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My Elite Visa Application (Day 1 until the End)


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I just went through this too.  I went with the 500k visa.  They offered me an extra six months for free because of the virus, so 5.5 years.  I didn't need any extra documents.  It took me a couple hours to fill out the application and take photos of my passport.  I applied on April 25th, approved on May 19th.  I waiting until the last day the free six month promotion was valid to pay (June 30th).  I paid with transferwise which was cheap and easy.  Good exchange rate and low fee.

Right now Elite visas are not eligible to enter the country, but I received this:
"We would like to inform you that the government, through the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), has approved our principle to give permission to Elite Visa Holders to enter Thailand.

 
However, we must inform you that the principle is just the first step of the overall process, as it has only been approved, but it is not immediately effective."

There isn't any solid info yet, but the rumor is September 1st.  At this time all the quarantine, covid insurance, and flight difficulties are still in place.  Unless that changes it will probably cost about 70,000 baht to enter the country including flight, insurance, and quarantine.  It will be tough to get all the paperwork for that together too.
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I got Elite 2 years ago after years of short term visas, and seeing my mate get denied at the airport with a valid tourist(3mo) visa.  I had done the math and for myself flying in/out + hotels for vis

Relax.  Follow the story. Please do not jump ahead.  I am still describing my Retirement Visa experience as it plays into my Elite Visa application. 

So now it is a waiting game.  I am in step #2 on the chart.   I will update this as I receive any information or have any stumbling blocks. I tried to be thorough so there would be no questi

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I have a friend who signed a contract to teach in BKK for a year back in December 2019 and quit her job in April...the company said that they would get her on the first flight available from London but she is still waiting.
She had to spend all morning yesterday, being messed around after she got informed that she would fly today but in the end there were no seats left so it is next Friday now (*maybe*).
So really is a shit show even for people allowed in the country...currently the Elite visas are not.
https://www.caat.or.th/en/archives/51895
I read that CAAT had asked foreign airlines about coming back to Thailand and most said no for the next few months as they just don't have the capacity currently with all the mothballed pilots and planes.
So the only flights into Thailand are with Thai Air and some SA members which makes free seats a big issue which has been the case for my friend.
 
One good bit of news is that CAAT is trialing the 90 mins Covid test machines at an airport (guessing BKK) and you have to pay (if farang) but if you pass then maybe you don't have to quarantine for 14 days (conflicting reports on this at the mo) which would be cool.
https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1945580/suvarnabhumi-gets-90-minute-test-lab

My friend did not have to show proof of a negative test to fly. However she did have to quarantine for 14 days despite a negative test on arrival at BKK.


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Great thread, thanks LASN for sharing.

Like many others I considered this option for a return trip this year even though it doesn't really suit my current travel timelines (Quarantine of 14 days on arrival is the time critical issue for me) but for retirees etc. who 'need' to get back and will stay for a considerable time it is well worth looking into.

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2 hours ago, Ed Setra said:

Great thread, thanks LASN for sharing.

Like many others I considered this option for a return trip this year even though it doesn't really suit my current travel timelines (Quarantine of 14 days on arrival is the time critical issue for me) but for retirees etc. who 'need' to get back and will stay for a considerable time it is well worth looking into.

Reading some of the replies I'm thinking for the possible 2021 reopen of Thighland(thanks 45)that short term visitors are going to be detered from visiting as their will be a mandatory 14 day quarantine for most visitors for a while. Suits me as I plan on staying for at least a month my next trip.  

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shanleyesq11

thanks to everyone writing; this seems to be the only place to get accurate information.

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There are a number of threads in the COVID-19 forum for discussing travel availability and if/when tourists will be permitted back into Thailand.

Obviously, there will be some minimal overlap with the current pandemic issues (such as when Elite Visa holders may be permitted back), but please try to keep this thread on point, and let the OP fill us in on his progress.

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On 05/08/2020 at 12:49, KhaoKaiJiao said:

I got Elite 2 years ago after years of short term visas, and seeing my mate get denied at the airport with a valid tourist(3mo) visa.  I had done the math and for myself flying in/out + hotels for visa runs every 2-3months, plus the visa fees themselves were close to 60k a year.  So basically for 40k more I could stay worry free for the next 5 years, not waste time traveling somewhere shitty and at immigration,  and the peace of mind was worth it. 

especially after long flights back to bangkok, getting picked up at the gate in the golf cart, whisked thru immigration,  having someone else carry my bags while a lovely young lady with good english escorts me to a waiting Mercedes is very nice. 

