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How to Get Residence in Thailand: The Ultimate Guide 2024

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Thailand is a popular Asian travel destination for global investors, offering an abundance of opportunities for those seeking residency in this captivating country. This article is your ultimate guide to obtaining residence in Thailand in 2024.

In this guide, you’ll learn all about the benefits of living and investing in Thailand, from its attractive tax system to its unparalleled lifestyle.

If you’re a nomad capitalist, you’ll find countless opportunities to grow your wealth and enjoy the unique travel experiences that this beautiful country has to offer.

Ready to take the first step towards a life of international luxury?

Contact us at Nomad Capitalist. Our expert team can help you successfully navigate the process of obtaining a second residence in other countries and make the most of your new lifestyle.

Why Live in Thailand?

Located in Southeast Asia, with a diverse population of nearly 70 million, Thailand has become an increasingly popular choice for nomad capitalists seeking a new home base. So, why should you choose Thailand?

Let’s explore the reasons.

Firstly, the quality of life in Thailand is exceptional. The country offers a warm, hospitable atmosphere that quickly makes newcomers feel welcome.

The breathtaking scenery of this place varies from vibrant urban centers such as Bangkok to tranquil seashores and verdant forests, attracting nature enthusiasts.

Moreover, the living expenses are remarkably low, enabling you to relish life’s luxuries without exceeding your budget.

When it comes to taxation, Thailand presents a highly attractive system for expatriates and investors.

Previously, the country operated on a territorial basis, meaning you are only taxed on income generated within its borders. This provided a significant advantage for those with global investments, as foreign-sourced income was generally exempt from taxation so long as it was not remitted to Thailand within the same calendar year.

However, as of 2024, Thailand is changing the way it taxes foreign income, whether it’s earned income or savings. Tourists and short-term workers will be exempt, but the specifics for retirees remain unclear.

Although some are claiming this is the end of Thailand as a tax-friendly country, that is not necessarily the case, and if you don’t spend 180 days in Thailand, then you are not a tax resident, and this doesn’t apply to you. 

Lastly, Thailand offers a wealth of investment opportunities.

The country offers countless ways for nomad capitalists to expand their portfolios and maximize returns in this thriving economy. These include property investments in thriving real estate markets and entrepreneurial endeavors in sectors like technology, tourism, and agriculture.

Thailand flag

How to Acquire a Category B Non-Immigrant Visa

The Business & Investor Visa is also known as a business visa, as it permits passport holders to enter Thailand to conduct business.

We recommend applying for the visa at least 15 working days before your planned arrival in Thailand.

There are two versions of the visa. The single-entry visa costs approx. $80 and is valid for three months. The multiple-entry visa, on the other hand, costs around $190 and is valid for twelve months.

Note: The USD values we are providing are at current exchange rates and subject to change.

To apply for this type of visa, you must submit the following documents to the Thai Immigration Department:

  • Passport or Travel Document (This must not expire within six months and needs to contain at least one empty visa page)
  • Original visa application form filled out in black or blue ink only
  • Two passport-size photographs taken within the last six months
  • Copy of flight confirmation/reservation
  • Copy of recent bank statement ($700 per person and $1,500 per family plus birth certificate and marriage certificate)
  • A copy of the permanent resident alien card if a non-US citizen
  • Letter from the applicant’s company indicating the applicant’s position, length of employment, salary, the purpose of visit to Thailand, and period of stay in Thailand
  • Letter of invitation from trading or associated partners/companies in Thailand indicating period of stay and purpose of visit to Thailand
  • If staying over 15 days, a letter of approval from the Ministry of Labor

How to Obtain a Category O Non-Immigrant Visa

To obtain a Category O Non-Immigrant Visa, you must be 50 years or older and intend to stay in Thailand for up to 90 days. You are also eligible if you hold a re-entry permit.

Please note that this retirement visa does not permit you to work in the country.

To apply for this type of visa, the Immigration Office requires the following documents:

  • Passport
  • Two passport-size photographs
  • Signed declaration form
  • Proof of flight confirmation/reservation
  • Copy of recent bank statement ($700 per person and $1,500 per family)
  • Health insurance policy document indicating you are insured for outpatient treatment up to 40,000 THB and inpatient treatment up to 400,000 THB.

Category OA Non-Immigrant Visa

This 50+ retirement visa allows you to stay for up to one year. Again, it is available to you if you have a re-entry permit.

