As an expat living in the Land of Smiles, you will need to consider opening a bank account in Thailand just as you would in your home country. It is generally easy to open an account here however different banks have different rules depending on the branch and employee you speak with.
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Opening a Bank account with a Work Permit.
If you have a work permit, you will probably have no problem opening a bank account in Thailand. Most banks will give you one provided that you meet their minimum deposit requirements. Those who have work permits are considered residents and are here for the long term.
Opening a Bank account With an Extended Stay Visa.
If you are on an extended stay visa such as a non-immigrant O for marriage, support, or retirement then you should have no problem getting a bank account. Just as with a work permit, you are considered a resident here. With most extended-stay visas, you have to prove that you have sufficient funds in this country so there really is no getting away from opening a bank account in Thailand.
Opening a Bank account With a Tourist Visa.
Opening a bank account in Thailand with a tourist visa may or may not be possible depending on the bank. You will need more documents to do this. Why would you open an account on a tourist visa? Maybe you are on this type of visa while waiting to apply for an extended stay visa. One example would be so that you can meet the requirement to have 800,000 THB on account for 3 months prior to applying for a retirement visa.
You will need to have a letter of recommendation from your embassy or other established business in Thailand. The bank may also require a recommendation letter from your bank in your home country. If you know someone in Thailand then you should get their letter of recommendation as well. Different banks have different rules but you will find that most will require some sort of recommendation in order to open an account on a tourist visa.
Common Way of Paying Others in Thailand.
One important reason for opening a bank account in Thailand if you are an expat is because it is a common way to make or receive payments from those whom you do business with. You will find that online payment methods such as Paypal are not quite as popular and that businesses in Thailand would rather make a deposit directly into your account in order to pay. You will also find that businesses that invoice you for large amounts will give you a deposit account number for making payment to them. International schools typically accept tuition payment via their deposit accounts.
General Banking in Thailand.
Thailand banking is generally like banking anywhere else in the world. You can get an ATM card with a major credit card logo for your account as well. With a savings account and no ATM card, two important documents you must have before making a transaction are your passport and passbook. The major banks also have electronic banking.
Documents Needed for Opening a Bank Account.
The basic document that you will need for opening a bank account in Thailand is your passport. Take your work permit as well. Then, each visa type has its own document requirements as stated previously. You will also need proof of address which can be obtained through your country’s embassy in Thailand or a letter from immigration. If you have a Thai driver’s license then this is even better because it will have your address on it.
The best advice for Thailand banking is if you are told you cannot open an account at one bank, go to another. Keep going to different banks until you find one that will welcome you for opening a bank account in Thailand.