So a lot of expats have been working successfully in Thailand and don't realize that they can become permanent residents. They struggle with 90 day reporting for years, and with the mental idea that they will never be on a path to Citizenship. Citizenship means you can buy property and get a Thai passport just like any natural born Thai Citizen. But the first step is Permant Residency, so let's look at what you need.
The requirements center around work. You have to be gainfully working in Thailand to even be reading the rest of this.
If you have a business in Thailand and have a work permit associated with that business and have the same income requirements -- you also have no problem and are eligible.
Most other categories, even investment, etc requires you to have work permits and be filing taxes also.
Yes, there is a quota of 100 people per country or colony, but from all reports, very few people actually apply for permanent residency, so for most countries there should not be a problem. We have heard that China and India, because their large populations and many immigrants have to wait for multiple years before they can apply.
Yes! And once you have it you do not need to get work permits or another visa. However, if you leave Thailand, you do need to get a re-entry permit so you do not invalidate your visa. You can purchase a multiple re-entry permit each year that allows you to leave or enter Thailand as many times as you want. If you are only travelling once a year, then you can purchase a single re-entry permit at a lower cost.
To apply for the visa, you pay a non-refundable fee of 7,600 Baht, or around $250 USD
If you are accepted you will then pay a one-time fee of 191,400 Baht, or around $6,000 USD.
And now you see why even with a quota of 100 per year per country, so few people actually do it. As with everything in Thailand, you do have to pay some money.
So let's stop the myths. Permanent residency in Thailand is very possible. And in fact, is quite similar to getting permanent residency in many western countries, in terms if time and money.
If you are married to a Thai Citizen, it costs less and takes a shorter time.
If you are a woman married to a Thai husband, it will cost even less and take a much, much shorter time.
Big Shout Out to Thai Citizenship for leading us down this research path.
Official Thai Immigration page on how to apply for Thai Residency Visa
Look out for our official video on this matter.