2A Quick Guide to Moving to Thailand

Thailand has come far from the days of being a backpacking mecca for hardcore hippies and travellers in the 1960s and ‘70s. These days, Thailand is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world; attracting over 30 million tourists every year – nearly half of the country’s entire population of 68 million.

It’s not just tourism that has boomed in the ‘Land of Smiles’. Expats are moving there in droves, to settle down in the sun and have a slower paced life. Retirees, entrepreneurs, location-independent workers, English teachers, you name it, are now calling The Kingdom of Thailand, “home”. The most common origins for new Thai expats include Australia, the UK, Germany, French, the Scandinavian nations, Hong Kong, or Singapore. Popular places to settle are of course Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Ko Samui and other islands of the east and west coats of the southern tip.

If you’re thinking of taking the leap over to Thailand, there are several things you’ll need to consider:

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Thailand is relatively cheap when compared with many other countries. When it comes to property, it’s all about location, location, location. The cost of property will vary enormously according to where you are looking to live. Despite this, rent is generally cheap when compared with western nations.

There is a massive difference in terms of the cost of eating out, between Thailand and developed western countries. The local restaurants are incredibly cheap and the majority of local people eat out on a daily basis because it’s often cheaper than cooking at home. However, the cost of dining out on western food in Thailand is similar to what it would be back home. Though wine is rather expensive, beer and local spirits, such as Chang Beer and Sam Song whiskey.

Beach Republic Ocean Club Gallery 11

There are plenty of job opportunities available for expats, but they vary wildly in terms of salary. Many expats move to Thailand as part of an internal company transfer, or through jobs that are secured from their home country prior to arriving in Thailand. People who are willing to work in bars or restaurants will find it relatively easy to find a job providing that they are prepared to work for a very low salary. There are also many expats who move to Thailand to start their own business, whether it be opening a travel and tourism company or a beachfront bar. It is also becoming an ever-popular destination for TEFL Teachers (Teaching English as a Foreign Language).


There are several types of visas that you can obtained for whatever reason you wish to enter, when applying outside of Thailand, and different things are required for each visa-


Valid passport with at least six months remaining before expiration

2 Passport size photos


50 years or older

Pension of 65,000 THB or 800,000 THB in Thai bank 3 months, or Combination of pension/bank account


Married to Thai national

Income as couple is 40,000 THB

Marriage Certificate

Spouse ID card & Household Registration


Valid passport with at least six months remaining before expiration

2 Passport size photos


Student in school

School must be certified, or International school

About Koh Samui Image
To become a permanent Thai resident

According to the Thai Embassy, in order to apply to become a Thai Permanent Resident, you must meet the following criteria:

  • -You must have had a Thai non-immigrant visa for at least three years prior to the submission of your application. Holders of multiple NON-Immigrant visas cannot apply. You must have 3 consecutive yearly extensions in order to qualify.
  • -You must be a holder of a non-immigrant visa at the time of submitting your application.
  • -You must be able to meet one of these categories to apply for PR status in Thailand:
    • a) Investment category (minimum 3-10 million Baht investment in Thailand).
    • b) Working/Business category.
    • c) Support a family or Humanity Reasons category: In this category, you must have a relationship with a Thai citizen or an alien who already posses a residence permit as a husband or wife; father or mother; or a guardian of a Thai child under 20 years of age.
    • d) Expert / academic category.
    • e) Other categories as determined by Thai Immigration.

Once a permanent residency visa has been issued, it lasts a lifetime, unless the Thai government revokes it.

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 5.25.28 PMTop 3 Places to Live in Thailand

-Ko Samui: Tropical Paradise

When it comes to the ideal beach lifestyle abroad, many expats look to Ko Samui, where the palm-lined beaches, azure ocean, year-round tropical weather, and affordable costs make for ultra-easy living. There are ample places to unwind, like the relaxing Spa at Beach Republic, or even just chilling at the beach. It is one of the most affordable places to live in Thailand. A couple can live here in extreme comfort for less than $2,500 a month, including rent.


Beach Republic on Koh Samui a great real estate option for those moving to Thailand.

For those looking to move to Thailand, an increasing popular option is to find a home at Beach Republic, Koh Samui’s premier beachfront resort and residence.

Shared or ‘fractional’ ownership at Beach Republic allows an individual to purchase real estate without assuming any of the burdens that often come with sole ownership. It is especially attractive to those who want to make use of a holiday home for only a few weeks or months a year. Increasingly it is also attracting investors who see returns via rental income and capital appreciation. Or, if you plan on living full time on one of Thailand’s most beautiful and charming island, sole ownership will allow you to call Beach Republic “home.”

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 5.25.06 PMLocated at the Northern tip of Lamai Beach, Koh Samui Thailand, the multi-award winning Beach Republic The Residences makes owning Samui real estate simple and hassle free. Over the years the resort has earned the reputation as one of the premier shared ownership developments in South East Asia. In addition to being awarded Thailand’s Best Shared Ownership Development at the prestigious Thailand Property Awards, for the last three years in a row Beach Republic has been awarded the title of Asia’s Best Resort Residences by the esteemed Property Report.

With 42 units to choose from including spacious suites, Private Pool Villas, and Penthouse Sky Pool Villas, Beach Republic The Residences offers all the comforts and amenities of a luxurious Koh Samui resort. Owners at Beach Republic enjoy privileged access to the adjacent Ocean Club and Spa with fine Thai and Mediterranean faire, two ocean front infinity edge pools, and the tranquil Asian Fusion Spa. A favorite of locals and tourists alike, Beach Republic has been called a must-visit destination by The New York Times and

You can find more information and download a comprehensive eBrochure at

Other areas of Thailand popular with new residents:

-Bangkok: Swanky and Cultured

Affectionately known to locals as ‘Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit.’ In English it is translated as this- ‘The city of angels, the great city, the residence of the Emerald Buddha, the impregnable city (unlike Ayutthaya) of God Indra, the grand capital of the world endowed with nine precious gems, the happy city, abounding in an enormous Royal Palace that resembles the heavenly abode where reigns the reincarnated god, a city given by Indra and built by Vishnukarn.’ Thailand’s capital, a former Chinese trading port situated along the banks of the Chao Phraya River, has long been an attractive destination for expats. Earning its place in history as an “R&R” spot for American troops serving in the Vietnam War, Bangkok has since flourished into a swanky and cultured city, with luxury hotels, gleaming skyscrapers, Michelin stared restaurants, and world-class public-transit options. Today, expats flock here for the multicultural vibe and high-on-convenience, easy on-the-wallet living.

-Chiang Mai: Chilled and Relaxing

Many expats move to Chiang Mai in search of a slower and calmer way of living. Situated in the foothills of northern Thailand, this place is perfect for retirees and those wanting to focus on zen and hangout at one of the many local reggae bars. Many expats live near the city center, where you can find a one-bedroom condo for as little as $88 a month—with rent becoming even cheaper still if you commit to a six month or year-long contract. A furnished, two-bedroom, two-bathroom, river-view condo in the expat friendly Wat Ket neighborhood goes for $485 a month. Move farther out and for $500 monthly, you can rent a furnished two-bedroom home with 1,600 square feet and mountain views.