Thailand is one of the most sought after destinations in the South East Asia for Holiday Homes and obtaining permanent residency. This is mainly due to the fact that it offers a low yet convenient standard of living.
Obtaining status as a Permanent Resident (PR) in Thailand has quite a few advantages.Firstly, It allows you to stay permanently in Thailand, without applying for an extension of stay. Secondly, you can have your name on a house registration document, will be able to buy a condominium without making a bank transfer from abroad. Getting a work permit is also made easier once you have PR status.
The applications for Thai Permanent Residency are processed by the Royal Thai Immigration Commission. Only 100 persons per country per year are granted residence in Thailand. The application period for Thai PR usually from October to the end of December of every year.
In order to apply to become a Thai Permanent Resident, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must have had a Thai non-immigrant visa for at least three years prior to the submission of your application. Holders of multiple NON-Immigrant visas can not apply. You must have 3 consecutive yearly extensions in order to qualify.
- You must be a holder of a non-immigrant visa at the time of submitting your application.
Apart from the above two mandatory criteria, you must aslo 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
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.