LTR, 40m baht investment necessary for foreigners to buy land in Thailand: govt
Only foreigners qualifying for Long-Term Resident (LTR) visa will be allowed to buy up to 1 rai of land, the government announced on Friday to clarify the confusion.
On Tuesday, the Cabinet approved the proposal to let foreigners purchase houses and up to a rai of land provided, they can show an investment of at least 40 million baht in Thailand. They are also required to maintain the investment for a minimum of three years starting from the day they submit an application for the purchase.
The directive will be in effect for five years once it has been published in the Royal Gazette, which will be soon, the government said.
Government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said on Friday that once the news came out, many misunderstood the measure and accused the government of “selling off the country”.
Anucha said this measure was not new and had been implemented after the 1997 financial crisis in a bid to attract wealthy foreigners to invest in Thailand.
“The government revived this measure again as we are facing a similar situation due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said. “This time, conditions have been adjusted to only cover those who are qualified for the LTR visa.”
Since last month, Thailand has halved the application fee for the 10-year LTR visa from 100,000 baht to 50,000 baht to lure four groups of foreigners – the wealthy, retirees, those who want to work in Thailand and experts with special skills.
Apart from investing 40 million baht in specific businesses and meeting other requirements, eligible foreigners can only purchase land and/or houses in Bangkok, Pattaya and other municipal areas or zones marked out as residential areas in provinces.
The draft also specifies that foreigners can only buy a rai of land once, and the limit will apply even if the foreigner sells parts or all of the land.
“If the buyers fail to comply with any criteria, the Department of Land’s director-general can issue an order revoking their rights,” Anucha said.