Living in Thailand

Living in Thailand

Living in ThailandIf you are thinking of living or retirement in Thailand then consider the options of where you would want to live. Many prefer the seaside resort of Pattaya as it has a party atmosphere all the time. Other prefer to move to Isaan and live with their Thai wife and family while those with a better pension fund prefer Phuket. Each location in Thailand has its own character. You decide what it is that you want out of your retirement and choose a city in Thailand from there. Thailand has it all!

Here are a few things to consider:

1. Do you want to rent or buy your condo unit. Most prefer to rent as there is an option to move away if you do not like the area. Others rent for 5 years with an option to buy after the 5 year period. This way they can decide if they like the area and wish to live there for the next 10+ years while in Thailand. If you are buying a condo unit then speak to a lawyer in Thailand for help as fraud can be a major problem.If you are married to a Thai and you bought a house in her name then ensure that you have a usufruct over the property in the event of a divorce. Since you cannot own the house or land in Thailand she may simply show you the door. The usufruct gives you bargaining power if you ever end in a divorce.

2. Healthcare in Thailand is very good and very reasonable. Now remember that cash is king. Medical aids normally do not settle with the hospitals and you would first have to pay then claim from the medical. Even the local insurance companies do not settle directly. You need to take the paid account to them and they will issue you with cash while you wait. ThaiLife does this and you normally wait an hour at their offices to get your money back from the hospital account which you paid.

3. Getting married normally happens in Thailand and you would normally be asked for a dowry in Thailand. Many times this can be a ridicules amount of money and normally a local middle class Thai would be able to tell you what is the appropriate amount to give to the parents. Anything over what is normal would make you look like a cash cow and create more problems down the line. Also ensure that you have a will and testament and it is also ways best to get a prenuptial agreement if you have money or investments in your home country.

If you are retiring in Thailand then the lawyer who did your Thai visa will normally be able to give you solid advice as to what to expect from your new found country, how best to live in Thailand and above all how not to loose your head or your retirement package while in Thailand. Call us today or speak to us online fro more information.

Law firms in thailand

Lawyers in Thailand – Thai Lawyer

Law firms in thailand

Finding a lawyer in Thailand is not easy if you have not lived in Thailand or have regular contact with expats in Thailand. Below are locations of trusted law firms you can try.

Office locations in Thailand

Interchange 21 Building,
23rd Floor, 399 Sukhumvit Road,
North Klongtoey, Wattana,
Bangkok 10110
Tel: 662-259-8100
Fax: 662-259-8010


123/27-28 Moo 5, Bangtao Place T. Cherngtalay, A. Thalang,
Phuket 83110, Thailand
Tel: 66 06-326-322


6/56 Moo 6, North Pattaya Road,
Banglamung, Chonburi 20150 Thailand
Tel:66 38-370-786


Chiang Mai
Curve Mall 2nd/F Room C219-C220
215/2 Chang Klan Road,
Muang, Chiang Mai 50100 Thailand
Tel: 66 53-818-306


Buying a boat in Thailand

If I had a dime each person wanted to know about buying a boat I would be a millionaire. This question always comes to the fore in Pattaya and in Phuket as a business venture idea. Many expats decide that they want to start a business. There a different types of businesses which can be registered. The most common being the Thai limited company. The business of boats are however another issue. Normally a foreigner may only own a boat for the purposes of recreation and not as a commercial venture. So yes, you can have your Thai registered boat, but not for your business. Now this is when it becomes a little bit complicated.

Owning a boat for a commercial venture however needs to have 70% Thai partners and foreigners can own the other 30%.  Not like a normal Thai business now is it? The rules do change from time to time and it is best to speak to any of our lawyers in Thailand either in Phuket, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Bangkok and even in Chiang Mai and Samui. Owning a boat in Thailand is a great idea, however the legal implications with regards to generating money with it is another issue all together.  Speak to us today, either online, via our toll-free US or UK telephone numbers or visit any of our friendly office in Thailand. We are always here to provide you with cost effective solutions for your business venture in Thailand.

Getting Divorced in Thailand

Getting Divorced in Thailand

Getting Divorced in Thailand

Getting divorced in Thailand is straight forward unless there is a property dispute or a dispute relating to the children. This is where you need a divorce lawyer as the process will become complex. If both parties agree that they wish to divorce then they simply need to file the forms at the local government office. If there are children there a forms which need to be filled in with the application for a divorce. No courts are needed when both parties agree on settlement however when property is involved or children more often than not they end up on the court role. The justice system in Thailand is slow and complex and it is best to have an attorney with you as the proceedings will be in Thai.


