What things come to mind when you think of Thailand? Idyllic islands, lush greenery, massive temples, yummy street food, vibrant nightlife, and amazing wildlife, right? This Southeast Asian country has always been on the bucket list of most travelers from all over the globe. But did you know that apart from tourism, business, education, or work, you can also stay in this lovely country long-term? Excited? Thanks to the Thai Government, now you can turn this dream into reality.
Started two decades ago in 2003, the Thailand Elite Visa is a long-term visa offered to foreign nationals who wish to make this gorgeous country their home for an extended period. Want to learn more about it? Keep reading!
About Thailand Elite Visa
The Thailand Elite Visa is a multiple-entry long-term visa with which you can stay in the country for up to 20 years. You can choose from an assortment of packages ranging from 5 years, 10 years, to 20 years. You can also extend the stay duration by one year for every entry.
It is fully run by Thailand Privilege Card, a state-owned organization falling under the Tourism Authority of Thailand. This program offers a seamless and hassle-free experience by doing away with tiring paperwork, several visa runs, and complex immigration procedures. The application process is simple and worth the money spent on the membership.
Eligibility for a Thailand Elite Visa
Like the Thailand tourist visa or business visa, the Thailand Elite Visa also requires you to fulfill certain eligibility conditions, which are as follows:
- You must have a valid foreign passport from one of the eligible countries.
- You must not have any previous overstay records.
- You must not have any deportation record in any country.
- You must not have filed for bankruptcy at all.
- You need to have a sound mind and be competent.
- You must not belong to any country listed below the UN sanctions. Also, you should not have any criminal records or be sentenced to imprisonment by judgment in any country, excluding for an offense committed by negligence.
- If you are applying for the Elite Ultimate Privilege membership, you should be at least 20 years old.
Note: Certain countries are restricted from applying to the Thailand Elite Visa program. They are:
- Sri Lanka
- North Korea
- Central Africa
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- Republic of the Congo
- Equatorial Guinea
- Sao Tome
- Sierra Leone
Advantages of the Thailand Elite Visa
It also comes with an array of privileges, from special memberships and discounts, airport services and fastrack immigration, limousine transfers, tax exemptions, complimentary memberships to spas and golf courses, optional health insurance, access to exclusive events, banking services, top-notch visa services, tax exemptions, and much more.
Different Membership Packages and Prices for Thailand Elite Visa
The Thailand Elite Visa has six different membership programs with different durations of stay, advantages, family inclusion, special benefits, and more. You can select the type of program that is most suitable for you as follows:
- Elite Easy Access: The Thai Elite Visa has a validity of 5 years and costs 600,000 Thai Baht (THB) with no annual fee. You can upgrade to Elite Superiority Extension or Elite Ultimate Privilege in the future. There is no age restriction to applying for this membership.
- Elite Family Alternative: This membership package has a validity period of 10 years. The visa is valid for 5 years and is renewable for another 5 years. It costs 800,000 THB, with no annual fee for the main applicant. However, there is a fee of 700,000 THB for an additional family member.
- Elite Privilege Access: This membership package is valid for 10 years. The visa is valid for 5 years and is renewable for another 5 years. It costs 1,000,000 THB, and there is no annual fee. There are no age restrictions for this, but for an additional family member, there is a fee of 800,000 THB.
- Elite Superiority Extension: This program offers a membership validity of 20 years and costs 1 million THB without any annual fees. The visa is valid for 5 years, and you can renew it for another 5 years. In simple words, this offers four sets of 5-year multi-entry visas.
- Elite Ultimate Privilege: This package comes with a membership validity of 20 years and is priced at 2.14 million THB. There is also an annual fee of 21,400 THB. This Elite Visa Thailand is valid for five years and can be upgraded for another five years. This also comprises four sets of 5-year multi-entry visas. You must be over 20 years old to apply for this program.
- Elite Family Premium: This membership program applies only to family members of Elite Ultimate Privilege members. You must pay a membership fee of 1 million Thai Baht along with an annual fee of 10,000 Thai Baht. The membership and visa validity will depend on the Elite visa validity and membership of the Elite Ultimate Privilege holder. However, this visa is also renewable after 5 years, which means you get four sets of five-year multi-entry visas.
Required Documents for a Thailand Elite Visa
The supporting documents required may differ based on the package selected and other factors. Usually, the following documents are required to apply for your Thailand Elite Visa:
- A passport that is valid for at least six months.
- A duly filled-out application form with all the correct information.
- A copy of the personal details section of your passport, consisting of your full name, date of birth, address, and so on.
- A high-resolution scanned copy of any valid ID proof
- Proof of relationship for immediate family members if you are including them in the program
- A Personal Data Policy Form
Application Process for a Thailand Elite Visa
Here are all the details on how to apply for the Thailand Elite Visa.
- Choose a membership package: After going through each of the packages thoroughly, select the membership package that is most suitable for you.
- Submit the visa application: Submit your application form along with all the supporting documents on the official Thailand Elite Visa website or through one of the accredited Thailand visa agents.
- Await the approval from Immigration: Wait for a complete background check and approval from the immigration department. This may take anywhere between 4 and 12 weeks, depending on your nationality.
- Pay the membership fees: Once you get approval, you will receive a letter of approval with detailed instructions on how to proceed with payment for the specific membership package. Pay the fees using any accepted mode of payment: cash, credit or debit card, or bank transfer.
- Acceptance of membership: Upon completion of payment, you will receive your Membership ID, a Thailand Elite Card, and information about how to receive the visa.
- Issue of the Thailand Elite Visa: You have a range of options to affix the Thai Elite visa. You can do it at the Thai consulate or embassy in your country. You can also get the visa on arrival in Thailand at Suvarnabhumi Airport, Phuket Airport, or Chiang Mai Airport. If you are already in Thailand, you can collect the visa from the Immigration Bureau in Bangkok with the help of the Thailand Elite office or an accredited agent.
- What is the duration for processing the Thailand Elite Visa?
It generally takes approximately 1 to 3 months to process your Thailand Elite Visa.
- Are there any special benefits to the Thailand Elite Visa?
You can stay for a longer duration in Thailand, up to one year, without exiting the country. The 90-day extension policy is also applicable. The visa has a minimum five-year validity and allows multiple entries. As per Immigration rules, you will have access to a personal assistant who can appear on your behalf for the 90-day report.
- Do I need to maintain a minimum balance of funds in my account to apply for a Thailand Elite Visa?
No, there is no minimum income bracket or balance you need to maintain to apply for this visa. However, you need to be able to pay the membership fee according to the program you have opted for. Also, you must not have filed for bankruptcy at any time in your life.
- What is the minimum passport validity required to apply for the Thailand Elite Visa?
You need to have a minimum of 12 months of validity on your passport with at least 3 blank pages at the time of applying for the Thailand Elite Visa.
- I have a tourist visa for Thailand. Is it possible for me to apply for the Thailand Elite Visa?
Yes, you can easily apply for a Thailand Elite Visa if you have not overstayed your stay in the country.
Living in Thailand is a dream for many, and with the Thailand Elite Visa, it is possible to make this a reality. So, what are you waiting for? Apply for this visa now!