Tag Archive: thailand

  1. Thai Government Specifies Destination Thailand Visa for Digital Nomads

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    The new DTV Visa allows remote workers and participants in cultural activities to stay in Thailand for up to 180 days per entry, with a 5-year validity.

    As of July 15, 2024, the Thai government has officially launched the Destination Thailand Visa (DTV), aimed at individuals seeking to combine work and travel (“workcation”) in Thailand. This innovative visa allows holders to stay in Thailand for up to 180 days per entry and is valid for a total of five years. 

    The DTV offers a cost-effective and convenient option for freelancers, digital nomads, and remote workers. Apart from workcation seekers, the DTV Visa also caters to individuals interested in participating in “Thai Soft Power” activities. This includes Thai boxing (Muay Thai) courses, Thai cooking classes, sports training, medical treatments, short-term educational courses, seminars, and artistic or musical festivals.

    How Much Does a Destination Thailand Visa Cost? 

    The Destination Thailand Visa is priced at 10,000 THB, making it more affordable compared to similar visas in Southeast Asia. Applicants must demonstrate sufficient financial resources to support their stay in Thailand. 

    How Long Can You Stay in Thailand on the DTV? 

    The DTV is a five-year multiple-entry visa, allowing holders to stay in Thailand for up to 180 days per entry. After reaching this limit, you must leave and re-enter the country to reset your stay period. Additionally, the 180-day period can be extended once per year for another 180 days at a cost of 10,000 THB, enabling almost a full year of uninterrupted stay. Please note that according to Thai tax laws, everybody who stays in Thailand for more than 180 days per year becomes a Tax resident in Thailand. 

    Who Can Apply for a Destination Thailand Visa? 

    The DTV Visa is open to the following categories: 

    • Workcation seekers include digital nomads, remote workers, and freelancers.  
    • Participants in Thai Soft Power activities, such as Muay Thai courses, cooking classes, sports training, medical treatments, seminars, and music festivals, are also eligible.  
    • Additionally, the spouse and dependent children of DTV holders can apply for this visa. 

    What are the Requirements for a Destination Thailand Visa? 

    Applicants must meet specific requirements depending on their category (workcation, soft power activity, or dependent). Required documents include a passport or travel document, a passport photograph, and a document showing your current location. You must provide evidence of financial assets, with a minimum of 500,000 THB in bank statements, payslips, or a sponsorship letter. Additionally, you must provide proof of the purpose of your visit. For workcation seekers, this includes an employment contract, an employment certificate, or a professional portfolio for freelancers. For participants in Thai Soft Power activities, confirmation of participation in an activity or a letter of appointment from a hospital or medical center is required. Dependents must provide proof of relationship, such as a marriage certificate, birth certificate, or adoption certificate. 

    The introduction of the Destination Thailand Visa represents a step in making Thailand an accessible and attractive destination for digital nomads and those interested in engaging with the country’s rich cultural and recreational offerings.

     

    If you would like to know more about this and other visa options in Thailand, please contact us at [email protected] 

     

    Andreas Seela   

    Connect with me on LinkedIn  

    Andreas, Associate at FRANK Legal & Tax, is a licensed German lawyer with expertise in corporate/commercial, real estate, and tax law, and has been living and working in Thailand since 2023. 

  2. Long-Term Resident (LTR) Visa in Thailand – A Successful Event on Koh Samui

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    On July 12, 2024, Koh Samui was the site of a highly anticipated event hosted by Mr. Fabian Doppler. The event focused on the long-term resident (LTR) visa in Thailand. It attracted individuals, including retirees, digital nomads, investors, and families, all keen to learn about the benefits and process of securing long-term residency in Thailand.

    Mr. Doppler, our Managing Partner renowned for his expertise in immigration matters, started the event with an engaging opening speech and provided comprehensive insights into the LTR Visa application process. The discussions covered eligibility criteria, necessary documentation, and the various benefits of long-term residency, such as ease of travel, tax incentives, and access to local services. Attendees appreciated the opportunity to ask questions and receive personalized advice, making the complex process more understandable.

