The Complete Guide to the Thailand LTR Visa

The Complete Guide to the Thailand LTR Visa

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The long-term resident visa in Thailand, also known as LTR visa, is a new, 10-year visa offered to investors, retirees, and workers who are eligible to apply for it when it becomes available in September 2022. 

This visa program was created to attract wealthy expats or professional expats to Thailand by making it much easier for them to apply for a long-term visa and at the same time, enjoy tax benefits.

Read this article to know all about the long-term resident visa, including requirements, benefits, and how to apply for it.

As of this writing, the information about the LTR visa is quite limited. We will update this article as soon as more information from official sources become available.

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Benefits

Currently, there are four known benefits to having the LTR visa.

10-Year Visa

The main benefit of the LTR visa is that it is valid for 10 years. Once your application for a visa is approved, you will be able to stay in Thailand for 10 years.

In addition, the visa is renewable and is offered as a multiple-entry visa. This means that you can fly in and out of Thailand at any time.

Once-a-Year Reporting

With other types of visas, you have to do a notification of stay/90-day reporting every 90 days. With an LTR visa, you will only have to report to the immigration once a year.

Dependents 

Similar to many other types of long-term visas in Thailand, an LTR visa will allow you to bring your spouse and children (who are single and under 20 years old) with you.

Note that an LTR visa holder is only allowed to bring in a maximum of four dependents.

Work Permit

With an LTR visa, you will be able to get a work permit, which is now available in digital form. This means you can legally work in Thailand. 

Normally, in order to get a work permit, you need to be employed by a company in Thailand. 

Personal Income Tax

Another benefit is that your personal income tax will be capped at 17% instead of the regular 35%. Please note that only those engaged in high-skilled professions can enjoy this benefit.

Thai-Foreigner Ratio Exemption 

With the exception of companies approved by the Thailand Board of Investment, companies in Thailand must follow the Thai-foreigner ratio when hiring employees, which requires having four Thai employees for every one foreigner. If you have a long-term resident visa, you will be exempted from this rule.

Fast Track Service

Like those who have visas that are processed by the Thailand Board of Investment, LTR visa holders will be allowed to use the fast track lanes at international airports in Thailand.

Who is it for?

The LTR visa is not for everyone. It caters specifically for those who have enough work experience, income, and assets. According to the Board of Investment website, the visa targets “high-potential” expats. 

For example, those who wish to apply for it are required to have a minimum income of $80,000 USD per year.

Basically, there are three groups of individuals who are ideal candidates for the LTR visa: 

  • An investor who wants to invest at least $500,000 USD in Thailand
  • A retiree who wants to get a 10-year visa
  • A professional worker who wants to get a 10-year visa

You can find out more about the requirements below.

Requirements

There are three main requirements to get a long-term resident visa. Note that requirements differ based on the schemes in which you want to apply.

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  • Personal Income – You need to have a minimum annual personal income of $80,000 USD, or $40,000 USD but with additional conditions pertaining to making an extra investment, attaining a high level of education, and having a specific job assignment.
  • Other requirements – These requirements — which refer to having certain work experience, assets, or employment status — may be necessary depending on the scheme you’re applying for.

Schemes

Applications for a long-term resident visa are offered under the following schemes:

Wealthy Global Citizen

The wealthy global citizen scheme is for anyone with assets worth $1,000,000 USD and a minimum personal income of $80,000 USD during the past two years. 

This scheme also requires an investment of at least $500,000 USD in Thailand. Investment can be in the form of government bonds, direct investment, or property in Thailand

Wealthy Pensioner

To apply for the wealthy pensioner scheme, you must be at least 50 years old and have a minimum annual personal income of $80,000 USD. 

Alternatively, your annual personal income must be at least $40,000 USD and you need to invest at least $250,000 USD in Thailand. Investment can be in the form of government bonds, direct investment, or property in Thailand. 

Work-from-Thailand Professional 

This scheme is for anyone who’s working for a company outside of Thailand but wants to work in Thailand. 

To be qualified for this scheme, you need to have a minimum annual income of $80,000 USD during the past two years. Alternatively, your minimum annual income can be $40,000 USD, but you must have at least a master’s degree. 

