Thai Cabinet Approves Special 10-Year EEC Visa for Foreigners

The cabinet has approved a new 10-year visa for executives and experts in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) to bolster the development of key industries within the nation.

Deputy government spokeswoman Rudklao Intawong Suwankiri announced, after a mobile cabinet meeting in Phetchaburi province on Tuesday, that the proposal for the EEC visa, submitted by the EEC Office, had been accepted. The visa is designed to attract experts in various sectors to work in the corridor.

The visa, valid for a decade, permits multiple entries and exits but is tied to the duration of the individual’s employment contract. Initially, this visa will permit stays in Thailand for up to five years.

The EEC visa is divided into four categories: specialists (EEC Visa “S”), executives (EEC Visa “E”), professionals (EEC Visa “P”), and spouses and dependents (EEC Visa “O”).

Specialists who reside and work in the EEC will also benefit from a special personal income tax rate of 17%, a significant reduction from Thailand’s current progressive income tax rate, which can reach up to 35%.

Mrs. Rudklao explained that the EEC visa is expected to boost the country’s targeted industries and increase national competitiveness.

In other news, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin instructed the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives on Tuesday to create a plan for enhancing agricultural infrastructure, aiming to position Thailand as a leading agricultural and food hub in the region, potentially tripling farmers’ incomes.

Government spokesman Chai Wacharonke stated, post-meeting, that the prime minister’s order supports Thailand’s objective to be a pivotal agricultural and food center, contributing to worldwide food security.

Mr. Chai noted that the prime minister has directed various departments to finalize related project plans by the end of May. The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives is to announce details by the end of this month and fast-track implementation by June.

The plan for infrastructure improvement includes making Thailand a global center for plant genetics, improving the efficiency of water retention and irrigation, and enhancing soil testing and fertilization practices across the country.

Additional measures include addressing urgent issues such as agricultural burning using satellite technology, developing and promoting disease-resistant strains of cassava, managing plant diseases, and encouraging the cultivation of high-income crops like coffee and cocoa to minimize burning in highland areas.

Moreover, the cabinet has endorsed a memorandum of understanding between Thailand and Saudi Arabia to foster agricultural cooperation between the two nations.