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  1. #1
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    I want a Thai Passport

    I've scanned through the forums to try to find answers but I'm still unclear,

    I am 29 and married to a Thai National. Together we have a plan to move to Thailand in around 20 years. We have a house and plenty of land in Chaiyaphum but both need to continue to work in London.

    Recently a friend of mine returned back from Phuket where he has spent the last 5 years teaching. As his family have moved to Cypres he has decided London is far to expensive and Cypres is not where he wants to live and work. He approached me with a business idea, it is a great idea and the fact he survived 5 years in Phuket proves that it would work. It's also very safe as the business requires him and the particular qualifications and experience he has are not easily replaced.

    He needs my wife to partner him in business. It would also save on legal fees and enable him to get his working visa and start up. He also wants help with starting up and he knows I can speak Thai reasonably well and have many Thai friends, some of whom I have already expressed interest in getting involved.

    My wife is willing but also would like to continue her career and could only give around 3 mouths a year to the business. That might be enough for him to start up but the business making enough profit without the time and knowledge we could bring is unlikely.

    I would very much like to go to Thailand and work with him I could possibly afford 9 months a year if the business started to turn a profit within a year or so.

    I travel to Thailand twice a year usually. My father-in-law is a teacher. I am used to the visa requirements and conditions in Thailand.

    Next year my wife will apply for a UK passport and she will have to renew her Thai passport next month when she visits her dad.

    Though we are not legally married in Thailand, we are in the UK and I would like to get a Thai passport. A Thai passport would allow me to take far more control and actually help my friend(and myself) rather than just being a poor translator and go between.

    My wife can read and write English to a high level but my Thai reading and writing skills are very low. Speaking is far better but i doubt if I attended an interview in Thai I would fully understand.

    What are the requirements for a foreigner to get a Thai passport?

    I am willing to put in time and effort to this if it is indeed possible.

    Thanks for reading and all advice and comment.

  2. #2
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    Re: I want a Thai Passport

    I don't know the full rules off hand but I'm sure it has been discussed on these Forums previously. I do know, however, that before you can apply for PR you *need* a ten year unbroken stay in Thailand. And then it is still a lottery in that they only allow 100 applicants from each country to apply in each year. And you need a completely clean criminal record.

    David

  3. #3
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    Re: I want a Thai Passport

    I know it's not the answer you want to hear - but my advice is don't do it and I mean this in many ways:

    - I won't do this business with your so called friend, if the business runs that good why would somebody ever share the profit with other people, he probably only wants to minimize his loss/disprofit.
    There are many Stories like that were people where scammed/ripped-off etc.

    - also if anything goes wrong in Thailand and maybe you consider in the future to return to your Home Country but you are a Thai Citizen already - what will you do then???

    - and as David said I think it's not that easy to become a Thai Citizen anyway so you better should take of your "rose-coloured-glasses" and live in Reality.

    There should be many Jobs you are still able to do not being a Thai Citizen.

    And as you are married with your Thai Wife in the UK you can go through the process to let the Marriage be accepted in Thailand as well - this is far more easier; and then you can make your own Business in your Wife's Name and you only work for her (of course only for the Authorities but you are the Boss).
    My interesting blog about Thailand at Thailand Blog ---> click here

  4. #4
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    Re: I want a Thai Passport

    Thanks David,

    Sounds like its not worth the bother.

    My friend has assured me it is quite straight forward to get work visa's and set up businesses. Just a matter of time and money.

    I'm not easily convinced. Everyone knows a story about someone who has been stung in a foreign country.

    I'm hoping my wife will get her father interested, he would be a brilliant partner. He has, in the past, offered me a job teaching in his school. If that offer still stands, we may be able to work out some kind of arrangement to get me a work visa and start up a business at the same time.

    That way I could start on my 10 years unbroken stay!

  5. #5
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    Re: I want a Thai Passport

    djaidee, thanks, Just to clarify,

    I would never give up my UK citizenship. As far as I am aware I can hold dual nationality, legal or not it is possible.

    I am not intending to become a millionaire in Thailand. I am simply thinking of this as being a better alternative to waiting 20 years. Money is not the issue. I have several ideas of my own to cover my long term employment in Thailand.

    My friend, who probably got quite lonely in the last 5 years, is very close and trustworthy, if I can help him I will.

    Me and my wife have our own business plan, it will never happen if I don't make it. This may be where I start.