You also need to have at least a five-year working experience and work in a publicly listed company or a private company that has at least $150 million in revenue during the last three years. 

Highly-Skilled Professional 

This scheme is for anyone who’s working for a company in Thailand

To be qualified for this scheme, you need to have a minimum annual income of $80,000 USD during the past two years. Alternatively, your minimum annual income can be $40,000 USD, but you must have at least a master’s degree in science or technology. Otherwise, you need to prove that you have sufficient working experience in your job assignment. 

You also need to have a five-year working experience and work in companies, training institutions in Thailand, BOI-targeted industries, or Thai government agencies.

How to Apply

You can apply for the LTR visa online. It’s likely that applications will be done via the BOI website. 

The application procedure will be as follows:

  • You submit an online application together with supporting documents such as evidence of funds, education documents, and relevant supporting documents issued by your employer.
  • Once your application is approved, which should be processed within 30 working days, you will receive an endorsement letter.
  • Submit the endorsement letter with your passport to get a LTR visa stamp on your passport within 60 days. 
    • If you are in Thailand, you can get it at your local immigration office.
    • If you are outside of Thailand, you can get it from a Thailand embassy or consulate.

Application Fee

You need to pay 50,000 baht for the 10-year LTR visa. In case you want to get a digital work permit, then it will cost you another 3,000 baht per year. 

LTR Visa vs. Elite Visa

Having either the LTR visa or Elite visa will let you stay long-term in Thailand, but you’re probably wondering which of the two is better.

To help you decide which one to get, here’s a head-to-head comparison:

Cost: The LTR visa charges a lower application fee: 50,000 baht for 10 years. On the other hand, one tier of an Elite visa is going to cost you 1,000,000 baht for a 20-year stay (50,000 baht/year) in Thailand.

Notification of stay and work permit: With an LTR visa, you will only need to do the notification of stay (90-day reporting) once a year, and you can easily get a work permit. By contrast, getting a work permit while on an Elite visa will require you to invest $1,000,000 USD in Thailand.

Ease of application: It’s much easier to apply for the Elite Visa — you can get one as long as you can pay for it. You also don’t need to invest $500,000 USD in Thailand or show financial documents. Moreover, if you don’t work in Thailand, you won’t have to pay certain taxes. Some people will prefer this option as they can save more money with an Elite visa whereas with an LTR visa, they’ll have to pay for taxes.

Read our in-depth article about Elite visa to learn more about it. 

LTR Visa vs. Retirement Visa

It’s easier to get a regular Thailand retirement visa than a long-term resident visa on the pensioner scheme. Also, a retirement visa application requires much less proof of financial resources and health insurance coverage.

That said, it is possible for anyone to get a 10-year renewable visa under the LTR visa program.

LTR Visa vs. Business Visa

The LTR visa is basically an upgraded version of the business visa. Therefore, if you are eligible for the LTR visa, it’s best to go with it. 

Is The LTR Visa Effectively The New Digital Nomad Visa?

Some digital nomads can apply for the LTR visa, but not everyone can apply for it.

For one, you need to have a minimum of $80,000 USD annual income for the past two years. Or, you need to have at least $40,000 USD annual income and you need to have at least a Master’s degree.

But the dealbreaker for digital nomads who may be thinking of getting the LTR visa is that it requires an applicant to have an employer, either from overseas or in Thailand. 

To learn more options, read our guide to visas for Thailand digital nomads

Can You Get Thai Citizenship with the LTR Visa?

Since the LTR visa is considered a resident visa, having it means you can apply for Thailand permanent residence or citizenship after staying in Thailand for at least three to five years. 

When is the LTR Visa Going to be Available?

Starting September 1, 2022, you can apply for the LTR visa online. More information about the visa and an application portal are expected to be on the Thailand Board of Investment website since the BOI manages the visa. 

Now, on to You

We hope that this article answers all your questions about the LTR visa. Please note that the information here is subject to change at any time, but we will update this article as soon as new information becomes available. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below. 

In any case, if you don’t think that the LTR visa is right for you, the closest alternative is the Elite Visa.

Saran Lhawpongwad is a Bangkokian by birth. He loves to share what he learns based on his insights living and running business in Thailand. While not at his desk, he likes to be outdoors exploring the world with his family. You can connect with him on his facebook.