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New measures to lure long-term wealthy foreigners

The cabinet has approved measures to attract ‘high potential’ foreigners to stay in Thailand long term, with a five-year target of one million wealthy new residents.

Government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said on Tuesday that the cabinet approved in principle economic stimulus and investment measures to draw foreigners with high potential to stay in the country long term.

The plan aimed to draw four groups – wealthy global citizens, pensioners from overseas, those wanting to work in Thailand and highly skilled professionals.

Long-term visas would be issued for high-potential foreigners, who would be granted exemption and benefits during their stay, such as not having to do 90-day reporting. 

There would be amendments to laws and regulations relating to land holding, work management and permission for foreign nationals to work for employers in and outside the country, exemption from regulations on employment of foreign and Thai employees, tax exemption and other benefits, the spokesman said.

The cabinet had assigned the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) to consult with the Board of Investment Office, the Interior Ministry, the Labour Ministry, the Royal Thai Police Office and the Finance Ministry on relevant issues.

The NESDC expected that measures implemented over five fiscal years (2022 to 2026) would draw one million foreigners with spending of around one trillion baht.

Investment would be increased by 800 billion baht plus 270 billion baht in additional tax revenue, according to Mr Thanakorn. 

The cabinet also approved the NESDC’s proposal to evaluate the plan every five years,  including tax benefits and land holdings that must expire after the five years.

Other measures deemed beneficial to the country would also be evaluated and could be extended, as deemed suitable, the spokesman said.

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