Did you know that there are several visa options that can allow you to reside in Thailand for the long term?
In this webinar, we cover:
- The 10-year Long Term Resident (LTR) Visa
- Permanent Residency (PR)
- Thailand Privilege (formerly Thailand Elite)
Whether you’re looking to retire, work remotely, or just enjoy a long-term stay in Thailand, our experts will share valuable insights and practical tips to help you make informed decisions.
Watch the webinar recording or read the transcription below.
You can also download the presentation here.
Hi. Good evening, everybody. Thanks for joining. We appreciate. It’s about the dinner hour and so, we’re going to try to spend a very productive 50 minutes with you.
Let’s get the legal niceties out of the way. This evening’s webinar is for informational purposes only. It’s not to offer you any legal advice. To do that, we’d need to know the particulars of your circumstances, so if you’re interested in legal advice, please consult a Thai counsel. Speaking of Thai counsel, let’s go to the next slide, Will. Tea?
Thitsana “Tea” Besson:
Hello, everyone. My name is Thitsana Besson and I’m a consultant at Baan Thai Immigration Solution. I mainly focus on corporate matters and securing long-term visa. I’m half French, half Thai, and I have graduated from the University Panthéon-Assas in Paris. In business law, I also graduated from Royal University of Law and Economics in Phnom Penh Cambodia. I’m fluent in French, Thai and English, and I can say that I’m a bridge between you and the government agency.
Recently, my main focus has been on the long-term resident design and in this regard, I weekly meet the BOI officer to ensure a smooth and successful visa process for our clients.
Juthamas “Apple” Cha-nunchidawong:
Hello, I’m Apple. I am an immigrations consultant helping expand often long-term visa registered their merit and open a bank account. I have an MBA from RamKhamHaeng University and law degree from university. My credentials [inaudible 00:01:50] lawyer counsels of Thailand, I want to thank you everyone for attending today.
Thank you, Apple. And I’m Mark Friedman. I’m the managing director and co-founder of Baan Thai. I’m a member of the California bar, probably longer than some of you have been alive, since 1987. I’m a graduate of the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. I’m formerly chief legal officer for global legal departments for multinational US publicly traded and private companies. Currently, I have a national immigration practice in the US.
Go to the next slide, Will. Thank you.
Just a couple of admin matters quickly, we’re going to take some Q and A at the end of the session tonight. We’re going to try to leave enough time to answer your questions to the extent that we have a bunch of common questions we can’t get to, we’re going to create an FAQ. That F A Q will be attached to a recording of this webinar which we’ll share. If you have friends that missed it or you missed something during the presentation, do you want to go back and see, there will be a recording available to you in the resource section of our website. We’re also going to give a bonus at the end for your participation this evening. We know that we’ve got several members of the Baan Thai community with us who are members of our newsletter, we also wanted to welcome back those that had attended previous webinars and welcome all of our newcomers.
Let’s get to the meat of the presentation. We believe strongly, the three of us, that thinking and acting strategically is important to figuring out how to best stay for the long term in Thailand. We know that there’s lots of great information out there. I point everybody to the board of investment website, I think they do a great job in describing their programs, as does the new Thailand privilege site in describing the benefits of the Thailand privilege visa. But there’s not too many sites out there or folks tying all of this disparate information together and we think it’s important to do that.
We think it’s important for a few reasons. First, the decisions you make about Thai immigration today do have long-term implications. Let me give you an example. If attaining permanent residency is your north star, there are only two visa types that can get you to that goal line. It’s not dependent visa, marriage visa or a non-B visa. Currently, the long-term resident visa offered by the BOI does not provide a path to permanent residency. That may change at some point, but right now, there’s only two visa types. Also, you should be aware that any break in your visa extensions or any change in your visa status means a significant delay in achieving your goal of permanent residency. That’s just one example of thinking out ahead that will help you reach your goals more efficiently and more quickly.
