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Thailand is still confident its updated Long-Term Resident (LTR) visa will attract affluent foreigners despite more attractive LTR visa options in other countries. On September 1, Thailand launched a revised LTR visa, joining other nations such as Cambodia, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines, targeting rich foreigners. The Thai government cut the cost of the 10-year LTR visa in half, from 100,000 baht to 50,000 baht, in a bid to attract their four target groups of foreigners: foreign experts, wealthy people, retirees, and those who want to work in Thailand. The government believes the revised LTR visa will attract about 1 […]

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40 minutes ago, Thaiger said:

Thailand is still confident its updated Long-Term Resident (LTR) visa will attract affluent foreigners despite more attractive LTR visa options in other countries.

This "confidence" is misplaced. Very misplaced.

Thailand's rules for a long-term visa are, by an order of magnitude, more difficult than its competitors and this new LTR Visa will be (an)other dud.

Thailand's problem is that the people who make decisions in the country don't actually have to complete the processes themselves, and so putting a huge pile of Bureaucratic crap onto the process is meaningless to them; they have government-funded 'people' for that. This is a direct result of what I call the Military-Bureaucratic Complex (Yes, a similar idea to the Military-Industrial Complex, but actually worse) where decision-makers don't actually function in the real world, but rather in a bureaucratic one where meals are provided, you are taken care of cradle-to-grave, accountability doesn't exist, laws are meaningless, budgets are made to be siphoned, staff are the 'little people' who cheers you on ("Good One, Boss! You're So Funny!"), proper paperwork in triplicate is all that matters and you are not actually responsible for anything whatsoever.

Bureaucracy is a necessary evil, but never should be allowed to govern, as it has been in Thailand.

Until the country has a series of Non-Bureaucrat and/or Non-Military leaders who can rule a bureaucracy rather than be captured by it, the country will continue to slowly decline. And, that decline is like a rock going downhill; it starts slow and gains speed and momentum as it goes.

The LTR composition, roll out, rules & regulations and implementation are a text book example of that sad process.

The Thai people deserve better.

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In a competitive world, the country that offers competitive opportunities wins the game. And Thailand is yet to see that competitive edge for itself. They are seeing everything from the tourism mindset and quick short term benefit. Unless the total process is revamped and redesigned, it would be very challenging for Thailand to achieve what it aims for. Other ASEAN countries are leading the race in this. 

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Yet again they point the loaded gun down and shoot themselves in the foot, they still don't get it and I would say they will ever have the brains to actually come up with something that will be even remotely attractive to foreigners, they can't even look around themselves at other countries to see how ridiculous they are. 555

TIT.

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Although I think the visa should be more attractive I also think people are forgetting that Thailand is the preferred destination over all those countries. By a wide margin when comparing countries 

 

A lof of those countries already offered more attractive expat visas and have never been able to attract as many expats as Thailand does 

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Cutting the registration fee in half wont make a jot difference to those who can meet the rest of the steep criteria. 

Thailand whilst vibrant and beautiful  in places is not a rich mans long term paradise  and Thailand needs to accept this fact

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ive said it before and ill say it again ... give the visa to people earning 2-2500 dollars a month, its enough to live and contribute to the economy .. work from home is dying out you wont get rich people to relocate to thailand ... the phillipines one is the best, but all of these visas are to expensive with to many as the article says "hoops to go through"

There are loads of real digital nomads who just leave and go to another country when their visa expires.  why not keep them with you contributing with annual nomads visas that can be renewed

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They want the money, but they just can’t bring themselves to give up a little control of the foreigners. It’s just a mindset step this country is nowhere near ready to take. Until it is, then it’s the 10-14 day tourists and the mainly retired expats living on a pension and enjoying the cheaper living and the younger women. It’s the same as Thailand 4.0. An aspiration underpinned by nothing. 

