Immigrating to Thailand
Such an extreme step such as immigrating should be well considered.
It is recommended that you leave the option open to return, if this is financially possible. It is always possible that a voluntary or involuntary return to your homeland is necessary, despite your expectations.
It would be great advantage to test out life in Thailand for a longer length of time while keeping your residence in your homeland. This should present no problems for pensioners, if financially possible.
This may be much more difficult for people who are still working. The working opportunities for foreigners in Thailand are very limited. Working foreigners are only
desired if this represents an advantage for the country. Specialists are required and not Joe Public (see category work). I do not believe that opening the next bar in a long line of bars to be the recipe for success.
Before cancelling a current health insurance policy, you should make sure that you have new health protection measures set up in Thailand. You will find more information in the category Health insurance. You should take note that returning to a cancelled private health insurance policy which was cancelled too quickly, is usually not affordable at a later date. Only once the insurance protection is valid and any waiting periods are over, should the insurance policy in the homeland be cancelled. This will hardly be possible for people with chronic complaints. People who have a
private health insurance policy sometimes have the possibility, that their current policy in the homeland extends their insurance to permanently include treatment in Thailand. Unfortunately not all companies are so accommodating. There is sometimes an extra charge involved. It is important to adapt to local customs and not to become exasperated with the negative aspects. Problems can never be solved with furious behaviour. However lots of patience and friendliness will
(hopefully) eventually lead to required success. Should this not be the case, you will be to accept that not all problems have a solution.
Discussions involving the Thai Royal Family as well as derogative comments about Buddhism or the country should definitely be avoided. Your politeness and civility should reflect that of your hosts. Slander against Royals incurs strong penalties.
The Thai culture has developed its own special way of avoiding conflict. They greatly value harmony. Each and any criticism is undesired. You should only give any necessary criticism in a very diplomatic, roundabout and time consuming way. This type of avoiding any conflict is generally effective, it also leads to almost non-existence of dispute culture. Totally unpractised in staying calm and measured in an argument, the situation can quickly escalate and a disagreement can turn into
violence. Once the line is crossed, there is almost no way back. Murder and manslaughter are the sad results in many cases. Therefore it is important to remain calm, to keep any emotions under control and to try and avoid any arguments from the beginning. It also helps to have a respected Thai person on your side.
In general, the Thais are very pleasant and lovable contempories.
Only those who are prepared to accept the values, customs and the general way of life in Thailand should think about settling there. People who are always looking for faults and discontented Farangs will not find their happiness in Thailand and will constantly have conflicts with the natives.
Checklist (I would very appreciative of any further tips)
Is the validity of your passport long enough? (at least 1/2 year for Thailand)
- Apply for an international driving license, see driving License category
- Possibility of marriage? See marriage category
- Working in Thailand? See work category
- Children? See school category
- Inform your insurance company or pension institute (possibly a new account?)
- Cancel health insurance policy? Does a penalty apply for returning to the policy?
Is your health insurance for Thailand in place?, See health insurance category
- Cancel contents insurance
- Cancel legal protection insurance
- Cancel personal liability insurance
Continue life insurance payments or take a pay out (loss of value will occur)
- Cancel car/motorcycle insurance policy
- Sell the car/motorcycle
- It cannot be exported (extreme tax level)
- Sell your furniture or take it with you to Thailand?
- Get quotes from transport companies. See moving category
- Make a list of items which will be taken
- Sell your flat/house or give notice to the landlord
- Cancel the electric/energy contract
- Cancel the telephone contract
- Cancel the mobile phone contract
- Cancel your internet provider
- Cancel TV/Radio
- Cancel Sky TV
- Cancel cable TV connection
- Cancel any newspaper/magazine subscriptions
- Public registration office/de-register your residence
- Inform the district recruiting office
- Redirect your post for a certain amount of time
- Give friends and relatives your new address
- Finance/tax advisor
Close your bank account?
- An account in your homeland can be useful (Internet Banking) see money
- Cancel credit cards?
- European credit cards are more secure but a charge is incurred for each payment
Collect together certificates and other documents and pack them safely into your hand luggage.
- Visit a doctor and be vaccinate yourself (Polio, Tetanus, Hepatitis A/B)
- Receive your medical records and translate them for Thailand
- Polio and Tetanus vaccinations are available free of charge at the Health Service
- Visit a travel /buy a flight ticket early enough so that the plan does not fall through, see flight
- Some airlines have cheaper prices for excess luggage (e.g. LTU)
- Vaccinate your pets (do not forget their vaccination pass!)
Find out about possibilities for your pets when booking your ticket
- Thai-Embassy – apply for a visa for Thailand, see visa category
- Applications for an annual visa is not possible at a later date
Keep your payment slips in a safe place when transferring large sums of money. A
re-export of large sums of money is only possible when a previous import can be proven.
All cancellations should be given with a definite cancellation date in order to remain insured for the longest time possible and to avoid any malpractice. You should inform yourself early enough about any cancellation periods.
Bringing dogs and cats to Thailand [more]
These conceptions only reflect my own personal opinion. All data is provided without guarantee!