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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94 Responses

  1. Margie Guthrie says:

    We have Thai Permanent Residency. Can we buy a Condo that is not freehold? Many thanks

    • Hi Margie

      I’m a bit confused about the question as to what you mean by a condo that ‘is not freehold’.

      As a PR you are still a foreigner so only eligible to purchase condos within the 49% foreigner quota in any building.

      The one advantage you have as a PR is that you can get loans for property from a local Thai bank and the source of the funds for the condo dont have to be bought in from outside the country.

      If you are talking about leasehold properties which are owned by a company, that is not my area of expertise but as a non-Thai, you won’t be able to purchase more than 49% of the Thai company which owns that particular condo.

      • Margie Guthrie says:

        I had read somewhere, a few years ago, that having a PR entitled you to some limited property purchasing rights.
        Your clarification of only being able to buy condos within the 49% foreigner quota answers my question.
        Many thanks for the reply.

        • Not a problem. The only two I know about are:

          – loans from local banks/not having to bring in funds from offshore

          – being allowed to be registered in the blue tabieen baan (normally only for Thais and PRs) instead of the yellow one for all other foreigners.

  2. Karen Alldridge says:

    Hello – we are just about to finalise permanent residence. Any updates on the main article here particularly about the what’s next section. It seems we can follow the instructions given to obtain the certificate of residence blue book and then the red book.. ? We have been told so far the Blue Tabien Baan is only for citizens and not PR – any update? The one year endorsement of the residency book is done where? Thanks in case of any new insights.

    • Hi Karen, yes once your PR is approved you will be given detailed instructions by immigration on how to process the certificate of residence booklet and the red alien registration booklet from the police station. Once done with that you’ll be allowed to be entered onto a Blue Tabien Baan. I’m not sure who is telling you that PRs aren’t allowed on the blue tabieen baan, but it has always been the case that you are allowed on it so I wouldn’t stress.

      In terms of the one year endorsement – I assume you are talking about the re-entry endorsement given by immigration? You only need to do that if you plan to travel. Technically, you are allowed to stay in Thailand forever once with PR, but due to a quirk in the system, this lapses immediately if you leave the country unless you have a valid re-entry permit.

      Like normal re-entry permits, they are single or multiple but only valid for one year. They also take a couple of days to process and are only available at immigration offices, not at the airport. In normal times, given people often needed to travel at short notice, many PRs would get this endorsement updated annually as a matter of course so they could always leave Thailand when they needed to. However, if you have no plans to travel any time soon, you don’t need to get the re-entry permit.

      The only regular endorsement is the 5 yearly one needed for your red residency book at the local police station.

      Hope this clears things up.

  3. GW says:

    Hi Chris – great website and info source. A question re PR through Working/Business category. It is very clear the rules up to a PR application re 3 years visa / WP / taxes etc. Is there any requirement to stay working (WP and taxes) for a certain time frame AFTER the PR application date (or PR approval date)? For example in the Investment category, the 10M Baht investment must be maintained for 3 consecutive years since the approval of the PR. Wondering if “continuation” is a requirement in the case of Working/Business.
    Thank you.

    • Hi there.

      There isn’t any hard and fast rule that I’ve seen out there (that doesn’t mean there isn’t), but between your application going in, and the first interview a few months later where documents can be asked for again, I’d keep your status the same. Post this, I’d still recommend you maintain the status quo if at all possible, given subsequent examinations of documents may result in being asked for additional information etc (though there is a very small chance of happening).

      People have changed jobs obviously, and there was a stretch in the early 2000’s where ministers were simply not signing off on PR applications for years. So while people were getting the regular 6 month extensions of stay which automatically come with an under consideration PR application, circumstances changed for many applicants including retirement and losing jobs, and based on (admittedly only) internet reports, they still received the PR eventually.

      So sorry I can’t be any more helpful on this, it is definitely a grey area. On balance, after your in person interview I think it would be okay to let things lapse, but I’d err on the side of caution given the turnaround is only about 18 months at present.

      ps. as an aside, I while the Investment category exists on paper, I don’t think anyone has successfully applied for it. At the end of the day, you still need work permits etc, so for most, going via the business route is much easier with alot less of a paperwork burden.

  4. Dan says:

    Hi, I’m currently a Thai Permanent Residence. What would happen to my permanent residence if I change my citizenship? I.e Change my citizenship from German to US.

    • Hi Dan,

      Good question! I don’t really know the answer to that one, and probably would need to speak to the PR desk down at Chaengwattana. It sounds like you are implying that if you naturalised as a US citizen you’d lose your German citizenship? Am I understanding this correctly?

  5. Jony says:

    I’m in Thailand 20 yrs, working, business, kids and wife, I want a PR but about 7 yrs ago I got fined in court for Driving over legal limit.

    This has stopped me from having a try previously.

    I’d like to see how you think this would affect the PR application, as I obviously would like to go for full Citizenship one day

    • Hi Jony

      Thanks for your message. I’m not going to profess any expertise here. You’ll need to go have a chat with the PR desk and explain your situation. I will note that in reference to taking up residence, section 44(1) of the immigration act states the following:

      Section 44. No alien shall take up residency in the Kingdom, if it appears that such alien —

      (1) was punished by imprisonment by a judgement of Thai court or lawful order or judgement of court in foreign country except for petty offence or offence committed through negligence, or offences exempted in the Ministerial Regulations.

      Furthermore section 102 of the criminal code defines a petty offence as:

      Section 102. Petty Offence
      The petty offence is the offence which shall be punished by imprisonment not out of one month or fine not out of one thousand Baht, or both imprisonment and fine as aforesaid together.

      So you really have to check with the PR people on where they set the bar on that one and hope that an DIY fine ordered by the court is considered ‘petty’.

      Sorry i can’t be of more help.

    • Jony,

      Just worth a follow up. If married to a Thai citizen, you know you are eligible to skip PR and go for citizenship. In which case, and I just checked, needing a criminal record document isn’t needed for the application. Having said that the NIA do background checks on you, a process which doesn’t have publicly available information, so we can’t comment on, but it might be worth you seeing with special branch of that court order is a disqualifying factor for citizenship.

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