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  • Thailand Visas: The Resident Permit

    April 15 2014

    Many foreign investors living in Thailand call themselves “permanent resident” which is actually incorrect. A permanent resident of Thailand is a foreign national that has applied and obtained a Resident Permit (or Certicate of Residence) pursuant to Chapter 5 Section 40 to 52 of the Immigration Act. What are the benefits of this status and how to obtain it?

    What are the benefits of the resident status?

     The following benefits are applicable to the beneficiary of a Resident Permit. A Permanent Resident

    (i) May live indefinitely in the Kingdom of Thailand without needing a visa or having to extend it. Resident Permit holders only need to apply for Re-Entry permits when they need to leave Thailand.

    (ii) Is not required to report every 90 days to the Immigration Bureau.

    (iii) May purchase a condominium without having to remit funds from abroad.

    (iv) May borrow from Thai or Foreign Banks to purchase a condominium in Thailand

    (v) Permanent Residents are registered in the Household Registration Book (Blue Book) of their place of  residence (Non resident may be registered but only in the Yellow Book)

    (vi) Work permits are easier to obtain and to renew

     They are other benefits to be a resident. A foreign citizen that want to apply for Thai citizenship must first be a permanent resident ( The foreign wife of a Thai citizen may apply for Thai nationality after 5 years of marriage without being a permanent resident).


    While beneficiary of Resident Permits receive a lot of benefits they still need a work permit to work and are not entitled to own land.

     Conditions that need to be fulfilled to apply for a Resident Permit

     A foreign national may apply for a residence permit if they –

    (a) Hold a valid passport issued by their country of origin, and

    (b) Hold a Non-Immigrant Visa (any category), and

    (c) Have been permitted to stay in the Kingdom of Thailand for a continual period of at least 3 years without interuption prior to the submission of their application and

    Are either in one of the following category:

    Working/Business Category – Having held the sameWork Permit for a continuous (uninterrupted) period of at least three years and having paid a sufficient amoun a personal income tax during the period. or

    Humanity Reasons Category – Being a relative of a Thai citizen, for example having a Thai Spouse (must be married and live with your spouse) and having an income sufficient to support a family (only applicable to men

    Expert Category – the applicant must hold at least a bachelors degree plus be able to demonstrate, with supporting documentary evidence, that they have skills of value to the Kingdom.

     Applicants must in addition provide:

    (d) a certificate from police in their country of origin to prove that they have not been convicted of a criminal offence, and

    (e) a medical certificate which clears them of any mental deficiency, physical infirmity or a contagious disease established by a Thai hospital, and

    (f) any other documents applicable to the categorie you are applying for

     Note that there was previously an investment category applicable to foreign investors that have brought more than 10,000,000 THB of investment. This investment category has been discontinued


    Early in December each year the Immigration Bureau announces the annual quota for the following year.  

    The annual quota is restricted to no more than 100 applicants from each nation. The quota is rarely filled but for Indians and Chinese.

    Application Requirements

    –  The application has to be filed between November or December of each year

    –  Application for a Residence Permit -THB 7,600 (this fee is not refundable).

    –  If the application is accepted an applicant who is married with a Thai national must paid a fee of THB 95,700 and if not married to a Thai national a fee of 191,400 THB

    During the application process the visa of the applicant shall be reconducted per 6 months period. The period of consideration may be anything between 1 year to 3 years.

     The applicant will also have to participate to an interview and to demonstrate his knowledge of Thai language.




    About the Author:

    The author Rene-Philippe DUBOUT is a lawyer since 1990 when he was admitted to Geneva bar (Switzerland). He practiced as a litigator there for 10 years until he moved to Thailand in 1999. In 2002 he founded with a group of Thai lawyers Rene Philippe & Partners Ltd a local law firm that specialized in Cross Borders Investments and Real Estate. He has been lecturing in several Thai Universities and a speaker to numerous conferences and seminars. He is the author of a must read book:”How to Purchase Real Estate Offshore Safely: The Case of Thailand”.


     © Copyrights 2009 – Rene Philippe Dubout – This article may be reprinted if information about the author, the websites, and the URLs remain intact.




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