Aside from marriage to a Thai national, employment in Thailand is likely to be the most common grounds for a foreigner to be granted permanent resident status. Therefore, this subject is worth addressing in some detail. As with all permanent residency applicants, a person applying on the grounds of employment must satisfy the generally applicable requirements which were discussed in an earlier article (ìThailand Permanent Residency: An Overview). The legal minimum salary required for eligibility is 50,000 baht. However, there are two separate standards applied to applicants who make a minimum of 50,000 baht per month and applicants who make at least 80,000 baht per month. The requirements for an applicant who makes at least 50,000 baht per month, but not more than 80,000 baht, is as follows:
- The company that employs the applicant must have a registered capital of at least 10 million baht.
- The applicant must have been registered as a company director with signing authority for at least one year prior to the submission of the permanent residency application.
- The applicant must earn a salary of at least 50,000 baht per month for at least two consecutive years prior to the submission of the application and must present evidence of proper tax filings.
- The business of the applicantís company must be one of the following types:
- A company engaged in international commerce which has earned at least an average of 20,000,000 baht in foreign currency during the past three years from export sales. Evidence of this must be presented in the form of a letter issued by a commercial bank.
- A company which provides loans to domestic manufacturing companies and which has brought in at least 100,000,000 baht in foreign currency into the country within the past three years.
- A tourism company which has brought in at least 5,000 tourists on average. A certified letter from the relevant
- Thai governmental authority must provided as evidence.
- Any other type of business in which the applicant is a shareholder of at least 5,000,000 baht worth of shares fully paid-in. The applicant must have held those shares for at least two years prior to the date of submission. As it can be seen, the aforementioned requirements are particularly stringent.
However, the standard applied to foreigners who make at least 80,000 baht is quite easier and this may be a more realistic option. The requirements are as follows:
- The applicant must have held a Thai Work Permit for at least three consecutive years prior to the submission of the application.
- The applicant must have been employed at his or her current company for at least one year prior to the submission of the application.
- The applicant must have earned at least 80,000 baht per month for at least two years prior to the submission of the application or must have paid at least 100,000 baht in personal income taxes within two years prior to the date of submission.
The application for permanent residency status can be a daunting task and involves a complex government bureaucracy. Therefore, it is advisable that all interested persons retain the services of an experienced lawyer like HWAL when applying for permanent residency.