I also think that long-term planning helps improve your stability in the kingdom. Those of us who have lived here for a period of years, we develop deeper and deeper friendships, deeper and deeper business commitments and business contacts. We just love being residents of the kingdom. However, the irony is that your non-O visa status is based on circumstances and those of us who have been around a while know that circumstances can change. Family status can change, jobs can come and go, and then you’re left with that untenable choice of having to figure out what to do within seven days. Even business prospects can dim as we’ve learned during COVID. Having a plan B and having a long range view of things helps promote your stability and helps protect your connections to the kingdom.
Finally, I think having a long-term plan, at least from my perspective, provides some peace of mind. There’s the old saw that failing to plan is planning to fail and we do know that thinking about immigration, thinking about visas is not the most fun thing in the world, it’s like death and taxes. But once we think you have a plan in place and begin to implement on that plan, then you can put the rest aside, have some peace of mind and focus on the things that are most fun in life.
Tea, how do we approach that strategic thinking process?
Thitsana “Tea” Besson:
We don’t start with what visa you have in mind, we will start with your own aspiration because indeed, the strategy should be a reflection of your personal goals and of your plans for the future. When you start this process, the main question you will need to ask yourself will be how long you want to stay in Thailand and the second question will be what brings you to Thailand or what is the purpose behind your stay. Whether it is for working or for business, for seeing which your family or for you for leisure, there are different visa option depending on the reason of your stay.
If you want to work in Thailand, there’s some visa that allow you to work and some that won’t allow you to work. If you have a family in Thailand and you’re above the age of 50, you will have different visa options. A marriage visa will allow you to work and I would say my visa is easier to get, but it doesn’t allow you to work and some of you will seek the less hassle and the most stressful way to stay there but we believe that knowing your timeline and your desires is the most efficient strategy to decide what is the ideal visa option for you.
Well said. I think that the seminal question is, is Thailand your home or is it home for a while? That will inform your visa choices and your long range of strategy in staying here.
I know as we flip to the next slide, there are many astute people on this webinar tonight that will say, “Hey, you haven’t covered the entire playing field of visas,” and you are absolutely right. There’s the non-ED visa, there’s visas for certain professions such as the media that allows you to come here for a period of time but for sake of brevity and for focus, we’ve concentrated on the visas that are most likely to be available or of interest to you as well as immigrant status.
Apple, why don’t you give us a rundown?
Juthamas “Apple” Cha-nunchidawong:
For anyone’s over the age of 50, marriage to Thai nationals or the parents of Thai children of working in Thailand, you have a good choice to stay here. All of this visa give you the right to stay here as a non-immigrant and it can be attend knowledge, this visa also required 90 day report to immigration, which we know is not a welcome obligation particulars for expand to have reside here for a long time, we are focusing to date on the option that get you out of having to extend every year and away from having to report every 90 days.
Thank you. Go to the next slide.
We did have a prior webinar on your non-O visa choices. Again, that’s been recorded. We also have some blogs and some articles on our resource site but we’re focused today on those multi-year options. We’ve done this for two reasons.
As Apple noted, the bane of many expat existence is the annual extension. Of course, if you’re working in your company does your non-B for you, no problem. If you have a Thai spouse that helps you with your non-O visa, okay. But there are alternatives to the annual extension and also 90 day reporting and these three options solved for those issues.
We’re also raising these today because there are significant updates to these three programs, especially with respect to the change from the elite visa to what’s now called Thailand privilege. Also, Tea is going to be updating you on the LTR visa at its one-year anniversary. Finally, we thought the timing of this webinar would be good because the permanent residency application window is about to open. It’s the Fall, so good time to start talking about that.
Let’s start with the long-term resonant visa, the LTR visa, we’ve entitled this visa. Fewer hassles and longer stays. Tea?
Thitsana “Tea” Besson:
The LTR visa just celebrated its one year in September. It has been launched in September 2022. Since it just has been introduced one year ago, the BOI made some changes in the requirements and also in the document needed to apply for this visa. Today, BOI is still in process of assisting the requirement. We just spoke to the BOI representative last week and they recognized that they need to revisit the qualification was the initial goal was to attract 1 million successful expat within five years and they already achieved 20% of the target within one year. Since the visa is quite new, we can expect ongoing changes in the near future.
