Update: The Thai cabinet on Nov. 8 backpedaled on its plan to allow wealthy foreigners to own land.
Foreigners soon will be able to own land in Thailand, so long as they can prove they’re wealthy enough.
The cabinet on Tuesday gave a green light to a proposal to allow foreign nationals to purchase up to a rai of land, on the condition they can show an eligible investment of at least THB40 million (US$1.05 million) in Thailand and maintain that investment for a minimum of three years.
The proposal, drafted by the Interior Ministry, will come into effect when it’s published in the Royal Gazette, according to government spokesperson Anucha Burapachaisri.
The scheme will run until 2026. After that, it will be reviewed, Anucha said.
Thailand currently prohibit foreigners from owning land, except those married to Thai nationals who attest that the money invested in the land is that of the Thai spouse.
The ministry proposed the plan to attract foreign investment. Just earlier this year, the cabinet gave a nod to 10-year visas for promising foreigners to target four eligible groups of foreign nationals: wealthy global citizens, wealthy pensioners, professionals working remotely from Thailand, and high-skilled professionals.
The draft sets that activities that are considered as investments are:
• Bonds issued by the Thai government, Bank of Thailand, state enterprises and the Finance Ministry.
• Shares of property funds, infrastructure funds and funds to rehabilitate debts of financial institutions.
• Shares of trusts for investment in property developments.
• Shares of legal entities that receive Board of Investment, or BOI, privileges.
• Shares in businesses that are eligible for BOI privileges.