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Working in Singapore with home in Thailand

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Fortan
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Working in Singapore with home in Thailand

Postby Fortan » Thu, 02 Jan 2014 2:02 pm

My wife and I have been discussing the possibility of us moving to Bangkok to live. We are considering buying a nice condo there and that will be the family residence and our base for good. We have moved around too much the last many years and we need to settle and we both agree that we will most likely not settle in here.

My plan is to spend app. 120 working days or less, in Singapore each year in the coming years. Travelling down from Bangkok every second week

I've been trying to do some calculations based on the calendar year 2014 and this is what I come up with:

We pay close to S$ 70,000 in rent a year now and we can find an even better and bigger place for that for less than half in Bangkok. Probably around S$ 25,000. That gives us a cost saving of around S$ 45,000 a year.

I will however have to bear the cost of around 100 hotel nights here in Singapore at app. SGD 20,000. I will also have to travel back and forth twice a month but with the budget airlines here, that'll not amount to more than probably S$ 5,000 a year. These costs will no doubt be a lot less as I will have to travel for business purposes as well and will travel out of Bangkok.

So the very simple math tells me:
Rent now: S$ 70,000
Rent BKK: S$ 25,000
Hotel SIN: S$ 20,000
Flights: S$ 5,000

Saving per year: S$ 20,000 and that is not including the savings we will have on food etc which will most likely be at least the same.

We are however, not doing this because of the savings alone but because we both love living in Thailand (we have lived there before). It is less convenient but it would give us a better life we feel, so if we can make it work we will.

The question I have is - how does the MoM look at cases like this? Would there be any problems with getting an EP? I know I would still be fully taxable in Singapore and I am not trying to avoid anything in regards to taxes, so that is fine with me but is there anything I need to be aware of?

I am not sure how the Thai authorities will look at this but from what I understand, it shouldn't be any problem.

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Postby Wd40 » Thu, 02 Jan 2014 3:10 pm

Nice thread! I am also looking forward for the responses :)

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Postby Beeroclock » Thu, 02 Jan 2014 3:30 pm

The economics make sense. For me personally being separated from wife/kids for 30+% of the year would not work, but that's a personal thing. I gather you and wife have thought through and are comfortable with this kind of arrangement.

My first thought (perhaps it will get shot down badly): I'm sure you have friends here, if you are close to someone who owns their place in Singapore, is there anything stopping you making a lease with them (e.g. $1/month), and then use that as official residence here? I'm not saying you necessarily stay with them, you can still do the hotels, but need to pay a visit every now and then to collect your mail. Is this possible or crossing a line somewhere?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 02 Jan 2014 4:53 pm

Provided you can work out the logistics with the Sing government re: EP and living in Thailand, it is eminently doable. In fact. All of us offshore oil types (me no longer but 20 years out there) work variations of month on/ month off or 2 & 1 (2 months on & 1 off). This was back in the day before cell phones and other forms of contact, e.g., Internet and the only contact with shore was via Immarsat which was bloody expensive and off limits to all except the capt, company man and tool pusher/rig administrator. I also did it for a couple of years with a seismic survey company as their land based administrator which had me put up in a hotel in a port town near wherever the survey was being conducted. Pretty similar scenario.

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Postby Wd40 » Thu, 02 Jan 2014 5:09 pm

I think MoM shouldnt have a problem with you staying in Thailand and working for Singapore entity. Your current EP should be good enough. EP Online has an option to update your foreign address as your residential address.

IRAS will treat you as a tax resident, because you are "employed" in Singapore for the whole year.

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Postby PNGMK » Thu, 02 Jan 2014 5:36 pm

Good plan. I couldn't handle the time away from my wife tho.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 02 Jan 2014 9:50 pm

How do you plan on becoming a permanent resident of Thailand? I had working visas through my company that permitted me and wife to live there legally but from the Thai visa forums this would seem to be a stumbling block.

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Postby nutnut » Thu, 02 Jan 2014 10:21 pm

I'm interested in potentially doing something similar in a couple of years if prices continue to rise, it's getting too expensive here! I think you can get a Thai retirement visa if you are over 50, but, I'd be interested to hear how else you cover that off.
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Postby Fortan » Fri, 03 Jan 2014 8:35 am

I am below 50 so can't do the retirement visa right now. However I am married to a Thai which should make things somewhat easier. At first I don't expect to become a resident but simply fly in and out on tourist visas. That should work I reckon (without having looked further into it).

