Visas, residence permits and citizenship in Thailand
The Kingdom of Thailand is popular with tourists from all over the globe as well as downshifters looking to escape the expensive and humdrum life in the West and
EU nationals are entitled to
Common visa types
- Transit visa: issued for transit through Thailand and for participation in sports events, valid for three months. Transit visa holders can stay in Thailand for no more than 30 days.
- Tourist visa: issued to tourists and those coming for medical treatment, valid for three or six months. Tourist visa holders can stay in Thailand for no more than 30 or 60 days.
Non-immigrantvisa: issued for the execution of office, business and investment activities, studies, participation in conferences, residence with family and upon retirement. It is valid for three months to one year. Non-immigrantvisa holders are allowed to stay in Thailand for no more than 90 days at a time.
- Diplomatic and courtesy visas: issued to diplomatic passport holders and foreign citizens who come to Thailand on official state business.
- passport valid for six months after the trip ends (or 18 months for a year visa)
- completed application
Optional documents (depending on visa type)
- 4×6 cm photo
- travel reservations (printed)
- proof of funds (THB 10,000 per person/THB 20,000 baht per family for transit visas or THB 20,000 for tourist and THB 40,000 for non-immigrant visas)
- proof of employment
- letter from a medical institution in Thailand, medical history (for medical tourism)
- valid visa of the third country in the passport or travel document (for transit visas)
- invitation to participate in sports events in Thailand (for transit visas)
non-immigrantvisas require documents such as birth or marriage certificates, notice of admission to an education institution, invitation from a business, labour contract, etc.
Getting a residence permit
Getting a permanent residence permit in Thailand is difficult but the law does not prohibit extending a multiple entry visa. Often foreign citizens extend their visas, living legally in the country for years.
a non-immigrantvisa that has been extended every year for at least the last three consecutive years (i.e., live in Thailand permanently for at least three years).
- disclose information on your income, assets, professional skills and marital status.
- have a clean criminal record.
- be absent from the list of persons prohibited to enter or reside in Thailand.
- be proficient in Thai language at a certain level.
Additional requirements by type
- Investment: you can get a residence permit in Thailand if you invest at least THB 10 million ($280,000) into a company registered in Thailand, the local stock market or public bonds. You must make annual reports on your investment to the Immigration Commission and hold the asset for at least three years.
- be employed by a company with minimum capital of THB 10 million that is registered in Thailand and of benefit to the local economy. The applicant must earn a monthly salary of at least THB 50,000 ($1,400). “Benefit to the economy” includes activities such as international trade or tourism ("supplying" Thailand with at least 5,000 foreign tourists annually).
- earn a salary of at least THB 80,000 ($2,240) per month for two years before applying for a residence permit or pay annual income tax of at least THB 100,000 ($2,800) to Thailand for the same period. It is also necessary to hold a labour permit for three consecutive years and a job in a Thai company for one year before applying.
- Family reunification: the applicant must be the spouse, parent or child (under 20 years of age) of a Thai citizen or permanent resident. In order to receive a permanent residence permit for a marriage with a resident, the applicant must have registered the request at least two years prior. The couple must earn at least THB 30,000 ($870) per month.
- Education: the applicant must hold at least a Bachelor’s degree or a qualification of benefit to the Thai economy.
Getting Thai citizenship
Permanent residents can apply for citizenship. Children born in the country are automatically given citizenship.
Thailand citizenship requirements
- residence in Thailand for at least five years
- clean criminal record
- permanent employment
- proficiency in the Thai language
Requirements such as five years of residence and proficiency in the Thai language proficiency are waived if the applicant is the spouse or child of a Thai national or has previously been a Thai citizen. Children born to parents with Thai citizenship automatically get citizenship regardless of where they were born. In order to obtain Thai citizenship, you must renounce your current nationality.
Residence permit («Golden Visa») in other countries:
FAQ about residence permits and citizenship in Thailand
The Thai passport can be obtained by the spouses of Thai nationals, the residence requirements are of five years if the applicant is a woman married to a Thai citizen, if the applicant is a man who has a Thai wife.
The applicant also needs to pass a Thai language proficiency exam in oral and written forms, have a clean criminal record and a permanent income exceeding THB 480,000 per annum.
The law of Thailand does not provide for any residence-by-property-purchase programmes.
- By participating in one of Thailand's investment programmes.
- By holding a position in a company with a minimum capital of THB 10 million, being of benefit to the Thai economy, and drawing a salary of at least THB 50,000.
- By having worked in a Thai company for a year, held a work permit for three years, had a monthly salary of at least THB 80,000 for two years or paid annual income tax of at least THB 100,000 for the same period.
- By being 50 years of age, holding over THB 800,000 in savings and having a monthly income over $1,800.
- Taking part in the Elite Ultimate Privilege programme and obtaining an investment visa for up to 20 years (participation costs — $60,000).
- Taking part in the Elite Easy Access programme and obtaining an investment visa for 5 years (participation costs — $15,000).
- Obtaining a one-year extendable visa by complying with one of the following requirements:
— buying a condominium apartment for THB 10M at least;
— making a deposit of at least THB 10M with a Thai bank;
— putting at least THB 10M into Thai public bonds.