 

If you have the money and value your time I think its worth it.  last year I had an investment opportunity and wished i had that 500k back....however this year I'm so glad I have it as i see fellow expats stress about the visa extension deadline.  btw I bought from the official site, the one with a office on sathorn road in Bangkok. Found their customer service to be some of the best in Thailand. 

This is a very interesting thread indeed. am however qurious. Do you still have to report your address at regular intervals . What about if you travel inside Thailand. And the big one: are there no visa renewal papers handed in every three months?

 

ahh never mind, after reading further post I see that you have already answered 

Edited by w1lly
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49 minutes ago, w1lly said:

This is a very interesting thread indeed. am however qurious. Do you still have to report your address at regular intervals . What about if you travel inside Thailand. And the big one: are there no visa renewal papers handed in every three months?

 

ahh never mind, after reading further post I see that you have already answered 

I will repeat it so no one has to scroll back to search.

Yes, you must do the 90 day reporting, however you can do it yourself or have the Thailand Elite representative do it for you.  You have to just drop off passport to them. 

After the first initial report, you can do any of the two or attempt to report online as well.

The TM30 reporting of where you are staying is your host's responsibility. 

This is why when you check into a hotel, they ask to see your "departure card."

Here is a link about the TM30 Notification.

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, LASportsNut said:

I will repeat it so no one has to scroll back to search.

Yes, you must do the 90 day reporting, however you can do it yourself or have the Thailand Elite representative do it for you.  You have to just drop off passport to them. 

After the first initial report, you can do any of the two or attempt to report online as well.

The TM30 reporting of where you are staying is your host's responsibility. 

This is why when you check into a hotel, they ask to see your "departure card."

Here is a link about the TM30 Notification.

 

 

 

I may be wrong, as I haven’t seriously looked into Thai Elite, but I thought they only took care of the 90-day reports if you fall within the responsibility of the Bangkok Immigration Office?

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8 minutes ago, davidge said:

I may be wrong, as I haven’t seriously looked into Thai Elite, but I thought they only took care of the 90-day reports if you fall within the responsibility of the Bangkok Immigration Office?

Thailand Elite list the following locations available for this service:

  • Bangkok
  • Chiang Mai
  • Pattaya
  • Phuket
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8 minutes ago, LASportsNut said:

Thailand Elite list the following locations available for this service:

  • Bangkok
  • Chiang Mai
  • Pattaya
  • Phuket

I see the website says ‘only for new members since 2013’ . I probably had the (very) old system in mind. :) I don’t think they had the agents in the 3 other places then.

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Thank you for your testimony Lasportsnuts. I will read this thread with great interest because I am more or less in the same situation as you and I came to the same conclusions as you.

However, I don’t submit my application for obtaining an « Elite easy access membership » yet, because, if the principle of welcoming Elite visa holders is now accepted by the Thai authorities, the concrete modalities of this welcoming are still in negociations. I read also that, in a first stage, only 200 Elite visa holders will be granted the right to go in Thailand.

https://www.thailandelitevisas.com/news-events-post/thailand-elite-now-in-talks-with-government-to-finalize-re-entry-permission-for-members/?fbclid=IwAR2_7w7HXja-IMAC4SBrjW_fs3b9TZ4ZtLDq5AJe7-layIpo2nHZYG-940I

So, with the mysteries of thai bureaucratic system, the strong fear of letting a tourist bring again the COVID-19 in Thailand, the rebound of the epidemic in many countries, it can take a lot of time before the borders are opened for Thai Elite visa holders. If the numbers of Elite visa holders authorized to go in Thailand will be limited, how the lucky ones will be selected ? Only the holders of membership validity of more than 5 years ? Only the holders who have already a visa affix in their passport (in this hypothesis, the new members are excluded because I understand that the new Elite visa will be affix in your passport at customs when you land in Thailand). To my knowledge, there is, now, no answer to these questions.

If Thai Elite visa holders are finally accepted in Thailand, I understand that they will must obtain a Certificate of entry (COE) by their thai embassy. And it can be not easy and long because of the administrative investigation delays, because of the disponibility of the flights and of the ASQ (Alternative State Quarantine). During this step, the thai embassy may ask you the proof of medical insurance which is not necessary to obtain the Thai Elite visa.

Nevertheless, I think the Elite visa is the best way to bring me in Thailand as soon as possible...

From my understanding, the Elite easy access membership, if subscribe before the 30 september 2020, will enable me to stay in Thailand 5 years and six months. If I want to stay in Thailand more than one year without leaving the Kingdom, I will have to go to immigration, and, in order to be able to stay one more year, I will have to pay 1 900 baths. So, if you stay in Thailand during 5 years and 6 months, the right to stay during this period will cost you 511 400 baths. That being said, I hope you are right and that I am wrong (lol)...

