Can Managing Directors or Business Owners Hold a Thai Elite Visa?

Thailand Elite for Managers

Thailand Elite Visas are a very popular option amongst foreign nationals, especially entrepreneurs and business owners because of the chance to acquire a wide range of privileges and to stay long-term within Thailand. Because of this, a common question is whether or not a holder of this visa is allowed to manage a business in Thailand due to visa restrictions. 

As it is considered a tourist visa, the Thailand Elite Visa does not make you eligible to establish or maintain a business within Thailand. 

  • Managing directors are still required to apply for a Thai work permit. As immigration laws forbid foreigners from holding both a work permit and a tourist visa at the same time, you must forfeit one or the other.  
  • This rule also applies to managing directors who have set up a local business, but will be working for it from overseas. 

However, there are ways to circumvent these restrictions and still keep your assets and current position without having to relinquish some of the advantages of a Thailand Elite Visa: 

  • You can run an overseas business as a managing director and still maintain your visa status. This enables you to work remotely while enjoying life in Thailand.  
  • You can enroll as a shareholder of a Thai company and invest in that company’s stock. This is ideal for investors wanting to benefit from both the visa and the success  of a particular Thai corporation, or even a company they created.
  • If you established a company in Thailand, it can continue to exist while you are holding the visa, but you will need to step down as managing director and hand the reins over to someone else. 
  • If you want to sustain your position as managing director, you can continue your membership with Thailand Privilege and leverage all its privilege points, but you must cancel your visa and apply for a new one (such as a non-immigrant B visa).
    • When you are no longer working for the company as a managing director, you can re-acquire your visa provided your membership is still active.

To sum it all up, you cannot set up a company in Thailand and hold a Thailand Elite Visa simultaneously. This means that one cannot remain a managing director and a holder of a Thailand Elite Visa at the same time. You can assume the role as a shareholder for that company, but your participation with it should not require you to hold a work permit or a non-immigrant B visa. 
It’s recommended that foreign nationals looking to move to Thailand consider applying for either a Long-Term Resident (LTR) Visa or a Non-Immigrant B (Business) Visa if they want to own or manage a business in Thailand with a work permit.

Contact us

Do you have any further concerns about the process or the privileges? Maybe you simply need more information about Thailand Elite. If so, please complete the form and our dedicated team will be able to assist you promptly.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
Share the Post:

What do you think?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *