Thai law allows foreigners—both foreign natural and juristic persons—who meet certain criteria to purchase and own condominium units in Thailand. This eligibility is, however, subject to the overarching directives of the Condominium Act, which stipulates two unwavering legal requirements:
After the successful purchase of a unit, foreigners are, however, faced with one more pertinent issue to address: their stay in Thailand is normally limited to a period of 30, 60, or 90 days—the periods generally granted under a tourist visa—after which they must leave the country.
The question then arises: can foreigners who have absolute ownership in a condominium unit in Thailand stay in the country for periods longer than those granted under a tourist visa?
Investment of THB 10 Million
According to Royal Thai Police Bureau Order No.327/2557, dated June 30, 2014 and effective Aug 29, foreign owners of condominium units in Thailand are eligible to extend their stay in the country for a period of one year, renewable each year, through means of a one-year visa. The one-year visa is granted by reason of necessity for the purpose of investing at least THB 10 million in Thailand.
In order to be granted a renewable one-year stay under a one-year visa, foreign owners of condominium units in the country must demonstrate:
There are several other categories of investment through which foreigners can apply for a one-year visa. These are available to foreigners who:
In order to qualify for the one-year visa, foreigners can invest in more than one of the aforementioned categories, provided that the total investment is at least THB 10 million.
Investment of THB 3 Million
Foreigners who entered Thailand before Oct 1, 2006, and have been consecutively permitted to stay in Thailand with an investment of at least THB 3 million can continue to renew their one-year visa under the investment category if the amount of their investment is at least THB 3 million.
Advice for Foreigners
Bearing in mind all of the above, foreign owners of condominium units seeking to obtain a one-year visa are advised to contact and engage an immigration lawyer to get an opinion on their eligibility for the extended stay, review their qualifications and supporting documents, ensure the documents to be submitted to the Immigration Bureau are in order, and prepare an application for submission to the Immigration Bureau.
This way, foreign condominium owners will be more likely to secure a renewable one-year visa and stay in Thailand for much longer periods than those granted by a tourist visa.