...upon landing in Thailand you’ll be whisked to your hotel or residence..."
It's marketed like an elite credit card, and perhaps its application process will be as such. The Thailand Elite Cards are not any ordinary membership cards, but a government-sponsored and endorsed program offering up to twenty years permanent residency for a one-off fee of 2,000,000 THB (or approximately $60,000 USD).
In a point of different among visa programmes, the Elite Ultimate Privilege Membership, in particular, offers specific benefits as though it were a premium charge or credit card.
Here are some of the benefits of the Elite Ultimate Privilege Membership.
The visas on offer are for those seeking convenience and hassle-free living. Commuting internationally can be physically and mentally taxing. Knowing that upon landing in Thailand you’ll be whisked to your hotel or residence as if it were your own country could make it a viable option for many, and particularly those who are already live long-term in Thailand. Perhaps the only regular contact would be the requirement to regularly report at 90-intervals at any one of the immigration offices based in Bangkok, Chiangmai, Phuket or Pattaya.
Consider why you want to live in Thailand. The first of these considerations are cost, which works out to be 100,000 Baht (or USD $3,000 per annum). Unlike other residency programs worldwide, this doesn’t require significant investment in a business and is certainly one of the more affordable residency programs (Cyprus’ residency visa is 300,000 Euros). The Thai Elite Visas are alternatives to current Thai retirement visas for those having to renew those visas annually.
The second consideration might be culture. Before choosing Thailand, take the time to understand Thai culture. Many mistakes and fortunes are made with an unawareness of your own ethnocentric behaviour (i.e. evaluating your own culture against those things you might expect at home). This can even go to the finest curiosities such as the manner of customer service you've received. This is not a flippant exercise in collecting visas and passports.
If you’re set on applying for these visas the process seems straightforward. It requires a completed application form, passport page and a photo for the membership card to be submitted. All applicants are screened and payment needs to be made within seven days to the Thailand Privilege Card Company Limited.
There are other visa options that might be better value, particularly if you are looking for something more substantial, such as citizenship. I have no doubt that the varied benefits for members of the Thailand Elite programme can be had by simply paying for them.
For more information on visa options visit http://www.thailandelite.com/