Foreign Currency Requirements for Purchasing a Condo
The Condominium Act of 1979 is restrictive of foreign ownership of condominiums in Thailand, but generally allows it for foreigners who permanent residents, or those who have entered the country on an investment promotion visa, or for those who have fulfilled certain requirements related to the transfer or withdrawal of foreign currency. In regards to those foreign currency requirements, the Land Department Regulation Re: Foreign Ownership of Condominium Units of 2004 defines the foreign currency requirements below.
The foreign purchaser must provide evidence of either (1) remitting foreign currency into Thailand, or (2) withdrawing Thai baht from the bank account of a person who is domiciled outside of Thailand, or (3) withdrawing money from a foreign currency account in an amount no less than the purchase price of the condominium unit that is intended to be purchased.
In regards to the first option, which is to remit foreign currency into Thailand, the types of evidence that may be offered to the Land Department official at the registration of ownership may be as follows:
- A foreign currency declaration form issued by the Customs Department (in the case where foreign currency was physically brought into the country) or
- In the case where foreign currency is remitted into the country by bank transfer from April 1, 2004 to the present: if the amount of money transferred is at least $50,000 USD or the equivalent, then evidence in the form of a Foreign Exchange Transfer form may be offered. If the amount is less than $50,000 USD, the evidence from the bank certifying the purchase of foreign currency or the transfer of foreign currency into a foreign deposit account may be offered.
In regards to the second option, which is to withdraw Thai baht from the account of a person who resides outside of Thailand, the regulation clarifies that this refers to the bank account of a person who is domiciled outside of Thailand, regardless of whether or not the bank account belongs to the foreign purchaser. The evidentiary requirement is a certificate from the bank certifying the withdraw from a Thai baht deposit account of a person who is domiciled outside of Thailand.
In regards to the third option, which is to withdraw money from a foreign currency account, in the case where the withdraw is made after April 1, 2004, the evidence is the same as in the case where foreign currency is remitted into Thailand by bank transfer.
Foreigners who intend to invest in a condominium in Thailand are advised to consult with competent Thailand lawyers in order to under the legal rules and regulations.
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