It may have cost them the best part of 1 million baht but don’t think Thailand Elite members get an easy ride should they overstay their permission to remain in the country.
Thailand Elite has this week warned its members about the severe penalties for overstaying in Thailand.
According to the firm which operates Thailand’s exclusive long stay visa program, “many”Thailand Elite members have been found to have overstayed.
Cases of overstay appear to have occured at the end of the last visa amnesty, with members failing to apply for an extension of stay within the required time limit.
Earlier this week, the company sent a memo (below) to members warning them of the penalties for foreigners who overstay in Thailand.
Members who overstay were warned they face a 20,000 baht fine or could even be barred from Thailand for one year.
A Thailand Elite member in Hua Hin who spoke to Thaivisa on the condition of anonymity confirmed he had received the memo.
“Thankfully it doesn’t affect me but I was quite surprised they were warning members about overstay”, he said.
“You normally read about criminals, backpackers or older guys who have run out money overstaying their visas, not people who spend a million baht to stay in Thailand!
“What I didn’t understand after I read the email was that Thailand Elite normally contact you when you need to renew, they certainly did with me. So I am still not sure how they can let people overstay.
“Maybe I am just not fully aware of the renewal process but I thought it was pretty impossible to overstay on Thailand Elite, as they contacted you to remind you to renew”.
Thailand Elite membership allows stays of between 5 and 20 years, with prices ranging from 600,000 baht to 2 million baht.
Last November, it was announced the cost of the 5-year “Easy Access” visa would increase by 20% from January, to 600,000 baht.
Thailand Elite reported a surge in new members during the COVID-19 pandemic with 2,674 people signing up from January to September 2020.
Around 11,200 people are understood to hold Thailand Elite membership, as part of 9 different packages offered by Thailand Privilege Card.
Most members are from China, Japan, South Korea, the UK, and the US. The company has said previously it expects to sign up at least another 2,700 members in 2021.