The ultimate guide to Thai Permanent Residence

Chris Larkin

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

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28 Responses

  1. Akash says:

    Hi Chris,

    Akash here. I would just like to clarify about filing tax return for the amount of annual income of Baht 100,000.. apologies but what does this mean exactly? It seems to be a bit unclear on different sources. I don’t meet the Baht 80,000 per month yet but am looking forward to having PR one day 🙂

    “Earn an annual income at least Baht 80,000 per month for a period of at least 2 years, up to the date of application submission, or have been filing tax return for the amount of annual income of Baht 100,000 for at least 2 consecutive years, up to the date of application submission.”

    Best regards,

    • Hi Akash,

      Basically it means you can have an average income of 80,000 baht for three years, or an average 100,000 baht income for the past two years in the lead up to application in the case the first of those three years was less than 80,000 baht. So hypothenitcallu, something like Yr 1: 50K/month then Yrs 2 and 3: 100,000K/month should be fine. The latter scenario should also allow you to incorporate bonuses etc as well.

      As always, best to have chat with the PR people earlier rather than later to make sure you are on track, but feel free to drop me a personal note if you have any follow up!


  2. Satyapal Singh says:

    Great article. It cleared so many doubts. Only question I have is whether limit of 100 applicants per year per nationality is decided by first come first serve or on merit basis among candidates.


    • As far as I know, yes, most nationalities don’t reach to quota however so its never an issue for them. If it does reach 100, I am not sure what the method of selection is. Any intel you may have would be welcome.

  3. Mike says:

    Hi Chris
    I am on my 2nd year work permit. I was on a year before but It lapsed due to my neglect thinking the WP was the same date as my Non-B Visa.
    Does that count as 3 years? Or are they going to want to see 3 years in 1 work permit?
    My guess is it’s probably not written in stone and up to the discretion of the Immigration Officers>?

    • Hi Mike,

      If it was a matter of a few days between WPs, it can be a bit of a grey area, but if the extensions of stay are consecutive some people have been shown leeway as it isn’t always possible to line everything up work permit wise. It will really be up to the officers to decide this when you submit your documents, but my understand a few days ‘should’ be okay, but don’t take that as gospel.

  4. Anil says:

    Hi Chris
    Very useful write up . I got my PR last year , with this PR , my daughter get a visa for 3 months ?

    • Hi Anil,

      Thanks for your message – to be honest I’m not sure the exact mechanics, but your daughter should be able to get an extension of stay of some sort based on your status.

  5. Ed says:

    Hi Chris,

    Thank you for a detailed information.

    Are you also able to help me with my case? My mother is a Thai National but my father is Filipino. They aren’t legally married and ni longer together. I grew up in the Philippines and is permanently staying here but goes to Thailand once or twice a year. Is it possible for me to apply for a PR? And should I be in Thailand all throughout the process?

    Hope you can help.

    • Hi there Ed.

      No need for you to apply for PR. Technically you are already a Thai citizen having been born to a Thai parent. As such you should go about applying for a Thai passport. Please check out this link.

      All the best.

      • Ed says:

        That’s awesome news! I’ve read the process and it says that it will take couple of visits. Because I am based outside Thailand permanently, would you know approximately how many visits and the duration of each visits? For example, in getting a Thai BC and Thai ID, will it take a week or two on my first visit?

        • Hi Ed – before I can answer that, I need to ask where were you born? In Thailand or the Philippines? If the latter, you’ll first need to obtain a Thai birth certificate from the embassy there, and with luck, you’ll be able to also get a Thai passport issued. If you were born in Thailand – do you already have your Thai birth certificate?

  6. Ruchi says:

    Hi, Chris
    I have a Resident Visa of Thailand and currently I am staying in India.
    I don’t have any Re-entry permit.
    Could you please help me , how can I get back to Thailand?

    • Hi Ruchi

      If you don’t have a re-entry permit for your PR then it becomes invalid and you are ineligible to return to Thailand as a PR. You’ll need to re-qualify for PR again unfortunately.

      The only exception is during the current covid situation. If your re-entry permit for your PR expired while you were outside of Thailand when Thailand shut its borders, then you should be able to return as a PR. However, please check with the Thai embassy in Delhi for more details.

  7. Grant says:

    Hi Chris,
    Thanks for all the useful info!
    I’m considering applying for PR – based on being a work permit holder. Currently, my French wife is able to get a spouse visa based on my work visa. If I apply for and get PR, what happens with my wife? Do you know if she can also get PR based on my application?

    • Hi Grant,

      To be honest I must admit my lack of expertise when if comes to family PR applications. I’m pretty sure you can and I am aware of one person who applied for his wife and children a few years back, but to be honest I’m not sure what the difference in the qualifications will be.

      In the case you don’t or can’t apply for PR for your wife, this may be worth considering: Once you have PR, your wife will be able to continue to get an extension of stay based on your PR status, and if citizenship is a consideration, once you are a citizen, your wife, by virtue of having a Thai citizen husband will be eligible to apply directly for citizenship (I cover this in another article). I know this is a few years down the track still, but it may be an alternative you wish to consider.

