When you’ve been living as an expat in Thailand for a few years, and you want to stay even longer, it’s time to take the next step and become a permanent resident.
Becoming a resident of Thailand has its own set of perks, which anyone who wants to make Thailand a second home should consider. For instance, a permanent resident is not constrained by property laws that prohibit other foreigners from acquiring real estate property in their name.
In addition, applying for a work permit with a permanent residence shortens the process considerably. While most foreigners will want to perform a visa run to satisfy their visa’s exit requirements (if they don’t want to apply for an extension), a permanent resident can stay in Thailand for as long as heor she wishes.
Who Can Apply for a Permanent Residency?
The first requirement to becoming a permanent resident is tenure of residence. You must hold a Non-Immigrant Visa of any classification, and must have stayed in Thailand for three consecutive years. The visa must also be valid at the time of application.
Now, there are several categories of qualifications in becoming a permanent resident of Thailand:
- Investment category, in which you must have invested a total of THB3 million into the economy. This could be done via the stock market, through a public or limited company, or through a state-owned enterprise.
- Business category, in which you must be a top-level manager in the executive department of a business registered in Thailand. The business must have a capital of THB10 million at the least, and a reported income of THB50,000 per month for two consecutive years.
- Employment category, which requires you to report an income of at least THB80,000 per month for two consecutive years. You must also be employed by your current workplace for at least a year.
- Humanity category, which requires you to be married to a Thai national. Alternatively, foreigners who are children of a Thai national can also apply for permanent residence.
- Expert category, in which you must hold a bachelor’s degree and be employed by a Thai company for 3 years.
The Immigration Bureau will also consider special cases and requirements.
Where to Apply
You can apply for permanent residency at the nearest Royal Thai Immigration Office. Make sure to bring the following documents:
- Original and photocopy of your passport
- Original and photocopy of your dwelling’s registration at the Tabien Baan.
- 12 passport size photos. They must have been taken within the past 6 months.
Take note that there is a limited number of slots available for residency applications. The government also approves 100 residents annually. Also, applications are only open between October to December of each year.
There are many advantages that you can enjoy out of becoming a permanent resident in Thailand. However, you need to consider your circumstances and your intentions as well before you apply, as there are numerous rules that govern permanent residencies in the Kingdom.