Getting a Residence Certificate


Last edited: October 28, 2017 at 12:49:16

If you stay in Chiang Mai long-term, you will probably come across the need to get a so-called Residence Certificate from Immigration.
You may need it for a variety of purposes, for example:

The easiest way to get a Residence Certificate (or otherwise called proof of address or address declaration) is from the Immigration office at Promenada, but you can also get it from your Consulate or Embassy. Normally, the fees at Consulates and Embassies are higher, while the conditions to get it can be stricter. This is because often, your Thai papers need to be translated, then legalised by a Thai legalisation office and finally legalised or certified by the Consulate or Embassy, but of course this depends on your country's policy. Also, not all countries have Consulates in Chiang Mai, so you'd have to travel to Bangkok to get it. For this reason, most people just resort to Immigration to get it done as the paperwork needed is fairly simply and straightforward and it's not that expensive.

If you have a Work permit, often you don't need a Residence Certificate anymore, the Work permit and associated papers suffice.

How to get a Residence Certificate as easy and fast as possible

Go to the Promenada office of Immigration. All the main offices are at the ground floor level, close to the parking. There is a small shop unit called G4T next to the official One Stop Services Immigration Shop (confusingly, there is another G4T shop on the 2/F which deals with technology and has nothing to do with Immigration, so don't go there). This shop handles fast processing of Residence Certificates. Even if you walk into the official Immigration office, most officers simply tell you to go nextdoor to G4T.

What to bring?

  • Proof of address: this must be a rental agreement of a condominium, a house, or a serviced apartment for a minimum of 3 months. Most of the time, a shorter term booking at a hotel is not accepted. If you own a property, bring the titledeed (chanod).
  • Orginal passport and copies of relevant pages (photo page, visa page, entry stamp, departure card)
  • 1 Passport-sized photo
  • 500 Baht in cash

Pick up your Residence Certificate the next working day after 2pm.

Some people have questioned the legitimacy of G4T as a business, suggesting that this is a private business that is earning a lot of money by performing tasks that are actually a core activity of Immigration, but as a foreigner it's better not to bother about this: if you want your Residence Certificate fast, just pay the 500 baht and be done with it.

500 baht bill for fast Residence Certificate by G4T
Bill of 500 baht by G4T for quick Residence Certificate

How to get the Residence Certificate as cheap as possible

If you're not in a hurry, you can go to the 2/F of the same Immigration offices in Promenada and bring exactly the same documents. Apply between 9-11am. The processing time will be one month, but it's (nearly) free of charge.
However, you may run into some bureaucratic resistance, for example if you show your rental contract, the officer may want to see your TM.30 slip as well, and if you were not reported you may have to pay the 1,600 baht fee on behalf of your landlord rightaway.

Besides that, some people report lack of cooperation from officers and that they actually seem to prefer that you pay 500 baht to get it at G4T.

Getting your Residence Certificate is not difficult if you use the right approach
Getting a Residence Certificate is easy with the right approach

Validity

Note that the residence certificate you get from G4T or Immigration is only 30 days.

 


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Matthew Posted on October 24, 2017 at 08:27:51
My wife just applied last week for the residence certificate, and it will be ready in 4 weeks. No Fee. Promenada 2nd floor, apply 9-11AM. If you want it faster, it's 500 Baht, and you get it the next day. In that case, apply downstairs at Immigration, Promenada.