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2 hours ago, harry1 said:

why not just treat longterm as residents like any other country

Like I said above your post, the Thai authorities and indeed the Thai population are simply nowhere near ready to make that step. Remember that for the vast majority of foreigners living here, we are not “residents” in Thai law. We may reside long term, but we are not legal residents of Thailand. Most are here on Non Immigrant O visas whose stays are extended on the basis of retirement. We have no more legal rights than the day we got off the plane, even if that was 30 years ago! 

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On 10/15/2022 at 12:33 AM, Soidog said:

Like I said above your post, the Thai authorities and indeed the Thai population are simply nowhere near ready to make that step. Remember that for the vast majority of foreigners living here, we are not “residents” in Thai law. We may reside long term, but we are not legal residents of Thailand. Most are here on Non Immigrant O visas whose stays are extended on the basis of retirement. We have no more legal rights than the day we got off the plane, even if that was 30 years ago! 

But most Thais wouldn't likely qualify for a visa in your country or most other expats' countries in the same circumstances 

 

Most countries don't just allow people to come and live there permanently without financial (work) or family ties 

 

A Thai can't just rock up to England and say "I want to live here, give me a visa"

 

But expats demand that Thailand does the what their own country refuses to do

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4 minutes ago, Marc26 said:

But most Thais wouldn't likely qualify for a visa in your country or most other expats' countries in the same circumstances 

Most countries don't just allow people to come and live there permanently without financial (work) or family ties 

A Thai can't just rock up to England and say "I want to live here, give me a visa"

But expats demand that Thailand does the what their own country refuses to do

No they can’t and for a very important difference. If I can’t take care of myself financially in Thailand, then I starve and die. If a Thai goes to the U.K. and can’t support themselves financially, they will be given a home and enough government handouts to ensure they can live a reasonable life; most likely better than many have back in Thailand. I’m talking about expats who can not only take care of themselves, but in many cases take care of entire families and put some errant Thai man’s kids through college and university. All the time while paying taxes and contributing financially to the country. If a Thai can prove such financial independence then they can settle in the U.K as many do. They own businesses and enjoy a very normal life without 90 day reporting and absurd pictures proving they are married by sitting on beds and standing outside their own home. A chalk and cheese comparison I’m afraid Marc. 

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3 hours ago, Marc26 said:

But expats demand that Thailand does the what their own country refuses to do

Most Countries after a qualifying period grant 'permanent residency'.

For the majority of foreigners in Thailand, you're permitted 'temporary permission of stay' a year at a time.
Even those who gain 'permanent residency' status in Thailand have to apply for a re-entry permit to re-enter Thailand if they want to keep that status. It's not 'permanent residency' as offered by other Countries.

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4 hours ago, Soidog said:

No they can’t and for a very important difference. If I can’t take care of myself financially in Thailand, then I starve and die. If a Thai goes to the U.K. and can’t support themselves financially, they will be given a home and enough government handouts to ensure they can live a reasonable life; most likely better than many have back in Thailand. I’m talking about expats who can not only take care of themselves, but in many cases take care of entire families and put some errant Thai man’s kids through college and university. All the time while paying taxes and contributing financially to the country. If a Thai can prove such financial independence then they can settle in the U.K as many do. They own businesses and enjoy a very normal life without 90 day reporting and absurd pictures proving they are married by sitting on beds and standing outside their own home. A chalk and cheese comparison I’m afraid Marc. 

I live in Canada on a Work Permit 

I can't just decide to live in Canada. 

 

Same with most places around the world 

Some places in Latin America, like Panama,  offer good retirement visas but not all of them

 

Thais with just financial ability as their only quality  can't immigrate to the UK either 

They need to immigrate through certain avenues like education, family ties, etc

 

 

But yes, you are correct, that once they are a landed immigrant they are treated as any citizen 

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1 hour ago, Faz said:

Most Countries after a qualifying period grant 'permanent residency'.

