If you are a foreigner who wants to get residency in Thailand, you may be eligible to apply for a residence permit with the Immigration Bureau provided that you have the following qualifications:
- You must hold a passport that bears a Non-Immigrant Visa and has been permitted to stay in Thailand with one-year visa extensions for the total of at least 3 consecutive years up to the application submission date.
- If you are at least 14 years old up to the application submission date, you are subject to criminal records check.
- You must reveal your information on income, assets, knowledge, vocational ability and family status in terms of connection with Thai national conditions on national security or others as deem appropriate for the consideration.
- You must be able to understand and speak Thai language.
Application for a residence permit is divided into five categories:
- For investment
- For employment
- For humanitarian reasons – in this category, you must have relationship with a Thai citizen or a foreigner who already was granted with a residence permit as follows:
3.1 a legal husband or wife
3.2 a legal father or mother
3.3 a child who is under 20 years of age up to the application submission date and must be single
- For expert
- For extra circumstances on a case by case basis
The Ministry of Interior will announce the annual quota of foreigners to be granted with residence permit (by yearly quota per nationality) and such announcement will be published in the Government Gazette. You can then submit all documents required for each category, together with your passport until the last working day of the year at Chaengwattana Immigration Division or provincial Immigration offices. All documents must be submitted in person.
Once the application have been accepted, the Immigration officer will grant you a 180-day extension of stay on the date of application submission first and the next extension will be granted for 180 days until the results of the applications come out.
The Immigration officer may require a visit to your home and have a short interview with you together with those who are involved in the application. Within 120 days later, you will get an appointment card to come for a final interview with the Immigration officers. You will have to take the test for speaking, listening for understanding of the Thai language. Most questions are about your family, career, living, donation and your intention to apply for a residence permit.
Your application is also considered based on your income, assets, knowledge, vocational ability and family status in case of relationship with Thai nationals, conditions on national security or others as deemed appropriate for current economic and social condition in order to make certain that such consideration was made thoughtfully, transparently and fairly.
Please note that timeline for the consideration process varies each year, depending on the policy of the Immigration Commission and the Ministry of Interior.
- A non-refundable fee for each application is Baht 7,600 (whether permission is granted or not)
- If the application is approved, the fee for the residence permit is Baht 191,400. However, the residence permit fee for spouses and children (under 20 years of age) of the foreigners who already have a residence permit or Thai citizenship is Baht 95,700.
Obtaining a residence permit in Thailand is much easier if you have an English speaking partner to guide you in the process and prepare the application requirements. Contact MSNA for further assistance in obtaining a residence permit in Thailand.