    The event also featured networking sessions that allowed attendees to connect with like-minded individuals, share experiences, and build valuable relationships. The event concluded with clarity and optimism, as attendees left with the knowledge and connections necessary to pursue their goal of making Thailand their long-term home.

    Feel free to contact us with any questions or additional assistance at [email protected] or +66 2 026 3284.

  3. Working or Conducting Business in Thailand: Business Visa and Work Permit Options 

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    In our following presentation, we summarize the pertinent options for business visas and work permits in Thailand:

    If you have any questions regarding the retirement visa, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected]

    Fabian, a founding partner of FRANK Legal & Tax, is a German-trained lawyer with expertise in corporate/commercial and real estate law, and litigation, and has been living and working in Thailand since 2005.

  4. Join Us for an Exclusive Event on Long-Term Resident (LTR) Visa on Koh Samui!

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    Are you in Koh Samui and interested in securing a Long-Term Resident (LTR) Visa in Thailand?

    Join us for an informative and engaging event organized by FRANK Legal & Tax Ltd. This exclusive event is designed to provide you with all the insights and guidance you need regarding the LTR Visa in Thailand.

    Event Details:

    • Organizer: FRANK Legal & Tax Ltd.
    • Event Name: Long-Term Resident (LTR) Visa in Thailand
    • Venue: Prana Resort Nandana (Bangrak, Koh Samui), The Breeze Room (Map)
    • Time: 15:00 – 16:00 h.
    • Date: 12 July 2024
    • Fee: The event is FREE and includes a Coffee Break.
    • Capacity: Limited to 20 Guests!

    What to Expect:

    • Comprehensive Information: Our experts will cover all aspects of the LTR Visa in Thailand, including eligibility criteria, application process, and benefits.
    • Q&A Session: Get your questions answered by our knowledgeable team.
    • Networking Opportunity: Connect with like-minded individuals and professionals in the field.
    • Refreshments: Enjoy a complimentary coffee break during the event.

    Registration:

    Due to limited seating, we encourage you to register as soon as possible to secure your spot. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to learn more about the Long-Term Resident Visa and what it can offer you.

    Contact Us:

    For more information, please contact us at:

    Stay connected with us on social media for updates and news about upcoming events!


    Join us at Prana Resort Nandana in Samui, The Breeze Room, for an informative session on the Long-Term Resident (LTR) Visa in Thailand. We look forward to seeing you there!

  5. Leasehold vs Usufruct for Foreigners

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    Properties in Thailand do not serve only as investment assets but also as residences and business premises, attracting both locals and foreigners.  

    While Thai law still restricts foreigners from owning certain estates in Thailand, ownership is not the sole means of leveraging property in Thailand. Thai legal framework offers various alternatives for individuals, including foreigners, to exploit the property’s potential regardless of the ownership. This flexibility allows foreigners to derive significant benefits from properties, with a prime example being land, which they are prohibited from owning but can lease. 

    Leasehold 

    The Thai Civil and Commercial Code governs property leasing in Sections 537 to 571. Leasehold is one of the prominent methods to acquire property in Thailand as a foreigner.   

    A leasehold is recognized for its characteristics as a long-term legal structure. Section 540 of the Thai Civil and Commercial Code states that the long-term time frame would run up to a maximum of thirty years and may be renewed for another thirty years. Nonetheless, if such land is used for commercial purposes, it may be leased for up to fifty years and renewed for another fifty years.    

    There are a few steps that the lessee needs to comply with in order to successfully register the lease and get the most advantage of the leasehold. Section 538 of the Thai Civil and Commercial Code has set forth the key requirements: it must be made in writing and registered with the competent official at the land office; otherwise, it will only be enforceable for three years. Apart from the benefit of long-term use, there are other significant characteristics the lessee would acquire.  