Submit the following documents to the Immigration Office to qualify for this type of visa:

  • Passport
  • Two passport-sized photographs
  • Signed declaration form
  • Proof of flight confirmation/reservation
  • Green card if you’re a Non-U.S. citizen
  • Downloaded additional application form
  • US or Thai bank statement showing a minimum deposit of 800,000 Baht or an original copy of an income certificate with a monthly income of not less than 65,000 Baht
  • Letter of verification stating you have no criminal record
  • Medical certificate showing no prohibitive diseases as indicated in the Ministerial Regulation No.14 (BE 2535)
  • A health insurance policy that must include Covid coverage with the total sum insured up to 3,000,000 THB or $100,000 a year.

Category OX Non-Immigrant Visa

If you’re 50 and over, this visa allows you to spend up to 10 years of your retirement in Thailand.

This long-term visa is broken up into two periods of five years. You are also eligible if you hold a re-entry permit. Your local Immigration Office requires the following documents:

  • Passport
  • Two passport-sized photographs
  • Signed declaration form
  • Proof of flight confirmation/reservation
  • Green card if you’re a non-U.S. citizen
  • Downloaded Addition Application form
  • Bank statement showing a minimum deposit of 3,000,000 Baht or a letter of guarantee from the bank proving a minimum deposit of 1,800,000 and evidence of a minimum annual income of 1,200,000 Baht
  • Letter of verification stating you have no criminal record
  • Medical certificate showing no prohibitive diseases as indicated in the Ministerial Regulation No.14 (BE 2535)
  • Health insurance policy document demonstrating that you are insured for outpatient treatment up to 40,000 THB and inpatient treatment up to 400,000 THB.

How to Join the Thailand Elite Residence Program

Thai Elite Visas were updated as of October 2023 and will suit you if you are looking for a legal stay in Thailand for twelve months at a time. This is categorized as a tourist visa and does not allow the holder to legally apply for a work permit to work or enroll in school in Thailand.

The Thailand Elite Visa is a Privilege Entry Visa (PE). It grants residence in Thailand and benefits for 5, 10, or 20 years, depending on the chosen package, in exchange for a membership fee. There are various options.

Gold Membership

The membership fee for this package is non-transferable and non-refundable, THB 900,000 ($24,807). This is valid for five years.

Platinum Membership

This package is valid for five years. The membership fee is a one-off, non-transferable, and non-refundable THB 1,500,000 ($41,344). There is an additional membership fee of THB 1,000,000 (approximately $27,563) for each family member.

Diamond Membership

This package is valid for fifteen years. The membership fee is non-refundable and non-transferable, THB 2,500,000 (approximately $68,906). An additional membership fee costs THB 1,500,000 (approximately $41,304) for each family member. 

Reserve Membership

This membership is invitation-only and valid for twenty years. The membership fee is THB 5,000,000 (approximately $137,812). There is an additional membership charge of THB 2,000,000 (approximately $55,142) for each family member.

Required documents

You will need to provide the Immigration Office with the following:

  • A scanned copy of the first page of your passport
  • A scanned copy of the Thailand stamp on your passport
  • Completed application form
  • Passport sized photograph
  • If the spouse is dependent, a copy of the marriage certificate
  • If applying as part of family packages, birth certificates
Will you make the leap from Thai permanent residency to Thai citizenship

Applying for a SMART Visa in Thailand

Thailand wants talent. If you’re a science and technology expert, senior executive, investor, or startup founder, then you can apply for a SMART Visa.

Your involvement in one of the following 13 S-Curve industries, plus an annual cash charge of TBH 10,000 ($290.39), qualifies you for a four-year visa:

  • Next-Generation Automotive
  • Smart Electronics
  • Affluent, Medical, and Wellness Tourism
  • Agriculture and Biotechnology
  • Food for the Future
  • Automation and Robotics
  • Aviation and Logistics
  • Biofuels and Biochemicals
  • Digital
  • Medical Hub
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Human Resource Development in Science and Technology
  • Environmental Management and Renewable Energy.

SMART T (Talent) Visa

You are a highly skilled professional in the targeted industries who also:

  1. Earns a minimum salary of THB 100,000 ($2,903.90) a month
  2. Has an employment contract of at least a year.

SMART I (Investor) Visa

You are an investor in a technology-based business within the targeted industries who:

  1. Has made a minimum direct investment of THB 20,000,000 ($580,779.20)
  2. Invests in companies using technology in manufacturing or delivering services.