Thank you again to take the time to give us your informations.

 

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14 minutes ago, Pirlouis said:

Thank you for your testimony Lasportsnut. I will read this thread with great interest because I am more or less in the same situation as you and I came to the same conclusions as you.

However, I don’t submit my application for obtaining an « Elite easy access membership » yet, because, if the principle of welcoming Elite visa holders is now accepted by the Thai authorities, the concrete modalities of this welcoming are still in negotiations. I read also that, in a first stage, only 200 Elite visa holders will be granted the right to go in Thailand.

https://www.thailandelitevisas.com/news-events-post/thailand-elite-now-in-talks-with-government-to-finalize-re-entry-permission-for-members/?fbclid=IwAR2_7w7HXja-IMAC4SBrjW_fs3b9TZ4ZtLDq5AJe7-layIpo2nHZYG-940I

So, with the mysteries of thai bureaucratic system, the strong fear of letting a tourist bring again the COVID-19 in Thailand, the rebound of the epidemic in many countries, it can take a lot of time before the borders are opened for Thai Elite visa holders. If the numbers of Elite visa holders authorized to go in Thailand will be limited, how the lucky ones will be selected ? Only the holders of membership validity of more than 5 years ? Only the holders who have already a visa affix in their passport (in this hypothesis, the new members are excluded because I understand that the new Elite visa will be affix in your passport at customs when you land in Thailand). To my knowledge, there is, now, no answer to these questions.

If Thai Elite visa holders are finally accepted in Thailand, I understand that they will must obtain a Certificate of entry (COE) by their thai embassy. And it can be not easy and long because of the administrative investigation delays, because of the disponibility of the flights and of the ASQ (Alternative State Quarantine). During this step, the thai embassy may ask you the proof of medical insurance which is not necessary to obtain the Thai Elite visa.

Nevertheless, I think the Elite visa is the best way to bring me in Thailand as soon as possible...

From my understanding, the Elite easy access membership, if subscribe before the 30 september 2020, will enable me to stay in Thailand 5 years and six months. If I want to stay in Thailand more than one year without leaving the Kingdom, I will have to go to immigration, and, in order to be able to stay one more year, I will have to pay 1 900 baths. So, if you stay in Thailand during 5 years and 6 months, the right to stay during this period will cost you 511 400 baths. That being said, I hope you are right and that I am wrong (lol)...

Thank you again to take the time to give us your informations.

 

Thank you for the feedback and added information.

I was recently sent a PM from an Elite Visa holder from my hometown.  He mentioned the 200 limit also. When I heard it, I was thinking he must mean from aach Embassy, as 200 is such a low number.

When I go to your link, the one thing that jumps out to me is the following:

"It has been previously reported that only 200 members of the program will initially be allowed to visit Thailand again once borders are reopened.

However, the correspondence with the company indicated that the government as well as the company are still in negotiations as to the actual number of members to be allowed in the first batch of visitors."

So while you are correct, it appears they are in the middle of upping the number. 

I read Thailand is trying to jumpstart their travel economy by attempting to cater to the wealthy Asians. 

However I wonder if would include Elite Visa or not. 

I would be very interested to see the statistical breakdown of the 11,000 members, including:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Country of Origin
Edited by LASportsNut
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Another interesting article regarding TE information: HERE

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13 hours ago, davidge said:

I see the website says ‘only for new members since 2013’ . I probably had the (very) old system in mind. :) I don’t think they had the agents in the 3 other places then.

Representative Office in Pattaya

Source : https://www.thailandelite.com/faqs?locate=en

170700113_representativeofficeinpattaya.png.44140406e577a5a4b901c53b0d46b750.png

 

 

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14 hours ago, LASportsNut said:

I would be very interested to see the statistical breakdown of the 11,000 members, including:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Country of Origin

:Crazy1:

Source 1 : https://www.thailandelite.com/tpc-news/detail/72?locate=en

Source 2 : https://www.imidaily.com/asia-pacific/as-chinese-warm-up-to-thai-elite-visa-program-is-set-for-record-year/

1606766548_TheThailandeEliteCardMembersinformation.png.ff2defd04a2855d4975f752e78e25ff7.png

IM1.png.92db2ca4dd68ee75c211de9020b45aa4.png

 

IM2.png.371f32f1d7bbba9d8668f831d6a9e0c0.png

 

IM3.png.555be86febfd4e9634ee45d6232e4fa5.png

 

IM4.png.b3c2b297a6d7a75555527724c660c907.png

 

IM5.png.641dee5a3680b1a0484893f369252307.png

 

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LASN

Thanks for starting and updating this thread!

I had plans to move to Thailand next year, and found myself thinking about the Elite Visa as a way to at least jump to the head of the queue. I will be following with interest.

