EVERYTHING A NEW EXPAT SHOULD THINK ABOUT WHEN RELOCATING TO THAILAND
So, you are thinking of relocating to Thailand? And why not? Unarguably one of the most beautiful countries on earth, Thailand is famous for its stunning tropical scenery, dreamy beaches, excellent food, and friendly people. But relocating successfully takes something slightly more than just a love for palm trees, sand, and curry. Make sure you`ve got everything on this relocation checklist "check out" when your moving plans!
FIND OUR THAT THE LOCAL REAL ESTATE IS DOING
One of the first things you`re going to want to do once you arrive in Thailand, or preferably before you arrive, is find a place to live. Keep on eye on how the local real estiate is doing in the area you plan on living in. Some of the more pupulated areas of the country are currently experiencing a higher than usual demand for housing, and particularly so in Bangkok due to more multinational companies and organizations centralizing their south-east Asian regional activities in Thailand and to a steadily increasing number of foreign investors in the prime areas of Thailand`s capital city.
This could be to your advantage if you plan on investing and renting out property. But it also means that you`ll have to be savvy and smart to get the best deal. Do your research and get connected with a good real estate agent.
GET YOUR WORK PAPERS IN ORDER
Expats can work in Thailand if they have visas and work permits issued by the Department of Employment, according to the Alien Employment Act.
Note that "work" in Thailand doesn`t necessarily mean an occupation for which you receive monetary compensation, as it does in some other countries. Volunteer work also requires a work permit.
The Alien Employment Act bars foreigners from performing certain types of work reserved for Thais only, such as farming, construction labour, auction selling, front shop selling, gemstone cutting, hair styling, architectural design, dressmaking, and so on. For a complete list, check out the Thai Embassy website.
ORGANIZE YOUR CHILDREN`S SCHOOLING AHEAD OF TIME.
International schools in Thailand tend to have very long waiting lists. Choosing the school you`ll be sending your children to is something you should do very early on in the planning process.
GET YOUR PETS VACCINATED AT LEAST 3 MONTHS BEFORE MOVING
by law, certain pet vaccinations are mandatory in Thailand.
You will need papers proving that your pets are indeed vaccinated. Remember that the process of abtaining the correct papers can take up to three months, so plan well ahead of time.
BEWARE OF LOCAL FRAUDS AND SCAMS
You can get scammed in any country of earth; Thailand is no exception.
For example, a common scam is to rent a boat for a day trip on the ocean or a motorbike on one of the country`s numerous islands, only to be charged for a pre-existing scratch or damage upon your return. The police are called, the owner claims you did it, and you have no way of providing that you didn`t. You end up paying for the repairs even though you now realize that the same scratch will be used to lure another foreigner into the same trap tomorrow.
Other commonly reported inconvenienves - not more than anywhere else in the world thought - are card frauds (always chec the amount on the slip before signing0 and theft of wallets and purses at the airport, especiall if you arrive overloaded and/or need to check in your pets. Be very carefull with the local staff who offer their help to carry your luggage, even if they introduce themselves as employees of the airport.
So, keep your wits about you and your eyes wide open to avoid any such scams. And don`t worry, apart from these specific and well identified cases you will very soon realize that Thailand is a very safe and peaceful country where people are unusually nice and helpful!
PREPARE FOR A DIFFERENT CULTURE
There`s a big difference between visiting another coutnry as a tourist, and actually relocating. Be prepared for a different culture. It will probably help if you and your family become familiar with basic Thai history and Thai customs, even if you plan on retaining your own culture within your own family.
Learn to be respectful of the local way of life when you are outside of your own home. For example, walking around in a bikini or revealing swimming clothes in any place other than the beach is definitely frowned upon in Thailand. Making love in public is also extremely awkward for those who may see you; avoid kissing and touching when you are not at home. Some houses and workplaces expect you to remove your shoes when you enter; learn to check by the door to see if there is a row of shoes already, and do likewise if there is.
Remember that actually living in another country will present you with a whole different picture of the place than a tourist resort would.