How to Live in Thailand Permanently

Photo credit: Bigstockphoto
Photo credit: Bigstockphoto

Formerly known as Siam, Thailand is a Southeast Asian country situated near the borders of Burma and Laos and south by Malaysia and the Gulf of Thailand. With a total area of 198,000 square miles, Thailand is one of the world’s largest countries. Thailand attracts millions of tourists and expats each year for its fabulous beaches and competitive trade. Living in this country is relatively inexpensive though you will need to have the right documents in order to get approval for permanent residency. Below are tips on how you prepare and achieve a smooth transition to living in Thailand for good.

Doing the Paperwork

It’s important to get the right documents when you’re moving to another country. First, get a passport, this is an identification document that allows you to travel from one country to another.

You will need to check if Thailand requires visa for entry into the country. A visa is a document that allows non-citizens to enter the country. Do note that the validity of visas will expire at some point. Before the visa expires, you need to apply for a new one if you want to remain in the country.

For those who want to stay in Thailand for good, you need to get a retirement or work visa. You can also get in touch with the Thailand embassy to determine the right visa to get. If you’re planning to establish a business in Thailand, you will also need to apply for a business permit. On the other hand, if a company accepted you in Thailand, they will have to acquire the permit for you.

Finding a Place to Stay

The kind of place to stay in Thailand will depend on the length of your time there. Tourists usually choose hostels or motels to stay for a week or two. But if you plan to stay in the country permanently, options will include condominium or apartment. Condominium is the only property non-citizens are allowed to purchase. You can either rent one or buy one. You can also rent an apartment.

Utility bills are inexpensive compared to other countries but just to be on the safe side, research on the local prices as well as the popular methods of payments for settling various bills.


In urbanized areas, local transportation range from taxis, bus service, motorbike taxis to rickshaws, trains, and boat services. There are also services that allow you to rent motorbikes and bicycles weekly or monthly. Non-citizens have the freedom to buy their own cars or motorcycle in Thailand, which is economical if you are staying in the country permanently.

Opening a Local Bank Account

Having a local bank account is essential and should be on top of your priorities. Your choice of bank account types will depend on whether or not you have a work permit. You can go to your local bank and ask what your options are. Certain banks in Thailand do allow non-citizens to open a bank account even if they only have tourist visa.