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Anybody that has been in Thailand for any length of time would enjoy the benefits of having a permanent residence permit. There are many benefits of obtaining a permanent residence permit and foreigners wanting to stay in Thailand permanently can submit applications at immigration offices in Bangkok and other provinces in December.
Foreigners who obtain permission to permanently reside in Thailand are allowed to live in the country permanently and do not have to obtain further visa’s. Foreigners with a permit who want to reside and work in Thailand are still required to hold a work permit, but they are not required to renew their visa each year.
Permit holders are also exempt from the law that states when foreigners in Thailand purchase a condominium unit, they are not legally allowed to finance that purchase locally, they must use funds from abroad. Permit holders, like Thai citizens are allowed to find local financing through banks and finance companies for the purchase of condominiums.
Obtaining a permit is a prerequisite for foreigners who wish to apply for Thai citizenship. Foreigners may apply for Thai citizenship after holding a permit for five consecutive years.
Once a foreigner has a permit his children and his spouse and even his parents become qualified to apply for their own permit.
When either of the parents of a child born in Thailand is a permanent resident that child automatically obtains Thai nationality at the time of their birth.
The requirements of obtaining a permit are that the foreigner must have held a non-immigrant visa and have resided in Thailand for at least three consecutive years on the same non-immigrant visa at the time of application. And the foreigner must qualify under one of five categories.
Each year the Ministry of Interior announces its quota for issuing permits per nationality in the Government Gazette. Applications can then be made until the last working day of the year. The applicant will be interviewed by an immigration officer and this interview includes an oral Thai proficiency test. Once the application has been submitted it takes between six months and one year to be processed and the foreigner will then be informed as to whether his application was successful.
The fee for application is non refundable and costs 7,600 baht. If the application is successful there is a further fee of 191,400 baht unless the applicant is a child under the age of twenty or a spouse of a foreign permanent resident or a Thai citizen in which case the fee is 95,000 baht.