    After the lease is registered, the lessee would have full rights over such property; however, the lessee is only allowed to use such property for the purpose that is agreed in the contract. Any other use, such as subletting, would require the lessor’s consent. Therefore, an action excluded from either party’s scope would be considered a breach of contract. Despite the leasehold rights over such property, the lessee must be aware that the lessor still holds the right to put such property for sale or into mortgage; if this were the case, the lessee’s rights would not be affected and would remain the same. 

    Moreover, the lessor and the lessee may agree that the right to lease shall be inheritable. The Thai Supreme Court Judgement no.11058/2559 has affirmed and ruled regarding the inheritance of the right to lease.  

    Due to the low legal threshold, leasehold became a commonly used method among individuals, particularly foreigners, who want to fully enjoy the property apart from having ownership. 

    usufruct

    Usufruct 

    On the other hand, Thai law provides an alternative choice from a lease with slightly different characteristics. It is known as usufruct and is set forth under Section 1417 of the Thai Civil and Commercial Code. Usufruct has become one of the main alternatives to leasehold for individuals who want to benefit from a property other than having ownership. This means the beneficiary, recognized as the usufructuary, will only have the right to possess the property. Similarly to leasehold, the period when the usufructuary can benefit from the property can be agreed upon between the parties; however, the main difference is that the usufructuary does not have a maximum usage period. It can be arranged to lead up to the lifetime of the usufructuary without a need for renewal, which makes it less complicated than a leasehold. 

    Even though usufruct enables the usufructuary to benefit from such property for a lifetime period, still, the usufructuary may only benefit from the existing property that is registered for usufruct while rights to alter, demolish, or change any substance of the property are prohibited unless it has been consented by the owner. A primary example would be where the usufructuary can lease out the property without seeking prior consent from the owner. 

    Although the property owner would have more privilege than the usufructuary, Thai law has implemented a regulation to prevent any default regarding the prevailing ownership. It is provided that any transaction that would create encumbrance due to usufruct would require the consent of all the parties. For example, if the property owner wishes to sell such property, the approval of the usufructuary would also count as a requirement of such a sale. This would also give the usufructuary the right to prevent the property owner from selling or mortgaging such property.  

    Even though the usufruct can be agreed upon for a lifetime, such a right is deemed a personal right that is not inheritable. It must terminate with the death of the usufructuary or when it reaches the expiration term as agreed upon by both parties.   

    The chart below provides an overview of the above-mentioned two legal structures: 

    Conclusion  

    Due to the numerous advantages, leasehold, and usufruct stand out as favored approaches that allow foreigners to unlock the potential use of property in Thailand. These benefits make them valuable tools for individuals seeking to benefit from the property for an extended period despite not having ownership.  

    Nevertheless, it is still critical to consider that each method has limitations, and it may not serve the needs in every case. It is crucial to carefully assess the most suitable option to ensure the desired utilization of the property. 

    Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding leasehold or usufruct at [email protected] 

    Fabian Doppler Connect with me on LinkedIn

    Fabian, a founding partner of FRANK Legal & Tax, is a German-trained lawyer with expertise in corporate/commercial and real estate law, and litigation, and has been living and working in Thailand since 2005.

  6. Thailand Elite Visa Membership Packages Set to Transform

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    Thailand Elite Visa Membership Packages Set to Transform

    The current Thailand Elite Visa membership packages are due to be discontinued in their current form. To adapt to the global economic landscape, a new suite of offerings will be made in October 2023. This move reflects the intent to modernize and cater to a diverse client base, aligning with changes in the world economy. The packages in their old form were stopped on September 15, 2003.

    The End of the Old, the Dawn of the New

    The previous Thailand Elite Visa, which garnered much attention for its exclusivity and privileges, has been discontinued. In its place, Thailand now presents a revamped selection of Elite Visa programs, catering to a wider range of preferences and needs.

    Thailand Privilege Visa: GOLD Package

    The GOLD Package is designed for individuals seeking a 5-year stay in Thailand. It provides a 5-year multiple-entry visa at a cost of 900,000 Thai Baht, without any recurring annual fees. This visa option includes 20 privilege points annually, allowing holders to explore the country’s rich culture and landscapes.

