Despite regional neighbours competing to lure high-net-worth individuals as part of their post-Covid economic recovery, Thailand’s visa scheme was “in a class of its own” as it was substantially different from those offered by other countries, Juwai group’s Kashif said.

Read more: South China Morning Post

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