Written by attorney Eliza I Stefaniw

How to Transfer Money to Purchase a Condo in Thailand

While purchasing a condominium, or condo, is the easiest way for a foreigner to purchase real property in Thailand, there are still some requirements you must meet to make your purchase legal. One of the major requirements is that the money you use to purchase your condo must come from outside of Thailand. Although if you have a Thai Permanent Residence Certificate, you are exempt from foreign funding requirements. You can either bring cash into Thailand with you or have money wired in by bank transfer. If you use a bank transfer, either the Thai or foreign bank account should be in your name. If you are married and purchasing joint property, make sure the money transfer is done in both of your names. All money transfers should be marked for the purpose of property investment in Thailand. You may also need to specify that you want to transfer foreign currency and not Baht. If you decide to bring in cash with you, make sure to remember to declare it at customs and keep the receipt the customs officer gives you. Once you bring in the money, the foreign currency exchange must be done in Thailand. You cannot use an offshore currency exchange service. However you decide to bring your funds into Thailand, make sure you have proper documentation. You need a Foreign Exchange Transaction (FET) certificate, or Foreign Exchange Transfer form for amounts exceeding the equivalent of $50,000 US dollars. The FET certificate is also sometimes called the Tor Tor 3 or TT3. The Thai bank that does the currency exchange can usually provide you with the FET certificate on the same day it receives the funds, but you may need to request the form. The FET form should note that the funds were transferred solely for the purchase of property in Thailand. If the purchase price of your property is less than $50,000, then the bank will issue a FOREX credit note and letter confirming the amount of foreign currency you transferred if requested. If you brought in cash through customs, you will also have a customs receipt documenting your funds. When you are ready to complete your property purchase bring the proof of foreign currency transfer with you to the land office where the transfer of ownership will take place. In addition to paying the transfer taxes and fees, you must also present proof that funds equal to the full purchase price of the property were remitted into Thailand as foreign currency. Without this proof, the Land Department cannot register your ownership of the property and the seller cannot transfer ownership of the property to you. Even after your purchase your property, make sure to keep your FET form in case you want to sell the property later and take the proceeds out of Thailand. Thai banks do not save FET records for more than 10 years, so you will need to rely on your own record keeping.

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