Leaving Thailand and Moving On
Leaving Thailand? Find out how to notify schools, residency officials, banks and how to end contracts, export a cars and move pets…
There are a number of tasks to be completed before departure when leaving Thailand and moving on elsewhere. This page provides a brief reminder of who to contact and what to do.
Anyone who registered with their Embassy on arrival needs to advise them that they are moving on.
- Information for Australians from their government: Click here
Individual rental agreements vary so check the terms and conditions carefully. Most rental agreements are one-year contracts secured with a deposit. The landlord must be contacted at least 30 days in advance. If the agreement is terminated before the end of the agreement the security deposit may be kept or returned at the landlord's discretion, or based on the terms in the contract.
The tenant is also responsible for any damage to the apartment or house as well as any furnishings that came with the property. The security deposit will be retained to cover any damage or items missing from the property.
Properties can be advertised online, in newspapers or homes can be placed for sale with a real estate agent. Placing a small sign in the window or outside the door is also effective. An agent will typically charge a three percent commission on the house price, but properties may be sold without the use of an agent.
For those selling a condo the process can be very quick. The transfer of ownership can be done in a day with a new title issued for those paying cash. However, if selling to someone who needs to raise a mortgage, to a company or if the buyer wants a survey or lawyers to be involved it will take longer.
In Thailand, many foreigners do not finance their homes, so insurance is not a legal requirement, but is highly recommended. There are two main types of policies: indemnity and replacement cover. Neither will normally offer refunds when premiums are cancelled. Check the policy carefully. The homeowner may cancel at any time by simply contacting the insurance company.
Thailand Post can re-direct mail to a designated new address within Thailand but it is not possible to transfer mail overseas. The best method for redirecting mail from Thailand to overseas is to ask friends, neighbours or family to help.
To cancel utility services, contact the company with as much notice as possible and arrange a date to terminate service. A minimum of one week's notice is required. If staying in rental accommodation it is best to ask the landlord to organise this. Bills can be paid at shops such as 7-11 stores, post offices, banks or by direct debit.
The following documents will be required:
- Passport or ID Card
- House Registration Document (Tabien Baan) or the land title (Chanote) or the Condo title deed
- In rental accommodation: a letter from the landlord, copy of Tabien Baan and copy of ID card
- Last bill
In Bangkok the Metropolitan Electricity Authority is responsible for the electrical supply.
- The Metropolitan Electricity Authority
Outside of Bangkok the Provincial Electricity Authority supplies the electricity.
- Provincial Electricity Authority
In Bangkok the Metropolitan Waterworks Authority is responsible for mains water supply.
- Metropolitan Waterworks Authority (Bangkok)
Outside of Bangkok it is the Provincial Waterworks Authority (PWA) that is responsible.
- Provincial Waterworks Authority
Telephone and Internet
Contact the local office to disconnect telephone or Internet connections. Give as much notice as possible.
Cancelling mobile phone contracts
In Thailand, pre-paid cards are very popular, thus eliminating the need for contracts, monthly charges or cancelling on departure. When the amount of money on the card runs out, a new card can be purchased or simply discontinue use of the mobile phone.
However, monthly service contracts are less expensive. Some of these contracts require a small payment for the SIM card and are six-month or one-year contracts. Usually a 30-day notification is required for cancellation.
Cable and Satellite TV Contracts
The process for cancelling cable and satellite service depends on the contract. For most contracts, the company requires 30 days' notification. They will discontinue service and arrange an appointment to pick up any rented cable boxes or satellites dishes.
Those holding a residential permit or residence permit who wish to leave Thailand should submit an application for an Endorsement and Re-entry Permit (TM. 13) to the Immigration Bureau, along with:
- Valid foreign registration book
- Permanent residence book (PR Book)
- Six 4x6cm passport photographs (no more than six months old)
The process takes about 30 to 60 minutes at the Immigration Bureau. This permit allows the person to re-enter Thailand within one year from the date of endorsement.
If the holder has not entered Thailand within one year after departure, the Residence Permit will automatically expire.
- Immigration Bureau
At: 507 Soi Suan Plu, Sathorn Tai Road, Sathorn, Bangkok 10120
Tel: 02 287 3101-10
Fax: 02 287 1310
Open: Monday to Friday 08:30-16:30
Work permits must be returned to the Ministry of Labour within seven days of ceasing employment. It is also necessary to contact the Immigration Bureau. Depending on the type of visa held they may then cancel the visa allowing only seven days to leave the country.