It appears, based on flight aware data, that qatar is operating several flights a day from Doha to BKK, along with their LAX-DOH route. So if, and when, you get cleared to go, I think that should be an option for you.

Keep us posted. I'm watching with interest!

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WRT gov't allowing 200 elite visa holders in....

I can help but wonder how many are actually out of the country now, and wanting to come in. It looks like there are about 4k issued overall. I recall that when Taksin started the program, they gave away 600-700 to a bunch of corporate bigwigs and diplomats, who likely rarely if ever use them. So if there are 3500 active users, how many are outside and want to come back? 200-300 doesn't seem like a bad guesstimate. I would suspect that most of the active users are already there.

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8 minutes ago, basket case said:

LASN

Thanks for starting and updating this thread!

I had plans to move to Thailand next year, and found myself thinking about the Elite Visa as a way to at least jump to the head of the queue. I will be following with interest.

It appears, based on flight aware data, that qatar is operating several flights a day from Doha to BKK, along with their LAX-DOH route. So if, and when, you get cleared to go, I think that should be an option for you.

Keep us posted. I'm watching with interest!

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
 

Thanks for the feedback. 

Yes, I know there are a lot of flights available for booking. 

The question is if they will still be available and not canceled.

2 minutes ago, basket case said:

WRT gov't allowing 200 elite visa holders in....

I can help but wonder how many are actually out of the country now, and wanting to come in. It looks like there are about 4k issued overall. I recall that when Taksin started the program, they gave away 600-700 to a bunch of corporate bigwigs and diplomats, who likely rarely if ever use them. So if there are 3500 active users, how many are outside and want to come back? 200-300 doesn't seem like a bad guesstimate. I would suspect that most of the active users are already there.

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
 

Yes, 200 is not many. 

I hope you are correct on your estimated numbers.

I would feel much better if it was 1,000-2,000. 

But I don't think they have rooms in the quarantined hotels for an onslaught that big.

I just spoke to someone on another forum and they received there approval in 3 weeks.

However they are still waiting to see were they are on the list of 200.

Hopefully they can make this list 200 per day or even per week.  This would seem to make more sense.  But nothing really makes sense now a days.

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You can’t book your own flight.

Part of the process via the Thai Embassy is to wait for a seat on an official ’repatriation flight’. Only passengers on these flights are allowed to enter Thailand.

Several airlines are flying in to BKK empty, or with only cargo, as they are allowed to fly people out of Thailand.

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37 minutes ago, davidge said:

You can’t book your own flight.

Part of the process via the Thai Embassy is to wait for a seat on an official ’repatriation flight’. Only passengers on these flights are allowed to enter Thailand.

Several airlines are flying in to BKK empty, or with only cargo, as they are allowed to fly people out of Thailand.

Got it. 

There is so much information and misinformation out there my head is spinning.

But yes, you are correct.

One of the BM's I was talking to is scheduled to fly from LAX to BKK on 08-31-20 with an Elite Visa from USA (for all the pessimist). 

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On 04/08/2020 at 17:32, Luv2Phuket said:

Following with interest - thanks for posting!

The more that everything is being handled remotely in the legal profession, the more I am thinking about getting my ass out of California! Nevada holds some appeal (tax rates; lower cost of housing), but much longer visits to Thailand also may be appealing.

I sold my place in CA, and moved to Nevada for (at least) the year.  My financial rationale is that the State of CA is notorious for chasing after state income taxes, even if you have moved out of CA and never plan to come back.  Its awfully hard (and potentially expensive) to fight this from overseas.

If you have any money in IRA's or 401K's, this could be serious money.

That said, Nevada kinda sucks (especially during covid), but I'll gut it out for at least another 6 months.

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1 hour ago, basket case said:

I sold my place in CA, and moved to Nevada for (at least) the year.  My financial rationale is that the State of CA is notorious for chasing after state income taxes, even if you have moved out of CA and never plan to come back.  Its awfully hard (and potentially expensive) to fight this from overseas.

If you have any money in IRA's or 401K's, this could be serious money.

That said, Nevada kinda sucks (especially during covid), but I'll gut it out for at least another 6 months.


Good input! Setting up residency in a tax friendly state prior to relocating may be a good idea.

@LASportsNut - have you looked into this issue?

Ironically, I was just looking at condos in Las Vegas online over the weekend. Buying here in LA is out of the question, but Las Vegas is still somewhat possible.

I could even live there while working here. 90+% of what I do is done remotely, and, for the other 10%, I could drive or fly in. That said, it would be difficult to leave the white water views that I currently have with any potential retirement so far off on the horizon

 

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