Advantages of Permanent Residence in Thailand
There are a number of advantages to holding permanent resident status in Thailand:
It allows the holder to live permanently in Thailand, with no requirement to apply for an extension of temporary stay.
In addition to the permanent residence book, an alien registration book will be issued, which is the equivalent of the ID card held by Thais.
A permanent resident can have his/her name included on a house registration document.
Obtaining a work permit is easier for a permanent resident than for a non-resident, but you still need to have a work permit if working.
A permanent resident also has a number of other privileges such as, for example, being able to:
(a) buy a condominium without being required to transfer money from abroad;
(b) apply for naturalization in accordance with the law concerned;
(c) have Thai nationality granted to children who are born in Thailand;
(d) become a director of a public company; and
(e) apply for an extension of stay or permanent residence for non-Thai family members.
The annual quota for granting permanent residency in Thailand is a maximum of 100 persons per country. The Interior Minister is responsible for issuing the announcement each year that the quota is open for submission of applications, usually from October to the end of December.
The Immigration Commission has the power to define all regulations concerning permanent residency. The Immigration Bureau is the agency that handles all procedures concerning permanent residency applications.
Qualifications of an applicant:
1. An applicant must have received permission for yearly stays in Thailand on a non-immigrant visa for at least of three years prior to the submission of an application for permanent residency. Holders of multiple NON-Immigrant visas can not apply. You must have 3 un-broken yearly extensions in order to qualify.
2. An applicant must be holding a non-immigrant visa at the time of submitting an application.
The list of required documents depends on the category under which the application is made.
Application for a residence permit – 7,600
Approval of a residence permit (payable on receipt of residence book) – 191,400
Approval of a residence permit (payable on receipt of residence book) for a foreigner married to a Thai, the spouse of a resident, and any of their children who have not reached the status of a Thai juristic person (i.e., unmarried children aged below 20 years) – 95,700
The Thai Immigration Bureau has recently (october 2003) announced quotas for all expatriates applying for residence permits at 100 persons per nationality. All foreigners may qualify to apply for a residence permit if he/she
1. Holds a passport of his/her current nationality, which was granted a Non-Immigrant visa and the individual has been permitted to stay in Thailand for at least 3 consecutive years on a 1-year visa extension basis up to the application submission date.
2. Has personal qualifications that meet one or more of the following categories:
1) Investment category (minumum 3 – 10 Mil. Baht investment in Thailand)
2) Working/ Business category
3) Support a family or Humanity Reasons category: He/she must have relationship with a Thai citizen or an alien who already posses a residence permit as the followings:
- A legal husband or wife
- A legal father or mother
- A child who is under 20 years of age up to the submission date of application and must be single
4) Expert / academics category
5) Other categories
Submission period for the Residence permit applications
The applicants can submit the applications once a year. Normally, the opening date for the applications is in December, we recommend to prepare the required documents 1-2 months earlier. Once the date is announced, the applications can be submitted until the last working day of the year.
The results will be announced in May 2004 and the residence permits will be issued in December 2004.
If approved, a residence blue book is issued to the alien. The foreign resident must register the place of residence in Thailand at the local Amphur Office and obtain a house card. 7 days after receipt of the residence certificate you then apply for an alien book (red book) at the local police station. You must re-register there every year, and the fee is 200 Baht.
The Residency Permit itself never expires, unless revoked. To be able to leave the country and return at will, though, you need to apply each year for a re-entry permit (endorsement) at 1,000 baht (multiple entry). If you don’t leave Thailand, you don’t need to have an endorement done.
Also, you must present yourself at the police station covering the area where you are resident once every five years for a stamp in your book.
An alien with permanent residency status will be eligible to apply for Thai citizenship after 10 consecutive years under this classification.