Immigration to Thailand – what can you expect?

In recent years, many Swiss have decided to do an immigration to Thailand. Statistics even confirm that the trend of the Swiss continues to point in the direction of emigration to a new homeland. Especially men are drawn to Southeast Asia.
Of course, there are plenty of compelling reasons to emigrate to Thailand. From a needed change of scenery to spending your twilight years, the motivations for taking this step are extremely varied.

Are you also thinking of pulling up stakes in Switzerland and building a new life in Thailand? Then you have come to the right place.

In this article we will tell you which requirements you have to fulfill to do an immigration to Thailand. Furthermore, you will learn which cultural differences you can expect if you decide to move to Southeast Asia.

Immigration to Thailand – what types of visas are available?

In order for you to be allowed to live permanently in Thailand, you will need to obtain a permanent residency permit. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Because in order for you to get it, you have to fulfill a number of conditions that only apply to a few emigrants.

One of the criteria you must meet is the possession of a so-called non-immigrant visa. Once this has been valid for three years, you may also apply for permanent residence. In addition, there are other points that you must fulfill. One of them is that you invest in a Thai company. Alternatively, you would need to be married to a Thai man or woman.

Your age also plays a role. For those under 50, obtaining a long-term visa is more difficult than for older generations. If you are younger, it will help you best if you have a Thai employer. It is essential that they provide you with a certificate of employment so that you can apply for the appropriate visa. This is valid for one year. In addition, you can always extend it.

For highly educated professionals there is the so-called SMART visa, which is even valid for four years. If you meet the conditions for this visa, you do not even need proof of a job.

Visas for retirees

The government of Thailand knows that especially pensioners like to spend their last years in Thailand. For this reason, older people also have a much easier time getting a long-term visa. Thailand offers two different types of visas to Swiss expatriates. One is the Non-Immigrant visa O-A, the other is the Non-Immigrant visa O-X.

However, these two non-immigrant visas are subject to different conditions. To obtain one of these retiree visas, you must be at least 50 years old. Furthermore, you have the obligation to prove that you have sufficient assets to afford living in Thailand. You should already have at least 20,000 CHF on the high side.

With the non-immigrant visa O-A you are allowed to stay in Thailand for up to 365 days. You are also allowed to leave the country in between. As soon as you return, the number of days spent starts again at zero.

However, since Non-Immigrant Visa O-A is also associated with some bureaucratic hurdles. Among other things, as a holder of this visa, you must report to the Thai Immigration Office every 90 days. In addition, you will need an international health insurance, the validity of which covers the entire duration of your stay.

With the non-immigrant visa O-X you are allowed to stay in Thailand even longer at a stretch. Initially, this visa entitles you to live in Thailand for 5 years. Later, you have the option to extend it to a duration of 10 years.

Cost of living in Thailand

Do you know what is one of the most cited reasons when people emigrate to Southeast Asia? First of all, the significantly lower local costs entice many a Swiss to think about an immigration to Thailand.

Completely understandable, we think. Because in Thailand the average income per month is only 500 CHF. However, if you want to work there as an employee, you will have to limit yourself quite a bit.

Thai food

Have you been living out your culinary experimentation only in the European region so far? Well, in this case you will surely experience a surprise. Because Thai cuisine is very different from our domestic gastronomy. In particular, the spiciness of many typical Thai specialties is initially off-putting for many Swiss and other Europeans. Thailand is not without reason one of the countries with the spiciest food.

Why is the food in Thailand so spicy in the first place? Above all, hygiene plays a significant role here. In Switzerland, you are used to being able to drink water from the tap without hesitation. In addition, numerous quality controls ensure that the cold chain for meat and other products is maintained in the supermarket.

In Thailand, things are a bit more difficult. In most cities, the tap water is not suitable for consumption. During the quality controls in the supermarket, everything is often checked off quickly without really checking anything. As a result, pathogens in the food are unfortunately a problem that cannot be ruled out.

Through the spiciness, however, your body warms up. In this way, it can already kill any number of germs. By the way, this is also the same reason why you have an increased body temperature when you have a fever.

Now you know what you need to consider for immigration to Thailand. Do not worry, because this way you will leave your comfort zone and turn your life into a promising adventure.
If you need any help, we are here to help and advise you. If you have any questions, you can contact us at any time.

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