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October 28, 2022

Thailand Readies Measure Allowing Some Foreign Nationals To Own Residential Land

The draft regulations referred to below were withdrawn from the legislative process on November 8, 2022.


On October 25, 2022, the Thai cabinet approved in principle a draft version of new ministerial regulations that permit certain types of foreign nationals to acquire land for residential use. These draft ministerial regulations represent an additional scheme that complements the existing ministerial regulations from 2002 prescribing rules, methods, and conditions for foreign nationals’ acquisition of land for residential purposes.

These draft ministerial regulations aim to attract to Thailand foreign nationals who invest at least THB 40 million. The targeted foreign nationals consist of four groups:

  • Wealthy individuals;
  • Retirees;
  • Foreign nationals who wish to work from Thailand; and
  • Highly skilled expatriates.

These four groups are eligible to acquire up to 1 rai (1,600 square meters) of land for use as their own residence in Bangkok, Pattaya City, a municipal area (khet thetsaban), or a designated residential area under the law governing city planning. The area must be situated outside any designated military safety zone.

The THB 40 million minimum investment mentioned above may be any type of investment permitted under the ministerial regulations. Some examples include Thai government bonds, real estate or infrastructure mutual funds, real estate investment trusts (REITs), and share capital of Board of Investment (BOI) promoted entities (or a business eligible for BOI promotion). The investment must have been made before submission of the application for land ownership, and it must be maintained for at least three years.

If the qualifications are met, the application for land ownership and the related supporting documents (including a certificate of investment issued by the relevant authorities) must be submitted to the director general of the Land Department for consideration and further submission to the Minister of Interior for approval.

If approved, the applicant must notify the competent official within 60 days of beginning to use the land. If the investment is withdrawn before the required three-year period, the applicant must notify the competent official, in writing, within 60 days of withdrawing the investment.

These draft ministerial regulations are now expected to be submitted for the consideration of the Council of State and relevant government authorities. Once enacted, these ministerial regulations will be in effect for five years, and may subsequently be reviewed by the government every five years thereafter.

Tilleke & Gibbins will continue to monitor these legal developments. For more details on the draft ministerial regulations, or on any aspect of property law in Thailand, please contact Chaiwat Keratisuthisathorn at [email protected] or +66 2056 5507.

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