When leaving Thailand it is necessary to apply for a Tax Clearance Certificate from the Revenue Department at least 15 days before departure whether taxes are to be paid or not.
In Thailand, taxes are paid on or before 31 March for the previous calendar year ending 31 December. If there is a refund due, the approval process takes about 15 days and a refund cheque is issued.
- For further information from the Revenue Department: Click here
Health and Social Security Records
Employees who are registered with the Social Security Fund must inform their employer of the termination. The employer will contact the Social Security office. Funds contributed are not refunded to the employee.
Foreigners have the option to receive health insurance from their employers or purchase insurance in Thailand. If the insurance is with the employer, coverage ceases automatically when the employee terminates employment. Inform the employer of the move and date of termination and they will contact the insurance company.
Any health provider can forward health records to the new practitioner. It is recommended to give the Thailand doctor's office a copy of the family's passports and sign a release form authorising the office to forward the health records. Any outstanding bills must be paid before the records will be released.
In Thailand, the public school session usually ends in March and October. International schools typically follow the Western schedule. If the student must transfer during term time, the school must be contacted as early as possible. Also contact the new school to check availability.
In order to ensure a smooth transition, the following documents need to be forwarded to the new school:
- A copy of the student's passport
- The student's academic records
- Any certificates and/or diplomas received
- Any information regarding tests taken
Any identification cards, books and items belonging to the school must be returned and all fees paid before the schools will forward the student's records.
Closing a Bank Account
Closing a Thailand bank account simply requires a signed copy of the account holder's passport and a bank form requesting termination of the account. All funds in the account minus any fees will be returned to the account holder or can be wired to the new bank.
If transferring funds to a bank outside of Thailand, the Thai bank can wire money to any account using the new bank's SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) code. This process takes between three and five days.
Compulsory Motor Insurance (CMI) is a requirement in Thailand. When selling a car before departure, the CMI will be automatically transferred with the car and no refund will be given. If additional insurance is held, contact the insurance company for any refund due. This will depend on the company and policy held.
A copy of the insured person's driving record and insurance claim record will be provided on request, provided all fees and premiums are up to date.
Exporting a car from Thailand
When taking a car abroad, the Thailand Customs Department must be contacted for clearance. An Export Declaration (Form No. 101) should be filed as soon as possible to give Customs time to process the paperwork.
Along with the Export Declaration the following documentation is also needed:
- Government ID Card (if applicable)
- State Enterprise ID Card (if applicable)
- Foreign Transaction Form if the FOB value exceeds 500,000 baht
- Export Licence (if applicable)
- Other relevant documents (if applicable)
The documentation should be submitted for examination by Customs officials. Any fees, taxes and/or duties must be paid at that time. After all fees are paid and provided the documents are in order, the car will be inspected and released from Customs' custody. Be aware of any procedures and regulations in the receiving country.
Leaving the Country with a Pet
The destination country will have their own rules and regulations regarding importation of pets and it is necessary to fully understand and comply with these before departure.
When taking animals out of Thailand it is necessary to submit an application request form (No. 1/1) to the International Animal Quarantine Station (AQS) at the exit port at least 15 days before departure. The family pets will then be examined by a veterinarian at the AQS who will issue a Health Certificate and an Export Licence (Form No. 9).
The following documents are required to ensure proper exportation of the pet:
- A copy of the owner's passport
- A copy of the health certificate and export licence
Thailand is a member of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and as such has restrictions on the exportation of many types of birds, insects and other wildlife.
- For further information on CITES: Click here
Most airlines will require an additional payment for the pet(s) to travel in cargo as excess baggage. There are specific areas in cargo for pets. Make sure the pets have enough food and water for the length of the flight.
There are relocation companies that can help in the whole process of exporting pets from Thailand.
- For further information from the Department of Livestock about leaving Thailand with a pet: Click here
Importing pets into other countries
For further information about importing pets into other countries use the links below.
- UK - The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs
- USA - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- The Europa website provides information on the requirements for bringing animals into the EU
- The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service
- Biosecurity New Zealand
Cancel newspaper and magazine subscriptions by contacting the organisation by telephone or email. Give them at least 30 days' notice.