      • Grant says:

        Thanks Chris.
        Fingers crossed it’s poss. And if it’s not, as you suggest we might just have to take the very long route via citizenship. So we’ll probably be back checking your site again in a few years. That’s if we ever even get back into the Kingdom – currently stuck in Europe.
        Cheers G.

  8. Benno says:

    HI Chris
    I am borne and lived my whole life ( 20 years) inThailand.
    My Parents are German and Indonesian.
    My Father work since 1997 here with a WP up till now.
    I am under a dependent Visa but as i get 20 years old his company told they can not give anymore the dependent Visa an i have to change to an ED visa . I did study from grade 1 at an International School here in BKK and since 2 years at an
    International University in BKK.
    Actually no big issue to change to a ED Visa, but as soon as i graduate and not find any Work here in Thailand i assume I have to leave Thailand if i not wrong.
    Is there any changes to get an PR or Citizenship for me ?
    Thank you

    • Hi Benno,

      The best route for PR as a minor would be to have it granted under your parents, but it sounds like you are too late for this. So if you wish to stay in Thailand you will need to find another visa class.

      I haven’t researched it enough, but there appears to be some type of dispensation for foreign nationals born here who complete Thai university to get citizenship, but that mainly appears to be for stateless children and I’m not sure this applies in your case. But you might want to check with DOPA (Department of Provincial Administration) who administer citizenship applications if there is a route for you.

  9. Benno says:

    Hi Chris,

    Thank you for your information, I’ll try and checkwith them and maybe CW Immigration too.

  10. Jason says:

    Hello Chris. This is a very useful article but I do have a question. If I had Thai permanent residence but wanted to leave Thailand to work in another country for a few years (I am an international school teacher) would I lose my permanent residence? I assume a re-entry permit would not cover an absence of several years?

    • Jason, that is indeed correct. The way the re-entry permit is structured, you’d effectively lose your PR staying out of Thailand for a year. The only way around doing what you propose is to make sure you come back to Thailand at least once each year – before your re-entry permit expires – and renew it. That would require at least a few days in Thailand in each 12 month period to have that happen.

      Its an old and outdated system and one that a few people have made submissions to try and change, but with no luck to date.

  11. Frank C. says:

    Hi Chris, Thanks for your excellent articles on Thailand. I’ve lived & worked here legally over 20 years (with work permit, paid taxes, correct yearly visas, etc.) married to my Thai wife & we have 2 Thai citizen children. I need to apply for either PR or citizenship. Can you estimate approx total time from applying up to approval for PR? for Citizenship? Thanks from Frank.

    • Hi Frank.

      Glad you’ve enjoyed the articles. At present, from feedback of recent recipients, PR is taking about 18 months to 2 years, and citizenship is taking around 3 years from application to getting the Thai ID card (peoples names are officially being printed in the Royal Gazette around the 2 year 9 month year mark). All this is approximate of course.

      Overall there are no guarantees of timing, but one of the quirks of having a military government is that they have traditionally been pretty methodical at processing applications within this time frame. So now is a good time to apply for either as the time frame is predictable. With more ‘normal’ governments the signing of the application tends to alot less predicable.

      If I was you, and I might sound biased, but I’d go for citizenship given you are married and can skip citizenship. There is very little difference in the paperwork overall, but the cost will be significantly different (98K for PR vs 5K for citizenship). The benefits of citizenship are obviously far greater and the waiting time is only about 12 months more than for PR.

      Either way, all the best in your application.

  12. if i get pr than can i buy land to build house or i am only eligible to by condominium?

    • Hi Muhammad,

      Only citizens are allowed to purchase land in their own name.

      All foreigners are eligible to purchase a Thai condo in their own name regardless of their immigration status, so long as foreigners don’t own a combined total in excess of 49% of the entire floor space of that particular property.

      What PR allows for is you getting a loan from a Thai bank to purchase a condo, something many PR holders have found useful.

      Hope this clarifies things.

  13. Jill says:

    Hello Chris,
    Thanks for the great article, best one existing on PR. I have a question, I wonder if you can help. I’m applying PR under work category this October. But my work contract may terminate in December. So I meet all requirements at the time of application but possibly not at the time of interview. Do you think it’s worth applying?

    • Hi Jill – to be honest, I’m not sure. If you were well down the process and just waiting for the approval, I’d say you’d be fine, but the gap between applying and the interviews probably means that your status needs to be consistent for at least that initial period of time. In one sense, it ‘can’t hurt’ to apply as you won’t have to pay the PR fee until it is approved, and in the meantime you’ll get the rolling six month extensions.

      I’d ask the immigration people what happens if you need to change jobs during the process…that may elicit some sort of response on the need for document consistency, but obviously I wouldn’t advertise that your job contract expires. Totally understand that times are tough, but I’d do my best to try and maintain some sort of work permit and job for the majority of the waiting period if you can.

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