In an effort to lure more highly skilled professionals to Thailand, the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking is reported to have prepared a proposal for five-year visas. The Thailand Development Research Institute is also reported to be involved in the proposal’s development.
The Thai Chamber of Commerce has stated that the proposal would boost the private sector and also help increase the country’s per capita income, as there would be a “trickle-down” effect as skills are transferred to local workers.
Under the proposal, foreigners obtaining such five-year visas would be expected to work in Thailand for at least five years, with the possibility of permanent residency thereafter.
Details of the five-year visa have not been reported, and it is not clear if this would be a new category of visa or possibly a five-year version of the already existing non-immigrant “B” visa used by expat employees in Thailand. It is also not clear how work permit requirements for such visa holders would be impacted. For more details on Thailand’s current visa and work permit schemes, please see our website here.
The topic will be raised at a March 18 session with the government economic committee presided over by current Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha. Watch this space for further updates.