Specifically, the difference between Thai Permanent Residency and Thai citizenship pertains to substantial benefit differences. Although Thai Permanent Residency provides certain benefits to the person involved, it does not come near to the benefits in which the Thai citizenship offers.
To cite an example, a Thai Permanent Resident does not get any travel document specifically a passport. Although certain circumstances make travel documents available for the Thai Permanent Resident, it is not a commonly issued document, and those that obtain it oftentimes need to show justifiable circumstances as to why they need to obtain such document. See the article on getting married in Thailand as well.
There are also certain benefits with a Thai Permanent Residency that are importantly granted in Thai citizenship. A permanent resident under Thai Labor Code Laws and Thai Immigration Laws, it is required to have 4 Thai employees on any given company here in Thailand in order to have a work permit for a standard non-immigrant foreigner.
For those foreigners married to Thai citizens, it is required for them to have two employees and two Thai employees present in their company in order to meet the government’s requirement in getting a work permit. For those with Thai citizenship, it is not necessary to have employees and that is one substantial benefit.
Thai Permanent Residents can obtain a Blue Book or Tabien Ban, but again, are still not citizens and are still subject to laws under the Foreign Business Act which states that a Thai Permanent Resident cannot own 51% or more of a certain company covered by the Thai Foreign Business Act provisions.
Thai Permanent Residents are required to maintain their work permit status for the given job they are doing, unlike Thai citizens who can work in an ad-hoc basis. There are certain activities that are restricted to Thai citizens only, and cannot be undertaken by a non-Thai. Recently it appears that only Thai nationals are granted licenses for possessing firearms.
There is a substantial number of benefits that differ from being a Thai Permanent Resident and a Thai citizen, and the most notable one is that a Permanent Resident is not a Thai citizen; by definition, Thai Permanent Residents are still foreign nationals who have been given permanent visa status in the Kingdom. It is an immigration status that is harder to remove compared to a non-immigrant immigration status. But it is still possible to have your Permanent Residency status to be revoked, making Thai citizenship much different from Thai Permanent Residency.
As mentioned above, the requirements are particularly stiff. However, the standard requirements for foreigners who make at least 80,000 Baht per month would still be a much easier and realistic option.
Acquiring permanent residency in Thailand is not tangible, and there is the annual quota per nationality regulated. An applicant also has to comply with the following:
Applications for Permanent Residency in Thailand can only be submitted from October up to the last working day of December every year. After submission, the Immigrant Commission will approve or refuse the PR application within 60 days from submission. If your Permanent Residency application is approved, it will be sent to the Ministry of Interior for a second confirmation.
In totality, an application for Permanent Residency in Thailand takes around six months to one year. If you have any further question about Thai Residency and Thai citizenship then speak to us today.