A first for Thailand: Buying property with a 20-year visa, or is it a new marketing gimmick?

In what was lauded as the first initiative of its kind in Thailand, Kingdom Property has joined forces with Thailand Elite to offer a 20-year visa for purchases at its Pattaya condominium.

Thailand Elite is 100 percent owned by The Tourism Authority of Thailand, which, in turn, is under the control of the Thai government. According to an article in TTR, “The card project was the brainchild of former Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra. It was launched in 2003 with a target of 1 million members. It failed running up debts and almost exhausted its capital forcing repeated efforts to rework the formula and even suggestions that it should be closed.”

Purchasers at Kingdom Property’s Pattaya Southpoint development will be entitled to a 20-year visa, which amounts to five-year multiple-entry visa that is renewable every four years. The visa will entitle its holders to benefits that include fast-track immigration clearance, assistance with driving licences, discounts and a bilingual helpline.

The visa will come as part of the purchase of a unit at Southpoint and the owner can sell the unit and the visa together, if he or she so wishes. Southpoint Pattaya is a two-tower freehold condominium in Pratumnak. It boasts 655 units ranging in size from 30sqm to 97sqm. Completion will be in the second quarter of 2016.

According to Kingdom Property, “Our entry level is around THB3 million including the visa and there are no annual fees to pay.” 

This sounds too good to be true. There’s a catch, isn’t there? If it’s as straightforward as a THB3 million and 20 years visa, it will solve the visa problem of many foreigners, and no more visa hassle in the next 5 years.

I am not clear if one needs to be Thailand Elite’s member first. Coincidentally, their membership is valid for 20 years, and cardholders will be eligible for a five-year Multiple Entry Visa to Thailand and a one-year stay privilege per visit. If it’s a requirement, then why do now need to buy a property first? Is this just a marketing gimmick to revive the Thai Elite project?

Do we also need to pay the Thailand Elite’s membership first? Remember to ask all the questions and weigh through the options before you sign on any paperworks.

Do take note of Thai Elite’s membership fee and annual fee:

Membership Fee

THB 2,000,000 (two million Baht only) exclusive of value added tax per Membership.

Annual Fee

THB 20,000 (twenty thousand Baht only) exclusive of value added tax per annum.

And the qualifications of the applicant/the Member are:  

The applicant/the Member must have and maintain to have the following qualifications:

  • Being sui juris under Thai law at the age of or over twenty (20) years old;
  • Being allowed to stay in Thailand in accordance with the immigration laws or any related law of Thailand;
  • Holding a foreign passport;
  • Not having been adjudicated bankrupt;
  • Not having been declared as a person of unsound mind, incompetence, or quasi-incompetence; and
  • Not having been sentenced by a judgment to imprisonment in any countries except for an offence committed through negligence

If you are interested, Southpoint Pattaya and Thailand Elite’s website link is:

http://www.southpointpattaya.com/20-year-visa/

http://www.thailandelite.com

This article has pertinent information on Thai Elite’s background:

http://www.ttrweekly.com/site/2014/07/elite-card-sales-flop/

Writer

Travel opens up a whole new world, which is cliche but true. I am a strong advocate for independent and solo travel. I was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia but now live in Bangkok, Thailand, resulted from a chance encounter in 2009 with my why-are-you-Thai bf. I am now split between two countries. One country for my bf, another for the family, for the occasional weekend together.