How can I get Thai citizenship?

Chris Larkin

Long time resident of Bangkok. Married, three daughters. Managing director of CLC Asia (www.clc-asia.com). Lots of interesting knowledge and experience built up over time which I hope can be of use to people.

167 Responses

  1. Tom says:

    Hi Chris,

    Thank you for the insightful and inspiring articles!

    Question from a foreign man married to Thai woman: How about teaching jobs that pay a working salary of 42,000 baht/month and a retainer salary of 10,000 baht/month when school is on break 3-4 months out of the year? Guessing it wouldn’t qualify even after paying taxes for 3 years, but thought I should ask a pro before giving up on the job. Thanks for your help!

    • Hi Tom,

      Glad you’ve found the site useful. The long and short of it is you need to have – on an average basis – 40k per month.

      With the arrangement you speak of it may mean that you come in just under that average for that one job unless you aren’t including annual bonuses.

      When school breaks – supplementing that income would put you over the top. Easier said than done but if you can find a company willing to do that (maybe even your own?) then that would mean your income hits the threshold you need.

  2. Jeff says:

    Hi Chris,

    Very interesting and informative podcast on Bangkok Podcast! I’m married to a Thai person, living in Thailand since 2010, with all the necessary requirements except continuity with work permits. Unfortunately when I changed jobs, the Ministry of Labor didn’t allow me to continue my work permit under the new company as I was transfering from a BOI company, to non-BOI company. Rather, they issued me a new work permit. There wasn’t any gap in time between jobs, but as such my current work permit doesn’t have 3 years or more. I have also all my tax returns for each year. Do you think there’s anyway they would allow this given the technicality non-transferable BOI work permits?

    • Hi Jeff,

      It isn’t necessary for you to be in your current job (and associated WP) for three years before you apply.

      All that is required is that you have three consecutive years of work permits, and if there is a change between jobs, there is no gap between work permits. As such, most people who are aiming for citizenship and change jobs work to ensure that their old and new work permits change over on the same day to ensure there is no ‘gap’. It isn’t clear what special branch consider a ‘gap’ but I think anything more than a few days between work permits may risk re-setting the three year clock.

      As always, for specific questions as to your own circumstances, do go down and chat with special branch and they will give you some additional clarity on it.

      • Jeff says:

        Thanks very much for your thoughts on this, Chris. I suspect I’ll be in grey area. My hope is that the intention of the requirement can be applied in my case. I will indeed go down to the special branch. I’ve spoken with friends and colleagues that have gone through the process and they reaffirm that this department is actually quite helpful. Thanks again!

        • Not a problem at all. Yep, the SB people are generally helpful so I’d take the old and new work permits down and ask to see if they have any issues with it.

          • Jeff says:

            Hi Chris, just an update for the thread. The SB people were very nice and helpful. The feedback was that there isn’t a concern about gaps between work permits provided the change in jobs was seamless and the visa’s reflect that. Moreover, they were mostly interested in seeing the annual taxes. My only problem is that I’ve only been married for 2 years, so I’ll need to wait an additional year to apply.
            Thanks again!

          • Hi Jeff,

            Well that is excellent news. So another year should fly by – hopefully SB gave you the list of documents they need so you can start collecting them. Great to hear they were nice and helpful as well. If find that people tend to not apply for citizenship as they’d rather not deal with the police. In this case it’s always a pleasant surprise.

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