Okay, great. The basics, the big picture here is we call this visa a five and five. When you get your visa stamp, you’ll be stamped in for five years and then, you go back to the BOI and then recertify your qualifications for the visa for another five years. Also, the government fee all in for this visa is 50,000 Thai Baht. As you’ll hear from Apple in a moment, that’s quite a bargain given the fact that you don’t have any extension fees, you don’t need to deposit any money in the bank like you do with your non-O retirement or non-O dependent visa and your re-entry permits are included. You don’t have to buy separate re-entry permits.
Apple, why don’t you go through some of the other benefits?
Juthamas “Apple” Cha-nunchidawong:
Okay, there are many benefits to holding your LTR visa. You only need to report your residency to immigration knowledge, not every 90 days. You don’t need to [inaudible 00:12:41] reentry permits, you can bring up to four dependents under your visa. Also, you can work and get digital [inaudible 00:12:52] withdraw the one-stop service center. While the expand to Thai employee ratio under the non-B visa is four to one, your company doesn’t need to also employ Thai nationality to maintain your LTR visa.
I think that’s an important point, Apple. If you carrying a non-B right now, your company or if it’s someone else’s company needs to employ four Thai nationals for you to be able to extend that visa on an annual basis with the LTR visa, that ratio is zero. Just for a point of comparison, for a non-dependent visa, it’s two Thai nationals for each of the non-dependent visas. You can see that there’s a lot of benefits there.
Tea, you want to talk about some of the requirements?
Thitsana “Tea” Besson:
Now, let’s now talk about the challenges you may face with this visa. First, the visa may require a large financial investment in Thailand, it’s minimum $500,000 in Thailand for wealthy citizen. Also, meeting the minimum required income of $80,000 a year can be complicated but the BOI recognizes that if you have a master degrees, the income drops to $40,000 a year under the Work from Thailand professional category.
It’s important to note that under the wealthy pension category, the BOI will only consider passive income, so this is quite large. It can be income from rent or income from interest and dividends and also, your government benefits, your pension. The minimum is also $80,000 a year of passive income, but you can still qualify with $40,000 a year if you invest 250,000 in Thailand. This can be achieved by simply buying a condo.
As I mentioned earlier, the visa is relatively new. It’s celebrated its first anniversary this month, so there will likely be changes in the requirement, but thankfully, the BOI is very practical and there’s no need to legalize the documents you submit as long as they’re in Thai or in English.
Great. Tea and Apple spend a lot of time with the BOI and I feel for the BOI folks that have to process these applications. They’re looking at sophisticated investment portfolios and tax returns from all over the world and I find the US tax return to be difficult enough to parse through with 1099s and K1s and 1040s and so on.
But the good news is that the BOI, in trying to drive economic growth in Thailand is very practical. I think you’ll say that they engage with you in the iterative process to try to understand the documentation. Sometimes, it takes a couple of explanations to get them there, but the other good news is they’re not requiring your proof of income or your proof of investment to be consular or legalized. As long as it’s in English, they’ll take the document. The other thing is they’ve waived, at least for now, the criminal background checks for most countries. While you’ll see that’s a requirement on their website or in other articles that’s been waived for the vast majority of the countries.
The takeaway here is there’s two principle categories. The wealthy global citizen, a million dollars of equivalent of net worth and a $500,000 equivalent investment in Thailand. As Tea pointed out, that could be a condominium, it could be government bonds, it could be investment in Thai publicly traded companies. Under the wealthy pensioner category, anyone over the age of 50 who can show essentially $80,000 in passive income can qualify. Now, how you show that there’s a lot of nuance there and there’s a lot of proclivities and particulars that the BOI is going to want to see, but Tea or other counselors can help you work through that.
Who is this visa for? You’ve been successful, you’ve created some wealth, some stream of passive income or expertise and you want a visa with a lot of flexibility bringing in up to, as Apple mentioned, four dependents. You can bring in your family, you want to work permit, you want the ease of dealing with the single window service center, this is an excellent visa choice for you.
Let’s talk about Thailand Privilege. Most of you may or may not have heard that what used to be the elite visa or Thailand elite is now the Thailand privilege. It has been completely rebranded and revamped and it’s a new program. Tea and I attended the seminar launch in late August. The new program was made available to the public on September one and the activation date is October one. Don’t worry if you or your friends are still searching for Thailand Elite, it’ll kick you over to the Thailand Privilege visa.
