November 30, 2020
Reading Time: 3 min

Investing in real estate in exchange for a residence permit in Thailand: a new opportunity in 2021

The minimum transaction amount is 10 million Thai Baht or $330,000. The government will start issuing a new type of residence permit in Q1 2021.

Elena Ruda
Elena Ruda

Chief Development Officer in Immigrant Invest, lawyer

Residence permit in Thailand for the purchase of property from 10 million Baht

Investing in real estate in exchange for a residence permit in Thailand: a new opportunity in 2021

The publication Bangkok Post informs that the Ministry of Tourism and Sports of Thailand plans to cooperate directly with major developers and real estate agents. Thus, the residence permit will be a free bonus when buying objects.

The investor will need to meet several conditions in order to obtain a residence permit for the purchase of the property. First of all, the value of one or more properties must exceed 10 million Thai Baht. Secondly, all facilities must be ready for use — you cannot buy real estate under construction.

Buyers of expensive real estate will receive a residence permit for 5 years. Such residence permit will be called Elite Visa Flexible One. Its owners will be able to enter Thailand without a visa and live in the country for the duration of the status. Also residence permit for the purchase of real estate will give privileges, for example:

  • free transfer to international airports;

  • accelerated passage of immigration and passport control;

  • free rest in some spa centres and golf clubs in the country.

The residence permit program for the purchase of real estate is designed for 2 years. During this time the government plans to earn about 20 billion Thai Baht, or 665 million dollars. This will support the real estate market of Thailand and help the economy recover from the crisis and the pandemic.

How to obtain a residence permit in Thailand in 2020

Today, investors can not formally apply for a residence permit when buying real estate. To apply for a residence permit, you must separately apply for resident status upon retirement, for employment or under the Thailand Elite Residence Program.

In practice, Thai developers offer foreigners a bonus to apply for a residence permit. The cost of participation in the Thailand Elite Residence Program is between 500,000 and 2 million Thai Baht, or between 16,600 and 66,500 USD. The amount is the application fee. The developer takes care of the payment of the application fee and helps with registration.

As a result, a foreigner can obtain a residence permit together with the real estate for 5, 10 or 20 years. With such a residence permit you can enter the country an unlimited number of times, live in Thailand and enjoy various privileges. Thus, the new offer has no advantages over the current scheme.

Whether buying property will be a new option for the Thailand Elite Residence Programme is not specified.

In which countries it is possible to obtain a residence permit for real estate investments

Wealthy people choose not only the countries of Asia, but also the southern countries of Europe for rest and life in winter. In 2020, several European countries offer residence permits for real estate. Let’s talk about programmes in Greece, Portugal and Malta.

You can get a residence permit in Greece if you buy a property from 250 000 €. In this case, the investor can either buy one or more properties or rent a hotel or apartment in a tourist complex. Another option is to buy a land plot for construction.

Portugal issues a residence permit for the purchase of property with two options. The first and the most demanded one is the purchase of a home or commercial property for the amount from 500 000 €. The second option involves a contribution from € 350,000 to a property of cultural and historical importance. In this case, the investor undertakes to restore such real estate.

A residence permit in Malta assumes the purchase or rental of a home as one of the conditions for obtaining a status. The minimum purchase amount is €220,000 and rents are €8750 per month. The investor must also pay an administrative fee of 5,500 €, obtain health insurance and pay annual Malta income tax.