SMART E (Executive) Visa

You are a senior executive in technology-based companies within the targeted industries who:

  1. Holds the minimum of a Bachelor’s degree and has over ten years of work experience
  2. Enjoys a salary of no less than THB 200,000 ($5,806.61) a month
  3. Has, at the very least, a one-year employment contract.

SMART S (Startup) Visa

You are a technology-based startup entrepreneur in the targeted industries who:

  1. Can show a bank balance of THB 600,000 ($17,419.84), which has been held for at least three months
  2. Has a health insurance policy
  3. Participates in an endorsed incubation, accelerator program, or a similar program
  4. Will set up a company in the targeted industries in Thailand within one year with at least 25% ownership or as a board member.

SMART O (Other) Visa

You are the dependent spouse or child of Smart Visa holders who:

  • Must be under 20 years old if a child dependent
  • Have at least THB 180,000 ($5,226.56) per person or equivalent in your bank account if dependent on a startup visa holder
  • Have health insurance covering the entire period of stay in Thailand if dependent on a startup visa holder.
Applying for a SMART Visa in Thailand

Get a Residence Certificate, a Shiny New Long-Term Resident Visa

The Thai Board of Investment (BOI) launched the Long-Term Resident Visa (LTR) in September 2022 with five years of Thai residence followed by five further years if qualifying conditions continued to be met.

The goal is to create one million LTR visa holders in its first five years. This would bolster Thailand’s economy to the tune of $27 billion. Essentially, the LTR has five different categories.

Wealthy Global Citizen

You are considered a WGC if you have the following:

  • At least $1 million in assets
  • A personal income of a minimum of $80,000 a year over the past 24 months
  • An investment of at least $500,000 in Thailand government bonds with over five years of remaining maturity in a Thai limited company or a Thai public company, or real estate
  • A health insurance policy covering medical expenses in Thailand up to $50,000 with a remaining coverage period of not less than ten months at the time of issuing the visa qualification endorsement, or social security rights that cover medical expenses in Thailand, or deposits in accounts in Thailand or abroad of $100,000 minimum, which have been held for not less than twelve months.

Wealthy Pensioner

You qualify as a WP if you are 50 or over and have the following:

  • A personal income of at least $80,000 a year
  • A personal income of a minimum of $40,000 per year with $250,000 investment in Thai government bonds, foreign direct investment, or Thai property
  • An additional investment of at least $500,000 in Thai Government bonds with over five years of remaining maturity in a Thai limited company or a Thai public company, or real estate
  • A health insurance policy covering medical expenses in Thailand up to $50,000 covering a minimum of 10 months, social security rights that cover medical expenses in Thailand, or deposits in accounts in Thailand or abroad of not less than $100,000, which have been held for a minimum of a year.

Work from Thailand Professional

You’re a WTP if you have at least five years of work experience in a field relevant to your current employment in the last ten years and your employer is:

  1. A public company listed on the stock exchange in any country
  2. A private company that has been in operation for at least three years and has a total combined revenue of more than $150 million in the last three years.

Further individual requirements include:

  1. Personal income on average of not less than $80,000 a year in the past two years or a minimum of $40,000 per year in the past two years if you hold a master’s degree or above, possess intellectual property, or have received Series A funding in a business valued at a conservative estimate of $1 million
  2. A health insurance policy covering medical expenses in Thailand worth no less than $50,000 with a minimum of 10 months to go, social security rights covering medical expenses in Thailand, or deposits in accounts in Thailand or abroad of not less than $100,000, which have been held for a minimum of a year.

Highly-skilled Professional

Are you an HSP? You are if you have at least five years of work experience in the past ten years in the following targeted industries:

  • Next-generation automotive industry
  • Smart electronics industry
  • Quality tourism industry
  • Agriculture and biotechnology industry
  • Food processing industry with added value
  • Robotics industry
  • Aviation industry
  • Biofuel and biochemical industries
  • Digital industry
  • Medical hub industry
  • National defense industry
  • Industries that directly and significantly contribute to the circular economy, such as the production of fuel from waste and water resource management
  • Human resource development and industrial research and development goals
  • Other industries targeted by the 20-year national strategy, as determined by the Committee on Policy for National Competitive Enhancement for Targeted Industries.

