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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawCan I Get a 1 Year Thai Visa If I Own a Condominium in Thailand?

Can I Get a 1 Year Thai Visa If I Own a Condominium in Thailand?

Transcript of the above video:

In this video, we're going to go ahead and discuss Thai condominiums and how Thai condo ownership pertains to immigration. Now quickly, there's another video on this channel which discusses Thai condominium ownership by foreigners specifically in depth so I recommend possibly go ahead and watch the first or after this video to sort of understand some of the dynamics with respect to ownership, freehold ownership of Thai condominiums.

But let's go ahead and set that issue aside. Suffice it to say that it is possible for a foreign national in the Kingdom of Thailand to own a Thai condominium in freehold so long as the condominium conforms with the provision of the Thai Condominium Act as amended as of the time of this filming.

That being said, an individual with foreign nationality owns a Thai condominium here in Thailand and they wish to go ahead get a Thai visa.  That individual is not married to a Thai citizen, has no dependents who are Thai residents, does not maintain a business in the Kingdom and it's not otherwise qualified for something like say retirement visa or an education visa. In the past, it was possible to get an O visa issued in connection and specifically for those who bought a condominium in Thailand. It was even discussed rather at length by some immigration officers.

It's been my experience that as far as utilizing a Thai condo specifically to get a Thai visa, this is the phase now in practice. Now whether the actual laws or regulations have changed, that's sort of difficult to say. It's sort of dictated. No, dictated is a wrong word but it's been sort of adjudicated in a discretionary manner. O visas themselves, unbeknownst to many, are a miscellaneous visa category. So in a way, there's all sorts of issue in a discretionary manner dependent upon certain circumstances.

I had clients in the past who were issued O visas specifically in order to enjoy their condominiums here in Thailand and those individuals who had been in that status, I've learned this anecdotally they've been told by Thai immigration in recent years "Yes, you can continue to go ahead keep applying for renewal of that visa but understand if you allow that visa to lapse, we cannot guarantee that we're going to ahead and renew a new visa" as the current feeling is the O visa issuance, the only reason being forced that issuance because one has a Thai condominium, ownership of a Thai condominium, that is not going to be considered let's say as valid a reason for issuance as it was in the past.

Again, this is all very discretionary and on top of this, not only that I've anecdotally come to know that there are individuals who have been directly told by immigration officers "We're not simply going to keep renewing said visa based simply upon you having just a Thai condominium." Now please understand that in the anecdote whatever evidence that's come to me regarding essentially cancellation of the O visa simply for purpose because one has a condominium, that individual is actually married to a Thai national and had Thai national dependents so I think the thinking went with that case that it was like "Yeah, you're in this amorphous category with respect to condominium ownership, you could be over here in a very clearly delineated category of marriage visa and dependent visa, we're going to go ahead and just move you out of this amorphous category, move you into a clearly delineated category." That's what it says to me.

That being said, I would say it's probably not the best idea to simply assume that an O visa is going to be issued simply because one has freehold ownership of a Thai condominium. It's fairly safe to assume that moving forward that and that alone is not necessarily going to be considered sufficient enough cause to go ahead and issue a one-year O visa extension here in the Kingdom. That being said, those who already have Thai condo ownership and have been getting issued O visas, I think it's fairly safe to assume that probably those extensions are going continue to keep getting issued. But as with everything, immigration matters are discretionary so a change in the regulations may result in a very clearly delineated policy of no longer allowing issuance of such visas under such circumstances.