Foreign land ownership in Thailand under a treaty
Foreigners may under section 86 of the Land Code acquire land in Thailand by virtue of the provision of a treaty providing him with the right to own land. Obtaining such acquisition is subject to the provision of the Land Code and the Ministerial Regulations issued under the Land Code, and the permission must be obtained from the Ministry of Interior. Before the termination of the treaty which was made on February 27th, 1970, there were 16 countries bided to the treaty;
Since then Thailand has no longer made any treaty with any country allowing foreigners to acquire land in Thailand. However, the Land Code Act has been amended with Section 96 bis providing that since January 19th, 2002, a foreigner is allowed to purchase land in Thailand for residential purpose and the land to be purchased shall be not more than one rai in area, and permission from the Ministry of Interior mus be obtained and the following rules and conditions must be met:
-------------- rules and conditions------------
Besides the aforementioned rules and conditions, an alien may acquire land by inheritance as statutory heir, in this instance, the land devolved when combined with the land already acquired shall not exceed that specified by law, for examples, land for residential purpose not exceeding 1 rai per household, land for commercial purpose not exceeding 1 rai, land for industrial purpose not exceeding 10 rais, and land for agricultural purpose not exceeding 10 rai per household.
An alien whose spouse is a Thai national either legitimate or illegitimate, that Thai national can purchase land but the alien spouse of that Thai national must give a joint written confirmation that the money which that Thai national will expend on purchasing the land is wholly the separate property or personal effects of that Thai national and not the Sin Somros or jointly acquired property.
Taxes and duties
To be paid according to the Code of Revenue
B.E. 2542 (1999)
BHUMIBOL ADULYADEJ REX.
Given on the 10 th of May, B.E. 2542
Being the 54 th year of the Present Reign
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej has been graciously pleased to proclaim that:
Whereas it is expedient to amend the Land Code;
BE IT THEREFORE BY THE KING, by and with the advice and consent of the National Assembly, as follows:
Section 1. This Act shall be called the “Land Code Amendment Act (No. 8) B.E. 2542 (1999)”
Section 2. This Act shall come into force as from the day following the date of its plublication in the Government Gazette.
Section 3. The following statement inclusively as Section 96 bis and Section 96 tri in Chapter 8 “Limitation of Right in Land of Alien” of the Land Code.
Section 96 bis. The provisions of an alien who may acquire land by virtue of the provision of a treaty under Section 86 paragraph one shall not apply to alien who bring money to invest as amount specified in the Ministerial Regulation which not less than forty million baht. Thus, an alien shall aquire the land for residence not more than one rai and shall obtain permission from the Minister.
The acquisition of land of an alien in paragraph one shall be in accordance with the rules, procedures and conditions prescribed in the Ministerial Regulation in which shall contain at least the following essential matters:
Section 96 tri. As alien who obtained permission to acquire land under Section 96 bis and does not comply with the rule or conditions prescribed in the Ministerial Regulation Section 96 bis paragraph two shall have to dispose of the land owned by him within the period of not less than one hundred and eighty days and not more than one year as specified by the Director General. The Director General shall have the power to dispose of such land when the time limit elapes.
An alien who obtained permission to acquire land under Section 96 bis and does not use it for residence within two years from the date of acquisition registration, the Director General shall have the power to dispose of such land.
Remark: Reason for promulgation of this Act are as follows:
Whereas it is expedient to grant an alien, who bring money to invest in the significant business and bring the benefit to the country's social and economic development, that he/she may acquire land for residential purpose to the amount as specified in the law. This aims at facilitating and providing an alien, who enter into the Kingdom for business purpose, with a promotion factor for investment decision making. This is also to increase the buying power for the business of immovable property being from the economic downtown, as well as to revive the country's overall economy. It is therefore expedient to revise the same to make them more suitable.
(Published in the Government Gazaette Vol. 116 No. 39 Kor dated May 18 th ,B.E. 2542 (1999))
Legal Affairs Division
Department of Land