With more than 30 million foreign visitors in pre-pandemic 2018, Thailand is up there in the top ‘places to relocate’ charts and when you consider all aspects, it isn’t difficult to fall in love with this unique Southeast Asian nation and if you are already under the spell and are planning to relocate to this tropical Garden of Eden, this guide is for you.
- Long-term visas – Overstaying your visa in Thailand could put you in jail for a while, then you’d have to suffer the humiliation of deportation and to add to your misery, you’re blacklisted by Thai Immigration. If you are over 50, a retirement visa would be the best option; simply deposit the required amount of Thai baht into your Thai bank account and fill in all the forms. This visa is renewable on an annual basis and if you plan on leaving the country for any reason, make sure you get a re-entry visa, otherwise your visa automatically ends when you are stamped out of the country.
- Buying real estate – It is not permissible by Thai Law for a foreigner to own land in Thailand, with very few exceptions; there are options; you could create a Thai company (with your Thai partner) and the business can own the property. When you find the perfect plot of land for your dream home, contact the best land surveying company in Thailand and they can do their stuff. Take care when choosing a builder and insist on seeing some previous projects; find a builder who speaks English (other expats can recommend) and spend time on the design stage, remember you are living in a tropical climate and follow the advice of the Thai builder.
- Where to live – Thailand is a big country, with the mountainous north, a pleasant climate and a colourful culture, while the plains in central Thailand attract many foreigners, especially those interested in farming. The south is very much the jewel of the Royal Kingdom, with white beaches and deep blue seas; coconut and palm trees sway in the tropical breeze and what’s wrong with living in such a place? Bangkok is a unique experience and if you are a city person, this sprawling metropolis has it all, and some! You can rent a condo in a 5-star development with a pool and fitness centre, private parking and beautiful grounds, all for a few hundred dollars a month. You will no doubt need international shipping, when you bring all your possessions into Thailand.
- Learn the language – If you want to gain an insight into the Thai people, learn their language, which is a must if you are planning to stay. Thai is a phonetic language, using 5 tones to infer meaning and this can be an issue for the English speaker. We recommend learning to read Thai at the same time, and living in Thailand offers lots of free practice, which is essential for language acquisition.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand has a lot of very useful information for those wishing to explore this amazing country