Thai Residence Permit
by Panisa Suwanmatajarn and Onnicha Khongthon
The Draft Announcement of the Office of the Prime Minister and Ministry of Interior prescribing Quota for Foreigners Having Residence in the Kingdom for the Year B.E. …. (“Draft Announcement”) had been proposed by the Ministry of Interior to the Cabinet and that the Cabinet approved such Draft Announcement on 13 December 2018.
According to Section 40 of the Immigration Act B.E. 2522 (“Immigration Act”), the Minister of Interior under the Cabinet’s endorsement has authority to announce the annual quota of foreigners being able to obtain the residence permit in Thailand in the Royal Gazette. The quota is in a maximum of 100 persons per country and 50 stateless persons. A period for applying the residence permit usually starting from the beginning of November to the end of December of every year.
For applying the residence permit, the foreigners must meet the following criteria:
- Holding a Thai non-immigrant visa for a certain period of time before submitting the application; and
- Being able to meet one of these categories:
- Investment category (minimum THB 3,000,000-10,000,000 investment in Thailand);
- Working/ business category;
- Support a family or humanity reasons category;
- Expert / academic category; and
- Other categories as determined by the Thai immigration authority.
Foreigners will receive many advantages in holding the residence permit, such as residing permanently in Thailand with no requirement to apply for an extension of stay, having name on a house registration and buying a condominium without making a bank transfer from abroad. Moreover, in case that any foreigner holds the residence permit for 10 consecutive years, such foreigner can file an application requesting for a Thai citizen.