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Thailand hikes price of 5-year visa as foreigners seek COVID haven

Residency program aims for profit in 2 years on surge of Chinese applicants

A 20% price hike on the popular visa is set to go into effect in January. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

BANGKOK -- Thailand plans to raise the price of its bestselling five-year residency permit by 20% in January, after the program dubbed "elite" visas drew record new memberships this year as people sought to stay in the largely coronavirus-free country.

Starting Jan. 1, the Easy Access -- one of the nine elite-visa packages -- will be offered for 600,000 baht ($19,850), up from the current 500,000 baht, according to Thailand Privilege Card, the operator of the elite visas.

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