The holder of a certificate of residence is entitled to reside in Thailand indefinitely and are reserved for those foreigners who seriously intend to reside in Thailand for the rest of their lives, or for those who are married to a Thai national. It also allows foreigners to change jobs without seeking approval from the Immigration Bureau, so long as they do not work in any of the prohbited industries.
To be eligible to apply for a certificate of residence the applicant must first successfully obtain a one-year non-immigrant visa for three consecutive years. Applicants must also be able to prove that they meet minimum monthly income requirements.
Applications must be submitted to the Immigration Bureau, accompanied by a letter from a reputable organization or individual justifying that the applicant is well admitted to the Thai community, that the applicant has sufficient financial standing and that the applicant does not have a detrimental record in Thailand.
Once an application has been approved, the Immigration Bureau will issue a certificate of residence, also known as a blue book. The holder of this certificate must then register their place of residence at the local district office and obtain a certified copy of a "house card," certifying their place of residence. Within seven days of receiving this blue book, the holder must then apply for an alien book, also known as a red book, at the police station having jurisdiction over his or her place of residence. The alien book is valid for a period of either one or five years as selected by the book holder.
If the holder of the certificate wishes to travel outside of Thailand they must file a "notification of departure for re-entry" with the Immigration Bureau and obtain an "endorsement of departure for return." This is valid for one year from the date of issue, and if the holder fails to return within the validity period, their certificate of residence will expire and they will be forced to repeat the process for obtaining a certificate of residence. These "departure for re-entry" forms can be used for any number of trips in and out of Thailand during the one-year period. However, in addition to the "notice of departure for re-entry," the holder must also obtain a re-entry permit from the Immigration Bureau prior to every international trip.
Dependents of a holder of a certificate of residence must independently establish their immigration status. Thus, a husband's certificate does not cover his wife, nor does it cover his children, except for those under 12 years of age.