Foreigners from around the world want to stay permanently and take residence in Thailand as it is one of the most sought-after destinations in South East Asia offering a low yet convenient standard of living.
Many inquires come from foreigners who travel to the Land of Smiles as to how they can apply for Thai Permanent Resident status. Understandably, the allure of Thailand’s vibrant culture, breathtaking landscapes, and warm hospitality makes it a favorite destination for many. Securing a Thai Permanent Residency not only simplifies one’s prolonged stays but also offers numerous benefits. Below are some of the benefits of Thailand Permanent Residency.
Benefits of Thailand Permanent Residency
Obtaining status as a Permanent Resident (PR) or residence permit in Thailand has many advantages. It allows you to live permanently in Thailand, with the following benefits:
- no requirement to apply for an extension of stay;
- no need for yearly visa renewals;
- the ability to apply for Thai citizenship after holding PR status for 10 consecutive years;
- you can have your name on a house registration document;
- ability to buy a condominium without transferring money from abroad; and
- easier process to obtain a work permit.
In addition to this residence permit, you can be eligible to become a director of a Thai public company. You will also be able to apply for an extension of stay and Permanent Resident status for your non Thai family members.
What are the required documents?
Applying for Permanent Residency (PR) in Thailand entails submitting various documents to validate your eligibility and claims. While the specifics might slightly vary based on your reasons for applying (e.g., investment, family support, employment), here’s a general list of required documents for a Thailand PR application:
- Application Form: Properly filled out and signed.
- Passport: Copies of every page of the applicant’s valid passport.
- Non-Immigrant Visa: You should have held this visa for at least three consecutive years prior to applying for PR.
- Departure and Arrival Cards: These are the cards you receive every time you enter or leave Thailand.
- Personal Data Form: This form provides the Immigration Bureau with details about your personal life, work, and background.
- Health Certificate: Issued by a hospital in Thailand, confirming that you’re free from prohibited diseases. This certificate should be recent, typically not older than three months.
- Proof of Financial Standing:
- Bank statements showing a stable and adequate income.
- Letter from the bank confirming your account and balance.
- Salary slips (if employed).
- Tax statements, specifically a tax return (Por Ngor Dor 91) and a receipt for the tax payment.
- Employment-Related Documents (if applying based on employment):
- Work permit with copies of every page.
- Letter from the employer stating your position, salary, duration of employment, and the significance of your role to the company or organization.
- Company documents, such as business registration, list of shareholders, and balance sheets.
- Family-Related Documents (if applying based on family ties):
- Marriage certificate (if married to a Thai national).
- Birth certificates of children (if applicable) who are Thai nationals.
- Thai ID card and household registration of the Thai spouse.
- Photos showing you together with your Thai family.
- Investment-Related Documents (if applying based on investment):
- Proof of investment, like property ownership documents or investment in government or social projects.
Application Process for Thai Permanent Residency
Thai Permanent Residency application is processed by the Royal Thai Immigration Commission. The annual quota for granting permanent residency in Thailand is a maximum of 100 persons per country. The application period for the permanent residency in Thailand usually from October to the end of December of every year. The applicant must file by the deadline or wait for the next year.
In order to apply to become a Thai Permanent Resident or Thai PR, the applicant must meet the following criteria:
- The applicant must have had a Thai non immigrant visa extension of stay for at least three years prior to the submission of your application. Holders of multiple Thai non immigrant visas can not apply. You must have 3 consecutive yearly extensions in order to qualify.
- The applicant must be a holder of a non-immigrant visa at the time of submitting your application.
- The applicant must be able to meet one of these categories to apply for PR status in Thailand:
- Investment category (minimum 3 – 10 Mil. Baht investment in Thailand)
- Working/ Business category
- Support a family or Humanity Reasons category: In this category, you must have a relationship with a Thai citizen or an alien who already posses a residence permit as a husband or wife; father or mother; or a guardian of a Thai child under 20 years of age.
- Expert / academic category
- Other categories as determined by Thai Immigration
You should note that the list of required documents for the residence permit application depends on the category under which the application is made.
