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Expat Exchange - Residency Guide to Thailand
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Residency Guide to Thailand

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Mondly by Pearson
Mondly by Pearson

Summary: Establishing residency in Thailand can be challenging. Here are some helpful tips for expats, retirees, and nomads.

Obtaining a residency visa in Thailand is not always easy, but our Guide to Residency in Thailand gives newcomers an overview of the steps involved and advice from others who have already navigated the process.

  • Gather the necessary documents for residency status in Thailand. These include:
    • Valid passport
    • Proof of address in Thailand
    • Proof of financial stability
    • Proof of health insurance
  • Visit the Immigration Bureau in Thailand to apply for residency status. Bring the necessary documents with you.
  • Fill out the application form for residency status. Provide all the necessary information and documents.
  • Pay the application fee for residency status.
  • Wait for the Immigration Bureau to process your application. This may take several weeks.
  • Once your application is approved, you will receive a residency card. This card will be valid for one year.
  • Apply for a Tax Number. This is necessary for filing taxes in Thailand.
    • Visit the Revenue Department in Thailand.
    • Fill out the application form for a Tax Number.
    • Provide the necessary documents, such as your passport and residency card.
    • Pay the application fee.
    • Wait for the Revenue Department to process your application. This may take several weeks.
    • Once your application is approved, you will receive a Tax Number.
  • Renew your residency card every year. This is necessary to maintain your residency status in Thailand.

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Allianz Care

Allianz Care's plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Our flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. You can submit your claims digitally and our helpline is available 24/7 to help you anytime.

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What tips do expats have about residency and visas in Thailand?

"You have to jump though a lot of Hoops and it is not cheap, between the US Embassy and the Thai Embassy they will nickel and dime you all the way to the Bank. You have to prove you have enough money to live here, you have to prove you are married, you have to show a birth certificate from your own country, and you have to do this process every year, and every 3 months you have to check into immigration, so they can see where you have been traveling and pay another 3-5 thousand baht," said one expat living in Nonthaburi.

"Extremely easy. There is no actual "residency" It is an extension of stay for 1 year, reporting to immigration every 90 days," wrote a member in Chiang Mai.

"Not difficult to turn a tourist visa into a Retirement Extension, but must be over 50 years old with sufficient money in Thai bank or proof of income from US Consulate. Not difficult but immigration office in Chiang Mai can be extremely busy. Also need to show rental contract," commented one expat who made the move to Chiang Mai.

"If you plan to stay in Thailand for a period of time, you will need to apply for a valid Non-Immigrant visa. Additionally, you will have to register with the local police within 24 hours of arriving in the country and apply for an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC). To extend your stay beyond the initial duration, you will need to apply for an extension at the Immigration Bureau. You must ensure that all your residency documents remain valid during your stay in Thailand," remarked one expat living in Thailand.

Allianz Care

Allianz Care's plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Our flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. You can submit your claims digitally and our helpline is available 24/7 to help you anytime.

Learn MoreGet Quote

Allianz Care

Allianz Care's plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Our flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. You can submit your claims digitally and our helpline is available 24/7 to help you anytime.

Learn MoreGet Quote

"I am on a retirement visa for 1 year with extensions. Thailand rules change each year but with my visa I only need to check in with immigration every 90 days and do not have to make a border run," commented one expat living in Bangkok, Thailand.

"The process of applying for a visa to Thailand involves filling out an application form as well as providing a valid passport, two passport-sized photographs, and proof of financial funds sufficient to cover your stay. After securing a tourist visa, the applicant must travel to Thailand within a three months period. Upon arrival, the applicant needs to present their visa at the immigration checkpoint and may be asked to show proof of onward travel or financial funds. The process for applying for residency in Thailand can be done through applying for a Non-immigrant B visa and then applying for a long-stay permit or ‘extension of stay’. Applying for a Non-Immigrant B visa requires similar documentation as the tourist visa, but with the addition of a request letter from the Embassy or Immigration Bureau and proof of sufficient financial funds from your stated residence in Thailand. Once you are approved for the Non-Immigrant B visa, the applicant must pick up the permit at the local Immigration Bureau. After the applicant obtains the long-stay permit, they will be eligible to stay in Thailand for up to one year with the possibility of subsequent extensions," mentioned one expat living in Thailand.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


Mondly by Pearson
Mondly by Pearson

Mondly by Pearson
Mondly by Pearson

Yi Peng Lantern Festival

SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
Learn More

SJB GlobalSJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
Learn More

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