Thailand has just launched its long-term resident (LTR) visa program. While aimed at highly skilled workers, the program is also expected to attract foreign investors.
In a recent interview with Nikkei Asia, the deputy secretary general of the Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) highlighted that the country is focusing on technology- and knowledge-based industries such as digital, biotechnology, bio-based materials, medical, smart electronics and electric vehicles. To lure investment in these industries, human resources with expertise and skills are key.
With the introduction of LTR visas, which incorporate a series of incentives for highly skilled workers, Thailand aims to attract 1 million people in five years. The visa will be valid for 10 years, and eligible holders will be given a preferential personal income tax rate of 17%, considerably lower than the current tax’s ceiling of 35%.
While employers in Thailand are required to hire four Thai workers per every foreign employee, LTR visa holders are exempted. Small and midsize businesses as well as startups are expected to take advantage of this measure.
As of September 13, Thailand has accepted 400 LTR visa applications. This includes 84 Americans, 52 Chinese, 40 Britons and 22 Germans.
(Sources: Nikkei Asia; Thaiger)