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Thailand now accepting applications for permanent residency

Caitlin Ashworth

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PHOTO: Thailand Property

Thailand is now taking applications for permanent residency from now until December 30, 2020. The number of expats who can apply is capped at 100 per nationality plus 50 stateless individuals. But permanent residency isn’t easy to get in Thailand and applicants need to speak Thai. Local blogger and Samut Prakan school employee Richard Barrow posted on Facebook saying he tried applying a few years ago, but he wasn’t accepted. He says he will apply again this year and could use some advice on how to get accepted.

Richard recommends visiting the website Thai Citizenship, which is run by Chris Larkin, a citizen in both Thailand and Australia.

Here’s the main qualifications for permanent residency:

  • Hold a Thai work permit for at least 3 consecutive years.
  • Work for the current company for at least 1 year.
  • Earn an annual income of at least 80,000 baht per month for at least 2 years, or have filed a tax return for an annual income of 100,000 baht for at least 2 consecutive years.

Applicants will also need the proper documents to file an application. The Thai Immigration has copies of the documents on its website, click HERE to visit. He’s the documents applicants need:

  • TM.9 application form
  • Form of personal information sheet
  • Health certificate from a government hospital
  • Map of residence and place of work form
  • Salary certificate
  • Letter of employment to the Department of Labour

It costs 7,600 baht to file an application. If it’s approved, the residency permit costs 191,400 baht. The permit costs 95,700 baht for spouses and children of those with a residence or who are Thai citizens.

If the application goes through, the applicant will then go through an interview at immigration with a panel of around 7 to 10 officials. Chris calls it a 5 to 10 minute “semi-formal chit-chat” were the applicants talks (in Thai) about themselves and why they want to remain in Thailand (The Thaiger was doing ok up to that part).

If immigration accepts the application, then it goes through what Chris describes as the Ministry of Interior “Black Hole.” He says the process is more “obscure” and approval is at the discretion of the Minister of Interior. In the past, the process took years, but he says recently it has been a lot faster.

Here are the benefits of permanent residency…

  • You are granted to stay permanently. In other way, you don’t need to apply for an extension of stay anymore
  • You will receive a certificate of alien registration
  • You will be able to have your name in a House Book (Ta Bian Ban) not a yellow one, a blue one
  • You can enter in the same counter as Thai citizens for immigration passport control for arrival or departure
  • A child whose both parents are permanent residents in Thailand must be granted Thai citizenship
  • You will be able to buy a condominium in Thailand without transferring money from abroad
  • You will be able to apply for citizenship 5 years after your name is registered in a blue ta bian ban
  • Able to become director of a Public Thai company
  • And you will be exempted of notification of your address every 90 days

To file an application…

…go to a local immigration office.

If in Bangkok, go to: Sub-division 1,Immigration Division 1, The Government Complex Commemorating His Majesty The King’s 80th Birthday Anniversary,5th December, B.E. 2550 (2007), Building B, 2nd Floor, Counter D, 120 Moo 3, Chaengwattana Road, Thungsonghong Sub-District, Bangkok, 10210.

SOURCES: Thai Immigration | Thai Citizenship | Facebook: Richard Barrow

 

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40 Comments

40 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Gosport

    Monday, October 5, 2020 at 5:08 pm

    What sort of BLACK HOLE a applicant has to go through? As a long stay retiree, I don’t see a need for application. If a spouse is Thai, it is a must. Any preferential policy for this kind?

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Monday, October 5, 2020 at 6:53 pm

      As a retiree, whether married to a Thai or not, you’re not eligible – end of story.

      • Avatar

        Gosport

        Monday, October 5, 2020 at 10:05 pm

        Thanks, OK, let’s enjoy the visa grace time before it is too late.

    • Avatar

      John C.

      Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 1:41 pm

      No one cares that you’re a long stay retiree. It’s their country, not yours. You don’t get a say in what is “a must”. Have some basic self-awareness for heavens sake.

