Bangkok - Ever thought of just staying put on vacation long-term? Thailand could be the answer. It is about to issue 10-year tourist visas for affluent tourists aged at least 50 years old.
The 10-year visa will first be issued for five years, with an option to be renewed for another five, and visa recipients must report themselves to immigration police every 90 days.
“This practice, which follows international standards, is to ensure safety and security for both the tourists and the country,” government spokesperson Sansern Kamkamnerd said, adding the cases where renewals might be declined will be very minimal.
Apart from the age requirement, visa applicants need to have a monthly income of no less than 100 000 baht (about R40 000) or at least 3 million baht (about R1.2-million) in the bank to be maintained for at least one year after being issued the visa.
Applicants must also have health insurance coverage of $1 000 for outpatient care and $10 000 for inpatient care per year.
“We want to ensure their good quality of life and that they will not become a burden to our country,” Sansern said describing the unusual policy as aimed at drawing more tourists into the country and boosting the economy.
No exact date of implementation has been announced by the government, but officials said 10-year visas will soon be in effect, after related laws are amended.