At first glance it seems as though this is a complicated process, but it’s really quite simple if you take it step by step.
- Obtain a residency certificate
- Go to the bank and open a savings account
To obtain a residency certificate you must visit your local immigration office:
Bangkok: 507 Soi SuanPlu, Sathorn Tai Road (see map)
Pattaya: Soi 5, Jomtien Beach Road
Chiang Mai: Chiang Mai International Airport, 71 Sanambin Road
Visit the Thai Immigration Bureau website for more information about local offices.
You will need to have the following documents:
- Passport, plus a photocopy of the photo page, the page(s) with your visa and most recent entry stamp on, and your form TM6 (the departure card)
- Two passport photos
- A bill or other “official” document with your name and address on it, plus a photocopy of this document.
- Application form for residency certificate (available at the Immigration Office)
Armed with all the above, you hand the lot in and pay a 200 baht service charge. You then receive the certificate about half an hour later.
Once you have the residency certificate, opening a bank account is very simple. Just go to the bank, tell them you want to open a savings account (there doesn’t seem to be any other option for those without long-term residence status) hand over the certificate, sign a couple of forms, show your passport, deposit 1,000 baht to kick-start the account, pay 300 baht for the ATM card, and Bob’s your uncle. You now have a Thai bank account. Easy peasy. I don’t know why it took us two years to get around to it.