    Thailand Privilege Visa: PLATINUM Package

    For those interested in an extended stay and additional benefits, the PLATINUM Package is a viable choice. It offers a 10-year membership with a 5-year multiple-entry visa, which can be renewed for an extra 5 years. The main applicant pays 1.5 million Thai Baht upfront, with no annual fees, while additional applicants can join at a cost of 1 million Thai Baht each. This package provides 35 privilege points per year, enhancing the Thai experience.

    Thailand Privilege Visa: DIAMOND Package

    The DIAMOND Package is tailored for long-term stays and premium advantages. With a 15-year membership that includes a 5-year multiple-entry visa, renewable twice during the 15-year period, this option offers in-depth exploration opportunities. The main applicant invests 2.5 million Thai Baht upfront, with no annual fees, and additional applicants can join for 1.5 million Thai Baht each. Holders of this package benefit from 55 privilege points per year.

    Thailand Privilege Visa: RESERVE Package

    The RESERVE Package stands out as the most exclusive option, extending for 20 years or more. It includes a 5-year multiple-entry visa, renewable three times within the initial 20-year membership, and an option to apply for another 5-year visa afterward. This package is available only by invitation and is priced at 5 million Thai Baht, without any annual fees. Holders receive 120 privilege points annually, offering access to Thailand’s finest experiences.

    Eligibility Criteria

    Before delving into the specifics of these Elite Visa programs, it’s crucial to understand the requirements for qualification. To be eligible for these programs, applicants must meet certain criteria:

    • Hold a foreign passport.
    • Complying with Thai immigration laws, which means having no record of overstaying in Thailand.
    • Please note that according to current information, these programs do not have an age limit.
    • Have no history of imprisonment in any country, except for offenses committed due to negligence.
    • Not have a bankruptcy record.
    • Not have a legal status as a person of unsound mind, incompetent, or quasi-incompetent.

    These new Thailand Elite Visa programs cater to a diverse and wealthy audience, whether you’re a traveler, an entrepreneur, or someone simply looking to immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Thai culture. With multiple options to choose from, Thailand continues to welcome individuals from around the world, offering a chance to explore the country’s unique charm and opportunities.

    If you’re considering an extended stay in Thailand, these Elite Visa programs provide a gateway to the country’s rich culture and diverse landscapes. Stay tuned for further updates and insights into travel and business in Thailand.

    Disclaimer: Visa requirements and terms are subject to change. It is advisable to consult official sources or legal experts for the most up-to-date information.

    If you have any questions about the Thailand Elite Visa membership options, please contact us at [email protected]

    Andreas Seela

    Connect with me on LinkedIn

    Andreas, Associate at FRANK Legal & Tax, is a licensed German lawyer with expertise in corporate/commercialreal estate, and tax law, and has been living and working in Thailand since 2023.

  7. Setting Up a Second Residence in Thailand

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    Setting up a second residence in Thailand has become a popular option for many high-net-worth individuals looking for a safe, stable, and convenient location to reside. With its favorable climate, world-class healthcare system, and vibrant culture, Thailand offers a unique and appealing lifestyle for those seeking a second home. However, before making the decision to establish a second residence, it is important to consider the legal and tax implications, as well as the family’s circumstances and priorities. 

    In this article, we will outline the key steps based on our experience to take in order to establish a second residence in Thailand, as well as some of the legal and financial considerations you should keep in mind. 

    Determine your eligibility 

    The first step in setting up a second residence in Thailand is to determine whether you are eligible to do so. In order to establish a second residence in Thailand, you must have a valid non-immigrant visa. This can be obtained through a variety of means, including work, education or retirement. 

    Setting up a business in Thailand 

    There are many legal requirements associated with setting up a business in Thailand. You may need help during the planning stage of your investment or during your day-to-day business operations. In our experience, without the expertise of a law firm that can communicate in Thai, registering your company in Thailand can be complicated and time-consuming. 

