Thailand’s 10-year visa, currently in the pipeline, will be available to specific nationalities according to the latest update.
Approved in principle by the Thai Cabinet, last Tuesday, full details including the cost and actual introduction date are still pending.
However, according to reliable posts on Facebook the 10-year visa will initially be available to citizens of France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the Unites States.
In Asia, citizens of China, India, Japan and Taiwan will be eligible.
The government spokesperson, earlier in the week, suggested the 10-year visa would replace the current one-year visa. However, based on it being available to specific countries, the one-year visa would most likely remain on the books.
The one-year visa most popular versions are for retirees with a bank guarantee of THB800,000 and a marriage visa with a bank guarantee of THB400,000.
The 10-year visa, based on initial reports, will require a THB3 million guarantee that must remain in the bank for one year.
Applicants who are working must have a monthly salary THB100,000 or more.
The visa will be available only to those 50 years and older. Although approved for 10 years it will be dispensed in two five-year installments and will still require a 90-day check-in at the nearest Immigration Bureau.
Other conditions include compulsory medical insurance cover of at least USD10,000 a year.
The visa will probably be introduced early next year and should appeal to long-stay or retirees.
Thailand hopes the visa will help it to compete with neighbouring Malaysia, now a popular retiree destination. Cambodia is also reviewing its visas to extend longer options for retirees.
Malaysia is recognised for its user-friendly visa rules, particularly for retirees and the provision that long-stay foreigners can buy property.