If you are not in Thailand and your wife has petitioned the court you can file your objection from outside Thailand however you will need to appear in court when called to do so. Speak to one of our divorce lawyers as how to best deal with your divorce and how the division of property would normally occur. If you have a prenuptial agreement you will also need this during the divorce proceedings. Speak to one of our lawyers online, in person or via our toll-free US or UK telephone numbers.

Call us now – see our main website!


Moving to Thailand – Thailand Imports

When you retire in Thailand you are allowed to bring in your personal effects from your home country. There are time limits to bring in your goods duty free.  Retirement starts with good arrangements and assistance. The following list is from Thai Customs and the procedures are listed for importing your goods. If you are not certain how to arrange this speak to one of our attorneys who will be able to assist you while we apply for your retirement visa. Personal Effects refer to items clearly identifiable as personal use, such as clothes, shoes, books, etc. These items at the time of his/her entry into the Kingdom of Thailand are exempted from customs duties. However, such items do not include automobiles, weapons and ammunition, and food items. If not certain speak to the lawyers who did your retirement visa application as they normally know how to bring in your goods duty free within 6 months after your visa has been issued.

Personal effects not granted exemption from payment of customs duty

Pets. Pets brought into the Kingdom of Thailand are not exempted from customs duties. A permit must be granted from the Livestock Department prior to the date of entry.

Food. Any person wishing to bring food items into the Kingdom of Thailand must obtain a permit from the Food and Drug Administration, Ministry of Public Health.

Weapons. A permit must be granted from the Department of Provincial Administration.

Automobiles. A permit must be granted from the Commerce Ministry and the Department of Industrial Works, Ministry of Industry.

Household Effects refer to other properties not considered personal effects and which were in the owner’s possession prior to his/her change of residence, such as televisions, refrigerators, air conditioners, household decorations, etc., which have been previously used. In the case of individuals entering the Kingdom of Thailand, only one unit each of such item is eligible for tax and duty free allowance. In the case of a family change of residence, two units each of the items will be allowed to bring in tax and duty free. Items may be imported free of tax. Any excess unit shall be subject to regular taxes and are charged according to the most highly priced unit or the unit subject to duties the highest tax rate respectively.

Items must arrive in the Kingdom of Thailand not more than one month prior to the owner’s arrival or not more than 6 months after his/her arrival and/of the necessary permits are obtained.

1. Passport
2. Bill of Lading or Airway Bill
3. Invoice (if any)
4. Delivery Order
5. Inventory or purchase document
6. Customs Permit (if items shipped by air)
7. Identity Card (in the case of personal items)
8. Proof of Change of Residence
8.1 Foreigners must have documentary proof of having received permission to work or reside in Thailand for not less than 1 year. This includes a work permit from the Department of Employment, Labor Ministry, of a visa from the Immigration Department.

8.2 Thai nationals must present proof of having lived abroad for a period of not less than one year.
9. If you are unable to complete these customs procedures yourself, you must provide a letter of proxy appointing someone else to act on your behalf.

Clearance Procedures

1. The importer/agent submits documents for inspection at the Customs Department/port of entry.
2. Customs officials complete importation forms, determine eligibility, and assess duties, if any.
3. Importation forms are returned to the importer bringing goods into the country, who then takes them to be recorded and pay customs duties, if any.
4. Importer/Agent Collects Items from the port of entry.


Having children in Thailand

Having children in Thailand Many expats in Thailand tend to wonder what the status of their children will be if they marry a Thai. Does the child become a Thai citizen and how does the  birth registration work. Even if you are not married to the child’s mother the child will receive Thai citizenship. The birth is normally registered at the district office where the child was born. For most expats this would be the district where the hospital is located. The hospital will provide you with a birth certificate when your child is born. Speak to a local lawyer in Thailand if you need to arrange dual nationality for your child born in Thailand.

Your wife or girlfriend will take the birth certificate and her ID card and tabian baan – house registration certificate and a copy of your passport to register the birth. A good example has been provided by a hospital in Phuket with regards to birth registration in Thailand.  If the baby is born at Vachira Phuket Hospital or Bangkok Phuket Hospital, which are both located in Phuket City, the baby’s birth must be registered with Phuket City Municipality.

If the baby is born at Phuket International Hospital, the birth must be registered at the Muang District Office, and if the baby is born in Patong, the birth must be registered with Patong Municipality. Some hospitals, such as Phuket International Hospital, offer a service to register the baby’s birth automatically so the parents only need to prepare the related documents and the process will be completed by the hospital’s staff. The private hospitals usually offer an all in one service which makes it much easier as they do all the paperwork and legwork for you. Speak to an attorney if you are not certain how to register your baby in Thailand or for the purposes of your embassy in Thailand.

If you are needing assistance with registering a child born abroad then contact us at Siam Legal for assistance with your embassy and the Thai government to ensure that you child has dual nationality.

Call us today for more information.