  2. Avatar

    Fred glue

    Monday, October 5, 2020 at 5:17 pm

    Thailand & it’s people Just hate planet earth. Short memory they have got. 2004 tsunami, that was sad,
    Countries donated millions dollars too Thailand, too recover & build…. build bridges for them the list goes on in
    donations. Been going too Thailand twice a year since 1988. Why are they so money hungry all the time.
    I know you have too earn some dollars , Covid-19 did not destroy Thailand or many countries. But it is pure creed that has got Thailand under control. People that visit Thailand spend money & lots of it.
    And now they are telling you have too spend this or don’t come. Well I will not be coming. That’s it …
    Had my time & fun, I will contribute my holidays & money somewhere else…

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Monday, October 5, 2020 at 7:01 pm

      “… and now they are telling you have too spend this or don’t come …”

      No, they’re telling you that if you don’t “spend this” and meet the requirements you can’t be a RESIDENT.

      “Had my time & fun, I will contribute my holidays & money somewhere else…”

      It’s not about “holidays & fun”. It’s about becoming a RESIDENT.

      Hardly the same thing …

  3. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Monday, October 5, 2020 at 6:27 pm

    I must admit Thais do have a sense of humour.
    B7600 just to apply! Dream up another money making racket you Thai scammers.
    It is only residency, and just a very expensive visa, costing B191.400.
    And more for dependants . . .

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Monday, October 5, 2020 at 7:02 pm

      … and other countries charge how much?

      • Avatar

        Bubba

        Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 5:42 am

        The US may charge more but it processes over 2,000,000 Green Card applications each year. Request for permanent residency in Thailand has nothing to do with immigration..it’s just a false flag for international relations.

      • Avatar

        Mike

        Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 5:49 pm

        Hong Kong = $0

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 5:13 pm

      The idea that it’s “another money making racket” is absurd – if it was, they’d not only be charging a lot more (certainly a lot more than the ‘Elite’ card) but they’d make it a lot easier.

      “money making rackets” other countries have that spring to mind as a direct equivalent are the UK’s “tier 1 investor visa” at a million pounds, Spain and Portugal’s residency visas at half a million Euros, Canada’s (or at least Quebec’s) at Can$ 800,000 and the USA’s Immigrant Investor Visas at $1 mill.

      Other countries simply sell their rights of residence, and nationality, as a “money making racket” with the UK and the USA being among the most expensive. Thailand doesn’t, and I respect that.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 2:07 pm

        They’re not “raising the rent” or anything else – the requirements have been much the same for as long as they’ve had Permanent Residency.

        Expats may well be leaving and less tourists arriving, but that’s got no possible connection to Permanent Residency.

        “Absolutely clueless” is trying to make some sort of link there when there is none.

  4. Avatar

    Wijnschenk

    Monday, October 5, 2020 at 6:41 pm

    Maybe Thailand want to compeat with Switserland……
    But:
    No democracy!!
    No money (except for one person)…
    And another 50 reasons.
    Just a group of people wanting to get richer and richer.

  5. Avatar

    Kerrie Ross

    Monday, October 5, 2020 at 6:53 pm

    Do women face the same requirements as men? I have married a Thai man.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 4:26 pm

      Yes.

      No difference at all for residency, nationality, marriage visa, or any other visa.

  6. Avatar

    Sam

    Monday, October 5, 2020 at 7:46 pm

    And Thais dont have to through this when emigrating! Anyone who applies for this must had money to burn

    • Avatar

      James

      Monday, October 5, 2020 at 9:40 pm

      Sam

      Of course they do.

      For example, to be able to apply and stay in the UK for an extended time a Thai has to invest £200,000 into a business and employ local people in that business. (8.1 million Baht). Plus you are only allowed to work in that business and show you have funds to support yourself.

      If you want to turn that into a resident visa it takes years to do with all sorts of applications necessary.

      Another example: A Thai woman who marries a man born in the UK has to go through all sorts of applications and has to remain married for five years before getting permanent residency.

      Do you just expect foreigners just to be able to wave $10 at the Thais and then be allowed to stay in Thailand?

      The country would soon be overrun by undesirables.

      • Avatar

        Mark

        Monday, October 5, 2020 at 11:29 pm

        I’ve been in thailand for 15 years can speak and wright the language married for 5 year and my wife is pregnant, in my position its almost impossible to get residency. Is that fair?

        (Sorry bad english)

        • Avatar

          James

          Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 3:31 am

          Mark

          As they only give 100 visas per nationality per year then the chance of someone getting one is small.