There are two things that fundamentally remain the same. This is still a visa program that is administered by the tourist authority of Thailand and implemented by the Bureau of Immigration. The stamp comes from the Bureau of Immigration after they do the background check. The other thing that remains the same is this is what is essentially a super tourist visa giving you all the rights but also, having the limitations of a tourist visa.
Let’s talk a little bit about the benefits and you’ll see right away, that this is a multi-year visa opportunity, five, 10, 15 years. By invitation, a few folks will be able to stay for 20. But you’ll notice that the price has gone up substantially, the initial price was four to 500,000 Thai Baht, it is now 900,000 Thai Baht for five years, it’s 1.5 million for 10 years, and 2.5 for 15 years. What’s significantly changed, however are the benefits attended to the visa and we’ll talk about that in just a moment.
Generally, you can come and go as you please. You don’t have to worry about a visa exemption and then an extension to that of 30 and then 60 days. You can be here for a day, you can be here for 360 days, you essentially have unlimited access to the kingdom. It’s an easy application process and you don’t have to be over the age of 50, you don’t have to show that you put money in a Thai bank account and you don’t have any insurance requirements. It’s a very, very straightforward process. It’s really for those who value a VIP treatment and benefits.
Like the old program, you still get fast-tracked into the airport, you still have a limousine available to you if you book it. Now, it’s on a point system and that’ll get you to your hotel or your home. But the expanded benefit program is based on points and what I would liken it to is a loyalty program offered by your credit card service or by your airline. With those points, in addition to the airport benefits you can get things like wealth advisory service, networking opportunities, hotel stays, discounts on airlines, discounts on shopping, even an annual physical. All of those benefits that are available under this new point system are spelled out in the Thailand privilege website and the higher you go up in the program from five to 10 to 15 years, the more points you accumulate.
The challenges I think are pretty straightforward. It is a commitment to Thailand, you are putting up a certain amount of money and you know for the next five years, you’re going to spend some significant amount of time here, but it is a tourist visa, so let’s be clear about that. There is no path to permanent residency and you cannot work under this visa. No work is available to you.
If you do have any thoughts of consulting, working, starting a business here that’s non-B, non-O dependent or LTR Visa are your choices or permanent residency, which we’ll talk about in a moment.
The final thing I’d caution before looking into this visa is if you’ve held an ED visa, non-ED ed in the past, education visa, there will be a much higher level of scrutiny due to the fact that there’s been a history of unscrupulous operators in the ED visa space. If you have been here under an ED visa, you will need to show the legitimacy of the program and your participation in that program.
Who is Thailand Privilege for? You just value ease of applying and no other strings attached and you also appreciate concierge level of service while you’re here and you have no intention to immigrate or to work in the kingdom.
The final thing we wanted to talk about tonight before we get to your questions and we want to lead plenty of time for that, is permanent residency. This is one of the two ways that you could truly immigrate to Thailand and provides you therefore, the greatest level of flexibility as a resident here.
Thitsana “Tea” Besson:
The window for application for permanent residency has not been announced by the government yet, but it’ll be coming soon. Last year, it opened in December and it usually closes the last day-
Thitsana “Tea” Besson:
… And it usually closes last year of December. This is a decision for the government and it can be last minute announcement, but anyway, even if it was sent, it was not announced yet. Our goal is to prepare your document to review them directly with immigration so they will be ready when the window is open.
There’s something important to note if you’re Indian or Chinese because there’s a 100 quarter per citizenship and this has been historically reached by Indian and Chinese. For this citizenship, it is better to prepare one year before.
I would say, just based upon Tea and Apple’s interaction with immigration as well as Noina’s, the earlier you can get started the better. It puts less pressure on you and it puts less pressure on the captain of the desk. If there’s any glitches or anything that need to be fixed or changed or clarified, you have plenty of time to do it. If you’re planning on applying this year, you’re a bit late, but you can still get it done. If you’re planning on applying for permanent residency in 2024, 2025, the time to start seriously thinking about that collecting documents and doing the diligence with the immigration desk should really start in earnest in February, March, April of that year.
