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British Expats Moving & Living Abroad In Thailand: The Ultimate Guide

Thailand is famous for being a welcoming land to foreigners of all nationalities who wish to take a break from their busy lives and vacation in the Thai kingdom. The rules for entering Thailand for a vacation are pretty straightforward, and citizens of 40 countries are welcome to enter the country without a visa. This being said, if you plan to move to Thailand as a British expat then Thailand visa requirements differ according to the purpose of the visit. 

More importantly, if you are interested to buy a house in Thailand, then there are some key points you should know before you make a purchase. This ultimate guide will help you understand Thailand visa requirements, living in Thailand as an expat, and how to purchase property in Thailand as a Britisher. 

Thailand Visa Requirements For British Expats Travelling For A Vacation

British citizens do not need a visa to enter Thailand as per the latest visa guidelines, as the UK is one of the 40 countries exempt from a mandatory tourist visa. However, to enter the Thai kingdom, it is a must to have a confirmed ticket for entering and exiting within 30 days of arrival

Furthermore, it is a must to have a minimum of 450 GBP per person and/or 900 GBP per family to get the ease of access into the country. It should be noted that as per the Thailand visa requirements under this exception scheme, expats can stay in the kingdom for a maximum of 90 days within 6 months stretch. 

Thailand Retirement For Business Visas and Work Visas

If you are a British businessman who travels to Thailand regularly as well as often and if your visit generates income for Thailand, then you can get a multiple entry visa. As of now the multiple entry visas for Thailand are for either 1 year or 3 years and mandate that the businessman does not exceed 90 days stay at one time while visiting the country for work purposes. 

If you have a multiple entry visa and are leaving Thailand before 90 days for a brief period then do remember to formally apply for a re-entry permit from the officials at immigration, either at their designated office or at the international airport closest to you.

If you are looking for a work visa, then the Thailand requirements mandate that you require a work permit as well as a Non-Immigration B-type Visa. Additionally, having a fixed employer who can give you a letter justifying the stay and the firm’s business certificate can ease your stay in the country. 

he work permit is given by the Department of Employment only after you have attained a work visa of a non-immigration B type. If you have all the needed documents then the process is pretty straightforward and you may get your visa and work permit in less than 30-45 days.

Thailand Visa Requirements to Retire in Thailand

British Retirees above the age of 50 can get a special visa at the Thai Embassy in London, for living in Thailand for a total of 365 days from the date of entry.

This visa is known as the O – A Non-Immigration visa for retirees and is eligible for extensions after a total of 365 days have been completed. Moreover, affluent retirees are eligible to enjoy visas, stay, property purchases, and many other perks.

These perks are also offered to highly trained and skilled employees and affluent businessmen that are steadily generating an income for Thailand and helping with the betterment of the country.

These perks are set to be rolled out this year through a special visa for global citizens and the vast benefits offered are also applicable to the families of eligible candidates.

You can read more about these new Thai visa incentives on out blog.

How To Purchase Property in Thailand as a Britisher

Living in Bangkok city center in a condo is a real possibility for British expats who relocate to Thailand. So is the possibility of living in a villa or penthouse in Phuket, Koh Samui, and other private coveted islands. The only difference between living in a condo and a villa is that condos can be purchased by foreigners under their name, by transferring the title deed of ownership through a Sale and Purchase agreement. There are other requirements as well to legally own a condo in Thailand as a British national, so make sure to get intouch with us to find out the best way that you can own a property in Thailand as a UK national.

Villas, however, cannot be legally purchased by foreigners if they fall under the “leasehold” title deed. This implies that, while you as a British expat can lease the house, you cannot own the land that the house is built on. A simple workaround is to lease a ready-to-move-in villa and make it home for 30 years with a legally abiding leasehold contract. You can also choose to lease land for 30 years and build your dream villa on that. Read more about title deeds and the different types to gain a better understanding of the difference in title deeds in Thailand.

Relocating to Thailand Tips For British Expats

You may be worried about being treated differently as a condo buyer as a British expat due to Brexit and possibly due to a language barrier as well. While Brexit did cause a fluctuation and hike in prices for homes in the EU, this impact is not extended to Thailand real estate. You can get a fair price for condos in Bangkok city center easily as you have the power to negotiate as a buyer. 

As a safe measure, asking a Thai friend or a trusted realtor to speak on your behalf can help immensely as this will ensure that you have someone reliable to represent you and the language barrier issue is not a concern anymore. 

Also, before you purchase a condo in Bangkok or choose to opt for a leasehold villa, ensure that you get the title deed verified as well as conduct a private survey of the size of the land. Failure to do this can significantly add to the cost of the condo after you have already paid the developer. 

If in case you are interested in buying a condo for will and inheritance, or succession purposes, then consider having a legal team look over the Sale and Purchase Agreement before you sign any document or pay an initial token. You will need a will in place that explicitly mentions the condo for succession to your heirs and the original copy of the will preferably in writing should be accessible to your heirs. 

Finally, the most important point to remember when you buy property in Thailand as an expat is that the best and easiest way to do this is to have a realtor on your side. Silk Estate is a leading and reputed realtor in Thailand that has listed and unlisted super luxury condos, villas, penthouses, and other properties for sale. While many of the condo listings are in Bangkok city center, others are in Phuket and Koh Samui, and other private islands.

Contact us at Silk Estate for a complimentary and no-obligation call back from a team of experts today! We make your dream to purchase property in Thailand a reality by giving you choices that are tailor-made for your unique and individual needs. 

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.

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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.

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