Living in Thailand

Each year thousands of foreigners, especially from the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia, come to Thailand. Some of them move for work, whereas others just want to experience a different lifestyle. Other reasons may include:

• Getting married to a Thai woman/man
• Good business opportunities, especially for English teachers
• A different environment and great climate
• Some people are interested in buying a real estate in Thailand

Expat Life in Thailand

This country has a lot to offer. The economy is growing, especially the trade and tourism industries. Expatriates are likely to find jobs in health care, business and tourism sectors. Medical care is provided for all foreign workers with a work permit.

Health Care System in Thailand

Health care services in this country mostly come from the public sector. There are more than 1,000 hospitals and nearly 9,700 health stations in Thailand. There are three programs included in universal health care: social security (private employees), the civil service welfare, and another program – universal coverage for other Thai citizens. Several private hospitals participate in some of those programs, but in most cases, patients are covered by private insurance.

The Cost of Living

Foods and drinks are much cheaper, compared to countries like the United Kingdom or the United States. Foods produced locally are very cheap. An average person will spend approximately 100 Euros per month on groceries, including fruits and raw vegetables.  Learn more about  the cost of living in Thailand.

There are flea markets and night markets offering cheap jeans, footwear, hats and bags. Stores in the shopping centers sell high quality clothes.

Buying Property in Thailand

It is difficult for expatriates to own land; an easy way is to marry a Thai and gain citizenship. However, even then, you won’t really own the land. Your spouse will buy the land for you, but you will have to visit the Land Department together and you will be given a declaration to sign – stating that the Thai spouse owns the funds. If you ever get divorced, you will have a problem, unless you have a good prenuptial agreement.

Thai laws don’t allow foreign citizens to buy freehold land, but there are several ways to get legal rights to buy property:

You can hold 100% interest in land leases, for thirty years. That is the maximum lease period, but it can be renewed.

You can buy land for 5 consecutive years, based on a forty-million baht investment, but you will only be allowed to use the land for residential purposes.

You can become a minority shareholder in some Thai company. This will allow you to acquire interests in Thai real estate.

Learn more about  real estate in Thailand.

Requirements for Moving to Thailand

If you are moving to Thailand for work you will need a non-immigrant Visa, and then, the employer will have to get you a work permit. It is easy to get a non-immigrant visa once a company in Thailand provides you with an invitation letter. You can get a multiple-entry visa in your home country (which normally lasts for one year), but if you fail to get a work permit in time, you will have to leave the country and reenter every three months.