You want to talk about length of stay?
Thitsana “Tea” Besson:
Yeah. For the permanent residency, the length of stay is forever, but there’s still three ways to lose it. It’s when you leave for one year. It happened during the COVID period, when you forget the re-entry permit, you still have to apply every year for the multiple branch permit and also, when you engage in criminal behaviors, you can lose permanent residency.
Yeah, and I do want to say that we don’t agree with the fact that you need a reentry permit if you’re a permanent resident, but the rules of the rules, it is what it is and you just need to just make sure you get that. Also, we had actually folks approach us who were frozen out of the country for more than a year due to COVID and just make sure that you put your toe here in the kingdom once during the year to maintain your steps.
The benefits I think are pretty obvious. Your stay here is no longer based on circumstances. If you have a job and you decide to change jobs or you just need a break and want to put your toe in the water in [inaudible 00:25:35], you can go do that. If you don’t have a Thai family, it is an important and necessary step toward Thai citizenship. There is no 90 day reporting or visa extensions, so those veins of your existence are no longer in place. You can work, you will need because you’re not a citizen, a Thai national, you will need a work permit, but you can work and you can obtain a blue Tabien Baan. I have a yellow Tabien Baan. You can get a blue Tabien Baan, which means that doing virtually anything, buying a car, getting a driver’s license, getting your vehicle license is just easier because you’ve established your residency here.
Talk about challenges or is that mine? I think that’s mine.
Thitsana “Tea” Besson:
Yeah, but there’s another benefit for permanent residency. If you want to get Thai citizenship, it’s much more easier when you have permanent residency because this way, you have to be under permanent residency for five years than you can qualify. You can apply for Thai citizenship and it’s good if you plan to buy some lands in Thailand because if you don’t have the citizenship, most of you must know that you cannot buy a land but when you get permanent residency for five years, you apply for citizenship, then you can buy your own lands.
Excellent. Let’s talk about the challenges. The government fees we have below 100,000 essentially if you’re applying under the Thai dependent category and about 200,000 Thai Baht, if you are applying under the working in Thailand category. In any case, we recommend that your application will be much more readily accepted if you’ve been paying taxes in the kingdom for the three years that it takes under the same visa category in order to qualify. That amount should be 80 to 100,000 Thai Baht per month.
The requirements are quite stringent and I would say that any break in your visa status, any cessation of work, any income during that period of time, the three years prior that doesn’t meet the accepted amount will cause your application to be rejected. We even had an application rejected by a client because the spelling in Thai of their anglicized name was spelled two different ways. We also had a client at one point that had done a little bit of consulting work on the side, very successful person, but that company that paid him wasn’t on his work permit and therefore, his application was rejected. Remember that the captain of the desk is also presenting your application to several government ministries and so, they want to maintain their reputation, they want to do things the right way and so, the requirements are quite strictly adhered to.
Thai language proficiency, I would say intermediate conversational. It’s more than taxi or restaurant Thai, but it’s certainly not essentially practicing law as they do in Thai. There is a lengthy application and approval process.
However, let me just calibrate here for just a moment. If you apply let’s say in December of this year, you may not get approved until the following October. It might be the spring following that or even into the summer. It could be a year and a half to two years on the approval process. However, as a US immigration lawyer, I will tell you that the United States Custom and Immigration Service is taking about 16 and a half months to process spousal visas for Thai nationals and then, it gets kicked over to the National Visa Center for four or five months and then over to the US-Thai embassy for a couple of months. You see that the timeline when you’re immigrating to the US or you’re immigrating to Thailand are really not that much different, you just need to have patience and know at the end of the day when it’s approved, you’ve immigrated to the kingdom.
The final thing I would caution is that if you don’t own your own company and you work for a company, particularly a larger company, make sure that you engage your company in the process and get a commitment from them that they will cooperate with you because they not only have to provide information about your income and about their labor practices, but also the labor practices and revenue income or revenue information for the entire staff. That can implicate some privacy concerns, we try to ameliorate those by having strict confidentiality agreements and we try to also ensure that people understand they’re really transferring information from one Thai agency, let’s say the labor department or the revenue department to Thai immigration.