You can also qualify with the same work experience at a Thai government agency, state-owned higher education institution, research center, or specialized training institution in Thailand or by possessing the minimum of a doctorate.

Qualifying Dependents

WGCs, WPs, WTPs, and HSPs can add spouses and dependent children below 20 years of age to their application. LTR limits the number of dependents to four for each LTR visa holder.

Get a Residence Certificate, a Shiny New Long-Term Resident Visa

Achieving Permanent Resident Status in Thailand

The government of Thailand only bestows permanent residence status to around 100 applicants of each nationality every year.

So, acquiring permanent residency in Thailand can be tricky. The processing fee for the Thailand Permanent Residence Permit is THB 7,600 ($220.67).

If you succeed in your application, you’ll have to pay an extra 95,700 Baht if you qualify for permanent resident status via a spouse, as in a Thai wife or husband. It will cost you THB 191,400 ($5,557.49) if applying through expertise, investment, or work.

Suppose you are a close family member of a Thai citizen. If you have a Thai parent, child, or Thai spouse, the Immigration Department considers you eligible for Thai permanent residency.

You can also smooth a Thai permanent residency application with a THB 3,000,000 ($87,108.03) investment in a limited or public company in Thailand.

The expert category refers to holding a bachelor’s degree as the bare minimum. On the work front, you must have been continuously employed for three years by a company.

Benefits of Thai PR status include being able to work without needing to have a Thai non-immigrant visa. A permanent residence permit means permanent residence without the hassle of having to extend a visa every year.

Thai PR status is the definitive answer to the question: How do I stay in Thailand forever? Yes, you can live in the Kingdom happily ever after by having a permanent residence permit in Thailand.

A permanent residence permit makes you eligible to become a director of a Thai public company and have the chance to apply for Thai citizenship.

A Permanent Resident Permit Leads to Thai Citizenship

After enjoying permanent resident status in Thailand for five years, you are eligible to apply for Thai citizenship. Also, if you have children born in Thailand, they will automatically receive Thai citizenship.

It’s important to note that non-Thai family members cannot help you obtain Thai citizenship unless they are permanent residents themselves. Thus, only having Thailand permanent residence will help you on your path to becoming a Thai citizen.

Go Where You’re Treated Best

Thailand offers a range of attractive options for those looking to relocate and do business in one of Asia’s most vibrant countries. With various visa options and a friendly business environment, Thailand offers plenty of opportunities for expats and nomad investors alike.

Starting in 2024, if you are a tax resident, spending the majority of your time in Thailand, then you will be subject to the new tax rule, and you may run into this remittance issue. There are a lot of pieces to the puzzle. That’s what we help you figure out. 

At Nomad Capitalist, we specialize in helping our clients navigate the complex world of international taxcitizenship, and international investment.

Our team of experts can assist you with obtaining international residence and provide guidance on the best investment opportunities in a wide selection of countries.

So why wait? Contact Nomad Capitalist today and take the first step towards broadening your opportunities abroad.

Thailand Residence FAQ

Can I Live In Thailand Permanently?

Yes, foreigners can live in Thailand permanently. The most common way of doing this is to apply for Thai permanent residency.

You must have had a Thai non-immigrant visa for at least three years before your application has been submitted to be eligible.

You must also meet one of these categories to apply for Permanent Residency in Thailand:
Investment
Working/Business
Support a family/Humanity reasons
Expert/academic
Other categories, as determined by Thai immigration

How Long Can Foreigners Live In Thailand?

The length of stay without a visa depends on the nationality of the traveler and the type of passport they hold. A US citizen, for example, carrying a tourist passport and in possession of an onward or return airline ticket, does not require a visa to enter Thailand for a stay of up to 30 days if arriving by air or land.

Foreigners who wish to remain in Thailand for more than 30 days may obtain a tourist visa at the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate in their home country before arriving in Thailand. The tourist visa must generally be used within 90 days from the date of issue and allows an initial stay of 60 days. After arrival in Thailand, a tourist visa may be extended once for an additional 30 days, with the total period of stay no longer than 90 days.

Can You Live In Thailand Without Being A Citizen?

Yes, you can live in Thailand without being a citizen. All you need to do is apply for Thai permanent residency.

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