Acquisition of Land for Use as Residence by Potential Foreigners in Thailand
On 25th October 2022, the Cabinet approved in principle a draft Notification of Ministry of Interior on Acquisition of Land for Use as Residence for Foreigners in accordance with Economic and Investment Stimulus Measures by Attracting High Potential Foreigners to Thailand by B.E. .… (the “Draft Ministerial Regulation”).
The Draft Ministerial Regulation allows four groups of high potential foreigners, namely wealthy global citizens, wealthy pensioners, foreigners who want to work from Thailand, and highly skilled professionals or specialists, to purchase and own land for residential purpose. The Draft Ministerial Regulations introduces new criteria regarding types and duration of investment specifically for such groups of foreigners. These new criteria will be added to general requirements prescribed in the currently implemented Ministerial Regulation Re: Rules, Procedures and Conditions for Acquisition of Land by Aliens B.E. 2545 (2002) (the “Ministerial Regulation B.E.2545 (2002)”) which have already permits foreigners to own land for residential purposes if they meet the requirements of making at least 40 million Baht investments for at least 5 years in, for example, Thai government bonds or Bank of Thailand bonds, real estate funds or mutual funds for resolving financial institution problems established under the law on securities and stock exchange, shares capital of juristic persons who received investment promotion under the law on investment promotion, or businesses that qualify for investment promotion under the law on investment promotion as announced by the Board of Investment (BOI).
The Draft Ministerial Regulation stipulates that high potential foreigners who invest and maintain the investment capital of at least 40 million Baht for 3 years reducing from 5 years in businesses that are beneficial to the economy and society of Thailand or in businesses that are eligible for investment promotion as announced by the BOI under the law on investment promotion will be entitled to own land for residential purposes with an area not exceeding 1 Rai or 1,600 sq.m. or about 0.4 Acres.
In addition to types of investment mentioned in the Ministerial Regulation B.E.2545 (2002), the Draft Ministerial Regulations also includes investment in infrastructure funds and Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT) established under the law on Trust for Transactions in Capital Market. However, the land acquired must be located in Bangkok, Pattaya city area, municipal area or within the area designated as a residential area according to the Town and Country Planning Act.
The Ministerial Regulation will be in force for 5 years after its publication in the Government Gazette. For the next step, the Draft Ministerial Regulation will be submitted to the Council of State for its consideration before the Draft Ministerial Regulation retuned to the Cabinet for its final consideration and approval.