Surge in US and Australian applicants for Thailand’s privilege entry visa programme

By
/ EdgeProp Singapore
|
May 13, 2020 2:52 PM SGT
There has been a surge in the number of US and Australian applications for the Thailand Elite Residence Program since the start of the year, says Henley & Partners, a leading international residence and citizenship advisory firm.
The unique privilege entry visa programme is managed by the Thailand Privilege Card Co, a subsidiary of the Ministry of Tourism and Sport of the Government of Thailand.
The Thailand Elite Residence Program offers successful applicants the opportunity to obtain a privilege entry visa, with the right to live in the country for up to 20 years, with a selection of additional complimentary services and benefits.
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“The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has triggered a significant spike in general interest in investment migration among wealthy individuals and their families, who consider it a unique and powerful hedge against volatility and wider value destruction,” says Dominic Volek, managing partner and head of Southeast Asia at advisory firm Henley & Partners.
According to Henley & Partners, the programme has seen a significant increase in the number of US citizens since the start of the year and the outbreak of Covid-19. The number of applications in the first quarter of this year is already more than 50% of the total US applications for the whole of 2019.
The company says this is due in part to coronavirus-induced travel restrictions, with US citizens currently in Thailand opting to stay and enjoy the benefits of living in Thailand on a more permanent basis. US application numbers from outside the country have also spiked, with 1Q2020 recording a 100% increase in US applicants compared to both 1Q2019 and 4Q2019.
Some applicants consider it a unique and powerful hedge against volatility and wider value destruction, says Henley & Partners. (Picture: Pixabay)
Similarly, there has been a surge in the number of Australian applicants, the company says, citing the country’s recent bush fires and the pandemic as push factors. The total number of Australian applicants in 1Q2020 was more than half the number of Australian applicants for the whole of 2019. There was an increase of 228% in Australian applicants in 1Q2020 when compared to 1Q2019, and 130% when compared to 4Q2019.
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The Thailand Elite Residence Program has more than 8,600 members, and that figure is expected to cross 10,000 this year. It has also attracted wealthy British, French, and Japanese applicants.