For the majority of foreigners in Thailand, you're permitted 'temporary permission of stay' a year at a time.
Even those who gain 'permanent residency' status in Thailand have to apply for a re-entry permit to re-enter Thailand if they want to keep that status. It's not 'permanent residency' as offered by other Countries.

And most take those temporary visas and then complain when that they aren't treated as residents/citizens 

 

When they knowingly signed up for a temporary visa

 

 

But I do agree with most that Thailand is foolish for not making permanent visas more attractive and easier to obtain 

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22 minutes ago, Marc26 said:

And most take those temporary visas and then complain when that they aren't treated as residents/citizens 

When they knowingly signed up for a temporary visa

Thailand doesn't offer a Visa that offers permanent settlement or residency, unlike other Countries.

In Thailand, the Visa validity and period of stay are different.
The Visa allows you to enter Thailand during its validity, subject to the number of allowed entries.
The period of temporary stay is granted by an Immigration officer either on entry, or by extending that temporary permission of stay at Immigration offices subject to meeting the financial requirements, and only for 1 year at a time.

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10 hours ago, Marc26 said:

I live in Canada on a Work Permit 

I can't just decide to live in Canada. 

Same with most places around the world 

Some places in Latin America, like Panama,  offer good retirement visas but not all of them

Thais with just financial ability as their only quality  can't immigrate to the UK either 

They need to immigrate through certain avenues like education, family ties, etc

But yes, you are correct, that once they are a landed immigrant they are treated as any citizen 

I think the populations of the U.K., US and perhaps Canada show that the ability to gain permanent settled status or even citizenship is light years ahead of Thailand. That’s my central point Marc. We could argue the details of each countries immigration rules, but at the end of the day, the figures speak for themselves.

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On 10/14/2022 at 9:48 AM, Ramanathan.P said:

In a competitive world, the country that offers competitive opportunities wins the game.

To be fair, this isn't as simple as "the best visa wins". There's a variety of other factors that decide where digital nomads (with money) choose to reside- safety, convenience, infrastructure, cost of living, etc. For those with money, there already are easy options if they choose Thailand.

For the $1-2k a month digital nomad crowd under 50 there are no easy options, but it seems like Thailand is not targetting them to begin with. Why should they though? They don't bring much money into Thailand, don't pay taxes for the most part, yet utilize infrastructure and space. Where's the benefit for Thailand?

Don't get me wrong - the visa needs to be revised and leave only the income requirement - it is ridiculous as is - but a mass of low-earning expats isn't necessarily good for Thais OR existing expats. If you think we now have an image problem with some expats misbehaving, this will just increase it exponentially.

As for other countries - Philippines is a dump with poor infrastructure, Singapore and small and expensive, Cambodia is nice but small and apparently less safe than it used to be pre-Covid, etc. Thailand offers the best combination in the region of safety+infrastructure+convenience+reasonable cost of living IMHO.

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2 hours ago, Pinga said:

If you think we now have an image problem with some expats misbehaving, this will just increase it exponentially.

I’m surprised to read that @Pinga  what image problem are you referring to? 

Surely you don’t mean the relatively small crimes that get amplified in the Thai media such as a Canadian skate boarding down a main road? Or a French guy who gets in to a fight with a local. What image problem do expats have in Thailand? 
 

2 hours ago, Pinga said:

They don't bring much money into Thailand, don't pay taxes for the most part, yet utilize infrastructure and space.

They do pay tax on everything they purchase and of course bring in $1.000 to $2,000 a month in to the country. They rent condos and motorcycles and buy food from local restaurants. What is it you expect of people living freely and working in a country?  How much space do they take up? And what wear and tear on the infrastructure do they use and pay for such as broadband and mobile networks? 

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If, and that a big if, Thailand really wants to attract DNs they would do well to look at Portugal's new visa. Far less onerous requirements and an all round better deal. 

Access to the rest of the EU, great climate and wine.  What's not to like. 

