Moving to Thailand as American? here is a useful guide

American Expats Moving & Living Abroad In Thailand

Thailand is a country best known for shopping and sightseeing, yet there is so much more to being here than merely sipping a Long Island Ice Tea at a Pattaya beachside restaurant. Thailand is not only one of the favorite choices for vacations, but also for relocation due to the number of business and work opportunities here. As the primary hub for the ASEAN community, trade sectors and many other industries are steadily flourishing in the Thai kingdom. 

If you are an American citizen who would like to move and live abroad in Thailand then here is some excellent news for you. This can be achieved very easily, however, to do so, first, you have to preferably apply for a travel visa while you find Thailand properties for sale, and once you have made up your mind then apply for a long stay multiple entry visa to relocate to the country of smiles and joy! 

Listed in this blog post is all the information you will need to know the best ways to move to Thailand as an American citizen, find a Condo for sale in Bangkok, and understand visa requirements for Thailand. You will also get answers to questions such as, is Thailand safe to live in and the best place to live in Thailand? 

Visa Requirements for Thailand For American Travelers On A Vacation

Thailand Visa Requirement for US Citizens Moving to Thailand Image

As a general rule, US citizens that are visiting Thailand for 45 days or lesser, do not need to apply for a visa explicitly, as under the visa exemption policy citizens of 40 countries including the USA can enter freely.

However, you would need to ensure that your passport is valid for no lesser than 6 months from the date of entry into the country. This is mainly to ensure safe passage and smooth entry into Thailand. 

Furthermore, you would need a confirmed return ticket back to the USA within 6 months of the date of arrival, with adequate money to survive in the country on your own accord.

The minimum amount to be carried into the country is 10,000 TBH per person or 20,000 TBH per small family. Higher limits are also welcome in cash, and traveler’s checks or digital forms. 

Visa Requirements for Moving To Thailand For American Expats

Thailand has changed its laws since Covid for American expats who want long stays and multiple entry visas. The need to travel to the Embassy is long gone and everything can be done online. Documents do not have to be mailed either, only attached after scanning onto the portal. Walk-in and drop-off services at the Thai Embassy have been stopped fully, which means the process has to be completed online by default.  

The stickerless visa system is the new and improved version of the previous digital visa and can be applied for from the Thai e-Visa Portal. This paperless and quick visa system also offers applicants a tracking number to know the status of their request and a confirmation email upon approval. A copy of the confirmation email should preferably be printed and carried with you when you travel as this will be checked by the immigration officials before granting you entry into the country. 

If you are moving to Thailand for employment then you would need a specific visa for this, that permits multiple entries and longer stays, this visa is known as a Non-Immigrant Visa B. IF you plan to retire in Thailand, are over 50 years old and are moving with your family then you would need a Non-Immigrant O-X Visa. 

If you are working for the Board of Investment or are investing in the Board of Investment to get land for your offshore company then you would need a Non-Immigrant IB visa.

If you plan to move to Thailand and are under 50 years old then you would need a Non-Immigrant O-A. 

The fee for applying for a single-entry non-immigrant visa of any of the above types and others as well is $80 while the fee for multiple entries is $200. The fee is non-refundable and cannot be reversed under any circumstance once paid. More information about visa types can be seen on the Thai Embassy Visa website

Additionally, a foreign insurance certificate with 3 signatures from the insurance firm needs to be presented with certain long-stay visas, this includes visa types, O-A, O-X, and STV, and the complete list is available on the Thai Visa website.

Is Thailand Safe To Live In and What Is The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program?

Thailand is considered a low-threat country for terrorism attacks, civil unrest, and natural calamities; however, situations do arise periodically where in there are attacks, marches, and protests that lead to casualties. 

As a general rule staying in touch with your embassy if you move to Thailand is a great idea, and opting for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is an added safety measure for you and your family. 

If you are wondering, is Thailand safe to live in, then the answer is yes. However, this also depends on your location and the risks you take by staying out late, visiting certain spots alone, or attending events at public places when a potential threat has been announced.

The only concerns to be worried about while traveling and moving to Thailand are pickpocketing, mugging, and financial scams. 

An example of financial scams include online dating websites that may expose you to fraudulent people, money transfers to unknown people that you start to trust without an initial meeting, free luggage and free vacation offers that are fraudulent and misleading in nature and scam job offers with complimentary work permits that you can claim by paying a small token. 

Note – Thailand is safe to live in for foreigners and it is also peaceful to retire in Thailand however, sporadic attacks do happen in Thailand, an example of this was the Erwan Shrine explosion in 2015, where in August that year, 20 people lost their lives and over 100 people were injured.

Staying alert and keeping a watchful eye on your belongings, being cautious while believing people you meet online, and staying away from crowded public places at peak hours on festival days can keep you safe when you decide to move to or retire in Thailand. The Worldwide Caution website can help you stay up to date of situations, to keep you and your family safe. 

The STEP initiative is a complimentary program offered to citizens from countries such as the USA who wish to travel, live, and work in Thailand. to be eligible to enroll in the STEP Program, travelers and expats have to enroll their stay in Thailand with the trip information at the closest US Embassy. 

The perks of enrolling in STEP include receiving periodical information that is pertaining to the travel destination to allow you to make an informed decision before you travel. This initiative offers updates about civil unrest, terrorism threats, natural calamities, and other major hazards that can arise while traveling abroad. 

STEP ensures that you get updates from your country’s embassy as well as your loved ones can easily get in touch with you if you are abroad and there is an emergency situation. To know more about STEP and enroll in this safety program, visit the official STEP website

The Last Step Before Moving To Thailand With Relocation Services

Before you finalize your plan of moving to Thailand, there is a final step to ensure that the transition is peaceful and smooth. This step involves choosing between renting and buying a condo in Thailand.

If renting a condo in Thailand is your initial goal, then make sure to know the pitfalls of renting a condo in Thailand.

If you plan to buy a condo in Bangkok, then we can help you get all the answers you need to find your home away from home in a land that is no less than a tropical paradise. 

Finally, make sure to find a realtor that you can trust to do your bidding and get you a luxury condo in your name that you can live in, retire in Thailand peacefully as well as pass on to your heirs through your will.

Silk Estate has helped numerous foreigners find real estate in Thailand to suit not only their budget but also their individual and unique tastes in real estate.

You may be interested in this post >>> can US citizens buy property in Thailand?

You may also be interested in this post >>> how many foreigners live in Thailand?

Chris Wyatt
Chris Wyatt

Chris is an knowledgeable real estate professional with many years experience in promoting and helping people find the right property to buy.

You might also like these blog posts
The Era Of Siam In Thailand
The Era Of Siam In Thailand

Bathed in the golden glow of history, the era of Siam unfurls a rich tapestry of culture, politics, and societal norms that continue to shape

Disclaimer: This article is not to be taken as legal advice in any form. The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only. If you require legal advice in Thailand you should contact a professional.

Compare listings