There are a number of advantages to holding permanent resident status in Thailand:

It allows the holder to live permanently in Thailand, with no requirement to apply for an extension of temporary stay.

In addition to the permanent residence book, an alien registration book will be issued, which is the equivalent of the ID card held by Thais.

A permanent resident can have his/her name included on a house registration document.

Obtaining a work permit is easier for a permanent resident than for a non-resident.

A permanent resident also has a number of other privileges such as, for example, being able to:

(a) buy a condominium without being required to transfer money from abroad;

(b) apply for naturalization in accordance with the law concerned;

(c) have Thai nationality granted to children who are born in Thailand;

(d) become a director of a public company; and (e) apply for an extension of stay or permanent residence for non-Thai family members.

The annual quota for granting permanent residency in Thailand is a maximum of 100 persons per country. The Interior Minister is responsible for issuing the announcement each year that the quota is open for submission of applications, usually from October to the end of December.

The Immigration Commission has the power to define all regulations concerning permanent residency. The Immigration Bureau is the agency that handles all procedures concerning permanent residency applications.

Qualifications of an applicant

1. An applicant must have received permission for yearly stays in Thailand on a non-immigrant visa for at least of three years prior to the submission of an application for permanent residency.

2. An applicant must be holding a non-immigrant visa at the time of submitting an application.

Documents required

The list of required documents depends on the category under which the application is made.

Fee

The application fee (non-refundable) is 2,000 baht per person.

The residence fee is 50,000 baht (25,000 baht for a person married to a Thai), payable at the time of issuing the residence book.

Services

Should you require assistance with any matters concerning immigration, such as applying for a residence permit or a work permit, please contact our office for assistance. Our address is: Room 142, Thai CC Tower (14th floor), 889 South Sathorn Road, Bangkok, 10120. Tel/fax: (02) 210-0154 and (02) 210-0155. Our office is next to the BTS ‘Skytrain’ station at Surasak. A location map is available at our website.

Source: Skonchai & Oliver Law Consultancy Co., Ltd. For more details, visit www.visathailand.com or email Supat Skonchai at supat@visathailand.com