Thai law has a few exceptions that can allow a foreign national to purchase a piece of land in the country. One of these exceptions is when a person has infused an investment of THB40 million, at the least, into the country’s economy by, among other ways, investing in a business in the Kingdom.
Let us say that somebody, maybe a friend of yours or a business associate, has met the qualifications under Thai law that will allow him or her to purchase land legally under his or her name in Thailand. How does that qualified individual go about legally acquiring real estate in the Kingdom? What does he or she need to prepare?
Requisite Documents to Apply for Land Acquisition as a Foreign National
In order to receive permission from the appropriate government agency, a qualified foreign national will have to prepare the following documents:
- Documents for identification including, but not limited to, the foreignerís passport, an alien identification card issued by local police agencies, or a certificate of residency if the foreigner is a permanent resident of Thailand.
- A duly-filled Alien 4 form
- Documents that attest to the foreignerís investment in the country, including certificates of stock, bonds, or mutual funds.
- Letters of confirmation from the Ministry of Defense and the Provincial Officer as to the status of the real estate that the foreigner is interested in acquiring.
- These documents must then be submitted for the application process to commence. The applicant will then receive ample notification from the government should the application be approved.
- Limitations Imposed on Foreigners Who Own Land in Thailand
- Once a foreigner receives government approval to acquire real estate in Thailand, he or she must put the property to use right away.
Thai law requires these individuals to be able to utilize their new property in a residential capacity within the next two years immediately after the approval and registration of the acquisition. Apparently, these foreigners are disallowed from using the land in a commercial application.
They also need to continue their investment within the next five years. This rule is to prevent people from putting in the requisite amount as an investment in Thai financial instruments just to gain approval for land acquisition, and then withdrawing it afterwards. Should a withdrawal be imminent, investors are required to notify the government within the next 60 days after pulling back on the investment.
Thai law is very clear and specific about what it expects from foreign investors, and what perks they can give to those that make a significant investment in the local economy. However, youíd still need the help of a qualified legal advisor to save you from possible legal hurdles when it comes to investing in Thailand. For instance, the legal advisor should be fluent both in English and Thai to make sure that there are no misunderstandings along the way.
Feel free to contact HWAL if you have any inquiries about investing, property management and real estate acquisition in Thailand.