Once your application for Thai Permanent Residency is approved, a residence blue book is issued to you. You must then register your place of residence in Thailand at the local Amphur and obtain a house card. A week after the receipt of your residence certificate you can then apply for an alien book (red book) at the local police station, which is the equivalent of the Thai national ID card. You must re-register there every year.
The Residency Permit itself never expires unless revoked. To be able to leave the country and return to Thailand, however, requires you to apply for a re-entry permit (endorsement).
You can file an application to become a Thai naturalized citizen after holding Permanent Resident status in Thailand for 10 consecutive years.
Permanent Residence Application Fees
- The application fee for PR is currently 7,600 Thai Baht.
- If approved, the applicant will have to pay a PR approval fee, which as of the last update was 191,400 THB for most applicants and 95,700 THB for spouses and children of Thai citizens.
Although permanent residency does not need annual renewal like visas, PR holders are required to report to immigration every year to confirm their residence. Failure to do so can result in penalties or potential loss of PR status.
Alternatives to Thai Permanent Residence
For many foreigners keen on staying long-term in Thailand but who find the Permanent Residency (PR) process daunting or aren’t yet eligible, there are alternative visas and programs that offer extended stay with less stringent requirements. Here’s a closer look at these options:
Thailand Privilege Visa (Thailand Elite Visa)
The Thailand Elite Visa is a long-term visa program initiated by the Thailand Privilege Card Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of the Tourism Authority of Thailand. It provides multiple entry visas with a validity ranging from 5 to 20 years based on the package selected.
- Flexibility to travel in and out of Thailand without re-applying for visas.
- Access to exclusive services depending on the membership type, such as airport privileges, golf courses, spa treatments, and more.
- No need for regular visa extensions or 90-day reporting in some cases.
- Eligibility: Anyone can apply, regardless of age, but there’s a membership fee which varies based on the chosen package.
Long-Term Resident Visa (LTR Visa)
The Long-Term Resident Visa in Thailand, commonly referred to as the LTR Visa, offers a unique opportunity for high-potential foreigners who are eager to relocate to Thailand and contribute to its economic growth.
- Longevity: The visa is valid for up to 10 years, divided into two terms of five years each.
- Work Privileges: Allows holders to work in Thailand, with some categories even offering a digital work permit.
- Family Inclusion: Holders can bring along up to 4 family members (spouse and children under 20).
- Access to Services: This visa grants access to healthcare, education, and banking services in Thailand.
- Health insurance coverage or a substantial deposit in a Thai bank.
- Different financial criteria based on category: for example, a minimum asset of USD 1 million for Wealthy Global Citizens.
- Education and professional experience requirements for some categories.
- Spouses and dependents must meet specific criteria, including health insurance coverage and age restrictions.
Non-Immigrant OX Visa
This is a long-stay visa specifically designed for foreigners aged 50 years and above from select countries. It allows the holder to stay in Thailand for 10 years, divided into two 5-year periods.
- Lengthy duration of stay without the need for frequent renewals.
- Ability to leave and re-enter Thailand multiple times without the need for a re-entry permit.
- Must be from one of the eligible countries.
- Have a bank deposit consisting of no less than 3 million THB in a Thai bank account.
- Maintain the account balance at no less than 1.5 million THB after one year.
- Health insurance with a coverage of at least 100,000 USD for in-patient and 40,000 USD for outpatient is mandatory.
Things to Consider
- Even with permanent residence status, foreigners cannot own land directly in their name. They can, however, own buildings on the land or own land through a limited company where they are a shareholder.
- PR holders are still considered foreign nationals in Thailand and are subject to some restrictions that Thai citizens are not.
Summary for Permanent Residence Thailand
Thai Permanent Residency is a rewarding but long process. Having resident status in Thailand is appealing to many foreigners. Applying every year for the non-immigrant visa can be troublesome for many. Permanent resident status can put an end to the yearly extensions by having the Thai permanent resident status. The next step will be applying for Thai citizenship and put an end to applying every year for a your work permit. Being a Thai citizen is the ultimate goal for many.
If you are considering making the Land of Smiles your permanent home, you’ve come to the right place. Our dedicated team is here to assist you through every step of the Thailand Permanent Residence application process. Please fill out the form below with your personal details and your query. Ensure that your contact information is accurate so we can get back to you promptly.