How do I get a visa or residence permit in Thailand in 2024?

Thailand is interested in foreigners (preferably wealthy and established) arriving and staying in the country for a long time – both just to overwinter and to spend several years in the Kingdom; The government even declared 2024 the year of expat; What immigration programs are working today? What changes have recently occurred in them? How to avoid mistakes when choosing the type of visa and applying? We have prepared a detailed guide.

Как получить визу или ВНЖ Таиланда в 2024 году?

Visa-free travel

Thailand grants visa-free entry to citizens of some countries. The conditions of visa-free travel, firstly, differ for people from different countries, and, secondly, they often change.

So, Ukrainians and Kazakhstanis can stay in the kingdom without a visa for 30 days (until February 29, 2024), and for Belarusians, Turkmens, Azerbaijanis, Tajiks, visa-free travel is not yet provided – you will need a tourist visa (and you will have to go to the consulate in Moscow or Ankara for it).

Usually in the autumn, before the start of the season, the Thai government extends the visa-free period and distributes easy access to its resorts to more countries.

Russians have the right to visa-free entry to Thailand for up to 90 days until March 31, 2024, that is, until the end of the high season. Starting in May, this period will be reduced again to 30 days. The generosity of the kingdom is probably explained by the fact that Russian citizens visit the country especially often (1st place in terms of tourist flow among non-Asian countries and 4th place overall, according to data for January 2024).

Tourist Visa (TR)

On a tourist visa, it is allowed to stay in Pattaya or Phuket for 60 days plus 30 days of extension through the migration office. The total is 90 days.

You can apply for it at the Thai consulate in your country. The cost of a visa is about $ 40. Prolongation will cost another 1,900 baht.

The list of required documents is published on the consulate’s website (it may also differ for citizens of different countries).

Is it possible to stay on the beaches on a tourist visa and continue to bask after the 90 days have expired? You can do it by making a “visa”, that is, by leaving and re-entering the country. The most common options for this maneuver are neighboring Southeast Asian countries: Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia. However, it is, of course, impossible to “banish” indefinitely. Two or three times, no more – otherwise there may be problems with the border service.


Как получить визу или ВНЖ Таиланда в 2024 году?


Tourist Multivisa (METV)

This visa gives you the opportunity to spend 6 months in the Country of Smiles with one departure or 7 months with three departures. Upon arrival, you are stamped for 2 months, then you can extend your stay at the migration office for another month. Then you can leave (through companies specializing in “visarans”) and re-enter for another 60 days, with the possibility of prolongation for a new 30 days (for 1900 baht).

The breakdown for 7 months looks like this: 60 days – “vizaran” – 60 days – “vizaran” – 60 days – extension for another 30 days.

In the case of a multivisa, there is no risk of getting a red stamp in the passport with multiple “visas”, as with similar actions with a regular tourist visa.

You can apply for a multivisa only in your country of citizenship or in a neighboring country (for example, Laos).

Now let’s move on to long-stay visas, which give the right to live in Thailand for a year or more. Such visas also differ into tourist and non-tourist ones.

Thailand Elite Visa

This visa is a tourist visa, and its name speaks for itself. It is designed for wealthy foreigners who want to enjoy all the delights of Thailand without frequent bureaucratic problems. In fact, it means not just the right of entry, but implies membership in a privileged club and the status of a VIP person, a VIP guest.


  • The right to live in the Kingdom from 5 to 20 years (depending on the package)
  • The right to stay in the country as long as you want, as well as to come and leave without restrictions (this is essentially a multivisa).
  • The privilege to receive all public (and not only) services in an expedited manner. For example, you will be promptly opened a bank account, including a foreign currency account, given a local driver’s license, and so on.
  • Round-the-clock support from the call center. They will help you solve any issue!
  • Discounts and bonuses in shops, restaurants, golf clubs. The program has many partners! A system of points that are awarded to participants and can be used to pay for goods and services.
  • Personal meeting in VIP halls of airports, personal, accelerated passage of migration control. 

This type of visa is ideal for those who do not associate their earnings with Thailand, that is, for successful digital nomads or people who receive passive income.

“Thailand Elite” can be of 4 categories.

“Golden visa” for 5 years

Cost: 900,000 baht

An individual visa, it is impossible to attach family members to it.

“Platinum visa” for 10 years

Cost: 1.5 million baht for the main applicant and 1 million baht for each attached family member.

“Diamond visa” for 15 years

Cost: 2.5 million baht for the main applicant and 1.5 million baht for each attached family member

Invitation visa for 20 years

Strictly personalized. The person should be invited by the Thailand Elite program itself.

Cost: 5 million baht for the main applicant and 2 million baht for each attached family member

The prices for participation in the Thailand Elite program increased in January 2024!

What you need to apply for an Elite visa:

  • A copy of the passport in electronic form
  • Completed application form
  • Electronic photo

Important! The passport must be valid for at least 12 months before the expiration date! The passport must have at least 3 blank pages! Because of these, at first glance, little things, refusals happen!

Requirements for the applicant:

  • Age from 20 years old
  • There should be no criminal record
  • Should not be bankrupt
  • There are no mental illnesses
  • There are no problems with the Thai Migration Service!