    Obtain the necessary work permit and visa 

    In order to live in your second residence in Thailand, you will need to obtain certain permits, such as a work permit if business is bringing you to Thailand. As with all work permit applications, experience really speeds up the whole process. 

    Research property options 

    The next step once you have decided where in Thailand you would like to set up a second residence is to research the different property options available to you. This may include apartments, condos, or houses. There are many websites and resources available to help you find the right property for you, including real estate agents and online listings. When researching properties, it is important to keep in mind your budget, as well as any legal and financial considerations, such as taxes and insurance, and legal limitations for foreigners. 

    Register your property 

    Once you have found the right accommodation, you will need to register your property with the appropriate authorities. This will typically involve filling out various forms and providing proof of ownership. 

    Tax implications 

    Thailand has a number of taxes that you will need to consider when setting up a second residence. These may include income tax, property tax, and other taxes and fees. 

    When considering the tax implications, it is important to keep in mind that taxes are not typically the top priority for families setting up a second residence. Higher priorities include safety, geopolitical stability, healthcare, language, location, climate, schools, cost of living, and quality of life. However, the tax rules and legal system should still be evaluated and considered before making a decision. 

    Conclusion 

    When setting up a second residence, it is crucial to work with a reputable and reliable law firm that can guide you through the process. The law and tax firm will work closely with the client’s external advisors to evaluate the family’s matrimonial property regime, estate plan, and tax breaks offered by the destination country. They will also play a key role in ensuring that no aspects are overlooked, as they have a holistic view of the situation. 

    If you have any legal or tax questions about setting up a second residence in Thailand, please contact our expert team at [email protected]  

    Fabian, a founding partner of FRANK Legal & Tax, is a German-trained lawyer with expertise in corporate/commercial and real estate law, and litigation, and has been living and working in Thailand since 2005.

  8. FRANK Legal & Tax Blog Continues to Grow in Popularity

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    The FRANK Legal & Tax blog is one of the largest legal blogs in Thailand and has been ranked as the best Thailand law blog by Blogspot, one of the leading authorities on blogs.

    Our blog provides readers with useful and up-to-date information about the Thai legal system. Founded in 2019, the blog has quickly become one of the most popular sources of legal information and analysis in the country.

    All our articles are written by experienced Thai lawyers and legal experts who provide readers with a helpful overview of the Thai legal system. Our blog covers a wide range of topics, including corporate law, tax law, civil law, international law, and more. It also provides readers with detailed information about the legal processes, regulations, and procedures in Thailand.

    Overall, the FRANK Legal & Tax blog is one of the most comprehensive and up-to-date sources of legal information and analysis in Thailand. With its broad coverage and helpful advice, our blog is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in learning more about the Thai legal system.

    Visit our blog here and subscribe to stay up-to-date with the latest legal and tax news in Thailand https://www.franklegaltax.com/news/ 

  9. Reduction of Land Office Registration Fees in 2023

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    Thailand’s cabinet on Tuesday, 20th December 2022 approved tax measures to help boost public consumption to stimulate the economy moving into recovery. Land and property tax was reduced to 15% along with some registration fees being cut for the year 2023.

    Measures to reduce the registration fee for rights and juristic acts for housing in 2023 include reducing the registration fee for transferring real estate from 2% to 1% and reducing the registration fee for real estate mortgages from 1% to 0.01% for housing purchases.

    These measures will cover single houses, twin houses, row houses, commercial buildings, and condominiums (both new and pre-owned houses). This relates only to cases where the purchase price and the cost appraisal price do not exceed 3 million baht and the mortgage amount does not exceed 3 million baht per contract.


    If you would like any further information, please contact us at [email protected]

    Visit our real estate page for more details about our services at www.franklegaltax.com/services/real-estate/

    Fabian, a founding partner of FRANK Legal & Tax, is a German-trained lawyer with expertise in corporate/commercial and real estate law, and litigation, and has been living and working in Thailand since 2005.

