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How to get a Certificate of Residence in Thailand

A Certificate of Residence (TM. 16) is a document that proves you have a Thai address. It’s required for various purposes.

Here’s what you need to know:

Why would you need a Certificate of Residence?

You’ll need a Certificate of Residence for:

  1. Opening a bank account
  2. Applying for a driving license
  3. Work permits from the Labor Department
  4. Acquiring a Thailand house registration book for foreigners (Yellow tabien baan or Yellow House Book)
  5. Buying a vehicle
  6. Applying for permanent residency in Thailand
  7. Other legal processes

These certificates can be obtained from either a Thai Immigration office (preferably your local one) or your home country’s Embassy.

Where to Get a Certificate of Residence?

If you’re in Bangkok, apply for your Residence Certificate at the main Immigration Bureau at Chaeng Wattana. If you’re outside of Bangkok, visit your local immigration office. You can also get it from your home country’s Embassy. For this article, we’ll focus on applying to the Immigration Bureau.

Required Documents for a Certificate of Residence

You’ll need the following documents:

  1. Your passport and a copy of the photo page
  2. Copy of your Visa
  3. Copy of your TM 6 Departure Card
  4. 2 passport-sized photos
  5. Copy of your lease agreement/house registration book (yellow Tabien baan)
  6. Copy of receipt of address notification

How to Obtain a Residence Certificate in Thailand

Regardless of where you apply, you’ll need to provide the documents mentioned above, along with the completed application form and passport photos to the immigration officer. They will verify your documents, collect a fee (200 baht at the time of writing), and issue you a receipt. You can expect to receive your certificate within one business day. Note that if you have a Work permit or a Yellow House Book with your name, you might not need a Residence Certificate as these documents can serve as proof of address.

How Long is a Certificate of Residence Valid?

Certificates of Residence are generally valid for 12 months from the date of issue. After submitting your application, you’ll receive a receipt, and they will either mail the certificate to you or you can collect it within two weeks.

Important Tips

  • Make extra copies of all required documents, as regulations can vary between immigration offices.
  • Sign documents in blue ink across the actual image to prevent misuse.
  • Additional documents may be needed depending on your specific purpose.
  • The process, although detailed, is straightforward if you have the necessary documents.

Having a Certificate of Residence is crucial if you plan to stay in Thailand for an extended period, especially if you’re considering enrolling in an educational program or obtaining an ED Visa. Most immigration officers are helpful and polite, ready to assist you with any questions you may have during the process.