• published on 6/29/2023
  • 5min

Checklist before moving to Thailand

Ensure a smooth move to Thailand with our comprehensive checklist covering visa requirements, housing options, and cost of living. Do not miss these essential tips for successfully relocating to the Land of Smiles.

Checklist before moving to Thailand

Embarking on a new chapter in life by moving to a foreign land can be an exhilarating adventure. Thailand, with its captivating landscapes, vibrant culture, and warm-hearted locals, has emerged as a sought-after destination for expatriates seeking a fresh start. However, before you immerse yourself in the wonders of this Southeast Asian gem, it is crucial to prepare and plan for a seamless transition.

To ensure a successful and hassle-free move, we have compiled a comprehensive checklist that covers the essential aspects you need to consider before moving to Thailand. From visa requirements to housing options and cost of living, this checklist will guide you through the necessary steps to make your relocation a smooth and rewarding experience. So, let us dive in and ensure you have everything in order before embarking on this exciting journey to the Land of Smiles.

1. Paperwork

Before you come to Thailand, please contact the nearest Thai Embassy or Consulate to enquire which visa regulations apply in your case. You are not permitted to work unless you have a work permit and a Non-Immigrant B Visa.

Non-immigrant visas for Thailand cover various categories, including:

  • F (official duties)

  • B (business and work)

  • ED (education)

  • EX (experts and specialists)

  • IB/IM (investors)

  • M (media, film producers, and journalists)

  • O (family visitors, NGO volunteers, etc.)

  • R (religious activities)

  • RS (researchers and scientists)

  • O-A/O-X (retirees)

To apply for a non-immigrant visa, you need: a passport which must be valid for at least another six months, a completed Thailand Visa application form, a passport-sized picture, and proof of sufficient financial means to cover your stay.

2. Accommodation

Finding suitable accommodation is essential when moving to Thailand. Different options include apartments, condominiums, houses, and serviced apartments. Consider location, proximity to amenities, safety, and budget. For example, if you prefer to live in the heart of a bustling city like Bangkok, areas like Sukhumvit, Silom, or Sathorn might be suitable. On the other hand, if you prefer a more relaxed coastal lifestyle, places like Phuket, Pattaya, or Hua Hin could be ideal. Utilise online platforms like DDproperty, Hipflat, or enlist the help of a local real estate agent to find rental properties or homes for purchase that meet your requirements.

You can also consult our article on the Best places to live in Thailand for expats.

Your monthly expenses will also depend on your lifestyle and where you live in Thailand. If you opt for a more rural area, your spending will be lower than if you live in one of the major cities like Bangkok or Pattaya. You can expect your monthly living expenses to be around $700 – $1,000. This includes food (street vendors and restaurants), housing, transportation, utilities, and entertainment. Of course, your expenses will be higher if you have a family or other dependents.

3. Bank

Opening a bank account in Thailand can be a long and complex process. To get started, you will need your passport, Non-immigrant B Visa, or another type of long-stay visa as appropriate. And depending on the bank you choose, you may need to bring any of the following, proof of permanent address in Thailand, such as a tenancy agreement or land deed, a letter of reference from your employer or education institution, and a reference from your home embassy and/or your home bank.

You should be able to open a bank account with a tourist visa, especially in Bangkok.

Popular Thai banks with expats include Bangkok BankKasikornbank, and SCB. Make sure to research the options available before arriving in Thailand to understand the differences between each bank.

4. Health insurance

Before moving to Thailand, it is essential that you take out health insurance. According to Thai law, all expats living in Thailand must be covered by either Public Thailand health insurance, which is only available to working expats enrolled in the Universal Coverage Scheme, or Private health insurance.

If you opt for public health insurance, you can access Thailand’s state healthcare system. The 2021 Legatum Prosperity Index ranked 27th globally. However, you may experience long waits for treatment. Many expats, therefore, choose international health insurance. This offers access to private clinics and hospitals and faster access to treatment, and additional insurance to cover things such as maternity and cancer treatment.

Ensure your safety and well-being when moving to Thailand with APRIL International. With over 30 years of presence in Thailand, we provide comprehensive health insurance plans to meet your needs.

Our plans offer worldwide coverage, giving you peace of mind wherever you go. Contact us today or visit our website to explore our range of flexible and customisable health insurance options tailored specifically for Thailand. Stay protected with APRIL International.