If you’re really planning on staying in Thailand for the rest of your life, getting a multiple reentry visa to the Kingdom is definitely not enough. What you need to do then is apply for a permanent residency in the country, so you can stay indefinitely without having to continually leave to satisfy exit requirements.
What is a Permanent Resident?
A permanent resident is the next step above getting a non-immigrant visa. Technically, when you’ve been approved for residency, you become a de-facto national of Thailand. You’re one step below being a citizen – you don’t pay taxes like citizens do.
Becoming a permanent resident also eliminates the limitations that are imposed upon foreign expatriates who decide to reside in Thailand.These limitations are discussed in detail in a previously published article in this website, so there’s no need to repeat them here.
Reasons Foreigners Apply for Residency
So, moving on… What are the reasons why foreigners like you decide to apply for permanent residency in the Kingdom of Thailand? Well, here are some of the reasons why.
One reason is that a foreigner is about to get married to a local. It is kind of stressful and it takes a toll on the fledgling family if the expat leaves periodically because it is what is required by the multiple re-entry visa that he or she is holding. It could also prove expensive in the long run, because the new family will have to travel together.
Second possible reason is business. Businessmen will want to keep their eyes on their business as much as possible. Leaving, even for just a few weeks, could render an entrepreneur unable to react appropriately if a problem arises in the company. If a foreign-owned company is stable and is poised to operate for many more years to come in Thailand, then the foreign owner would do well to invest in getting a permanent residency in the Kingdom.
Finally, getting a permanent residency is definitely ideal for those who are looking to retire to Thailand. While you may want to fly home every once in a while, doing it periodically within 60 to 90 days as required by multiple re-entry visas is simply too much. With a permanent residency, however, you can come and go as you will.
Is It Easy to Become a Permanent Resident in Thailand?
The direct answer is: “No.” A permanent residency in the Kingdom is not for everyone. In fact, the quota for the Immigration authorities is only 100 foreigners granted a permanent residency every year. Don’t let that get you down, however, because you can always apply as long as you have the qualifications.
To be able to apply, you have stayed in Thailand for at least 3 years with a non-immigrant visa. Alternatively, if you’re holding a foreigners’ work permit, you must have been employed in the Kingdom for at least 3 years. Married foreigners can also apply, as long as they have been married to a local for at least 5 years.
There are also financial requirements imposed upon applicants as well, which were also discussed in a previous article.
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