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Thailand Permanent Residence

This desirable document allows you to stay in Thailand permanently without the need for a Visa. It is also another step on the road to Citizenship, and a Thai Passport (if you wish). The Permanent Residence Permit is only available in Bangkok, and should not be thought of as ‘just another visa’.
Applications for the PRP are only permitted during one short period in the year (usually December). The committee consider applications for about 5 months, then you will be called forward for an interview. If you succeed you will be ‘offered’ the PRP sometime later. Generally the whole process can take up to a year. Remember this is a privilege that the Thai government offers to only 100 people of each nationality each year, although many western nationalities never fill their quotas. The qualifications are not easy, and include the following.

–    You must have completed 3 continuous years of Non-Immigrant 1 year extensions (both type “B” and “O” are fine)
–    You must be able to show 3 years of Thai Tax Certificates (even if you are not working).
You will be allotted qualifying points if you:
–    Have invested in Thailand.
–    Established a business in Thailand.
–    Have been working in Thailand and qualify as an “expert”.
–    Support a legal Thai spouse and family members.
–    Have a good Immigration history in Thailand.
–    Have spent a long time in Thailand.
–    Speak some Thai language, enough for a little simple conversation.
–    Have a clean criminal record both in and outside Thailand.

The application is around 7,600 baht (non refundable). If you are finally offered PRP there is a one-time fee of 191,400 baht (92,400 if legally married to a Thai).
The top 100 people (of each nationality) on the qualifying list will be considered. Nevertheless, many Western nations do not fill their quota every year.
You will still need to use a “re-entry permit” when travelling outside Thailand, otherwise the PRP will be cancelled, but you will not need to renew the permit each year. You will still need to report to an Immigration Office every 90 days to confirm your address.
So what are the advantages?

–    It allows the holder to live permanently in Thailand, with no requirement to apply for an extension of stay. In addition to the permanent residence book, an alien registration book will be issued, which is the equivalent of the ID card held by Thais.
–    You can buy a Condominium without proof the money came from abroad.
–    You can have your name included on property ownership papers.
–    You can obtain a “work-permit” more easily, although you still need one!
–    It improves your chance of obtaining a mortgage.
–    You can later apply for Citizenship if you seek a Thai Passport
–    You can become a director of a public company
–    You can apply for an extension of stay or permanent residence for non-Thai family members.

Who is eligible to apply for permanent residence?
1.    A foreign national qualifies to apply for a residence permit if he or she has been legally in the Kingdom for a total of at least 3 years up until the date of application.
2.    A foreigner whose purpose of stay in Thailand is for business or employment, investment, or academic purposes; supporting a family member who is a Thai citizen; being a dependent of a husband or father who is a Thai citizen; being accompanied a husband, father, or son/daughter who already has a residence permit; and retirement (aged at least 60 years of age with a net monthly income of no less than 30,000 baht)
3.    Foreign investors who invest in a private/public company, purchase a condominium, buy government bonds or state enterprise bonds, make a deposit in one or more Thai banks, and who make other investments in accordance with the Immigration Commission’s specifications and worth at least 10 million baht.
4.    Foreign Investors who make direct investments (over 10 million baht) or indirect investment (e.g. government bonds, State Enterprise bonds, condominiums) in the amount of 8 million baht for the investor, 6 million baht for a spouse and 2 million baht per unmarried child under the age of 20.
5.    Foreign Experts who have an annual income of at least 40,000 Thai Baht.
6.    Thai Nationals who have changed their citizenship.
Requirements to Obtain a Permanent Residence Permit:
1.    A foreign national qualifies to apply for a residence permit if he or she has been legally in the Kingdom for a total of at least 3 years up until the date of application.
2.    An application should contain a detailed and accurate explanation of the reasons behind the applicant’s request for a residence permit. This requirement is in the applicant’s best interest, as the information assists the relevant officials to make a timely decision. In addition, a number of documents must be included with each application in accordance with the category under which the application is submitted:

a) Business or employment
b) Investment
c) Experts or academics
d) To support a family (wife and children) who are Thai citizens
e) As a dependent of a husband or father who is a Thai citizen
f) Accompanying a husband, father or son/daughter who already has a residence permit
g) Retirement
3.    Once the opening date for applications has been announced, applications can be submitted, together with all supporting documents, to Section 1, Sub-Division 1, Immigration Division 1, Immigration Bureau (Room 301), Soi Suan Plu, off South Sathorn road, Sathorn District, Bangkok, or at the Immigration Office for the region of Thailand in which the applicant is residing.
4.    The application fee is 2,000 baht per person (cash or money order if sent by mail)
5.    The applicant must apply in person as the Immigration Bureau will require a set of fingerprints for the purpose of a criminal record check.
For more information, please visit: www.immigration.go.th

Notes:

-Permanent residence permits are regulated by yearly quota and nationality considerations through the Immigration Bureau.
– The opening date for applications varies each year depending and is announced by the Minister of the Interior. Once the announcement has been issued, applications may be submitted up to and including the last working day of the year.
– For details concerning the opening date for applications contact either Section 1, Immigration Division 1, Sub-Division1, Immigration Bureau (room 301), Soi Suan Plu, Bangkok, Tel. 662 287-3117or the Immigration Office in your region in Thailand.

For more information on Thai Visas, please click here for General Thai Visa Information.