Tuesday, the Thai Cabinet approved allowing foreigners to acquire residences and up to one rai of land if they can demonstrate an investment of at least 40 million baht.
The regulation will be in force for five years following its publication in the Royal Gazette, which should occur shortly, according to the ministry.
The plan was drafted in May by the Interior Ministry with the intention of attracting foreign investment and attracting foreigners with specialized skills to Thailand. However, the Cabinet weighed the plan for months and solicited feedback from a number of relevant authorities.
The order permitting the purchase of a rai of land and residences will apply to rich expats, retirees, digital nomads wishing to establish a base in Thailand, and anyone with specialized knowledge.
Foreign nationals will be required to demonstrate that they have invested at least 40 million baht in Thailand and can continue the investment for a minimum of three years, beginning on the day they file an application for the acquisition.
The following will be deemed investments, according to the proposal:
The Thai government, the Bank of Thailand, state companies, and the Finance Ministry all issue bonds.
• Shares of property funds, infrastructure funds, and financial institution debt rehabilitation funds.
• Trust shares for investment in real estate ventures.
• Shares of legal companies that acquire rights from the Board of Investment (BOI).
• Shares of corporations eligible for BOI benefits.
Foreigners requesting authorization to acquire land and/or homes are required to provide documentation of their investments.
Foreigners may acquire land and/or homes in Bangkok, Pattaya, and other municipal districts or zones designated as residential in provinces, according to the regulation. The decree prohibited the purchase of land in military zones by foreign nationals.
The following describes the application procedure for the right to purchase:
• Submit the application and necessary documentation to the director-general of the Land Department, who will check them before forwarding them to the Interior Ministry for approval.
• The purchased property may not be utilized for immoral activities or behaviors that contravene local cultural standards.
• The buyer must notify the local land department within sixty days after approval.
• Investors must notify officials within sixty days if they remove their investment.
The proposal also stipulates that foreigners can only purchase one rai of land once, regardless of whether or not they sell portions or all of the land.