Government House confirms the new Destination Thailand Visa (DTV) will be available by the end of June, despite speculation of delays. This visa allows foreigners to live and work online in Thailand, supporting PM Srettha Thavisin’s vision for economic growth.

Despite rumours and speculation of a delay until later in the year or even next year, Government House on Tuesday confirmed that the new DTV visa will be available at the end of June. Similarly, the government has also pointed out that the new 60-day stamp for visa-exempt tourists will come into force later in June. The Destination Thailand Visa has sparked a lot of interest. In brief, it will allow foreigners in Thailand to live and work online. However, the work must be in relation to commercial interests outside Thailand. The 5-year visa initially allows for 180 days but can be extended for a further 180 days.

Government House spokesman Mr Chai Wacharonke underlined the Prime Minister’s vision for growing the working foreign resident community in Thailand. In short, he said the PM saw this as a way of boosting the economy and competitiveness. At the same time, he insisted the Destination Thailand Visa or DTV visa will be rolled out in June. It comes despite reports of a delay until at least September. (Source: Government House and Bloomberg)

The fee is ฿10,000 and additionally ฿10,000 for the extension. At the same time, reports of a delay should not be dismissed as Thailand’s bureaucracy is notoriously slow to adapt to change.

This can be caused by any conflict in the details of the plan which needs to be referred back for approval.

On Tuesday, Mr Chai emphasised Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s vision of a community of skilled foreign residents in Thailand. In short, it will help boost the economy and competitiveness.

Prime Minister’s Office spokesman Chai Wacharonke underlined the PM’s backing for this overhaul in the immigration system attracting foreign residents

On Tuesday, Government House spokesman Chai Wacharonke briefed reporters on the kingdom’s overhaul of its foreign tourism and immigrant visa programmes.

In short, Mr Chai emphasised Mr Srettha’s goal of attracting foreign talent to live and work in Thailand.

‘He believes in the effort to implement measures to align with current circumstances. It will serve as a tool to put Thailand on the investment map in the long run,’ he explained.

Significantly, the briefing followed a cabinet meeting on May 28th. 

At that meeting, several key decisions were made. However, the confusion which arose this week relates to detailed implementation. Certainly, it is a similar pattern to other government programmes avidly watched by the media.

Confusion this week as many people mistakenly believed the 60-day stamp for visa-exempt countries would apply from June 1st. It will be the end of June

For instance, the cabinet agreed to extend the visa exemption facility for 93 countries from 30 to 60 days.

However, this week, confusion arose as arrivals at Suvarnabhumi Airport only received a 30-day stay. Previously, the government did indicate that it would be the end of June before this measure goes into effect.

Undoubtedly, the top-line announcement last week was the DTV or Destination Thailand Visa.

In short, it appears to provide a visa that will allow foreigners to live and work in Thailand online. Unquestionably, this will be a breakthrough development.

At the same time, there are already noises that the DTV visa may be delayed until September. Indeed, last week, one source put the launch date as June 2025.

Nevertheless, on Tuesday, Mr Chai was adamant that it would be launched by the end of June this year.

Destination Thailand Visa (DTV) is a big deal and game changer for foreigners seeking to relocate to Thailand for a better quality of life in the kingdom

Certainly, we are awaiting firm details, but already we know that it will be for five years and 180 days.

In addition, it can be renewed for a further 180 days. Meanwhile, it will cost ฿10,000 and a further ฿10,000 for an extension.

The visa fits the bill for younger adults seeking to relocate to Thailand.

At length, there is an extensive market for it as large numbers from other countries seek a better quality of life in Thailand. Among the kingdom’s attractions are its balmy weather and lower cost of living.

Visa liberalisation measures unveiled with a DTV visa for living and working online in Thailand legally
UK mother takes her family to live in Thailand to escape her own country’s cost of living crisis

Moreover, the visa makes provisions for spouses and children under 20 years old.

However, the visa holder may not work for a Thai-registered firm or clients.

Notwithstanding this, clarity is required on whether it would allow an online executive working remotely for a foreign firm to live and work in Thailand permanently.