  10. Short-term rental businesses via online platforms in Thailand

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    As the economy recovers from the COVID-19 crisis, Thailand is again attracting more and more tourists to the country. Visitor numbers are increasing, and short-term rental businesses through platforms such as Airbnb, including daily rentals via other online platforms, are gradually becoming more popular, encouraging villa and apartment owners to set up short-term rentals to allow tourists to stay in their properties.

    Problematically, however, properties in Thailand are generally not allowed to be rented out for less than 30 days unless you have a hotel license, while condominium units are restricted to being used for short-term rentals under Thai Condominium laws.

    In our experience, acting contrary to these requirements may constitute a criminal offense under Thai law.


    Online rental platform – what is it?

    An online rental platform is an online marketplace for travelers looking for accommodation, for example, Airbnb, Agoda, or Booking.com. The groundbreaking model allowing private landlords to host vacationers and business travelers has effectively transformed the digital platform into the “world’s largest hotel”.

    Online rental platform’s legal status is still uncertain

    Online rental platforms continue to face massive criticism for being major competitors to regular hotel and accommodation businesses. Hotel owners are not pleased about declining revenues while continuing to pay the overhead costs for their properties. As a result, they view online rental platforms such as the Airbnb model as an unacceptable hardship. As a result, like other countries, Thailand has imposed restrictions against Airbnb and its operations.

    For condominiums

    We have to be focused on two Acts, the Condominium Act B.E. 2522 (1979) (the “Condominium Act”) and the Hotel Act B.E. 2547 (2004) (the “Hotel Act”).

    The Condominium Act, section 17/1 paragraph 2 states that no person shall be permitted to operate their business in the condominium except for the provided specific area of the condominium building. This regulation applies to short-term rentals via an online platform.

    Another concern is the Hotel Act. Under the Hotel Act, the definition of “hotel” is a lodging premise established for commercial purposes to provide temporary accommodation to a traveler or any person for consideration. Therefore, a monthly rental or more is exempt from the definition of temporary accommodation of the Hotel Act.

    Section 1336 of the Thai Civil and Commercial Code (“CCC”) states that the unit owner can enjoy his rights over his property if it does not disturb others. However, the Condominium Act, which governs the usage of the condominium unit, prohibits the condominium owner from using his condominium unit for short-term rental.

    For house

    Regarding landed property, the related piece of legislation is the Hotel Act which is, in principle, the same as for the condominium unit, which restricts the usage to short-term rental, except if such house owners have a hotel license. If the house owner has more than 4 rooms and is entitled to hold more than 20 occupants at a time, the property owner is entitled to apply for a hotel license to operate a short-term rental legally.

    On the other hand, the house owner is entitled to apply for the non-hotel license if the property has fewer than 4 rooms and cannot hold more than 20 tourists at a time but still wants to operate a short-term rental. The owner has to apply for a non-hotel license. This will allow a short-term rental of a house to be valid and legal.

    There are some specific requirements for each type of license. For example, for a non-hotel license, the owner must be a Thai national. Foreigners or juristic persons may not apply for this type of license. The reasoning behind this rule is to increase local people’s income, who could use their houses as accommodation for tourists as their additional main income source. The hotel license has stricter requirements than non-hotel licenses, such as hotels may not be located near historical sites, and entrance to the hotel must not cause traffic problems. Moreover, before applying for a hotel license, the building must also comply with the Building Control Act B.E. 2522. The regulation stipulates many more obligations for the applicant to comply with.

    Conclusion

    The legality of online short-term rental platforms in Thailand is still up in the air. The condominium is not allowed to rent on a daily or weekly basis. However, this is not a general rule, and it depends on whether each condominium regulation allows it.

    In order to legally operate a short-term rental business, the house owner requires a hotel or a non-hotel license, as the case may be, subject to the Hotel Act. A house with fewer than 4 rooms and 20 occupants maximum shall obtain a non-hotel license; however, a house with more than 4 rooms and more than 20 occupants in the building must obtain a hotel license.

    Thus, the legal status of online short-term rental platforms is still unknown as there is no clear answer by government authorities whether it is possible to do or not. 

    If you have any questions related to property in Thailand, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected]