Are you the kind of person who is tired of working a 9 to 5 job in the Western world? Are you working for the man, earning a yearly salary that just about covers your living cost, and maybe provides you with enough left over to take a vacation every year? Have you ever considered leaving your home country behind and relocation to a place which can give you a far higher quality of life?
If you can answer "yes" to any of these questions, then you really should consider Thailand as a place which could possibly become your new home.
Generally there are three types of real estate you can purchase in Thailand: condo unit, Thai villa or a house, land. We will give an overview and discuss the restrictions for each type.
The easiest way and most famous for foreigners to own a property in Thailand would be by buying a condo unit. There is no restriction for foreigners with regards to buying a condo unit except that the maximum you can own would be 49% of the total number of units of the same condominium building. Some condo developers offer pre-construction projects. If you are a foreigner in Thailand and purchasing a property in Thailand it is advisable to contact a reputable law firm with Property lawyers who can have your contract checked and represent your for doing a background check on the developer handling the project before closing the deal.
Thai Villa and House
Owning a house in Thailand is restricted for foreigners. However if a foreigner owns a Thai Limited Company, the Thai Limited Company may own the house. If you do not currently own a Thai Limited Company and is interested to register one, you have to meet the eligibility for business registration and should be able to submit the requirements.
An international law firm, Siam Legal, can assist you in two aspects: 1.) registration of your Thai limited company; and 2.) purchasing of the real estate in Thailand (such as villa or a house). A lot of legal aspects needs to be considered:
In registering a business:
In buying a house:
On Buying Land
A foreigner cannot acquire a land in Thailand. This right is reserved solely for Thai nationals. So expats who really want to acquire land may do so through one of the following ways:
1. Name the land under your Thai spouse
Whether the funds used in acquiring the property is of the foreigner’s, in effect the foreigner is waiving his right of ownership over the land. This is okay until divorce happens and property dispute arises. How to make sure your investment on real estate will be protected?
As a foreigner, aside from unfamiliarity with Thai laws and restrictions on owning a real estate property in Thailand, a foreigner would always be concerned on how to make sure his investment on real estate will be protected, and how to protect his rights as a foreigner. Contact Siam Legal so you will understand the risk, the legal aspect of this option, and the governing laws before you go about this risky property acquisition.
2. Taking a lease on a property
You wish to own the land where a building or a structure is built? Then get a long term lease on a Thailand property. You can choose about 30-year lease with an indefinite lease renewal.
The risk included on this venture would be what if the property you are leasing at was sold? Much more, what if it was sold to a Thai buyer? Are you allowed to sublet, sell or transfer your right as a lessee without the consent of a lessor?
3. Setting up a Thai Limited Company
It was mentioned earlier that while a foreigner cannot own the land, a Thai limited company controlled by majority of Thai company shareholders. This is the only condition on how a foreign owner can gain freehold ownership over the company and over the land.
Real estate purchase involves vast amount of money. Before signing any sales contract, seek legal advice or do a background check on the property you are purchasing. Siam Legal could perform title search, due diligence, sales contract review, offers consultation on buying condo off-plan, transfer of title, and check if you have accurate property taxes.
Retirement in Thailand is an excellent time for learning and leisure. The country prides itself of its tropical climate, healthy Thai food, world-class Thai boxing and Thai massage, laid-back lifestyle, health and wellness and other sorts of recreational activities. In Thailand, you could enjoy the modern facade of a city life while taking a glimpse of the old and historical Thai culture. You could also enjoy the beauty of nature through island beaches and tropical rainforest.
If you are already 50 years of age or older and you would like to retire and spend your time in Thailand for a longer period of time, you can apply for a Thai Retirement Visa.
For the Retirement Visa, foreigners who are aged 50 and above are qualified. Eligibility also includes meeting the financial requirement of:
Saving account showing 800,000 THB deposited in a Thai bank account;
monthly income or pension amounting to THB 65,000;
combination of both (Bank Account + Income x 12 = THB 800,000
Applicants for Retirement Visa need to present the following documents:
For the Retirement Visa process, you need first to get an initial visa application, a 90-day Non-Immigrant Visa from the Thai embassy in your country or in the country where you are a permanent resident. For your initial visa, you have to prepare the following requirements:
You will use this visa to enter Thailand. Once you arrive in Thailand, you can open a bank account and deposit money. After 2 months you can request for a bank statement which you need to include in your Retirement Visa application. Then we will do a Visa conversion from your current 90-day non-immigrant visa to 1 Year Retirement Visa.
Do you need a visa to come to Thailand? If yes, what kind of visa and where should you file your application? If no, why you wouldn’t need a visa? Will you just travel to Thailand with just your passport and plane ticket? What is Visa on Arrival?
These are just some of the common questions from a foreigner who wishes to visit Thailand. We will give a brief explanation on the different types of Thailand visa and what transpires on during a Thai visa application.
Upon travelling to Thailand you need to consider the following: your nationality, length of stay in Thailand, purpose of stay. Depending on the country of your nationality, some nationals belong to 30 Day Tourist Visa Exemption Scheme, some nationalities are granted with 90 Days exemption under the Tourist Visa Exemption Scheme, some belongs to Bilateral Agreement which may be 14 days, 30 days or 90 days allowed period of stay, some has to apply for Visa on Arrival. (Please consult the List here)
If your estimated stay in Thailand would exceed the number of days allowed, then you have to apply for a Thai visa in Thai Embassy or Consulate in your home country or your country of permanent residence. Requirement for each visa type may vary. Siam Legal International offers the following Thai visa service for foreigners:
90-Day Non Immigrant Visa to Thailand
90 Day Non-immigrant visa is a single entry visa, which means that the holder can use it to enter Thailand once, and the visa holder is permitted to stay for a period of 90 days. Once approved, if you have a 90-Day Non-immigrant visa the foreigner can open a bank account, and he can work in Thailand provided that he will obtain a work permit. This type of visa also serves as an initial visa (prerequisite) for longer term visa such as Marriage Visa, Retirement Visa, or Work Permit application in Thailand. A foreigner cannot apply for long term visas without securing this 90 Day visa first.
