Good news at last: Thailand set to relax immigration rules for foreigners
The Thai government is set to revamp its immigration rules – including the 90-day reporting requirement – in a bid to attract more investors and retirees.
According to Bloomberg, the government has set up a task force to make it easier for tourists and long-term expats to stay in Thailand.
“We want to make it easier for foreigners to live and work in Thailand,” Chayotid Kridakorn, 54, a former director of JPMorgan Securities (Thailand), who now heads the new task force, told Bloomberg.
The task force will propose a number of measures to the government to boost investment and tourism.
These include easing immigration rules for visa applications, work permits and 90-day reports.
The Bloomberg article echoes similar proposals first reported last month, in which the Thai government aimed to target so-called wealthy retirees from Scandinavia, Europe and East Asia, including South Korea and Japan, as well as Australia and New Zealand.
The types of foreign retirees targeted will be those with a healthy retirement income, with the ability to spend 200,000 to 300,000 baht per month (approx €5,300 to €7,900 depending on the day’s exchange rate)
The government claims that if it can attract one million pensioners each spending 100,000 baht a month or 1.2 million baht a year, it would generate 1.2 trillion baht a year for the economy.
Meanwhile, a source at the energy ministry who spoke on condition of anonymity told Thaivisa last week that proposals to ease restrictions on foreigners buying property in Thailand are now at an advanced stage.
Some of these proposals include amending the Condominium Act to allow foreigners to buy up to 80% of the units in a condominium complex.
Currently, foreigners can only own 49% of the units in a condominium complex.
The government also wants to encourage foreigners to buy a second home in Thailand.
To do this, it is proposed that foreigners be allowed to buy and own a house in a development valued at 10 million baht, with a plot of land not exceeding 1 Rai (1,600m2)