Can you live in Thailand permanently as a foreigner? A foreigner can indeed live permanently in Thailand. There are several options available to a foreigner who wishes to live long term in Thailand. This includes a permanent Thai residency, obtaining a Thai elite membership, or other shorter duration options such as a student visa.
In today’s article, we will explore how to live in Thailand permanently by going through a few options and the requirements for each option. Immigration laws across Southeast Asia, including Thailand, are continuously changing, and even all posts are updated regularly, it’s recommended to visit the local immigration office for the latest information.
How To Live In Thailand Permanently
The first option for a foreigner to live permanently in Thailand is through Thailand residency, often referred to as citizenship, but citizenship is slightly different. Thailand residency allows you to stay in Thailand permanently. However, after ten consecutive years of holding a permanent residence, you can become a Thai citizen through naturalization.
The Thailand residency permit does not expire unless it has been revoked. So you will not need to do a 3-month extension similar to other visa types, which is often a great convenience for many foreigners looking to live permanently in Thailand. So now that we know a few basics between the Thailand residency and the naturalized process, how can foreigners obtain a Thai residency permit, and what are the requirements?
Below is the list of requirements from the thaiembassy.com website. I have added a link to the full article above for your reference
- Expert / academic category
- Investment category (minimum 3 – 10 Mil. Baht investment in Thailand)
- Other categories as determined by Thai Immigration
- Support a family or Humanity Reasons category: In this category, you must have a relationship with a Thai citizen or an alien who already possesses a residence permit as a husband or wife, father or mother, or a guardian of a Thai child under 20 years of age.
- Working/ Business category
- You must be a holder of a non-immigrant visa at the time of submitting your application.
- You must be able to meet one of these categories to apply for PR status in Thailand:
- You must have had a Thai non-immigrant visa for at least three years before submitting your application. Holders of multiple NON-Immigrant can not apply. In addition, you must have three consecutive yearly extensions to qualify.
The program itself offers some benefits, for example, children born in Thailand will be granted citizenship, and permit holders will be able to serve as managing directors of companies.
There are a few different options when looking at how to become a permanent resident in Thailand. The process, however, can take a considerable amount of time (6-12 months); thus, many look to law firms with support with this process. Therefore, many foreigners wanting to live long-term in Thailand recruit the services of a local law firm in their city.
Each year the quota states that only a maximum of 100 people per country can be granted residency. The annual application is from made during October to December.
Other Options For Living In Thailand Long Term
The second option for expats wishing to live permanently in Thailand is the Thai elite, but what is Thai elite, and what are their membership options?
Thai elite is a servicing agent who offers several visa packages, which they call memberships. The visa length or membership programs can either be 5,10, or 20 years. In addition, there are different types of memberships available which may be more suitable to some than others. For example, there are family memberships available as well as single memberships.
There are several requirements, and this depends on what type of visa you are applying for. For example, due to the recent pandemic, all travelers into Thailand must have at least 100,000 USD coverage of COVID health insurance. Apart from these standard documents needed, the essential requirement is the financial one.
Membership fees range from 600,000 Thai Baht to 2,000,000 Thai Baht. Each package also has many additional features and options. Thus I will link the entire article to the Thai elite website For more information about living long term in Thailand as a foreigner.
Living In Thailand As A Foreigner Long Term
The third and final option is not living in Thailand permanently but living in Thailand long term through a student visa or as a volunteer. These visa types are often granted annually but can be extended and renewed, and therefore many expats will be able to stay long-term on these visas.
In addition, the great thing about traveling or living permanently in Thailand is that in some situations, if you leave Thailand and we enter, your visa process can be renewed. There is, of course, a limit on this, and if you are continuously leaving and re-entering, then it is likely that you will be denied entry. Still, due to this legal loophole, many foreigners have lived in Thailand semi-permanently by taking short breaks outside of the country. Living In Thailand Permanently.
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