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Posts Tagged ‘Thailand Permanent Resident’

6th August 2019

It appears that as of July 25, 2019 the Immigration authorities in Thailand have begun accepting petitions for permanent residence. For those unaware, it should be noted that Thai Immigration authorities tend to only open the “window” for PR applications for a few months to allow applicants an opportunity to file their petitions. Those seeking permanent residence in Thailand may apply based upon the following categories: investment, working/business, humanitarian, experts, and extraordinary circumstances on a ad-hoc basis. Those who obtain permanent residence are able to have their name listed in a blue Tabien Baan (also known as a House Book). Furthermore, individuals with permanent residence in Thailand no longer need to deal with 90 Day reporting nor do they ever need to renew a Thai visa as their status is considered permanent. Those seeking Thai PR should note that there are quotas on the number of residence books which will be allocated in a given year. These quotas are based upon nationality.

Meanwhile, it appears that as of the time of this writing the Thai Immigration authorities have yet to implement recently announced regulations pertaining to health insurance for retirement visas in the Kingdom. In a recent article in The Phuket News it has been noted that Thai Consular Officers and Embassies and Consulates abroad and Immigration officials in the Kingdom have yet to be ordered to begin evaluating insurance policies for those seeking retirement visas and/or retirement visa extension. To quote directly from the The Phuket News:

Phuket Immigration Police Chief Col Kathathorn Kumthieng confirmed to The Phuket News this week that his office has yet to receive an order instructing his office to start enforcing the mandatory health insurance requirement, approved by the Cabinet on April 2.

It remains to be seen exactly when the retirement visa insurance scheme will be fully implemented. However, it appears imprudent to presume that these proposed rules have been abandoned even if they have yet to be implemented.

Meanwhile, many foreign nationals in Thailand are increasingly irritated by the increasingly enforced TM.30. For those unaware the TM30 form is used to comply with the Immigration Act provisions requiring foreign nationals temporarily present in Thailand to report their address to Immigration officials. There appears to be some confusion whether TM30 rules apply to those in the Kingdom who maintain a yellow house book. Some foreign nationals in Thailand are calling for TM30 to be scrapped in favor of a more efficient and up to date system. Although rules regarding the TM 30 have not been enforced for many years, if not decades, the Immigration Bureau in Thailand began enforcing the law on residence reporting in earnest earlier this year with the result that many foreigners have been asked to file TM30, or pay fines, before being allowed to extend a Thai visa. This has caused a great deal of consternation which recently has come to a head in the form of a petition requesting that the Thai government reevaluate its TM30 policies. How exactly this initiative plays out remains to be seen, but there are valid arguments in favor of streamlining the TM 30 process.

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11th September 2013

It was recently announced that the Prime Minister of Thailand, Yingluck Shinawatra, believes that the Thai economy would improve notwithstanding economic slowdown around the world. In recent comments the Prime Minister noted that even though there have been signs of economic turmoil in more sophisticated economies such as the United States and the European Union, Asian nations have shown signs of growth. This growth is particularly noticeable, according to the Prime Minister, in those jurisdictions which comprise the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The Thai premier went on to note that the so-called “quantitative easing” measures implemented in the United States (as well as other jurisdictions) had created a situation in which capital began flowing into the Thai markets. The challenge for Thailand’s government requires seeing to it that such inflows are converted into investment in the Kingdom with tangible results. Furthermore, Thailand’s economy has been undergoing a sort of metamorphosis in recent years as the Kingdom’s largest export markets have been dealing with economic problems, Thai businesses have had to rely increasingly upon domestic demand for Thai products and services. This transition has caused a degree of hardship for some Thai businesses, especially those dependent upon exports. The Government appears to be seeking a way in which to adjust the current relationship between domestic revenue and revenue derived from exports.

On the issue of exports, it appears that the government in Thailand is attempting to implement policies which would allow for more exports to nations which border Thailand, while encouraging further trade relationships with the other ASEAN members. The Prime Minister apparently believes that Thai exports in the last six months of 2013 will outpace those in the first six months of the year.

Foreign tourists appear to be arriving in increasing numbers and it is hoped that foreign tourists will reach a total of 22 million in the year 2013. Foreign nationals living and working in Thailand may be pleased to note that the Permanent Residence quotas for 2013 have been announced. As in previous years, in 2013 the Royal Thai Immigration Police will be accepting Thai Permanent Residence applications from one hundred (100) individual foreign nationals from each country outside of Thailand. Also, the recent announcement regarding permanent residence applications noted that fifty (50) stateless persons will be eligible to apply to become permanent residents of Thailand. The annual quota noted above is imposed by immigration officials and represents the maximum number of applications which will be considered. Generally, Thai permanent residence applications are submitted during December with a final deadline coming before the start of the new year.