The retirement visa is easier than Thailand too!!

https://www.portugal.com/news/portugals-digital-nomad-visa-starts-october-30/

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1 hour ago, TheDirtyDurian said:

If, and that a big if, Thailand really wants to attract DNs they would do well to look at Portugal's new visa. Far less onerous requirements and an all round better deal. 

Access to the rest of the EU, great climate and wine.  What's not to like. 

The retirement visa is easier than Thailand too!!

https://www.portugal.com/news/portugals-digital-nomad-visa-starts-october-30/

That’s an interesting article and shows how it should be done. €2,800 a month and a few company/employment/tax checks and in you go and spend your money in Portugal. Where’s the harm in that? 
 

As I said before. The Thais would love to do this, but they just can’t bring themselves to do so. There is always this nagging doubt that they leave themselves exposed to those pesky Farang.

I always have this vision of when there is a meeting to develop and decide on visa and immigration rules.

First person says, why don’t we just insist on $3,000 a month income and allow them to work here.

Next person. Yes but we also need to make sure they are properly employed.

Next person. Well proper means big company. So has to be stock market registered or with a turn over of $100m a year. 

Next person. Well what if they get sick. They need to have some money stored in a Thai bank. Shall we say ฿2,000,000

And on and on the meeting goes with everyone having to input something, until you end up with Thai immigration policies and visa rules. 

Well done Portugal 👍🏻

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On 10/18/2022 at 6:07 PM, Pinga said:

For the $1-2k a month digital nomad crowd under 50 there are no easy options, but it seems like Thailand is not targetting them to begin with. Why should they though? They don't bring much money into Thailand, don't pay taxes for the most part, yet utilize infrastructure and space. Where's the benefit for Thailand?

 

Actually for the $20k a month DN there is equally nothing. They don't cost the country a cent and just dump disposible income into the economy that's earned overseas.


The current LTR options for remote workers are just terrible and need to be reworked. By rework I mean just loose the must work for 150m company. Most high earning remote workers are all contractors with their own corporate set ups to keep at arms length from the employer and overcome permenant establishement rules.

I agree that begpackers are a waste of time and oxygen though. 

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On 10/18/2022 at 5:07 PM, Soidog said:

Surely you don’t mean the relatively small crimes that get amplified in the Thai media such as a Canadian skate boarding down a main road? Or a French guy who gets in to a fight with a local. What image problem do expats have in Thailand? 

That's exactly what I mean. Every small crime involving a foreigner gets amplified in Thai media. Bring a lot of new expats with low income and the amount of such crimes (and exposure) will increase.

On 10/22/2022 at 6:36 AM, Artemis080 said:

I agree that begpackers are a waste of time and oxygen though. 

Someone trying to squeeze by on $1000 a month in Thailand is not that different from a begpacker IMHO. They're better off going back home and finding a good paying job. I know a guy who did this for years - taught English to Chinese kids online making about $1000/mo - he lived in crappy apartments, cooked his own meals, and couldn't even afford a night out. He would only come out to clubs that were free (to him) - basically if the club paid the taxi and I opened a bottle then he would come, pay nothing, and promise to pay 1000 baht "next time". He even did this on my birthday, and I never saw a single baht from him. After a few times I gave up and stopped inviting him. Oh, and the kicker- after the club closed at 3-4am, he would wait until the sky train starts running at 5:30am because he didn't want to pay for taxi. He was that much of a penny pincher due to his crappy situation. I don't think Thailand would benefit from more people like this.

I do agree the 150m company requirement should be scrapped. It makes zero sense.

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4 minutes ago, Pinga said:

That's exactly what I mean. Every small crime involving a foreigner gets amplified in Thai media. Bring a lot of new expats with low income and the amount of such crimes (and exposure) will increase.

But this new LTR won’t bring in expats on low incomes. Of course if you bring in more people to any place crime will increase. More people means more crime. But the amount of crime committed by expats fades to insignificance compared to local Thais. 

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