Phuket, a rainforested, mountainous island in the Andaman Sea, has some of Thailand’s most popular beaches, mainly situated along the clear waters of the western shore. The island is home to many high-end seaside resorts, spas and restaurants. Phuket City, the capital, has old shophouses and busy markets. Patong, the main resort town and a popular place to settle down.
Phuket has the second highest per capita income of any province in Thailand outside of Bangkok. Tourism has dominated the island’s economy for the past two decades. Each year, millions of visitors arrive to enjoy Phuket’s natural splendor and many amenities.
With a few exceptions, all foreigners engaged in any kind of work in Thailand must hold a valid work permit. These are issued by the Department of Employment, part of the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare.
Once you have a work permit, you can work and run a business legally, receive income from your business, open a Thai bank savings and checking account, apply for a Thai credit card and bank loans, sign up for a telephone line or mobile phone contract, import your personal belongings to Thailand, purchase a car or motorbike in your name, and apply for a one year visa extension. You will also be eligible to pay Thai income tax. However, you still cannot own land as a foreigner.
Foreigners can hold 100% ownership of businesses in non-restricted categories, such as exporting businesses and certain types of manufacturing businesses. Other methods to obtain 100% non-Thai control are through (1) application for an alien business license (2) Board of Investment (BOI) Promotion which may include assistance with an alien business license (3) registration through the Treaty of Amity (if you are an American citizen).
These include the British International School (BIS), United World College Thailand (UWCT) formerly known as Phuket International Academy (PIA), Headstart International School, Quality Schools International – Phuket (QSI), Kajonkiet International School (KISP), Rawai Progressive School, and Satree Phuket School – IPC. Curricula range from the British National Curriculum to Montessori. Students are accepted from 3 up to 12 or 18 years old, with some schools also offering full boarding. These schools typically run on an international trimester system with the school year beginning in August.
Private health insurance is a necessity for any foreigner living in Thailand, so make this a priority once you have arrived.
There are plenty of local and international insurance companies with a wide range of policies to suit any budget. However, most policies will only cover you within Thailand – policies which will cover medical expenses abroad are available but are much more expensive.
Much of the information here and a deeper understanding of living in Phuket can be found at www.Phuket.net