Visa in Thailand

Visa In Thailand

Depending on the nationality and purpose, a foreigner may need a visa to be able to enter the Kingdom as a tourist or for business or personal purposes. This is subject on the nationality which has some exemptions.  Having the correct Visa will secure your legal stay according to your purposes. According to immigration services, these visas are divided into following types such as: a) Non-Immigrant Visa b) Tourist Visa c) Marriage Visa d) Retirement Visa

Types Of Visas

  • Tourist Visa

    • These are nationalities whose visiting if purely on tour purposes, not to live permanently or receive permanent residence status, and they are included on nationalities which need application of Visa before entering the Kingdom. This can be for Tourism Purposes (Visa Exemption scheme, Tourist Visa (Single or Multiple Entries) and Special Tourist Visa (Single Entry Only).
  • Thailand Elite Visa

    • This is a program under “Thailand Privilege Card” which can be availed at Thai Elite Visa Office which has a duration of 5 , 10, 20 years under a Privilege Entry Visa “PE”)
  • Non-Immigrant “Business” Visa (Non-Immigrant B)

    • This Visa is intended for those who want to work in Thailand, and functions as a valid work permit. This can be applied in Thailand Embassy or through converting a tourist visa to a Non-Immigrant Visa with an initial length of 90 days and can be extended to 1 year. The employer shall sponsor applicant's visa application and the work permit must be obtained during the initial 90 days through the initial visa. Upon obtaining the work permit, the employee shall apply for 1 year extension inside the kingdom.
    • A passport with at least 6 months validity from the arrival to Thailand or upon application of Visa if ever it is intended to be converted.
    • An invitation or confirmation letter to clarify the purpose of travel issued by the concerned organization, entity or company from Thailand.
    • Applicable Embassy fee
    • Documents provided by the company must be stamped and signed by the Director.
    A foreigner wishing to enter Thailand for reasons other than tourism must apply for a Non-Immigrant visa before arrival. The application can be for a one-year multiple-entry visa with an initial 90-day stay or for a single-entry 90-day visa. There are numerous types of non-immigrant visa categories but the most commonly issued are:
    • Business (B-type)
    • Marriage (O-type)
    • Dependent or Retirement (O-type)
    • Education (ED-type)
    Additional Categories
    In addition to these types of non-immigrant visa, there are several other categories, including:
    • Type D - a diplomatic visa issued to employees of foreign embassies in Thailand
    • Type M - for accredited mass media representatives
    • Type EX - for applicants who perform skilled or expert work in a certain fields
    • Type IM or IB - visa types for foreign investors under certain government guidelines
    • Type F - for a foreigner performing official duties
    • Type R - for missionaries
    • Type RS - for individuals engaged in scientific research
    • Type S - for those participating in sporting events
    The non-immigrant visa indicates the period during which the holder can enter Thailand. This does not relate to the length of time the visa holder will be granted as their permission to stay in the country. The permission to stay is indicated by a date stamped in the foreigner’s passport by the Immigration official, showing the date by which they must exit the country.
  • Marriage or Guardian Visa

    This visa is intended those who are married with Thai Nationals, or whose spouse is employed by a company in Thailand or has a son or daughter who are Thai nationals or pursuing education in Thailand.  According to Immigration Act B.E.2522, a foreigner married to a Thai national (i.e. a person of Thai nationality already holding permanent resident status and Thai national ID card) is eligible to apply for a marriage visa in Thailand. The first requirement is for the applicant to have entered the country with a non-immigrant visa. The holder of the non-immigrant visa can then apply within ninety days of entering Thailand for a one-year extension to stay based on marriage. There are also financial requirements which must be met. Once the permission to stay has been extended, the visa holder is allowed to stay in the Kingdom for a full year without having to leave the country. The one-year permit to stay is renewable every year.
    Requirements And Benefits
    marriage visa in Thailand is applicable not only directly in the case of a Thai spouse, but also in cases where another family member is a Thai national – although this is limited to the biological children, spouse, adopted children, children of the spouse, or parents. To apply for a marriage visa there are certain requirements that the foreign applicant must meet which include:
    • Must be legally married to a Thai citizen.
    • The applicant must also be able to show an income of 40,000 baht or 400,000 baht in a Thai bank account that has been in the account for at least 60 days at the time of application.
    • The bank deposit requirement changes to three months on subsequent annual re- applications. To meet the monthly income requirement, income from outside of Thailand can be in the form of a pension, investment income or other sources.
    Provided the monthly income is sufficient and can be proven via official documents, the applicant does not need to be employed. It is not required for the foreign wife of a Thai husband to show her monthly income, but when the foreign wife applies for an visa extension to stay in the country, based on their marriage, the Thai husband must be able to show proof that he has paid income tax in Thailand. A marriage visa provides the holder with a number of benefits which include:
    • A full year's permission to stay with possible multiple entries into the country during that period and annual renewals without the requirement of leaving the country.
    • Eligible to apply for a work permit
    • Able to open a savings account with a Thai bank.
    Multiple Entry - Extention Of Stay
    Those holding a non-immigrant visa and wishing to travel outside of Thailand during their permitted duration of stay, must obtain either a single or multiple re-entry permit before exiting the country, otherwise the visa they hold will no longer be valid when they try to re-enter Thailand.

    At the end of the initial 90-day period granted by the non-immigrant visa, it is possible to apply for an extension of stay from within Thailand, and the rules vary depending on the visa type. The extension of a business visa follows a different set of regulations that are more rigorous. If the Immigration Bureau grants an extension of stay, the visa holder must report to Immigration Office every 90 days to register their address. There is a fine for failure to comply with this regulation.