But nonetheless, we have had companies that have just folded their arms and have told their employee that they aren’t going to cooperate. It’s either too much of a ministerial hassle or they’re too concerned about privacy, so make sure you talk to your company, especially your HR department or your director, and they understand the process and are willing to help you out. Most companies do, occasionally, we run into speed bumps in that regard.
Who is Thailand permanent residency for? Thailand is your home. You want to best protect your stability here, you want to have the greatest amount of optionality here akin to being a national without, as Tea pointed out, the right to buy land or to vote, but otherwise, to be here and not be here based on your circumstances. You’re also willing to make the investment of time. Even if you hire counselors to help you in the application process, you do have to make an investment of time to provide a lot of information and the investment monetarily to get to the finish line.
But for the clients that we represent that have gone through the process and at the end of the day have that alien registration and that Tabien Baan, they’re very, very pleased that they went through as a post.
Your special bonus for attending this evening, speaking of permanent residency, if you go to the link below, you can print out printable flashcards created by crew Arisa, our consultant, and [inaudible 00:32:15], our Thai language instructor. It will give you a great idea of all of the questions that you would be likely to face in your permanent residency Thai language interview, which takes place about six months after you apply and it’s yours for free, so we hope you enjoy that.
The other thing is, as you heard from the tremendous credentials of my colleagues here and their language capabilities puts me to shame. If you’ve attended this webinar and you book an appointment, our initial consultations are free, but if you book an appointment and engage Apple or Tea, we will discount to your professional fees.
We hope your takeaway here is that while it’s not fun to think about immigration visas reporting and the government and the like, long range planning will make your life easier. It will give you peace of mind, it’ll protect your stability in the kingdom.
At this point, we just wanted to thank you for your time and then answer any questions you may have. Noina. Let’s see what kind of questions we have here. The one question is how do you renew a PR that expired for permanent residency in 2018? We’re not aware of any renewal process, I’m sorry. You have to reapply, correct. You’re essentially starting over and that’s why we say whether it’s reentry permits or failing to be in the kingdom at least once during a calendar year, you really are starting over from scratch, so you want to protect your PR status to the best of your ability. I will say though that we did file appeals on behalf of a couple of clients who due to COVID were basically locked out of the country and locked into their country. I think that immigration is or was amenable to those appeals, but at this point, there’s really no reapplication process.
Can existing properties or investments in Thailand be used when applying for LTR? I assume you’ve already purchased a condo or maybe you’ve already purchased government Baans.
Thitsana “Tea” Besson:
Yeah, so when you already have properties or investment in Thailand, it’ll be faster. Indeed, it will be faster to apply for the long-term risk than visa because you don’t have to buy the property before applying for the visa and you just need to show the lease, the purchase and sell agreement stating the amount. If the amount is at least $250,000 for wealthy pensioner category and $500,000 for the wealthy citizen category, you can apply for the visa, you qualify for the visa.
Whomever asked this question, thank you for it and the good news is that if you’ve already made application or you’ve already made the investment, you can make application into an LTR visa.
Can non-O visa holders apply for LTR? Can I answer from personal experience? The answer is certainly yes. If you’re currently holding a non-O retirement, a non-O dependent visa, you can apply for the LTR visa. The qualifications remain the same as long as you can either apply as a wealthy global citizen or wealthy pensioner, you can make application and change your visa status.
Thitsana “Tea” Besson:
I would like to highlight also that you can apply from anywhere. If you already have the non-O visa, you can apply in Thailand and it would be a conversion of visa and if you want to apply from abroad, you can leave the country and get a visa from any consulate or embassy and come back with the LTR visa.
That’s a great point. You can also get your LTR visa stamped in Thai embassies and consulates around the world, you just need to tell the BOI where you’d like to get your stamp. It’s a very flexible program, you can kind of tell we like the BOI in this VISA program.
Next question, are persons with PR in Thailand, do they still need to get a non-B to have a work permit and work in Thailand? The answer to that is no. You no longer need a non-B or any visa as a permanent resident of Thailand, you merely need to go with your permanent residency status to the labor department to get your work permit, so no further visa is required. Do you have any other questions? We’re just getting through them here. No more questions.
