Tourism Authority of Thailand – Thailand Elite – Five Year Visa Myth
Posted by on Sep 29, 2015 in Khon Kaen Retirement, TAT, Thailand

The Tourism Authority of Thailand has been promoting the Thailand Elite card five year visa on Thaivisa.com, the Bangkok Post and The Nation, and there is even one real estate developer that claims you can get a 20 year visa – but only if you buy a condo from him.

The Thailand Elite card has been around for 10+ years and has been cancelled and revived a couple times and now the Tourism Authority of Thailand is stuck with it.

Tourism Authority of Thailand - Thailand Elite Card

Tourism Authority of Thailand – Thailand Elite Card

The Thailand Elite was a decent value when Thaksin Shinawatra introduced it – one million cards at one million baht apiece – but only a little over 2,500 were sold. After a resurrection or two, the Tourism Authority of Thailand took over and has failed to attract the “elite”.

So, now, at the Tourism Authority of Thailand – Thailand Elite website, there is only a chart showing the perks and the FAQ page is gone as is the very long legal disclaimer- the one that sad the Thailand Elite card could be cancelled at any time.

Tourism Authority of Thailand - Thailand Elite Programs

Tourism Authority of Thailand – Thailand Elite Programs

The Tourism Authority of Thailand, in an act of desperation since no one wants to visit Thailand as shown here, tried to get some real estate folks to promote the card and offered huge commissions with one guy making wild claims of a 20-year visa and pissing off other realtors to the point they have an online petition against him.

So, I went to the Tourism Authority of Thailand – Thailand Elite website and asked for additional information on the 5-year visa via their contact form. Here are the emails from me answered by Ms. Chaovanee Daoprakaimongkol after receiving the first canned, generic reply. See if she makes any sense at all:

Greetings from Thailand Elite ….

Firstly, thank you very much for taking time to contact us and being interested in our program “Individual Membership.” The main privilege once you apply as a member is the visa. The validity of a membership is 20 years. You can get a 20 years’ visa that is issue 5 years multiple entry visa for you each time. Moreover, this visa allows you to stay in Thailand as a Thai Citizen. You can travel in and out as much as you wish without doing a re-entry permit. The length of stay per each entry is 1 year. After 1 year period, you have a privilege to do the stay extension for another 1 year without leaving the country.

Not only the visa that we offer to you, but also the high standard golf courses and Thai luxury spa which you can enjoy 24 times per calendar year each and unlimited airport and limousine service for international flights.

The documents which we required are:

– Copy of passport (Send by e-mail. We will pass it to the Immigration Office to check the record. This process will take about 5 working days.)

– Application form (Send by e-mail. Please kindly sign every page and send the original one to us.)

– Current picture (Send by e-mail with high resolution file. Please kindly attach 2” photo on the original application.)

Totally the process will take not more than 14 working days. Please kindly find the full details and an application form in the attached file herewith.

Should you have any question, please do not hesitate to contact us anytime. We look forward to welcoming you as an Elite Member soon.

Best Regards,

Ms. Chaovanee Daoprakaimongkol

Sales Channel Officer

Thailand Privilege Card Co., Ltd.

This was accompanied by a brochure, an application and a fact sheet.

I replied back:

I don’t understand this. Please explain.

The main privilege once you apply as a member is the visa. The validity of a membership is 20 years. You can get a 20 years’ visa that is issue 5 years multiple entry visa for you each time. Moreover, this visa allows you to stay in Thailand as a Thai Citizen. You can travel in and out as much as you wish without doing a re-entry permit. The length of stay per each entry is 1 year. After 1 year period, you have a privilege to do the stay extension for another 1 year without leaving the country.

Lawrence

And, got this for an answer:

Greetings from Thailand Elite ….

Individual Membership program allows you to receive 20-year Elite Visa (special tourist visa) together with its membership validity. For this program, we will issue you 5-year Elite Visa for 4 times (5-year x 4 times = 20 years). As Elite Visa is a multiple entry visa, you can travel in and out of Thailand as much as you like without doing the re-entry permit not like other Non-Immigrant Visa(s). Moreover, Elite Visa is a special tourist visa which allows you to stay in the Kingdom 1 year per each entry. And if you would like to stay longer than 1 year without leaving the country, you can do so. Before the 1-year stamp expire, you can do an extension of another 1-year at the Immigration Bureau by paying THB 1,900 to the officer.

Should you have any question, please do not hesitate to contact us anytime.

Best Regards,

Ms. Chaovanee Daoprakaimongkol

Sales Channel Officer

Thailand Privilege Card Co., Ltd.

I replied back that the visa was, in fact, only a one-year visa and not good for 5 or 20 years.

I have not heard back from the Tourism Authority of Thailand – Thailand Elite Sales Channel since. So, you decide. Is the Tourism Authority of Thailand – Thailand Elite card 5-year visa just a myth?

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