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Investing in Thailand: Property for Visa Scheme

Friday 1st April 2016

Written by Roy Weatherby, The Overseas Investor

Thailand has been one of Asia's most prominent property investment markets for several years now, offering strong demand from both local and expat tenants and boasting much lower prices than the likes of Hong Kong. 
The market has endured its share of hardships and has undergone a significant shift since rising to prominence, with the high-end properties that once represented the star investment opportunities now no longer representing the best value for money, but it has certainly endured. International investors have been a very prominent part of the market.
More recently, an exciting new development which will likely serve – and indeed was actively intended – to help attract further international investment has appeared. This takes the form of a “Golden Visa” scheme, the likes of which have proved very successful in other key markets, perhaps most notably in Europe. 
New investors in qualifying Thai properties will receive entitlement to a 20-year multiple-entry visa – or technically the right to receive four five-year visas consecutively.
The visa provides a range of benefits that expatriate property buyers may find attractive. Obviously the main benefit associated with the scheme is the right to remain in Thailand for twenty years. 
This alone is rather attractive, as the visa scheme on offer is rather more accessible and in some ways more flexible than the traditional alternative routes. Previously, the only routes open to foreigners who buy properties in Thailand with the intention of living there have been work visas, retirement visas and the like. 
Obtaining these can often be hard work, with holding onto them for the long-term subject to certain conditions, and which can require significant financial commitments. 
Access to residency visas for a total period of twenty years which come effectively bundled with a property purchase is something that has a lot of potential to represent a powerful incentive to buy. 
Multiple individuals who co-own qualifying purchases may apply for visas at an additional charge, as may those who also want to obtain visas for their children.
Aside from a more accessible and flexible right to remain, the visa scheme offers access to some other advantages. They will have help with obtaining a driving license for use in Thailand and fast-track immigration clearance. 
Buyers of qualifying properties will also receive discounts on some associated costs, and have access to a multi-lingual helpline, offering advice in the languages of many of the most prominent nationalities that buy Thai property, including Japanese, Mandarin and Korean.
Thailand's golden visa scheme, like many similar schemes around the world that have gone before it, is so far proving successful. 
Agents and developers involved in the sale of eligible properties report that they are receiving higher volumes of enquiries, including a number of enquiries that they are able to say have been generated by the scheme.
For more information about property investment in Thailand, please contact the Overseas Investor.

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