Permanent Residence in Thailand

The golden visa for Thailand is the Permanent Resident Visa.

PR Visas are granted to 100 people per nationality per year by the Interior Minister. One of them could be you, but you have to meet certain requirements before even considering applying.

In order to apply the foreign candidate must meet these requirements

  1. The candidate must have been granted a non-immigrant visa with three concurrent yearly extensions prior to the application.
  2. Multiple non-immigrant visa holders need not apply.
  3. You must be in possession of a non-immigrant visa at the time of application.
  4. There is a minimum salary for each nationality, but falling short is not a deal-killer.

Application process

First go to the Immigration Office at Suan Phlu in Bangkok. At Room 301 inform the officials that you are seeking a PR visa. They will provide a list of the 20 documents necessary for the application all of which must be signed within three months of your application. All foreign documents must be translated and certified by the Thai Foreign Ministry. The Thai Immigration Bureau required the foreign candidate to have the following documents.

  1. Valid passport from your country of origin on which was granted the non-immigrant visa plus the three concurrent extensions.
  2. The applicant must either have an investment of 3 million baht (this will soon change to 10 million baht), have a special work or business category or have a relationship with either a Thai national or a foreigner holding a PR visa such as a spouse, legal parent of a Thai national or PR visa holder or is a child under 20 and is single. Other categories are experts and academics.
  3. Medical certificate of health
  4. Proof of no criminal record in your home country (federal records). This could take up to two months.
  5. Maps of your residence and place of work
  6. Photos of these places
  7. Detailed curriculum vitae
  8. Complete resume going back to college
  9. Letter to Immigration highlighting your contribution to Thailand
  10. Supporting documents to the claim
  11. Reference letters from Thai supporters
  12. Memberships in charitable groups
  13. Bank documents
  14. Newspaper clippings

Applications can be made from October to late-December and will be processed by the Immigration Commission. The applicants can submit the applications once a year. Preparation for a PR visa should be thorough and can take several months to gather the needed documents.

A lawyer is not necessary, but legal assistance can short-cut several difficulties and obtaining and understanding documentation. Your lawyer or company legal representative should be the first one you ask for this help. Always make copies and also a list of what you give whom in order to keep track of your documents.

When you make your application at immigration the officer will see if your papers are in order. In all likelihood you will have to update or change some documents. Fingerprints are taken on this day. The officer will also designate a date for your interview and Thai language test.

At the interview you will have to ring along your annual Income Tax return (Por Ngor Dor 90/91) and company tax documents for December.

Interview

The first stage is with your lawyer present where the three of you discuss your documents, background, and the PR process. The interviewing officer will hand you a printed statement in Thai. The lawyer will explain it to you.

The second stage is a test of 10 multiple answer questions in Thai. The officer will help you through this examination about Thailand.

Stage three is a video section, where you introduce yourself in Thai. You might be asked a few more questions during this filming.

Once you have been approved, you will have to pick up your new set of documents.

This process requires the expenditure for fees, which are subject to change from year to year.

  1. Application for a residence permit - approximately 10000 baht
  2. Approval of a residence permit. This is not required until you have been approved. approximately 200,000 baht
  3. Approval of a residence permit for a foreigner married to a Thai, the spouse of a resident, and any of their children under the legal age of 20. This is not required until you have been approved. approximately 100,000

The candidates can make an application once a year.

Results are posted in May and PR visas issued at the year's end.

Once approved the PR visa holder must reported to the local Amphur office nearest his place of residence to get your house card. A week later you must go the local police station to apply for your alien book (red). Every five years you will have to get a stamp in this book at the police station. You will be obliged to re-register every year at the same office, unless you change your house card, which is not advisable if you are seeking naturalization. If you leave the nation, then you must apply for a re-entry permit at a cost of 1000 baht. If you don't leave, then it is not needed. Once granted you are provided with an alien registration book acting in the same way as a Thai ID card.

Bonuses of a PR Visa

  1. Permanent residence in Thailand
  2. Permission to own land and have your name on the deed to a house.
  3. Easier access to a work permit
  4. The possibility of naturalization.
  5. Thai nationality granted to your children born in Thailand
  6. Ability to become a director of a Thai company.

After 10 years of PR visa status you can apply for naturalization.

It seems long, but time does go fast.

Good Luck

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