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Thailand Permanent Residence

Transcript of the above video:

This blurb will quickly give an overview and insight into permanent residence in Thailand how that all works and how it works with respect to the Immigration process and work permits etc.  Basically a quick overview of Thai PR, you have got to sort of include what are the base line requirements to apply for permanent residence and for permanent residence.

If one is unmarried to a Thai national, the absolute minimum if one is unmarried to a Thai national, and has no children who are of Thai nationality, basically doesn’t have any other connection to the Kingdom other than simply being employed in the Kingdom, you have to look at it form a business standpoint.

So basically, there’s a category for those who are employed in the Kingdom of Thailand. The minimum requirement is that a person be physically present in Thailand in B Visa status for 3 years unbroken, so these are 3 years on extensions, business visa extensions, as opposed to say a multi entry visa where one has to do a border run every 90 days this is visa extension status. One also has to have had a work permit for 3 years unbroken prior to applying for Thai PR, Thai permanent residence. It should be noted that I have seen cases where a person or persons have had, I have seen situations I should say, where a person or persons have had a day or even a week, of a gap in their immigration status, or a gap in their work permit status, and those individuals are not granted, are not allowed to apply for Thai permanent residence; they don’t meet the requirements. So it’s 3 years unbroken, Thai B visa status and Thai work permit status before being able to apply for Thai PR. One also has to maintain a salary of Bt. 80,000 a month or be able to show a requisite amount of tax paid into the Thai system before being able to apply for Thai permanent residence.

The thing to keep in mind about the Thai PR and it’s something that people really have a fundamental problem grasping, especially coming from a context of dealing with Immigration systems outside the Kingdom is Thai permanent residence is only that. It’s immigration status, it’s not work authorization. Work authorization is handled by the Ministry of Labor, Thai permanent residence is handled by the Immigration Police who are under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior. So you’re dealing with two separate offices when we’re talking about Thai PR versus work permit status. So simply being conferred PR in Thailand, does not necessarily mean one is conferred labor authorization. That being said, if one works in Thailand for a certain period of time, wishes to retire after a certain period of time doesn’t have a work permit any more Permanent residence is exactly what it states. One is allowed to remain in Thailand without having to maintain any other type of visa; basically, you’re just a permanent resident here. It’s not nationality, one does not carry a Thai passport, one is simply a resident in Thailand. It’s very similar, in some senses although slightly different, to lawful permanent residence in the United States, the major difference between the United States and Thailand with respect to how they treat lawful permanent residents is the fact that lawful permanent residence status in the US has labor authorization essentially built in to it. So one is able to work in the United States just like any other American citizen or lawful permanent resident as opposed to PR in Thailand where work permits are still required even though one’s been issued permanent residence. Depending on the back log at the time of filing, cases processing through the permanent residence division of the Immigration Police can take varying amounts of time; it’s actually fairly hard to say how long any given case is going to take to process. I often joke that these cases are like snowflakes; each one is unique and different. In a lot of ways, all immigration cases are like that, both in the United States and here in Thailand. Some points to ponder with respect to PR is another issue which has to do with, if one is married to a Thai at the time of applying for Thai Permanent Residence, or is married and has children, those kinds of things can change the analysis of the requirements for gaining permanent residence. Salary requirements are diminished in most cases, again it depends on the given case and to get into further specifics would probably not be very useful here because we’re talking about many different kinds of specifics that could have many different impacts on the case. There are also some criteria where they’re looking at ones language ability with respect to Thai as well as contributions to the Kingdom which would warrant issuance of permanent residence. Again all of these are basically specifics that would probably not be very useful to get into here, as they’d all just be hypotheticals, but one should keep in mind the base line I like to give people, regarding the business visa situation, again 80,000 baht a month, 3 years unbroken visa and work permit. The unbroken visa and work permit requirements are basically the same for someone with a spouse and children although the salary requirement may be lower. It would probably be wise to either contact us or look into that salary requirement at the given time one is looking into PR because I am sure that can change from year to year or possibly could change in the future. PR is useful. The other thing to keep in mind is PR can also be a stepping stone to ultimately applying for nationality here in Thailand. Again that depends on the given set of circumstances surrounding an individual’s situation but overall, Thai permanent residence is rather useful. Again it could take years for the whole thing to process and those who are seeking it will have to be very diligent in producing and compiling various documents with respect to education and background and employment status, as generally the application is fairly large, when submitting it to the Immigration Authorities.