The whole process takes place remotely.

  1. You send copies of the documents and the completed application form to your immigration agent and pay a deposit of 50,000 baht. If your application is approved, this amount will be included in the cost of the visa. If you refuse, it will be returned to you.
  2. Consideration of the application takes 2-3 months. Next, you will receive information about the approval by e–mail (rarely, about the refusal).
  3. After receiving a positive response, you will arrive in Thailand (by prior arrangement). At the airport, they paste a visa into your passport and hand you a card of a member of the Thailand Elite club.

If the applicant already lives in Thailand, then he is invited to the migration office in Bangkok to apply for a visa. 

Important! The purchase of real estate is not a basis for obtaining a visa. However, some developers are collaborating with the Thailand Elite program. In this case, as a home buyer, you apply for a visa with a significant discount, or its cost is included in the price of the house as a bonus.


They are rare, but they happen. The main reason is any problems with the migration service, the police, the Thai traffic police, including those that have happened to you before. 

Common mistakes:

  • The applicant’s passport expires in less than 12 months
  • There are no 3 blank pages in the passport
  • Incorrect information is indicated. For example, a serious criminal record or bankruptcy is hidden.
  • Errors/typos in the questionnaire. Everything must be double-checked!

Student or study visa

This type of visa can be issued for both an adult and a child. This is a popular way of legalization in Thailand.

For an adult

An adult can obtain a student visa by enrolling, for example, to study English or Thai at a language school that has the appropriate license.

Keep in mind that the immigration police monitors attendance, can arrange checks, so you will not be able to attach to the courses at all for show.

You cannot work in the country on a student visa.

You can open such a visa at the migration office only directly in Thailand.

Visa processing, together with the educational service, will cost about 50,000-65,000 baht.

The visa is granted for 15 months, but it needs to be updated every 3 months.

For a child

A child who goes to school in Thailand is eligible for a student visa. One of the parents can get a Non-O visa with him.

Schools help with obtaining a visa for a student, but there is a requirement for the financial viability of the father or mother. It is necessary that the parent’s account in a Thai bank has a deposit of at least 500,000 baht, placed no later than 3 months before applying for a visa.

Как получить визу или ВНЖ Таиланда в 2024 году?

Pension Visa (O-A)

Suitable if you or your spouse are over 50 years old. It is popular with foreigners!


  • A deposit in a Thai bank in the amount of 0.8 million baht per person (the amount varies depending on the country of origin), placed no later than three months before submitting the application, or the equivalent of this amount in a bank in your country. Alternatively, you can provide a certificate confirming a monthly income of 65,000 baht or more or the equivalent of this amount in any other currency.

For a pension visa, you can apply to the Thai consulate in your country (registration cost: 200 dollars) or to the migration office directly on the spot (registration cost: 2000 baht).

If only one of the spouses has reached retirement age, the second can join the husband or wife’s visa, but then there should be 2 times more funds in the account.

It is prohibited to work in Thailand on a pension visa.

A pension visa is issued for a year, with the possibility of extension.

The cost of registration: 25,000-27,000 baht.

Work visa or Business Visa (Non-B)

In practice, this visa unites 2 categories of applicants: employees and business founders.

For an employee of the company

Finding a job in Thailand is not so easy for a foreigner. The Kingdom is not interested in you competing with the locals for jobs. There is even a list of professions that immigrants are not allowed to engage in.

The regulations regarding illegal activities in the Tae are very strict. Violators face heavy fines and even deportation.

However, if you have an employer from Thailand who invited you, you can get a work visa for 3 months in your country, then a work permit on the spot and then, on its basis, issue a one-year work visa with the right to extend.

For the founder of the company

You can get a business visa by opening a Thai legal entity yourself. To do this, of course, you need to fly to the country, find an experienced lawyer who will help you register a company. This stage, according to rough estimates, will cost 150,000-180,000 baht. The second stage – obtaining a three–month visa and a work permit – costs about 100,000 baht. Renewal once a year – 30,000 baht. The maintenance of the company, provided that only one person is employed, is 120,000 baht. Registration and extension of a family visa for the spouse of the main applicant and children under 20 years of age – 10,000 baht each. By the way, their status will allow them to work in the country.

If we sum up the costs of obtaining and extending a business visa over several years, it turns out that they are comparable to the cost of “Thailand Elite”. At the same time, in terms of simplicity of design, there is little that can compare with the latter. Tip: if there is no goal to do business in Thailand, and the whole question is only legalization, “Thailand Elite” is preferable.  

Important! In general, the attitude of the authorities towards this type of visa has become more biased. This is due to a large number of frauds, when visitors are nominally arranged in Thai legal entities, or even dummy companies are created that sell the employment of foreigners.

Investment Visa (Non-IB)

There is also such a type of visa in Thailand, but the investment thresholds are very impressive, and there are few people willing

How do I get the right to live in the country for investments?

  • To purchase a real estate object in the amount of 10 million baht or issue it under a lease (long-term lease). However, there are restrictions: only apartments in condominiums (not villas) and only in new buildings.
  • In addition to real estate, you can also invest in Thai government bonds or bonds of state-owned companies for the same amount or put money on deposit in a Thai bank (not all banks will work).

