What to Know About Moving to Thailand

Moving to a new country is an exciting prospect. Moving to Thailand, or anywhere in Southeast Asia, is an adventure in itself, whether you are moving to the Land of Smiles for work or retirement. However, most people want to be prepared before setting out to a new country, and Allied Thailand would like to help.

As part of a world-class relocation network, Allied Thailand has been welcoming new expatriates to Thailand for decades. If you are planning to move here, we would like to share some of our insights into what to know about moving to Thailand. For this article, we will concentrate on moving to Bangkok, the capital city, but much of what is discussed applies to all of Thailand.

What you may need to do before leaving your home country

Even before you start packing, you need to get your affairs in order so that you can start your new life in Thailand right away.


If you are moving to Thailand for work, you will need to coordinate your Non-Immigrant B Visa with your new employer. You will likely need to apply at the embassy in your home country first (this includes any family members traveling with you). Some of the documents you may need to supply with your application may be medical certification, a letter of employment, passport(s), and proof of education. Your employer should be able to help you with this, or you can ask your Allied Thailand move coordinator for assistance. If you are retiring in Thailand, you should apply for a three-month retirement visa at your local Thai embassy, and once you arrive in Thailand, you can extend it to a yearlong retirement visa. There are other long-term visa options, such as the SMART, Elite, and LTR programs. For more information, you can also contact your local Thai embassy.


Most employers will provide some level of health insurance, but you may want to look into getting supplementary coverage for you and your family. If you are moving to Thailand for retirement, you may be required to obtain a certain level of medical coverage. You can find out more when you apply for your retirement visa as to any insurance requirements.

Other documents

There are other documents you may need to update and bring with you, such as driver’s licenses, medical histories (including vaccination information), and children’s school transcripts (if they are going to attend school in Thailand). Allied Thailand’s relocation team can help you determine (or suggest resources to contact to find out) what you need to bring with you before you leave your current residence so that you do not run into any issues once you get to Thailand.

moving to Thailand

Getting settled in Thailand

Once you have arrived in Thailand, you may need to do more than unpack your things to truly get settled in.

Where to live, temporarily and permanently

You may have been able to arrange for a home or apartment before you moved to Thailand. That would be fantastic, as you are one step closer to making yourself at home. If not, there are plenty of serviced apartments and hotels that offer accommodations that are homier, with living areas and kitchen spaces, so you can be comfortable as you find a more permanent residence. Thailand has many realtors that specialize in working with expats. You can find referrals on social media, and Allied Thailand can help with resources for finding a home in Thailand as well.

Getting around

If you plan on driving in Thailand, you can use your home driver’s license for a while, as long as it has information in English. To make things easier, you can apply for an international license in your home country or get a Thai driver’s license when you get here. For those living in Bangkok, there is a very good public transport system between the Skytrain, MRT underground, and buses. Also, there are several rideshare services (Grab, Lineman, and Bolt) for which you can download apps, and many taxi drivers understand a reasonable amount of English.


Your employer should be able to help you set up a bank account in Thailand. Typically, companies here process their payroll through direct debit, so they should have a relationship with a bank to make things easier for you, including getting a local credit card. If you are coming to retire in Thailand, there is a bank account requirement. Your Thai embassy can help explain the process for you when you apply for your visa, and if you are applying here in Thailand, you may need to work with a visa agent or law firm to convert your current visa into a retirement one and get a bank account.

Schools, doctors, shopping, etc.

Thailand’s major cities, from Bangkok to Chiang Mai in the North and Phuket in the South, has world-class international schools that offer US, UK, and international curricula, including IGCSEs and International Baccalaureate programs. As for medical care, there are also internationally recognized and acclaimed hospitals and specialist care available across the country. You can find out more from their websites or find referrals on many expat social media forums. And there is no need to worry about groceries. Most cities have at least one, if not more, major supercenters where you can find fresh meats and produce as well as local and international products. Or you can dine out at local shophouses or at restaurants that feature cuisines from around the world.

Allied Thailand can help make your move to Thailand easier

These are just a few things to think about and plan for your move to Thailand. Allied Thailand Moving Company understands that moving to Thailand is more than just transporting your things from one place to another. We are committed to assisting our customers as much as possible in every aspect of their relocation to Bangkok, or any other city in Thailand. Our move coordinators are here not just to ensure a seamless relocation to your new home. They are also available to provide assistance with many of the points discussed in this article, offering resources so that you can make yourself at home more easily.