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Learn more about Thailand Permanent Residency

Permanent resident status has many advantages. Permanent residency allows you to stay in Thailand without having to fulfill any deferment obligations with the immigration office or extension of stay. It also allows you to register your house or any other property you own in Thailand in your name and allows you to buy an apartment or property without having to transfer funds from abroad. Permanent residency gives you the right to work and therefore to obtain a work permit. Thai permanent residency status also allows you to apply to become a naturalized Thai citizen once you have met all the requirements. Thus, acquiring permanent residency in Thailand has many advantages and guarantees you the right to stay permanently in Thailand without any obligation to defer or renew.

Table of contents


What is permanent residency?

Visa procedures are long and complex. Every foreign national must have a visa to stay in Thailand. The visa has a limited validity period. During the period of the visa, the holder is required to declare his or her address of residence in Thailand to the immigration office every 90 days. If you wish to live permanently in Thailand, it is possible to obtain the status of “permanent resident“, which allows you to reside in Thailand for an unlimited period of time without the obligation to declare. Permanent resident status is available to anyone who meets the strict eligibility requirements set by the immigration office.

What are the eligibility requirements for permanent residence?

To apply for a permanent residency visa in Thailand, you must have been in Thailand on a non-immigrant visa for at least three years. In addition, you must have held the same type of visa for the entire three-year period and at the time of application to meet the requirements. Foreign nationals 14 years of age or older are subject to a criminal record check. The applicant may be asked to disclose information about income, assets, knowledge, professional ability and family status relevant to Thai national security or other requirements as deemed appropriate for the examination. The applicant must have the ability to understand and speak the Thai language. To apply for a permanent residency visa in Thailand, you must also fall into one of the following alternative categories:

Investment Category: Have invested a minimum of 3 million baht in a Thai limited or listed company, bonds issued by the Thai government, a Thai state-owned enterprise or the Thai stock exchange.

Business Category: Must have been an officer and shareholder of a company registered in Thailand with a capital of at least 10 million baht for at least one year and have earned at least 50,000 baht per month for the two consecutive years prior to application. This employment must also be considered an area of interest to the Thai economy.

Employment Category: Have earned at least 80,000 baht per month for two consecutive years or have filed a tax return for an annual income of 100,000 baht or more for two consecutive years, hold a work permit for at least three consecutive years, and have worked in your current business for at least one year.

Humanity Category: Have been married to a Thai national or be the parent or child of a Thai citizen.

Expert Category: Have a Bachelor’s degree or higher and hold a position that requires working in Thailand for at least three consecutive years.

Independent Category: Based on additional circumstances on a case-by-case basis.

What documents are required?

The list of documents required for the application depends on the category and circumstances under which your application is made. First, you must contact the immigration office where you wish to file your application and ask them what documents they will need. Among the required documents, you will need to prepare the following documents, regardless of the category:

➤ Original and one copy of your passport, including copies of all relevant pages
➤ Original and one copy of the family record book of your residence
➤ 12 passport photos taken within the six months prior to your application (4 x 6 cm)
➤ All fees must be paid in cash

How to apply for permanent residency?

Application for permanent residency must be made to the Thai immigration office. There is an annual quota for the granting of permanent residence in Thailand, with 100 people per nationality allocated each year. Applications for permanent residency are usually only considered between October and December following the announcement of the annual quota. All documents must be submitted to the immigration office. There will then be an interview with immigration officials and the necessary approval from the Minister of the Interior. Once the permanent residence visa to Thailand has been approved, you will receive a blue residence booklet which must then be registered with the local Amphur of your residence in Thailand to obtain a residence card. Once you have received your permanent residency card, you can then apply for the alien booklet (red booklet) at the local police station. Your Alien’s Booklet will be the equivalent of a Thai national identity card and must be re-registered every year.

What is the interview process?

As part of your application for a permanent residency visa in Thailand, you will have an interview with an immigration officer at a Thai immigration office. The officer will ask you about the documents you have submitted as well as your background and religious beliefs. All of your answers will be documented, and you will be asked to sign the documents after the interview. You will also be asked to answer ten multiple choice questions. These questions will be written in Thai, but the immigration officer will be able to help you understand them and translate them into English. You will also be required to introduce yourself in Thai, which a video camera will record.

Does the permanent residence visa need to be renewed?

It is not necessary to renew the permanent residency visa as there is no expiration date. However, it can be revoked under certain circumstances. You must take care to obtain a return visa every time you decide to leave Thailand.

How much does permanent resident status cost?

Upon application, the foreigner must pay a non-refundable application fee of 7,600 baht. If the application is approved, the applicant must pay an additional fee of 191,400 baht, unless the applicant is the child (under 20 years of age) or spouse of a foreign permanent resident or Thai citizen; the fee is 95,700 baht.

What are the benefits of permanent resident status?

There are many advantages to obtaining a permanent residency visa in Thailand. In particular, you can stay in Thailand without a permit or the need to report to the immigration office every 90 days. There is also no need to extend or renew your visa. You have the right to stay in Thailand for an unlimited time. It is also possible to extend your stay for family members who are not Thai citizens. In terms of real estate, permanent resident status allows you to buy property without transferring funds from abroad. You can also be a director of a publicly traded company and obtain a work permit quickly. Permanent resident status allows you to obtain a permanent residence booklet and an alien registration booklet. In the long term, it is possible to obtain Thai nationality.

Does permanent resident status allow to be 100% shareholder in a company?

The requirement of 100% ownership of a company is only possible for Thai nationals. The status of permanent resident does not confer Thai nationality. Thus, it is only possible to hold 49% of the share capital of the Thai company. On the other hand, naturalization allows to obtain Thai nationality and to hold 100% of the company’s money.

Permanent ResidencyApplication Form (TM.9)

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