vrijdag 3 oktober 2014

Living in Hua Hin

Visitors coming to Thailand often tend to fall in love with the country - and with good reason. Extremly good weather, kindhearted people, exotic food and cheap prices - It almost seems too good to be true, and with all good things, it is. Thailand has it's downsides as any country has, but the good sides to Thailand seems to persuade most people anyway. Although tempting, it's not easy moving to Thailand - There's a lot of rules and regulations you have to go trough to buy a house or even just to stay in Thailand. Still wanting to move to Thailand or Hua Hin? 

Securing residence certificate

Download the application form for securing the Residence Certificate (TM.30)

Documents that the host, the owner, or the possessor of the residence has to provide for foreigner:

1.The Residence Certificate application form for the host, the owner or the possessor of the residence (TM.30 with its attachment)

2.Duplicate of the house registration belonging to the place where foreigner stays in

3.Duplicate of the house registration belonging to the place where the host, the owner, or the possessor of the residence lives in

4.Duplicate of the citizen ID card of the host, the owner, or the possessor of the residence

5.Two photographs (4 x 6 cm)

Documents the foreigner has to provide

6.Duplicates of pages in passport where the details listed below are presented
-Photograph of the holder
-First name, Last name
-Date and Place of birth
-Passport number
-Expiry date
-Issuing place
-The most recent entry – expiry date
-Visa (if held)
-Identification number of his/her Embarkation Card (TM.6)

Please note: If you wish to go through the procedures without the company of the host/ the owner/ the possessor of the residence…
You are required to provide a duplicate of the home renting contract instead of Document No.3 (a duplicate of the house registration belonging to the place where the host, the owner, or the possessor of the residence lives in).

* If you own a condominium unit or a piece of land in the name of a limited company…
You are regarded as the host/ the owner/ the possessor of the residence, thus, required to provide Document No 1, 3, 5, 6 

Buying or renting a home in Thailand

“Which sorts of buildings can I buy?”
Foreigners are entitled to the rights to buy units in condominiums and rent buildings to serve their residential and professional purposes. Renting can be conducted with an aid of such primary paper works as your passport, visa, work permit, etc. However, the arm of Thai law bars the rights to buy or own lands in Thailand away from the reach of foreigners.
“So, there is no trick I can slip by with for real?”
Building managers and local land sellers have sought out loopholes to help their foreign clientele get around the legal hindrance. During the Thaksin’s Administration, setting up a local limited company to buy land through was popular among foreigners. But since the interim government appointed by the Council for National Security came to power following the Sep 19, 06 coup, restrictions and the level of scrutiny is hardened to prevent such law abuse. 

“Oh, but I’ve heard some people got a hold of lands through their national spouses…”
Buying land in the name of a Thai wife has been a classic approach. But due to concerns in the legal aspect as well as the personal level, it is not so widely practiced. After all, it depends on individuals whether they decide to get around through that means, though. 

“Ah…point raised… Well, help me out. How would I deal?”
Through the rise in cautiousness towards that approach combined with unfavorable wind in the current political scene, getting a land through leasehold has been revived and is now embraced by the majority of foreigners in the search of permanent residences as well as by building managers/ land sellers who do the business with them. 

“Oh? Tell me how it works.”
Once signed by the landowner and the tenant, a lease is effective for 90 years. The leased land can be freely modified by the tenant, and that includes the right to build a house, a swimming pool, etc on it. 

The Department of Lands sets the lease fee at 3,000 baht/ year. Every 30 years the tenant makes a payment valued the lease fee from 30 years ahead to the Department of Lands. 

The sum from the first 30 years is paid from the beginning of the lease duration. In other words, other than the leasing cost paid to the landowner, the tenant is also obliged to pay a fee worth 90,000 baht (3,000 baht x 30 years) to the Department of Lands. 

If the annual lease fee changes in 30 years from the day the lease takes effect, future payments will be calculated based on the status quo of that moment. For example, if you lease a land in 2007, and by 2037 the lease fee has increased to 5,000 baht/year, the second payment subjected to your lease will be 150,000 baht (5,000 baht x 30 years).

“Haha. Most likely I won’t get to live so long as to 90 years from now!”
We don’t think nobody will get to live that long either. No worries, though. Your wealth won’t go down the drain. You can legally pass on the leased land to a successor or, well, even have a will written…just in case.

Banking basics

Most banks in Hua Hin open from late morning (sometime from 10:00am to 12:00pm) to evening (sometime from 6:00pm to 8:00pm). Yet there are some that open from 8:00am to 4:00pm, the pattern practiced by most banks in other parts of Thailand. 
Main Thai commercial banks have branches throughout the country. Foreign banks also offer commercial banking services. 

Opening bank accounts
In opening an account with a Thai bank, a foreigner has to show his/her passport, coupled with work permit and a duplication of the house registration document belonging to the place he/she lives at. 
To open an account in the name of a legal person, the owner of the organization has to show his/her passport, the business registration and the minutes.

Most banks in Thailand have a nationwide network of ATM machines that dispense Thai baht only. The teller machines usually have Thai and English language displays. 
Cards of other banks are accepted, but at a fee of 20 baht (USD0.50) per transaction. Foreign cards that are recognized by global banking systems may also be used with Thai ATMs while VISA and MasterCard are compatible with many. 

Currency exchange
Cash and travelers’ checks can be exchanged for Thai Baht at banks, legal money exchangers, exchange kiosks in tourist area and shopping centers, and hotels. US dollars and pound sterling are the most widely accepted currencies. Travelers’ checks get better rates than cash. Remember to bring along your passport when cashing travelers’ checks.

Wire transfers
Wire transfers can be made to Thai banks if you have a bank account in Thailand or if your home bank has a branch in Thailand. Wire transfers take up to a week to arrive.
In making a wire transfer to a Thai bank account, the amount of money that can be processed is limited to the maximum of one million baht (USD29,400). The money receiver is charged 200-500 baht (USD6-15). 

Western Union is also available in Thailand. It makes the fastest way get money transferred but is also quite expensive. 

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