The ‘EEC Visa’ – Your Gateway to Thailand’s Growth, Offering a 10-Year Visa and a 17% Tax Rate


The 'EEC Visa'

Mrs. Radklao Inthawong Suwankiri, Deputy Spokesperson for the Prime Minister's Office, disclosed that on May 14, 2024, the Cabinet meeting sanctioned the outcomes of the Eastern Development Zone Policy Committee's deliberations. This encompassed deliberations on the special EEC Visa for temporary residents, as well as guidelines for extending benefits to business operators in the Special Economic Promotion Zone, and the development of industrial promotion zones and digital innovation (EECd), as proposed by the Eastern Special Development Zone Policy Committee (EECd).

Regarding the EEC Visa, the types, qualifications, and benefits are as follows. Four categories of individuals are eligible for such visas - those with knowledge and expertise (Specialist “S”), executives (Executive “E”), professionals (Professional “P”), and their spouses and dependents (Other “O”).

 

The Specialist "S" visa category

The Specialist "S" visa category is part of the special EEC program introduced by Thailand. This tailors to individuals with specialized knowledge and expertise in their respective fields. To qualify for the Specialist "S" visa, applicants must meet specific criteria. Including possessing an employment contract with a business operator or another entity requiring their specialized skills. Additionally, applicants must comply with immigration laws and obtain certification of their qualifications from the relevant authorities. Once granted, holders of the Specialist "S" visa enjoy certain privileges, such as the right to reside in Thailand for a specified period, along with benefits like reduced personal income tax rates. This visa category aims to attract skilled professionals to contribute to Thailand's economic development and growth in targeted industries.

 

The Executive "E" visa category

The Executive "E" visa category is part of Thailand's special EEC program. This is designed for executives who hold key positions in businesses operating within the country. To qualify for the Executive "E" visa, individuals must meet specific eligibility criteria, including having an employment contract with a business operator or entity in Thailand that necessitates their executive expertise. Additionally, applicants must comply with immigration regulations and secure certification of their qualifications from the relevant authorities. Once obtained, the Executive "E" visa grants holders certain privileges, such as the right to reside in Thailand for a specified duration, along with potential benefits such as reduced personal income tax rates. This visa category aims to attract top-tier executive talent to contribute to Thailand's economic growth and development, particularly within the targeted industries of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).

 

The Professional "P" visa category

The Professional "P" visa category is part of Thailand's special EEC Visa program aimed at attracting skilled professionals to contribute to the country's economic development, particularly within the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). To qualify for the Professional "P" visa, individuals must meet specific eligibility criteria. Including possessing specialized expertise in their field and having an employment contract with a business operator or entity in Thailand. Additionally, applicants must adhere to immigration regulations and obtain certification of their qualifications from relevant authorities. Once secured, the Professional "P" visa grants holders certain privileges, such as the right to reside in Thailand for a specified period. And potentially benefiting from reduced personal income tax rates. This visa category aims to encourage professionals from various industries to bring their expertise to Thailand. Thereby enhancing the country's competitiveness and fostering innovation and growth in targeted sectors.

 

The "Other" (O) visa category

The "Other" (O) visa category within Thailand's special EEC program is specifically designed for spouses and dependents of individuals holding visas under other categories (such as Specialist "S", Executive "E", or Professional "P").To qualify for the Other "O" visa, individuals must be legally married to a visa holder or be the dependent children of a visa holder. They must also meet immigration requirements and obtain certification of their relationship from the relevant authorities.

Once granted, the Other "O" visa allows spouses and dependents to accompany the primary visa holder to Thailand. They have the right to reside in the country for the same duration as the primary visa holder. And may also be eligible for benefits such as access to healthcare and education. This visa category aims to support family unity and facilitate the integration of spouses and dependents into the local community. While their family member contributes to Thailand's economic development within the EEC.

Eligibility for EEC Visa entails for instance having employment contract with  business operator or another entity requiring their services. And not possessing prohibited characteristics according to immigration law. Applicants must obtain qualification certification from the business operator, among other requirements.

 

Benefits of holding an EEC Visa

Benefits of holding an EEC Visa include the right to enter and stay in the kingdom for a specified period, not exceeding 10 years, aligned with the duration specified in the employment contract. Visa holders can enter and stay in the Kingdom multiple times, with an initial stay of up to 5 years. They can also bring their spouse and dependents as necessary and appropriate. And benefit from a fixed 17 percent reduction in personal income tax.

The Office of the Basic Education Commission highlighted that implementing the EEC Visa and granting benefits in accordance with the Eastern Special Development Zone Act 2018 will yield numerous advantages. These include promoting and supporting business operators, both domestically and internationally, in engaging in special target industries, promoting knowledge transfer, and generating income for the government sector.

 

Foreigners applying for an EEC VisaSeeking to change their type to EEC Visa is subject to a fee of 10,000 baht per person per year. Additionally, applicants for an EEC Work Permit must pay a service fee of 20,000 baht per person per application. Officials anticipate that approximately 149,388 individuals will avail themselves of the EEC Visa within the first decade of its inception.

In adjusting the guidelines for implementing the industrial promotion zone project and digital innovation (EECd project). The EEC has resolved to consider guidelines for providing benefits to business operators in a careful, transparent, and fair manner. In adherence to relevant laws, regulations, and Cabinet resolutions.

Furthermore, the Office of the Energy Regulatory Commission (OERC), The Board of Investment (BOI). And related agencies must establish guidelines to systematically and efficiently link investor information, focusing on providing benefits to investors. This entails considering the integration of existing investor service centers. While prioritizing cost-effectiveness, worthiness, and maximizing benefits.

 

Cradit News: https://www.bangkokbiznews.com/business/economic/1126733

 


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