Can a foreigner in Thailand open a current/checking account?

I'll be staying in thailand for 6 months and I don't want to be carrying my money around with me. So I think the best option for me would be to open an account in a bank there. But I heard somewhere that foreigners are not allowed to? Is that true? Please give me information regarding this. Thanks!


Country: Thailand


While you will be here, absolutely you can open the bank account here. There are many commercial banks available, you need to provide just your passport.

Any further comments and questions will be appreciated.

Kindest regards,

Nithi Subhongsang
Products & Sales Manager

Ayutthaya Boat&Travel
You will generally need a passport and a letter of recommendation. See the following page for full details:

Unique Thai holiday home experiences!

to open saving A/C u can BUT currency A/C I am NOT sure
coz you don't have work permit here !
some BANK need the letter from your Embassy as well .. after u gave Passport & the Recommendation letter..
No bank account I'm afraid.

Personal experience (and the law) tells me that you can only open a bank account if you have a non immigrant visa and a work permit - although some branches of banks may not insist on the work permit.

Your regular credit / debit card (which will work in most ATMs) and travellers cheques (insured and easily replaced) are the best way forward if you aren't going to have the correct papers.

Sorry - it's gotta be done the traditional way I'm afraid!
Previously, I took my wife to a bank in the provinces and they accepted her as my work permit I suppose.

They've got stricter recently though.
i can answer you 100% sure - no account.
3 days ago i was in 5 banks and all of them answer - only with work permit. and debit account, and credit.
BUT! company where you work can open account for your name.
They sure can because if you have a job you will hopefully have a non-immigrant visa and a work permit!!!
not all companys make for those staff non-imigrate visa and work permit. russian companys do it only for office staff who sure will work long time.
My English wife opened a savings account with Bangkok Bank showing her passport only and the account was registered to a room in a guesthouse! (This was before we were married and she was travelling on a tourist visa). She was able to get an ATM card too.
strange, because when i was in Bangkok Bang they ask about work permit too.
In Khorat I got a bank account because I had a good wai and a nice smile. They are a lot stricter in Bangkok than in the provinces though - no amount of smiling works!
Hi there,
Siam Commercial Bank issue a bank account, and give a debit card (for a small charge) with only a Passport. From experience some banks do ask for recommendation letters and/or work permits. You of course need an opening balance amount, transfers from International Bank accounts normally take 4-5 working days.

Good Luck with your trip!
You can open a non-resident savings account at Kasikorn Bank on any visa. All they require is a copy of your passport and a small cash deposit. Unfortunately you do not get any interest on the account.
For me to open an account it took ....

Passport, longer then 3 month visa (preferably 1 year) and a lease (with your name) ...

Smiles go a long way, so if you are not sure, just ask with a big smile and be polite then you might just get it ... :)

You need a passport. Nothing else. If one bank says no, walk down the street to the next.
I was faced to this problem when I started in Thailand. The first bank asked a "10'000 THB" comission to open an account which I refused. As soon as I had a work permit it was not a problem anymore. But it seems that some bank branches will do it why they are not informed about the rules.
In recent times this area has been tightened (meaning its regulations). Most banks require a passport, work permit and salary slip as proof of work. There are also procedures with applying for international transfers (via internet) and are limited to certain amounts.