An investment visa is issued for a year with the right to extend.

Family members of the main applicant – spouse and children under 20 years of age – receive a family visa. You can work on it.

Long-term visa (Learn Term Visa, LTR)

Foreigners with very high incomes are offered a 10-year special visa. It is provided for 4 categories of foreigners.

“Rich citizens of the world”


  • Own assets worth at least $1 million and have an annual income of at least $80,000 over the past two years.
  • Invest at least $500,000 in Thai government bonds, either foreign direct investment in Thai real estate for this amount is accepted, or a combination of these options.

“Wealthy pensioners”


  • Age from 50 years old
  • Income of at least $80,000 per year. Candidates with incomes between $40,000 and $80,000 per year may also be eligible, subject to investments of $250,000 in Thai government bonds, FDI in Thai real estate, or a combination of these options.

Important! Income from work is not accepted, only passive income. 


For remote employees of well-known foreign companies.


  • Annual income of at least $80,000 over the past two years. Candidates with an annual income of $40,000 to $80,000 may also be eligible if they have a master’s degree or higher, own intellectual property, or have received Series A funding.
  • At least 5 years of experience in their field.
  • The applicant’s employer must be a public company registered on the stock exchange, or a private company operating for at least three years, with a total income of at least $ 150 million over the past three years.

“Highly qualified specialists”

For professionals or experts working in government or commercial institutions in Thailand from among the so-called “target industries”.


  • Annual income of at least $80,000 over the past two years. Candidates with an annual income of $40,000 to $80,000 may also be eligible if they have a master’s degree or higher in science and technology or special knowledge required to work in Thailand.
  • At least 5 years of work experience in their field or have a PhD degree.

Important! There are no minimum income requirements for candidates who are going to work in public higher education institutions, research centers, and specialized training centers.

The requirements for an LTR visa are quite serious. What does it give, besides the right to 10-year residence (with the possibility of extension)? 

  • The right to work in Thailand
  • Benefits when establishing a company: the proportion of hiring employees is not applied, when four Thais need to be employed for one foreigner; income tax is only 17% instead of the standard progressive, reaching 35%.
  • Fast track at airports

Как получить визу или ВНЖ Таиланда в 2024 году?

Smart Visa

This visa is for scientists, technology specialists, senior executives, investors, and entrepreneurs working in one of the target industries.

Important! You can get a smart visa only if you work for a startup based in Thailand, or have organized such a startup yourself.

Which industries are targeted?

  • New generation cars
  • Smart Electronics
  • Medical and wellness tourism
  • Agriculture and biotechnology
  • Food for the future
  • Automation and robotics
  • Aviation and logistics
  • Biofuels and biochemicals
  • Digital technologies
  • Human resource development in science and technology
  • Environmental management and renewable energy

A smart visa is issued for a period of 4 years (with the possibility of extension) both the main applicant and the spouse, as well as children under 20 years of age. Family members over the age of 18 have the right to find a job in the country without obtaining a work permit.

The program provides 4 varieties.

Smart visa “Talent”


  • income of at least 100,000 baht per month or equivalent in another currency
  • an agreement with a Thai legal entity for a period of at least one year
  • experience in science or technology

Smart Investor Visa

It is suitable for investors in business related to IT technologies in target industries. You can participate through venture capital companies.


  • Invest at least 20 million Thai baht in a technology business. Or invest at least 5 million Thai baht in a startup or an incubation/acceleration program in Thailand approved by the relevant agencies.

Smart visa “Top Manager”

  • income of at least 200 thousand baht per month or the equivalent in another currency
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • at least 10 years of experience in the relevant field
  • an employment contract or service agreement with a Thai legal entity for at least a year
  • the status of the Chairman of the Management Board or executive Director in this company

Startup Smart Visa  

This is a visa for those who want to organize or have organized their startup in Thailand in one of the target industries.

Depending on the stage of startup implementation, a visa can be obtained for 6 months, a year or two years.

A 6-month visa is given to foreigners who are just planning to open their own business in Thailand or participate in startup development activities, for example, in startup camps.

To obtain a visa, you need to write a startup business plan and get its approval from the National Innovation Agency of Thailand.

The entrepreneur’s family members are not granted a visa for 6 months.

A one-year smart visa is issued to foreigners who have participated in a startup incubator or similar program and have received funding from the public sector or approval by government-authorized agencies.


  • a deposit of 600,000 baht or the equivalent in another currency, opened no later than three months before applying for a visa.

A two-year visa is issued to foreigners who have already received approval and created a startup in Thailand. At the same time, the applicant must have at least 20% of the shares of the company or he must hold the position of director in it.


  • a deposit of 600 thousand baht or the equivalent in another currency
  • family members need an additional deposit of at least 180,000 baht per person.

Thank you for your help in preparing the material:

Alena Samokhina, lawyer of the Real Estate Gallery in Pattaya and Phuket

Svetlana Kasatkina, Managing Partner of Exotic Property

Denis Babushkin, Head of LETO Real Estate


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