Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘Tambien Baan’

30th March 2011

This blog routinely posts about issues related to Thailand visas and Thai Permanent Residence in an effort to provide some information on these issues to the general public. It would appear that there is some consternation among foreign nationals in Thailand who are awaiting the adjudication of Thai permanent residence applications at the Ministry of Interior.  To quote directly from a recent opinion piece on the website PhuketGazette.net:

PHUKET: It’s time for the Ministry of Interior (MoI) to set up a special task force to begin fast-tracking the processing of the huge backlog of permanent residency (PR) applications it is now sitting on in silence.

Such a move would have multiple benefits for all parties involved, including, especially, foreign investors (potential and extant) and Thailand’s all-important tourism industry.

For reasons that have apprently never been divulged by the MoI, the stacks of stale PR applications, submitted in good faith and at great expense by law-abiding, long resident “visitors” to Thailand, continue to gather dust at the ministry.[sic]

Those reading this blog are highly encouraged to click upon the hyperlinks above to learn more about this issue.

Clearly, this is a significant issue for foreign nationals in Thailand, especially those who have been in Thailand for a long enough duration so as to be eligible to apply for Thailand Permanent Resident status. Those holding permanent resident status in Thailand are permitted to be placed upon a Tabien Baan (also referred to as a house registration booklet). This should not be confused with a Yellow Tabien Baan or Foreign Tabien Baan which allows foreign nationals, without Permanent Residence status, to obtain a house booklet under certain circumstances.

Unlike the United States Permanent Resident process, the Thai PR process can be quite long and cumbersome. Many have noted that there currently exists a substantial backlog of Thailand Permanent Resident status applications as there have yet to be any new Permanent Residence booklets issued for many years.

Those wishing to obtain Thailand Permanent Residence should note that this status is highly coveted amongst foreign nationals while simultaneously being difficult to obtain. Those seeking permanent residence in Thailand are only eligible after remaining in Thailand on Thai visa extensions for a period not less than 3 years. Also, most permanent residence applicants must also have maintained a Thai work permit for a significant period of time at a salary level which comports with relevant Thai Ministry regulations.

There is a common misconception about Thailand regarding the country’s immigration procedures. Many from so-called “Western” countries do not understand that Thais take immigration issues quite seriously and make rules and regulations which could be described as stringent. This is especially true in matters pertaining to Thai permanent residence as Thai PR applications are capped by a nationality quota and subjected to intense scrutiny by the Royal Thai Immigration Police and the Thai Ministry of Interior. Therefore, those thinking of applying for Thai permanent residence are well advised to conduct research into the issue and, in some cases, retain qualified counsel to assist in such an undertaking.

For related information please see: Thai Visa.

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26th January 2010

There are many foreign nationals who have opted to take up long term residence in the Kingdom of Thailand. For many expatriates, a pivotal question regarding residence in Thailand deals with the issue of Thai property law. Under the current laws in the Kingdom of Thailand foreign nationals are effectively barred from purchasing a Freehold Chanote (Title Deed) to land in the Kingdom. This being said, foreigners are allowed to take freehold title to Thai Condos provided certain legal requirements are met, but for many foreign nationals in Thailand actual home ownership is the preferred method of living in the Kingdom.

In the past, a Thai company could be used to own Thai Real Estate, but the company had to be structured in such a way that it comported to Thai law. In recent months there has been some discussion by Thai government officials about doing away with this system of property ownership. How this will play out remains to be seen, but some foreigners, who are still interested in enjoying Thai property, are looking at other ways of structuring their interests so as to properly comport with possible future restrictions.

One method involves the bifurcation of Thai title. What this means is that the land underneath a structure is owned by a Thai while any structures on the land are owned by a foreigner. This arrangement would be legal under current Thai law, but many are confused about how such an arrangement could be set up. This is where the Yellow Tabien Baan becomes an issue.

A Yellow Tabien Baan is used by foreign nationals who live in the Kingdom. However, they are very difficult to obtain and are usually only promulgated if the foreign national has bought a Thai condo. That being said, a foreign national who is on a Tabien Baan can obtain a building permit to build a structure in Thailand. Once the structure is built, it can be owned wholly by a foreign national. A foreigner could secure long term lease to the underlying property while maintaining ownership of the structure. Use of a Thailand usufruct or superficies would also strengthen the foreigner’s property interests without violating the de facto restriction placed upon land ownership for foreigners. This is not the only benefit that a Yellow Tabien Baan can confer upon a Foreigner in Thailand as there are other major benefits that foreign nationals can enjoy by being on a Foreign Tabien Baan.

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30th July 2009

The Tabien Baan, or document proving House Registration, is distributed by a village, city, or other  municipal authority. The Tabien Baan (sometimes spelled Tambien Baan) reflects the residents who live at a specific property (this document is not used as proof of Real Estate ownership, for that one must have a Thai Chanote or Title Deed). The Tabien Baan (House Registration) is issued to Thai Citizens and is used as a permanent address for service of process and other official mailings.

A Tabien Baan is an extremely important document for Thai nationals because it acts as proof of a Thai person’s residence. Therefore, it is used to determine a Thai person’s voting district and in the case of Thai men of military age, the Tabien Baan is used to ascertain what district the Thai man will be placed in when drawing for the military draft. This can be critical because if one district reaches a certain level of volunteers then it is not necessary to further draft any inhabitants of that district. As a result, a Thai man’s House Registration (Tabien Baan) can have a massive impact upon their life and career depending upon the district in which they live.

Can a Foreigner (Farang) Get a Thai Tabien Baan?

For a foreigner (farang in Thai) it may be possible to be registered on a Tabien Baan in Thailand if:

  1. the foreigner has acquired a Thai lease that has been legally registered at the Thai land Department
  2. the foreigner has used a Thai company to buy land in Thailand (This is becoming less common as the Thai Land Department officials are more heavily scrutinizing cases involving a Thai Company to own land.)
  3. the foreigner has bought a Thai Condo as a freehold Title owner pursuant to the Thai Condominium Act

A Tabien Baan issued to a foreigner residing in Thailand is generally referred to as a “Yellow Tabien Baan” because the booklet is the color yellow. Yellow Tabien Baan’s are becoming increasingly difficult to obtain because the local Amphur office (or Khet office in the Bangkok Metropolis) is reluctant to issue Tabien Baan’s to foreign nationals.

There are some benefits to having a Tabien Baan in Thailand. Most notable is the fact that a foreigner can obtain a building permit based upon a Tabien Baan and as a result could more easily obtain a superficies for structures built upon a piece of Thai property. Thai banks are also more cooperative about granting Thai mortgages to foreigners who are noted on a Tabien Baan.

Those with Permanent Residence in Thailand can be placed upon a blue Tabien Baan in the same way as a Thai National. However, this does not denote Citizenship nor voting rights, it is simply an administrative change based upon the foreigner’s residential status.

The Tabien Baan may become an important aspect of the USA visa process as well. For those Thai nationals applying for a K1 visa or a K3 visa, the Tabien Baan may be requested in order to prove the Thai’s residence in Thailand.

(Please be aware that this information is imparted for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. No Lawyer/Client fiduciary relationship is created by reading this posting.)

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