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Coronavirus

Chinese jump at 'elite' Thailand visas to escape coronavirus

Beijing's new outbreak prompts wealthy to seek second home, agents say

Chinese tourists pose on a beach in Thailand's Phang-Nga province in January, before the coronavirus pandemic upset travel to the Southeast Asian destination. Now, Chinese may be looking for another escape.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- China's initial coronavirus outbreak and the current resurgence in Beijing have driven many Chinese to apply for long-term residency in Thailand as the kingdom enjoys plaudits for its handling of the pandemic.

Thailand Privilege Card, operator of the Thailand Elite Card, has seen a surge in applicants since February, especially in recent weeks, three agents told the Nikkei Asian Review. The card offers a re-entry visa renewable for up to 20 years and other perks for those who can afford it.

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