If you are looking to live in Thailand for an extended period of time, the Elite Visa might be a good option. This visa offers a wide range of VIP benefits and can help you avoid the hassles of applying for and renewing your tourist visa.
Depending on the membership you choose, your membership may include access to limousine and airport services, 24/7 concierges, immigration fast track in Bangkok’s main airports, health check and more. There are five,ten and twenty year membership packages with different benefits to suit your needs.
Arrival greeting and golf cart – Once you arrive at the airport, your Thai Elite personal assistant will welcome you, take you to your car and shuttle you around until you get your passport stamped into Thailand. It is only available in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Pattaya, but it can save you a lot of time and energy.
Fast track entry and departure – Instead of having to sit in the regular immigration queue, you can bring one immediate family member with you through the fast-track lane. This saves a lot of time, especially during busy periods when the immigration queue can be long.
Expat assistance – If you are new to the country and need some help, an expat team will be there to provide guidance. They will offer their expertise and resources to ensure you have the best experience in Thailand.
Tax residence – If you are living in Thailand for more than 180 days a year, you can apply to make Thailand your tax residence. This can be a big benefit if you want to take advantage of government or private sector opportunities and be more active in the community.
Affixing the visa – After you have been accepted as a member, you can affix the Elite Visa to your passport using an appointment with a local agent. They should be able to schedule this for you a month in advance, but no less than 5 working days before your preferred date.
How to pay for the Elite Visa – There are two ways to make your payment online or through a local bank account. After making your payment, you will receive a confirmation email and a Thailand Elite representative will contact you to arrange the next step.
You will also need to send the Customer Contact Center (CCC) the first page of your passport to affix your Elite Visa. If you have already been in Thailand, you can also arrange an appointment with a CCC at the immigration office at Suvarnabhumi or Phuket airports to have your Elite Visa affixed.
If you are not going to be in Thailand for a while, the Elite Visa is probably not worth it. The spa, golf, airport transfers and all the other perks are all very nice but you won’t be able to benefit from them unless you are there to use them.