There are currently few foreigners being allowed back to Thailand. The potentially-favoured groups are mainly permanent residents (with a police red book), diplomats, workers with official documentation and significant medical tourists. But now the Thai government is considering whether to extend the list to those holding the Thai elite privilege card which can be applied for from anywhere in the world.
The elite card offers a 5-20 years, multiple-entry visa in exchange for an initial cash payment of between 500,000 and two million baht plus. It can be for one card holder or can include family members. There are also fast-track privileges at airports to assist prompt entry and departure and various discounts for specified hotels, sports venues, restaurants and retail outlets. However, elite members are not exempt from the 90-day address reporting at an immigration office.
Application clearance can take from two weeks to three months. If the applicant is currently outside Thailand, he or she will collect the visa when arriving at a Thai airport by special arrangement. There are currently about 9,000 elite visa holders worldwide and the number is growing steadily. However, the visa does not allow foreigners to work formally in Thailand for which they would need to apply for a non-immigrant “B” (business) visa and then a work permit issued by the Department of Labour.
A spokesperson for Thailand Privilege Card said, “We are very pleased that current elite visa holders may be given preference as Thailand begins to allow foreigners back.” However, they will still be subject to pre and post coronavirus tests and certification, compulsory 14-days quarantine in a government facility and comprehensive medical insurance worth at least US$100,000.