          Or maybe it depends on who you know in Thailand for example my wife from Thailand is from a wealthy family, she is educated and they knew people in the embassy in Bangkok at the time and so it only took two hours in total to get a visa to come and live in England. She has been British for decades now.

          I hear that some of the farangs who marry women in Thailand etc find it almost impossible to get a visa for their wife to come to England? I think it depends on the woman’s background, job etc?

          But it is fair in Thailand for married farangs wanting to live in Thailand as the farangs knew the rules and regulations before they got married to a Thai woman so what is unfair about it?

          • Avatar

            Issan John

            Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 1:07 pm

            Things have changed in the last few decades …

        • Avatar

          mike

          Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 7:46 am

          Well apply for residency, not hard if you can read and write Thai fluently !!! If i could i would also !!!

  7. Avatar

    Richard

    Monday, October 5, 2020 at 9:04 pm

    It’s all about money. If you employ Thai workers, if you pay high taxes, if you have done something financially beneficial to Thailand, etc. you may be considered. it’s a ruse unless you have connections. If you work for a company that does any of those things, you may have a chance. And of course, you need to be fluent in Thai. Not an easy task no matter!

    • Avatar

      James

      Monday, October 5, 2020 at 10:13 pm

      Richard

      So the Thais are not as dim as the UK then, Thailand insists you can support yourself and are beneficial to the country.

      In the UK you can turn up and say ‘asylum’, you are then given somewhere free to live and money to live on until your application is processed, if you fail you can appeal and all of this can take years, if not successful you just disappear into the night and hide.

      These people must be laughing at us all.

      Thailand has the right idea on immigration , we in Europe and other Western countries are idiots.

    • Avatar

      LV

      Monday, October 5, 2020 at 10:29 pm

      $220 for Green Card in USA…$6500+ for PR in Thailand..enough said there but in USA you will not be subjected to dual pricing … Zero tangible benefits to this and since they dont care about those who retire here who can piss 80k per month no problem I am more ready to move than ever.

  8. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Monday, October 5, 2020 at 11:37 pm

    I have just checked. it costs in Thai baht: B2637 to apply for a UK residency permit in the UK.
    But you also have to pay B811 for biometric something
    Perhaps I am wrong if so please correct.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 4:46 pm

      Wrong, unsurprisingly.

      That’s the fee for a ‘Permanent Residence Card’, once you already have ‘Permanent Residence Status’.

      It’s the cost of the Card. Nothing more.

      Equating it to the cost of Permanent Residence Status in Thailand is like considering the cost of a British passport as the cost of obtaining British nationality.

      It’s absolute nonsense.

  9. Avatar

    Jill

    Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 12:51 pm

    Strikes me Thailand as with many countries in S.E. Asia are desperate for FDI so why not offer a well devised retirement scheme. A buy-for-residency. I would surmise many folk would make application.

    I seriously doubt retirees would wish to go the route of learning thai (should that be a requirement) and better to not have it built into the overall scheme.. All too difficult with advancing years but if they bring money into the country, a win/win for all. Seems an ideal time to bring this into action.

    The prequisite is that anyone applying would PURCHASE property at X,Y,Z (whatever is the stipulation) and be granted residency.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 1:33 pm

      “Strikes me Thailand as with many countries in S.E. Asia are desperate for FDI so why not offer a well devised retirement scheme…?”

      You mean a scheme like the Elite Card, which has been available for several years?

  10. Avatar

    Robert

    Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 4:18 pm

    This video is pretty good too:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZP8IsTTcBv0

  11. Avatar

    Jilted John

    Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 12:35 pm

    You’d think the Thais would be doing all they can to encourage foreigners to apply for citizenship without all the finances needed and utter nonsense involved yet only for 100 to be granted it?
    That’s right up there with the 1200 STVs issued a month to ‘save the tourism industry’ absolute clowns.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 1:03 pm

      Amazing … “absolute clowns” if they don’t sell residency, and “scammers” if they do!

      • Avatar

        Jilted John

        Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 11:32 am

        I’m not questioning whether they sell residency visas, i’m merely pointing out what an absolute shambles in their methods of obtaining one, just like their STV applications.
        This is up there with landlords raising the rent becuse ‘it’s not busy now so we need to make more money’
        I guarantee they’ll be scratching their heads soon wondering why so many Ex Pats are leaving and less tourists are arriving thenn begging for foreigners to return after shafting and rinsing them for decades
        Absolutely clueless

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 1:29 pm

          It’s far from a “shambles”, it’s simply difficult and limited because they want to limit the numbers and the only fair and reasonable way to do that is to make it selective, based on a number of factors including language, marriage, children, investment and salary.