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Postby Fortan » Fri, 03 Jan 2014 8:38 am

Beeroclock wrote:The economics make sense. For me personally being separated from wife/kids for 30+% of the year would not work, but that's a personal thing. I gather you and wife have thought through and are comfortable with this kind of arrangement.

My first thought (perhaps it will get shot down badly): I'm sure you have friends here, if you are close to someone who owns their place in Singapore, is there anything stopping you making a lease with them (e.g. $1/month), and then use that as official residence here? I'm not saying you necessarily stay with them, you can still do the hotels, but need to pay a visit every now and then to collect your mail. Is this possible or crossing a line somewhere?


The thing about being separated from the wife and kids - I am not so sure it would make such a huge difference. The weeks I will be in Thailand, I will be working out of my home office and as such I will be present full time. The amount of time spent in Singapore would also be reduced when I have to go on business trips to somewhere else, which means that I would not be at home anyway. We have been together for a long time and I have always been away between 60 up to 150 days a year due to business travel.... so in my case, it is not going to change much. Perhaps I will even get to spend more time around my family because of the home office...

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Postby Strong Eagle » Fri, 03 Jan 2014 9:17 am

Fortan wrote:I am below 50 so can't do the retirement visa right now. However I am married to a Thai which should make things somewhat easier. At first I don't expect to become a resident but simply fly in and out on tourist visas. That should work I reckon (without having looked further into it).


This might work... and beware! Before we got our work visas, my wife was flying in and out of BKK nearly every two weeks, sometimes weekly. She flew back up one Sunday evening and it must have been a slow night because they determined she had been in the country for 93 days of the past 180, a violation of the VOA rules. She was kept overnight at the tourist hotel at BKK and stuck on a plane back to Singapore the next morning.

Apparently this is not an issue if you get a visa at the Thai embassy in Singapore, which she did, and then flew up on Monday afternoon. It only applies to VOA but goes to show that life could get complicated.

http://www.onethailand.com/forums/trave ... s-224.html

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Postby Beeroclock » Fri, 03 Jan 2014 9:35 am

Fortan wrote:
Beeroclock wrote:The economics make sense. For me personally being separated from wife/kids for 30+% of the year would not work, but that's a personal thing. I gather you and wife have thought through and are comfortable with this kind of arrangement.

My first thought (perhaps it will get shot down badly): I'm sure you have friends here, if you are close to someone who owns their place in Singapore, is there anything stopping you making a lease with them (e.g. $1/month), and then use that as official residence here? I'm not saying you necessarily stay with them, you can still do the hotels, but need to pay a visit every now and then to collect your mail. Is this possible or crossing a line somewhere?


The thing about being separated from the wife and kids - I am not so sure it would make such a huge difference. The weeks I will be in Thailand, I will be working out of my home office and as such I will be present full time. The amount of time spent in Singapore would also be reduced when I have to go on business trips to somewhere else, which means that I would not be at home anyway. We have been together for a long time and I have always been away between 60 up to 150 days a year due to business travel.... so in my case, it is not going to change much. Perhaps I will even get to spend more time around my family because of the home office...

Sounds a good fit in your case. For me the impending divorce costs would blow the economics out the water :lol:

One other thing about my earlier idea to keep a Singapore address is just to keep options open. In case you change your mind later and opt in favour of Singapore for the long-term and want to try for PR, then you won't have a gap in your residency period here. But if you've firmly decided then it's irrelevant.

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Postby x9200 » Fri, 03 Jan 2014 9:43 am

Thai visa regulation changed a few years ago for a number of countries and the change also included US as far as I could see.

http://bangkok.usembassy.gov/service/th ... icans.html

U.S. citizens carrying a tourist passport and in possession of an onward or return airline ticket do not require a visa to enter Thailand.

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Postby Fortan » Fri, 03 Jan 2014 10:14 am

It is one of the things I need to look at. I might be able to get some kind of different visa, since I am married to a Thai. This idea will not materialize before in about 1.5 years, so got plenty of time. Need to see out my rental agreement here first.

Just googled it and this popped up:

http://www.siam-legal.com/thailand-visa ... e-Visa.php

Pretty straight forward I reckon.

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Postby Wd40 » Fri, 03 Jan 2014 10:25 am

The current anti gahmen protests in Bangkok, may give you a good entry point in terms of the Thai Baht value and apartment prices. Keep a watch!
Why do you want to rent in Bangkok? Buy something.


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