Certainly, this appears feasible based on initial briefings on the basis of a new DTV visa annually and a further extension.

The total fees therefore would be ฿20,000 per annum.

In addition, it is assumed that no work permit will be issued with the visa as the work online will be for foreign entities only.

Chai tells reporters that there are presently 56,000 skilled foreigners living and working in Thailand. 4,000 are Long Term Resident (LTR) visa holders

In the meantime, on Tuesday, Mr Chai told reporters that working visa holders in Thailand were a key priority.

At this time, 56,000 foreigners were working in Thailand with approved visas.

Basically, he said 50,000 of these were approved visa holders under Board of Investment (BOI) schemes. At the same time, there were approximately 4,000 Long-term Resident Visa (LTR) holders.

Previously in February 2022, the Prayut Chan-Ocha government launched the LTR visa. It was the brainchild of former JP Morgan boss Chayotid Kridakon.

The visa was launched in late 2022. However, it did not achieve anything like the 1 million foreigners initially anticipated.

At the same time, the government’s proposed concession on the right to own property for such visa holders was widely rejected politically. 

Indeed, Pheu Thai vehemently opposed it. In addition, the visa was promoted with a low tax regime of 17% and only an annual address reporting requirement. The latter two promises have been kept.

LTR visa aimed at four elite groups. Skilled professionals, wealthy investors, Intellectual property holders and wealthy retirees. It is a 10-year visa

The LTR visa targeted skilled professionals, wealthy retirees, employees of international firms and individuals who hold intellectual property rights. In particular, the visa is for 10 years, five years initially and five years on renewal.

The visa comes with unlimited exit and entrance clearance. The fee was reduced in 2022 to ฿50,000.

That plan envisaged a massive and wealthy foreign community in Thailand. 1 million visa holders were targeted. In effect, generating ฿1 trillion per annum in revenue or 5-6% of the Thai economy.

Nevertheless, in February 2022, applicants were promised a zero per cent tax rate on offshore income and assets. This would be in contrast with this week’s announcement by the government.

Thai taxman now plans to tax foreigners on all  income whether it is remitted to the kingdom or not

The Revenue Department has announced that all foreign residents will be subject to complete tax reporting in Thailand. This includes all offshore income in other jurisdictions.

Certainly, this is based on global governance principles promoted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

In eighteen months 4,000 10 year Long Term (LTR) visas  have been taken up from countries across the world including the United States, Russia and Britain

In the meantime, Mr Chai this week revealed that there are 4,000 LTR visa holders.

The visa was launched in late 2022. These include people from the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, China, Germany, Japan and France.

Additionally, he pointed to 2,170 smart visa holders linked to S Curve industries, which only comprise 2% of Thailand’s industrial base.

These visa holders are primarily from the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Germany.

Furthermore, last week’s cabinet decision and this week’s briefing indicated a significant reorganisation of existing visa structures.

Streamlining of the retirement visa regime even as abuses emerge in relation to the B-class business visa with last week’s huge police operation in Phuket

At this time, most foreign visas in Thailand are either O-A or O-type retirement visas. In short, this visa system is being streamlined.

Massive CIB-led Phuket crackdown sweeps away vast Russian business network with ฿1.5 billion seized

This will come into effect later in the year. It will also see lower health insurance requirements as announced.

Essentially, this reduces the ฿3 million coverage requirement to ฿400,000 for inpatient treatment and ฿40,000 for outpatient treatment.

The announcement last week came a day before a huge sweep by the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) in Phuket. In short, this saw nearly 100 foreigners arrested.

That investigation unearthed massive abuse of the B class business visa which allowed foreigners to hold work permits with both Thai and foreign-owned firms.

On Tuesday, however, Mr Chai emphasised the positive. In effect, more skilled and expert foreign workers based in Thailand will promote economic competitiveness.

He emphasised that the Immigration Bureau and the Ministry of Labour are working closely to improve the system to attract more foreign nationals to come and live in the country. At the same time, they will also certainly be expected to become part of the country’s tax base.

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