One year Non-Immigrant Visa to Thailand
This visa has the same benefit as the 90-Day Non-Immigrant Visa however the One Year Non-Immigrant Visa offers multiple entries to Thailand. The holder of the One-year non-immigrant visa is allowed to stay 90 days per entry. This means that after the initial 90 days, the holder needs to go to the nearest border (about 4 hours ride away from Bangkok), get a new entry stamped at the immigration checkpoint, then return back to Bangkok. The visa bearer is eligible to open a bank account, and is eligible to apply for a Work Permit.
Thai Business Visa
If your purpose of coming to Thailand would be to conduct business, to work in Thailand, or to invest you could secure Thai Business Visa. Thai Business Visa is valid for a period of one year (multiple entries). With this visa, the holder can stay for 90 days per entry. Those who got an approved Thai Business Visa is eligible to apply for a work permit. The holder can also open a bank account in Thailand. Thai Business Visa is extendable for one year.
Thai Marriage Visa
Thai Marriage Visa is suited foreign-born applicants who has been married to a Thai national. Once approved the holder of the marriage visa is permitted to stay in Thailand for a period of one year. The foreigner-spouse is allowed to work in Thailand provided he will secure a work permit. Once expired, Thai Marriage Visa is renewable every year without leaving Thailand.
Thai Retirement Visa
Thai Retirement Visa is issued to foreigners who is 50 years old and above at the time of application. This is for foreign-born nationals who intend to spend their retirement years in Thailand. With the Thai Retirement Visa, holder is not allowed to work in Thailand. The visa is valid for one calendar year. Once the visa expires, it can be renewed inside Thailand without necessity to leave the country.
If Tourist Visa, Visa on Arrival or Visa Exemption is not applicable for you, you need to apply for a different type of visa. Contact Siam Legal now for free consultation and to know more about Thai Visa process. We will prepare the documents for you and make sure you will get the Thai visa best suited for you before you come to Thailand.
Any foreigner is not allowed to work in the Kingdom of Thailand without securing a valid work permit. A work permit needs to be issued before a foreigner starts working. Work permit resembles a blue bank book and the holder needs to carry it at the workplace or while working for Immigration’s random checking.
Thailand work permit is given to a foreign employee in order to be able to work legally in the kingdom. This is also issued to employers to legally operate a business in Thailand.
For the process of the application for work permit, the foreigner needs to secure a non-immigrant “B” visa first at the Royal Thai Embassy from his home country or country of permanent residence. This has two purpose:
Upon arrival to Thailand, you have to file the application for Work Permit at the Ministry of Labor. Apart from the application form, you would be needing civil documents and company documents. The corporate documents will be provided to you by your prospective employer.
If the applicant is married to a Thai national, the following documents should be added:
With regards to your visa, since you only have 90-day allowed stay, you have to do Visa Extension at the Immigration Bureau from 90-day to 1 year under the basis of employment. Visa and work permit needs to be renewed one year after from the date it was issued.
It would be a tedious process to collate all the documents for work permit application. If anything has been missed, this would result to denial of your application. Siam Legal is a trusted International Law Firm who could provide assistance on Immigration issues such as Work Permit application and Visa Issuance and Extension of Stay.
Marriage registration is the act of formally recording the marital union of man and woman into the Civil Registry of the country. It is registration which marks the start of a legal marriage in Thailand. Marriage registration takes place at the local district office (Amphur). The parties must appear personally before the local officer to have their marriage registered. Upon presentation of the documentary requirements, the officer records the marriage in the registry and issues to the couple their marriage certificate.
In order to register the marriage in Thailand, the important document required for a foreigner marrying in Thailand is his Affirmation of Freedom to Marry. This Affidavit must be secured from one’s Embassy in Thailand after his arrival in the country. This document signifies that the person seeking to marry is free to marry. Another important document would be the Divorce Decree. This would tell that any previous marriage has been ended through divorce, thus allowing the bearer freedom to remarry. If the previous marriage ended in Spousal death, then a Death certificate must be provided.
During marriage registration in Thailand, the parties are made to present their civil documents. For Thai nationals that would include the Thai National ID and the Tabien Baan or household registration booklet. If the Thai is a divorcee, he is required to present his divorce certificate. Foreigners, on the other hand, are made to present their passport and the Affirmation of Freedom to Marry – can be secured from the foreigner’s respective Embassy in Thailand, which had been translated to Thai. Affirmation of Freedom to Marry issued from a foreigner’s Embassy is usually written in English or in any other foreign language, that is why it needs to be translated to Thai. This document needs to be certified at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. After the documents are certified to be true and correct, the parties are asked to declare that they take each other as spouses and are then made to sign in the marriage registry. A Certificate of Marriage is issued to the spouses to evidence their union into the country.
Each of the parties is given a copy of Certificate of Marriage after the union is formally registered at the district office. Since the certificate is in Thai, the foreign party will need to have the Certificate translated into English before the same can be used for reporting to his home state. After the translation is done, the document must be brought to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Certification. Some nationals are required to report their marriage at their country’s Embassy in Thailand. It would be best to confirm to your Embassy about this when you apply for the Affidavit of Freedom to marry so you know if you need to come back for the reporting of your marriage. If you need to report your marriage at your Embassy, present the certified translation of your marriage certificate (translated into your native tongue) for this purpose.
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