  6. #6
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    Re: I want a Thai Passport

    Quote Originally Posted by Cuba64 View Post
    As far as I am aware I can hold dual nationality, legal or not it is possible.
    Anyone who has an EU passport already has dual nationality, that of the EU and of the passport issuing country.

    BTW what I described in my first reply is for Permanent Residence and doesn't give you a passport. Whether you can actually get a Thai passport as a foreigner I am not 100% sure.

    David

  7. #7
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    Re: I want a Thai Passport

    I have been told it is possible to get a Thai passport. I only took it as hearsay, the guy telling me was a American or Canadian(cant remember, was 5 years ago) working for an international company in Thailand. He told me I would have to learn Thai, be able to get through an immigration interview and show I have knowledge of Thai language and culture. Being able to read and write and archiving basic qualifications would be enough.

    He told me he had done this but advised me not to do it in Bangkok. A regional Foreign Affairs Office would be much more likely to give it to me.

    From the story he was telling me, he had married and had become respected in his wife's community. He also said that he had spent a lot of time building relations with the local government office.

    His motives for getting a Thai passport seemed to be to avoid his ex wife getting more of his money. He had given up his original nationality but said he could travel without needing a visa. He would be granted one on arrival because of his heritage.

    I met this guy 5 or 6 years ago waiting for a delayed flight.
    Last edited by Cuba64; 23-04-12 at 04:18 AM.

  8. #8
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    Re: I want a Thai Passport

    There are more people struck by lightening than there are foreign nationals getting PR status in Thailand. And, because you are not a Thai national, a passport is impossible. Anyone with PR status, or any other extended visa status, would have to apply for a re-entry permit before leaving Thailand, if wishing to return under their current visa.

    All your UK marriage will afford you is the credentials to receive a spouse visa, which will allow extended stay and lower income requirements.

  9. The Following User Says Thank You to Curt For This Useful Post:

    Cuba64 (29-04-12)

  10. #9
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    Re: I want a Thai Passport

    Actually, "David_Loves_Ubonwan" is in error. . .

    It's most definitely NOT 10 years of extensions of stay. .. It's THREE unbroken years of extensions, paying Thai withholding tax on your earnings, and some other criteria.

    While it's true there's only 100 from each nationality who can apply for P/R status each year, few of the nationalities EVER hits 100 applicants, maybe the chinese or the indians, but that's about it.

    The application fee for P/R status is right around 191,400baht. They won't even accept your application fee and application IF you're not gonna make it thru the process.

    However, remember P/R is only the very FIRST step toward Thai citizenship; which is what you need to get a Thai passport. Surprisingly I know two people on my Soi (an American and and a Brit) who are Thai citizens, meaning they went the P/R route and the Thai citizenship route (although they both did this 10+ years ago). They both have Thai I/D cards, Thai passports AND still hold passports for their first nationality as well, and neither had to renounce their nationality to become "Thai".

    BTW: due to one reason or another (mostly because no government has been in power for all that long); since 2006 there have only been a small number of P/R approvals (like under 50 I think). There are possibly hundreds of pending applications sitting on someone's desk waiting for signatures, so that's a 5+ year back log of P/R approvals. Now this doesn't affect people who are waiting, because they get their visa extended due to the "pending" status for free. I did read that the government was going to start approving more soon, but soon is a relative term here in Thailand.

    I think you're putting your cart before the horse in this situation. Type B visas and work permits are not difficult to come by and there are TONZ of companies which offer this service for foreigners.

    You should get here first, see what's what, and then decide if you wanna go down the long and winding road towards P/R status.

    Good luck. ..

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  12. #10
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    Re: I want a Thai Passport

    I think I read that the PR qualification (a 3-year unbroken working record in Thailand, not 10 year) is no longer necessary. The PR process has had a backlog for a few years and stopped taking applications, but they did re-open this last year. So maybe the process is back on again. PR is not so impossible with a working and tax record in Thailand, many foreigners have it. As Curt says, it doesn't make you a Thai national and you don't get a Thai ID or passport.

    To apply for Thai nationality, I don't believe you'd be able to avoid Bangkok. Even if you applied outside, the application would still go through Special Branch in Bangkok. It's nothing to do with the Foreign Affairs Office - you're trying to become Thai, which is an internal not foreign matter. I think it's the Interior Ministry, with the police checking through the documents etc. The whole process would take a number of years and check out your genuine commitment to Thailand and also what you have already done for the country.

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