We have some of the questions, but these questions are very specific, so I think we can…
We have one that is the PR visa valued for five years or forever? Let’s answer that one. Permanent residency is a forever status and it is not a visa status, it is an immigration status. Think of it, and I’m sorry again, I’m a US immigration attorney, as a green card or permanent residency status in the United States. The five years that we mentioned apply to the initial term of the LTR visa, the long-term resident visa issued by the BOI.
By the way, someone else asked if PR is for a lifetime and then it was mentioned that someone experienced that their PR had expired. Again, if you’re absent from Thailand for more than a year and don’t put your toe in the kingdom during that calendar year, your PR status can lapse. When you come back in to the country, you’ve essentially vitiated your PR status and you come back in visa exempt, so that’s a great question.
Are you allowed to have dual citizenship with PR? I think that’s another good question and the answer is yes, permanent residency status is not obtaining citizenship in Thailand and so, I’m not aware of any jurisdictions that would prevent you from having a PR status and to remain a citizen of your home country. Obviously, there are tremendous implications if you’re having to renounce your citizenship from your home country, so that’s another great question.
Yes? Sorry. This is a very good question. Someone asked, before you actually submit your application for permanent residency, how easy and available is it to turn up at BK immigration, main immigration to the captain of the desk to do due diligence and check your paperwork for potential issues? I think it’s a timing issue, but I think the captain of the desk would value that if you came in early in the year, not in December when the crush of applications of coming in, that the captains are available to you to work through any issues.
Again, it would be very helpful for you to have the basic requirements in mind and present yourself as a knowledgeable individual knowing that you need three consecutive years of visa extensions without a break, knowing the income requirements and paying taxes on those and having the proper documentation if you’re married to a Thai national and so on. I would also advise you that anytime you interact with the captain of the desk, you come in business attire, at least, a suit jacket because you’re presenting yourself and you’re asking to become a member of the club. As such, you’re being judged by every interaction and the more professionally you can present yourself, the better. Great question.
Can a self-employed consultant apply for LTR work from Thailand as a professional? The LTR visa that allows you to work from Thailand has a pretty high bar at the moment. That bar is either, you either have to work for a publicly traded company or work for a private company that can establish 50 million US in annual revenues for three years. In other words, the BOI has made the determination that if you work for a big company, you’re welcome. If you’re a blogger or self-employed, not so much at the moment. Again, Tea mentioned that we’ve just hit the one-year anniversary of this visa and the qualifications of the visa are being reexamined, but currently, the work from Thailand aspects of this are pretty stringent.
How good does your Thai have to be for permanent residency and how long after the application goes in does the interview take place? Again, I would say that you need to be intermediate conversational. You will be interviewed. You put your application into December, typically, the interview is scheduled for April or May of the following year. You’ll sit in an anti-room with several other applicants. You’ll wait to go in, there will be a recording device and there’ll be about seven or eight government officials from various ministries asking you questions about yourself, about your work and family and about Thailand. If you go to the link that we have in our slides and you download those flashcards, I think you’ll get a very, very good sense of what those questions will pertain to and how that interview should go. The interview takes about 10 to 15 minutes and at that point, your application has generally been accepted. You’ve met the captain, the captain has generally okay with your Thai, so they’re not looking to shoot you down, but they’re looking to test your comprehension of basic Thai.
Okay, one more. That’s it? Okay.
All right. Well, you guys are an amazing webinar audience. We promised you 45 minutes and your last question came in right at 45 minutes. Again, we’re going to post a recording of this up on our website probably in about a week or two. The recordings of our prior webinars are also up there as well as blog posts and various articles all for your enjoyment. If you do want to consult with Tea or Apple about any of these matters, our initial consultation is free of charge and you’ll be in very good hands with them. Thanks very, very much for your time, we really appreciate it. We’re planning on having just to meet the lawyers’ Q and A sometime in October or November, along with the US webinar before the years end, US visa webinar before years end.
Thanks again. Enjoy the rest of your evening. Have a great dinner and we hope to talk to you soon.