          What on earth is wrong with that? Surely it’s better and fairer than just selling residency to those who can afford it, as the UK, Spain, Portugal and many other Western countries do?

          • Avatar

            Issan John

            Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 2:11 pm

            In reality the ceiling of 100 per nationality is seldom if ever reached, and for most Western countries they only grant half a dozen or less per year (for a number of years they didn’t give any at all) and the only nationalities where it’s near or reaches that limit and is competitive (rather than just selective) are the Indians and Chinese.

            They simply don’t want that many with Permanent Residency, comparatively few meet all the requirements (particularly retirees, unless they want to invest 10 million baht in government bonds since retirees by definition can’t work), and there are workable alternatives from marriage to retirement to working, or even the Elite card.

            For most living here, the benefits simply don’t justify the requirements given the alternatives, so for most applying it’s either a step to Thai citizenship if they’re happy to give up their original nationality and change their name, or just about ‘one-upmanship’ and waving a blue tabian bahn.

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 1:39 pm

          They’re not “raising the rent” or anything else – the requirements have been much the same for as long as they’ve had Permanent Residency.

          Expats may well be leaving and less tourists arriving, but that’s got no possible connection to Permanent Residency.

          “Absolutely clueless” is trying to make some sort of link there when there is none.

          • Avatar

            Jilted John

            Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 8:28 pm

            The last thing the Thais will ever do is sell residencies?
            So what exactly is the Elite Card other than pay the fee and pass go?
            Being in Isaan sounds like you have absolutely no idea of what’s happening in main Thailand and why the Government are currently snookered on their own decisions.
            Without tourists they’re now realising how fucked their economy is and will soon be on their knees begging for the dirty farangs to bail them out

      • Avatar

        John

        Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 1:46 pm

        You’re all over this comment section, parading your arrogance and stupidity. I bet you speak a few hundred words of Thai, at most. Yet another cookie-cutter Isaan sexpat, hiding from loserdom back home…

  12. Avatar

    Mike

    Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 5:46 pm

    So funny.

    It’s easier to get permanent residency in Hong Kong where salaries are 6 times higher even for the lowest paid jobs. The ONLY requirement – hold a non-permanent ID card for 7 years – that’s it.

    When I got my permanent ID card I wasn’t even charged!

  13. Avatar

    Barent Springsted

    Friday, October 9, 2020 at 1:22 pm

    I am an American. Have lived in TH since 1987. Was working for local companies all that time until 2003. Applied for “permanent residence permit” in 1999. Process took 1 year. Plenty of required documents but not beyond possibility. Called in for 2 casual interviews during the year. Speaking Thai was minimal as the officer was more interested to get the interview over via conversing with my wife who is Thai. Those 2 interviews were just follow-ups to the list of required documentation. Approval came about 12 months later. Fee at that time was about Bht.150,000. I was prepared to pay but the clerk noted that my wife is Thai so I was only required to pay half of that amount. Once the permit was in hand no further contact was necessary. ONLY requirement is to get a re-entry permit when travelling out of TH. Also, if one leaves for an extended period then there is a requirement that the permit holder must return to TH at least once within 365 days. If you never leave again then there is no periodic reporting requirement. There is one other matter and that is a permit holder must register with the local police authorities within the area of the city where they live. Very simple and not onerous to go to that same police station once every 5 years and confirm their residence in that area. As an observation of this issue I imagine that the biggest single issue to obtaining a non-resident permit is that you must be working at the time of your application. So, if a retiree wants to apply then they will have to face this one compelling issue, one that seems making an application a non-starter. Finally, in terms of cost I ONLY had to pay the posted fee (Bht.75,000 in my case). No surcharge or bribery money issues. No regrets to having following this path. Barent

  14. Avatar

    Jenny

    Monday, October 12, 2020 at 2:46 pm

    If you are looking for Thai visa, head over to Bangkok Visa Service, we offer all types of visa, along with that we also offer guidance and support to our customers as well to make the process simple and swift.

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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