Moving to any country can be a daunting experience, and you need to do plenty of research before you can start laying down your roots. If you have chosen Thailand as a place to live, work, or retire, there are a few steps you need to take, and a few things you need to consider. Here is a short guide you can use as your starting point.
Where in Thailand Should You Move to?
First of all, the reason you are moving to Thailand will help to narrow down your options of where exactly you should live. If you are a student, for example, you will be better off finding somewhere in Bangkok, where you will be close to many Thai universities that offer international courses in the English language.
If you want to move to immerse yourself in the local culture, learn the language, and benefit from a less expensive way of life, Chiang Rai or Chiang Mai are your best bets. If you are going there to retire and enjoy the beaches and warm weather, you might want to look for a beachfront condo Pattaya.
Sort Out Your Visas
The visas you need will also depend on your reason for moving. For those looking to retire in Thailand, you need to be aged 50 or over, with a minimum income of 65,000 THB, or at least 800,000 THB deposited in a Thai bank. You can then apply for a retiree visa.
If you are studying in Thailand, you will need a photocopy of your passport, a Letter of Admission, and some passport-sized photos. You can apply for a student visa at the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate in your country.
A working visa can be obtained by first applying for a non-immigrant visa, which you must have before you enter the country. A work permit can then be issued by the Ministry of Labor office.
Book Your Flights
When booking your flights, it is important to note that all international flights will land at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok. If you plan to move to Pattaya, Phuket or Chiang Mai, for example, you will then need to book a connecting flight. However, these can be booked pretty cheaply, with an average cost of around $40 USD. Note that you will need a copy of your flight tickets when applying for a visa.
You Will Need Health Insurance
Although Thai nationals have access to free healthcare, foreigners are expected to pay. For this reason, you should try to sort out healthcare insurance before you leave. Some companies require you to take out cover before you leave, but there are a select few that will allow you to apply once you land. However, once you are covered, you can expect to receive some of the highest standards of care.
Other important things to think about include purchasing a Thai sim card, opening a bank account and learning how to find work should you need to. Make sure you create a list and tick things off as you go.