[Thailand] COVID-19 gives expansion opportunity to ‘pay to stay’ visa scheme

18 AUG 2020

An expansion opportunity for Thailand’s 'pay to stay' visa scheme for wealthy foreigners has arisen in the wake of COVID-19. Thailand has the potential to become a haven for affluent expats from Hong KongAustralia and beyond due to the country’s comparative success at containing the coronavirus pandemic. The Thailand Elite Card is a residential-visa programme targetted at rich expatriates, investors and long-stay groups. (Links via original reporting)

On paper, this might appear to be a terrible time for a visa programme. Borders are currently closed and global travel remains at a near standstill. However Thailand Elite is withstanding the COVID-19 crisis. The operator reportedly forecasts 2,288 new enrollees in this financial year, until September, an increase of 6.8 per cent from the previous year. Revenue has risen 7.7 per cent to 1.4 billion baht. South China Morning Post reports further details of the scheme and its growth.

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