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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

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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28th December 2009

This author has had the good fortune to witness the many different ways in which Thailand visa applications are adjudicated. Generally, the adjudication of Thai visa applications depends upon the post at which the applicant is applying.

At many of the Thai Consulates and Embassies in Southeast Asia a long term Thai visa can be difficult to obtain (long term meaning those visas issued with a validity of more than 90 days). This is likely due to the fact that many of the posts in Southeastern Asia have become used to so-called “visa runners” who use nearby Thai Consulates to obtain visas to remain in the country long term. At one time, the Royal Thai Consulate in Penang was popular among visa runners. This author recently had the opportunity to visit the Thai Consulate in Burma and was surprised to find an extremely efficient and well run post, but one that does not routinely issue visas with more validity than 90 days.

Unlike the United States, Thailand issues very few, if any, immigrant visas at Consulates and Embassies abroad. Part of this is likely due to the fact that these two Immigration systems are very different. However, another explanation could be the fact that Royal Thai Embassies and Consulates abroad may not have the capacity to handle the adjudication of Immigrant visas like a US Embassy or US Consulate. Also, Royal Thai Immigration is exclusively responsible for the adjudication of Immigrant visas (also known as Thai Permanent Residence) and such visa applications must be approved in Thailand.

Since Thai Embassies and Consulates generally only issue non-immigrant visas the next question that most people ask is: “how long are such visas valid.” This depends upon the category of the Thai visa, but Royal Thai Embassies generally have the discretion to issue visas with as much as 3 years validity. As a practical matter, the Consulate or Embassy will only issue a visa with a maximum validity of 1 year.

Some Consulates require the applicant to physically present themselves, while other allow for visas to be applied for by post. However, one should not assume that simply because the application is sent in by mail that the officer does not scrutinize the application. On the contrary, there are some who would argue that such applications are more heavily scrutinized compared to “walk in” applications.

Generally, Royal Thai Consulates post the general application requirements and it is incumbent upon the applicant to demonstrate that they meet the requirements and should therefore be granted the Thai visa. Thai tourist visas generally require the least expediture of resources on the part of the applicant. However, Thai Business visas, Thai Retirement visas, and Thai O visas can require a great deal of work in order for the applicant to obtain approval.

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2nd May 2009

Thailand Permanent Residence

Posted by : admin

For the long term expatriate living in Thailand, the question of Thai permanent residence invariably arises at some point. Many people wish to obtain permanent residence, but are overwhelmed by the difficulties involved in getting Thai PR. Hopefully this post will add some perspective on the subject.

Requirements for Obtaining Thai Permanent Residency

This post is not exhaustive, but merely gives the “broad strokes,” regarding Thai Permanent Residence. One of the major requirements for obtaining Thai permanent residence is that the applicant must have been in Thailand for a minimum of 3 consecutive years on Thai visa extensions.  A person present in Thailand using a Thai Multiple Entry Visa does not meet the requirement as the applicant must have been present using extensions. The Thai authorities are very strict on this requirement, even a one day gap in visa status can cost an applicant the right to apply for Thai permanent residence. For those seeking to obtain Thai Permanent Residence, scrupulous precautions should be taken to ensure that the prospective applicant maintains proper status.

There is also a salary requirement. The applicant must be able to prove a salary of at least 80,000 Thai baht per month at the time of application. Although this financial ability need only be shown at the time of filing, it is probably prudent to show a history of compensation at this rate, and the longer one can show this compensation history the better.

Thai permanent residence is somewhat odd in comparison to an American Green Card in that a Green Card confers the automatic right to work along with the right to remain in the United States. With Thai permanent residence, the right to work is not guaranteed, and as a result the permanent resident in Thailand must still obtain a work permit if he or she wishes to seek employment.  The Thai permanent residence application process is somewhat similar to the adjustment of status process for a US visa in that an applicant for Thai permanent residence is entitled to remain in Thailand while the Permanent Residence application is pending.

There is a basic Thai language requirement in order to obtain permanent residence, so the prospective applicant should study Thai in order to speak at a level of basic competence.  The prospective permanent resident is also subject to an interview and should be prepared to interview in Thai where possible.

After obtaining Thai permanent residency, the permanent resident should be cautious when leaving the country and make sure to obtain reentry permits (similar to US reentry permits) when preparing to depart the Kingdom in order to ensure that thy do not lose their permanent residency upon departure.

(Note: Nothing in this post should be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a Thai lawyer. No attorney client relationship is created between the author and any reader of this article.)

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