In saying that, my advice is through personal experience and there may be ways around this if you know the right people.
I'm not sure but you will probaly need a work permit to open an account. It's mean for tourist you may not be able.
But maybe depending of the banks or even nationality...
Any foreigner can open a savings bank account, must bring your passport with you, and have a postal address in Thailand(this can be a friends address, or sometimes they will accept the address of a hotel) will cost around 500 baht, a ATM card will cost you a further 300 baht. Check out which bank you go to as some now offer a card similar to the UK debit card, which you can use to pay in supermarkets and shops like that. To open a current account which includes a credit card and interest rates you must hold a current work permit, and have a permanent address in Thailand.
Some banks will say you need a work permit, look around at different banks or even branches of the same one. You will find one that will give you one with just your passport.
Indeed, it depends on the bank and even on the branch :P TIT; This Is Thailand, dont forget. Banking here is still in the middleages, but yes, you can open a bank account when you only have a tourist visa, even without a wife or Thai girlfriend :D
If you are travelling on a tourist visa, you won't be able to open a bank account but if you have arrived on a 1 year business visa then you should have no problem.
Sorry, Peter, wrong answer: I had a bank account open at BBL with a visa on arrival, and I know Kasikorn still allows the opening of a bank account with a tourist visa, it is just that you have to convince them :P
I have a bank account with Kasikornbank which I obtained on the strength of my 1 year business visa, however a friend who has is working here on a 12 month contract but has only a tourist visa whilst waiting for his work permit to come through was refused an account and told he would need a business visa or work permit.
very easy & quick to open a saving a/c, for current a/c you'll need at least a work permit, but the former is ok.
banks: can recommend kasikorn bank & siam commercial bank
Sorry Mauri, but I dont have a work permit and still have the 2 accounts, a current account and a saving account, but the current account at Kasikorn is called a saving account, and the saving account is called a fix account or a time deposit account
hi gee (frm siamhotel hehe!)
you got retirement visa, that's the reason.
You need a work permit
Again: you DO NOT need a work permit: I dont have a work permit and have 3 accounts in 2 banks!
This all depends which bank you go to. If you plan to be here a long time it is pretty easy but if you have a short stay tourist visa very difficult. Best to bring a good Thai friend along who has a good job with you to the bank. If they already have a bank account there at the same bank they can sign a letter of guarantee for you. A permanent address such as a home,rental home or condo might be need. Use your friends address if need be. I did this when I first came here on a non-imm Visa as I needed a bank account to get my retirement visa. Now I have 3 accounts, which was easy to obtain with my retirement visa.

Take care,
The prevailing opinion is NO. Most banks these days will require a work permit. Just use your ATM card.
While you will be here, absolutely you can open the bank account here.
There are many commercial banks available, some of them you need to provide just your passport, and some you have to provide Passport and Work Permit or Any paper from your ambassy for garanti.

But do not worry to much, it's easy to found a solution !!

Have a good trip..

;) Eric..
From experience some banks do ask for recommendation letters and/or work permits. You of course need an opening balance amount, transfers from International Bank accounts normally take 4-5 working days.
Generally speaking the answer is no.
However goto any bank and just ask.
Some people can open an account with the address of their guesthouse.
You will need your passport.
My bank account was not given on the strength of my visa, but the fact a representitive from the school I was working at came with me. You'll need to pay a fee for the ATM card which is payable every year.
Officially need a work permit.
But one my friend recently came with 3 months visa opened an account easily from Kasikorn bank last month.

Siam Commercial does if you have a proper address and a passport (at least they do at Phuket)
I guess u will need the basic documents. If u have a company setting up in thailand, use the company document. if u do not have , will have to get the letter from the Embassy located in Thailand or to get one before u leave yr home country. Coz when I opened my bank account in Bangkok, they asked for my passport and my work permit. And in Bangkok, current / check account usually are opened under a company. Individuals like us they will asked us to open a savings account with ATM card for withdrawal. SCB is the widest network avaliable in the whole thailand.
I have read all the options here.
For u i can suggest u to bring ur Credit card & Visa Card. hope u will enjoy all with the two cards!
Definitely u can can try to open an account. If they agree, OK. If not use ur cards!
Pls. inform ur experience!
yes you can. Go to a bank that is used by expats in an expat-area. And you open an account in 15 minutes. You do need to have an (home)address though.

A lot of conflicting information here because nothing is set in stone. Rules can be bent and if you dress well, smile and chat politely with the staff then you have a good chance of opening an account in most major banks. I remember when i first arrived and went into kasikorn bank on ratachada road. The manager asked me where i was from and when i said England he smiled and said he supported liverpool football club. I told him they were the best team in the world. After that it was all plain sailing and he opened up the account straight away. He actually even began singing 'You'll never walk alone' as i signed the forms. Amazing Thailand :-)

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