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The concept of the investment visa is not new in Thailand.

For example, after the crisis of 1997 an investment visa with a ceiling of not less than 3,000,000 THB of investment was created as an incentive to help Thai developers to sell their stock of condominiums units’ leftover of the crisis to foreign investors. This visa was discontinued in October 2006 once Thai economy picked up.

Note: Discontinued only means that new applications for this particular investment visa were not accepted after the 1st October 2006 but foreign investors who have invested not less than 3,000,000 THB, have entered Thailand and received a permission to stay before the 1st October 2006 and have since then renewed their visas each year without any interruption are still benefiting from this promotion.

Now as a result of Thai political crisis and the world economic crisis Thailand has reintroduced the concept of the investment visa. The only difference with the former investment visa is that the minimum investment ceiling has been increased from 3,000,000 THB to 10,000,000 THB.

Is the new investment visa a good thing?
The new investment visa is very welcome because it permit to fil a gap in Thai visa offer.
Indeed for the past 3 years we did not have a real visa alternative to offer to wealthy foreign citizens below 50 years old that wanted to live in Thailand on a long term basis without working. Now this gap is filled and this is a good news for everyone.
Of course the minimum investment ceiling has been increased a lot (from 3,000,000 THB to 10,000,000 THB) but with new condominium units pricing ranging from 80,000, 100,000, 125,000 and even 350,000 THB per sqm most investors purchasing condominiums or leasing houses in Thailand will fulffil the minimum investment criteria.
And if the condominium you purchase cost less than 10,000,000 THB then you will still have the option to combine two types of investments to reach the ceiling (for example a condominium of 7,000,000 THB and state bonds of 3,000,000 THB).
Conditions to obtain the new investment visa
The foreign investor that wishes to obtain a one year visa investment must:
(1) have been granted a non-immigrant visa (Non Immigrant); and
(2) have evidence of transferring funds into Thailand of no less than Baht 10 million; and
(i) have evidence of investing in the purchase or rental of a condominium unit for a period of no less than 3 years issued by a relevant agency or government, at a purchase or rental price of no less than Baht 10 million;or
(ii) must have evidence of investing in the form of a fixed deposit of no less than Baht 10 million with a bank which is registered in Thailand and has Thai nationals holding more than 50 percent of its shares; or
(iii) must have evidence of investing in the purchase of government or state enterprise bonds of no less than Baht 10 million; or
(iv) must have evidence of making an investment as set out in criteria (3), (4), or (5) with a total value of not less than Baht 10 million.
Note: The only catch is that this promotion only apply to foreign investors that have invested after the 25 November 2008 and onward. Those that have purchased condominium units between the 1st october 2006 and the 25 November 2008 do unfortunately not qualify.

Documents requirements
As always you will need
- Passport or travel document with validity of not less than 6 months;
- Completed visa application form.
- Recent passport-sized photograph (4 x 6 cm) of the applicant taken within the past 6 months.
- Documents to support that you have indeed invested 10,000,000 THB in Thailand (such as Foreign Exchange Transfer Form, Bank Credit Advice, Sale and Purchase Agreement and Title Deed and so on….)
If you fulfill all the conditions mentioned above and if you are able to provide all the documents required you will be able to receive each year a one year extension period for as long as you maintain your investment in Thailand.
Note: passport requirement validity of not less than 6 months is for when you apply for the 90 days Non Immigrant Visa at the Thai Embassy. When you apply for the one year extension period at the Thai Embassy you will need 18 months of validity at least.

The documents listed above are the minimal requirements applicable and the fact that you have provided all the documents requested does not always guarantee a favorable outcome.
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