Buying a Condo in Thailand: A Guide to International Money Transfers

Buying a Condo in Thailand A Guide to International Money Transfers

Discover the essential steps to seamlessly transfer money from overseas for purchasing a condominium in Thailand. Our comprehensive guide breaks down the process, from choosing the right international and Thai banks to understanding the pivotal role of the Foreign Exchange Transaction (FET) form. Dive into the intricacies of Thailand’s property regulations for foreigners and ensure a smooth, compliant transaction. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned investor, get the insights you need to navigate Thailand’s real estate market with confidence.

Guide to Transferring Money from Abroad to Buy a Condominium in Thailand

1. Eligibility Check: Before initiating the transfer, ensure you meet the eligibility criteria for foreigners to buy a condominium in Thailand. This includes having the funds transferred from overseas and ensuring the foreign ownership in the condominium project does not exceed 49%.

2. Choose a Reliable Foreign Bank: Start with selecting a reputable bank in your home country that has international money transfer services. It’s beneficial if the bank has correspondent banking relationships with Thai banks.

3. Initiate the Transfer:

  • Transfer the funds in foreign currency (e.g., USD, EUR, CNY) to a bank in Thailand. Ensure the purpose of the transfer is clearly stated, such as “For the purchase of a condominium in Thailand.”

4. Select a Thai Bank: Choose a Thai bank that is familiar with handling foreign transactions for property purchases. Banks like Kasikorn, Bangkok Bank, and Siam Commercial Bank are popular choices.

5. Exchange Currency in Thailand: Once the funds arrive in Thailand, the Thai bank will convert the foreign currency into Thai baht. This step is crucial for obtaining the FET form.

6. Obtain the Foreign Exchange Transaction (FET) Form:

  • After the currency exchange, request the Thai bank to issue the FET form.
  • The FET form serves as proof that foreign currency was remitted into Thailand and then exchanged into Thai baht within the country.
  • The FET form will contain:
    • Transferred amount in foreign currency.
    • Converted amount in Thai Baht.
    • Name of the money sender.
    • Name of the money receiver.
    • Purpose of transferring the money.

7. Documentation for Condominium Purchase: When proceeding with the condominium purchase, you will need:

  • The FET form (as proof of legal fund transfer).
  • Passport copy.
  • Sale and Purchase Agreement with the seller or developer.
  • Any other documents required by the Land Department for property registration.

8. Register the Condominium: Present the FET form and other required documents to the land office in Thailand to register the transfer of ownership of the condo unit in your name. Ensure the FET form shows your name either as the sender or receiver of the money.

9. Post-Purchase: Keep all documents, including the FET form, safely. They will be essential if you decide to sell the condominium in the future and repatriate the funds back to your home country.


Foreign Exchange Transaction (FET) Form: An Overview

1. Purpose:

  • The FET form is an official document prepared under the Bank of Thailand (BOT) regulations.
  • It is used to report foreign currency exchange transactions that occur within Thailand.
  • The form serves as evidence of the remittance of foreign currency into Thailand and the subsequent exchange of that foreign currency into Thai baht.

2. Key Information Contained in the FET Form:

  • The amount transferred in the original foreign currency.
  • The amount converted into Thai Baht.
  • The name of the sender of the money.
  • The name of the receiver of the money.
  • The purpose of the money transfer (e.g., “For the purchase of a condominium”).

3. Relevance to Property Transactions:

  • For foreigners buying property in Thailand, especially condominiums, one of the requirements is that the full purchase price is remitted into Thailand in foreign currency.
  • The FET form, issued by the Thai bank where the money is transferred and exchanged, serves as proof of this remittance and currency exchange.
  • When registering the property at the land office, the FET form must be presented. It should clearly show the foreign purchaser’s name as either the sender or receiver of the funds.

4. Issuance Threshold:

  • The FET form is typically issued for foreign exchange transactions where the amount is equivalent to USD 50,000 or more. However, this threshold might vary, and it’s always good to check with the specific bank.

5. Importance for Repatriation:

  • If a foreigner decides to sell their property in Thailand and wishes to repatriate the funds back to their home country, the FET form becomes crucial. The Thai bank will often request this form, along with other documents like the sale agreement, to allow the transfer of funds out of Thailand.

6. Changes Over Time:

  • The requirements and format of the FET form have evolved over time. For instance, previously, there were multiple forms like Thor.Tor 3, Thor.Tor 4, and Thor.Tor 5. However, these were consolidated into a single form to simplify the reporting process.

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