A residence certificate provides proof of your permanent or semi-permanent address in Thailand.
There are a number of reasons you might need one, such as when buying a car or motorbike or when applying for a driver's license. Some banks may require one to open an account, too.
So the question is: how do you get a residence certificate in Thailand?
In this guide, I'll walk you through the process and give you all the information you need, including where to go in a few of the most popular expat locations, and which documents are required.
What is a Residence Certificate?
A Residence Certificate is an official document provided to you by an immigration office. It verifies that you reside at the address you say you do.
Some foreign nationals can obtain this certificate from their respective embassy, but it's usually easier to go through a local immigration office.
You'll need to obtain a new Residence Certificate each time a company or government department requests one.
The certificate is valid for 30 days. After that, it expires and you will need to get a new one.
A Residence Certificate is required for a number of purposes in Thailand, including but not limited to:
- Getting a work permit
- Buying a car or moped
- Opening a Thai bank account
- Getting a driver's license
- Extending a visa
- Other legal matters
To apply for a Residence Certificate , you will require the following documents:
- Your passport (as proof of ID)
- A copy of your passport’s photo page
- A copy of the last entry stamp from your passport
- Copy of your visa (if applicable)
- A copy of your TM6 Departure Card
- A photocopy of a TM.30 form signed by your landlord
- Copy of your lease agreement or house book with your name and address on
- Two passport-size photos: 4cm x 6cm
* Please note that some immigration offices may ask for an additional document (or two), and in some cases may ask for fewer documents. This is because regional requirements sometimes differ, and occasionally you do get an overzealous immigration officer. I recommend having all of the above, just in case.
When signing the copies of the above documents, you will need to use blue ink for them to be official. Sign across the image and not on a blank part of the page. This is so your signature cannot be removed and is required in Thailand.
If you don't have a copy of your lease agreement or house book then you can ask your landlord for a copy. The lease should have your name and address on it, but if your name is not on the house book, then you will also need a signed copy of your landlord's ID card.
Getting a Residence Certificate in Bangkok
The place to get your Residence Certificate is at the Government Complex (Chaeng Wattana), Building B, 2nd floor.
A lot of information online is sending people to the wrong immigration center.
The address is:
ศูนย์ราชการเจ้งวัฒนะ ( ในอาคารรัฐประศาสนภักดีB}
Chang Watthana 7 Alley, Thung Song Hong,
The fee is 200 Baht (approx $6 / £4).
You won't get the certificate on the same day you apply.
Bangkok Immigration does not offer a same day service. instead, you will be given a slip with a reference number on and it will be mailed to you within two weeks.
If you don't hear within 14 days, you should go back with the slip with your number on to find out what is going on. In this case you'll usually be able to collect it on that day.
Please note: To get a residence certification you need to be doing 90-day reports to immigration.
If you live in Chiang Mai, you can get a Residence Certificate from the immigration office located next to Chiang Mai International Airport. You can apply between 8am and 10am, Monday through Friday.
The good news is that it's free!
For photocopies and photos you will have to visit the nearby copy shop, which is located across the street in the parking lot of the PTT station. Here it costs 200 Baht for six photos and 2 Baht per photocopied page.
Once you have those, head over to immigration and fill out your application form and submit your documents and photos. You will be given a receipt.
Processing time takes 2-3 weeks. Bring your receipt with you to collect the Residence Certification between 1-4.30 pm, Monday through Friday.
Here's the address:
71 Moo 3
Those living in Chonburi will have to go to Jomtien immigration.
There's a help desk on your left-hand side as you walk in, and the assistant will point you in the right direction.
Residence Certificates cost 300 Baht here, apparently there's a premium for being an expat here :). However the good news is that it is a same-day service.
You can get your photocopies and photos done at a shop a few doors down.
Here's the Jomtien Immigration address:
12 Jomtien Road
5 Tambon Nongprue
Amphoe Bang Lamung
Chang Wat Chon Buri
For those who live outside of the main expat locations, simply contact your local immigration office to find out where to apply for your Residence Certificate.
The Application Process
The application process will be pretty much the same in every province.
You will need to fill out a TM.18 form. You can save time by downloading one here: TM.18 download.
Once inside the immigration office, take a ticket and join the queue. Once called you will hand over your documents for the administrator to check. If have everything you need, you will be given a receipt to come back and pick up the certificate, which depending on the province, can be the same day or 2-3 weeks.
If you are missing a photocopy/document, you'll be ordered to go and get it done. And if you are missing a document, then you'll have to go home and get come back later.