    If an extension of stay is not granted, the foreigner may not stay in Thailand permanently and will need to leave the country to apply for another non-immigrant visa at a Thai embassy or consulate in their home country or in another country near to Thailand, if they so wish.
  • Retirement Visa

    This are foreigners who are aged 55 years old with at least a 3- month old savings in any Thai Bank Account amounting at THB 800,000.  Many visitors to Thailand are so captivated by the country that they decide to return to spend their retirement years in the Kingdom. Thai immigration law makes provisions for foreigners wishing to stay in the country on a long-term basis for retirement by issuing a Retirement Visa to those that qualify. The requirements for an application of such a visa are as follows:
    • An applicant must be at least 50 years old
    • Have a non-immigrant visa
    • Must be able to produce a monthly income (pension statement) of at least 65,000 Thai Baht OR 800,000 in the bank that has remained in the account for at least three months.
    Although the process itself is not all that complex, there is substantial documentation required and a number of steps are involved. Legal assistance can ensure that the application process proceeds smoothly. Once obtained the holder of the retirement visa can remain in Thailand for a full year without having to leave the country. The one-year permit to stay is renewable annually.
    A retirement visa provides several benefits which include:
    • If the original non-immigrant visa was issued with a multiple entry permit the visa holder can enter the country multiple times during the period of validity of the visa.
    • It can be converted into a one-year retirement visa, which can be renewed annually without having to leave the country
    • The holder of a retirement visa is eligible to open a savings account at a Thai bank.

Steps On Applying For Visa

  • Check your nationality needs, to apply for a Tourist Visa in case you are for leisure and traveling in Thailand and check the requirements for Non-Immigrant for the needed documents.Tourist Visa
  • Upon receiving all the documents overseas, check for the documents if complete and must be authenticated by the issuing individual with stamps.
  • During the present Covid-19, an appointment to the embassy must be coordinated by the applicant.
  • Submit the documents and pay the government fee.
  • Check for the update on the application for COE (Certificate of Entry) subject to the changes endorsed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Ministry of Health.

Responsibility Of The Possessor Of Visa

  • Upon receiving the Tourist Visa or Non-Immigrant Visa, it is the possessor responsibility to extend the Visa for another 30 days, 6 months or 1 year depending the purpose, requirements and documents that will be presented.
  • If the possessor of a visa intends to exit the Kingdom during the validity of the visa, he can apply for a single or multiple entry permit.
  • Possessor of Visa must do a 90-day report at the Chaengwatta and in case in provinces, a foreigner must apply to the nearby immigration.

Permanent Residence (Thailand)

A foreigner may apply for permanent residence in Thailand after holding a Thai non-immigrant visa for a minimum of three years, consecutively. Each application for Thai Permanent Residency must be submitted annually between the start of October and the end of December. The annual quota for granting a Thai Permanent Residence permit is a maximum of 100 persons per country.

Applicants must meet the following requirements before granting permanent residency in Thailand:

  • Hold a valid passport issued by the country of their current nationality, along with a Thai non-immigrant visa permitting them to stay in the Kingdom for at least three (3) consecutive years.
  • If the applicant is over 14 years of age, they must complete a criminal record check
  • Viewing of financial, family, social status, employment, and educational background.

You must also be able to meet one of these categories to apply for Permanent Resident status in Thailand:

  • Investment Category.
    • In which an applicant must have brought a minimum of ten million THB into the Kingdom. (Applicant must provide proof of these investment funds coming into the country)
  • Working / Business Category
    • Must be in the position of executive officer in a Thai company with a minimum of ten million THB capitalization and must have a monthly income of 50,000 THB (minimum)
    • The applicant must have filed a tax return for the amount of 100,000 THB annual income for the last two years
    • Must earn a minimum annual income of 80,000 THB a month for at least the past two years.
  • Humanity Reason Category
    • The applicant must be in a relationship with a Thai citizen or a foreigner who is already in possession of a residence permit. This includes either a legal mother or father, a legal wife or husband, or a child who is single and under the age if twenty up to the application submission date.
  • Expert Category
    • The applicant must have graduated with minimum a bachelors degree and possess a skill or ability that is sought after, which will benefit the country for a period of three years, at the least.

Benefits of Permanent Residence (PR)

There are several benefits to having Permanent Residence (PR) in Thailand. Here are the most prominent ones;

  • Staying in Thailand without a visa or having to make 90-day reports or visa extensions.
  • Applying for an extension of stay for all non-Thai family members.
  • Buying property without having to transfer money from abroad.
  • Becoming a director of a public company.
  • Obtaining a work permit very quickly and without hassle.
  • Obtaining a permanent residence book and alien registration book.
  • Applying for Thai citizenship.

Extra Circumstances

In order for Thai Immigration to grant approval for the permanent residence application, the Royal Thai Immigration Commission will take into its consideration the applicants' qualifications in terms of assets, knowledge, income, professional expertise, national security, personality, health, relationship with a Thai naturalized citizen (or Thai national), the understanding of Thai language, and other appropriate conditions due to current economic and social surroundings, and government policy.

This includes the family or humanity reasons category, such as Thailand family visa or Thai child visa.

After accepting an application for permanent residence, Immigration officials will grant a 180 day extension of stay from the date the application was submitted. Additional 180-day visa extensions are granted until the result of the application is announced. An interview with an Immigration officer is required, which will include a test of the applicant's spoken and written understanding of the Thai language.

Permanent Residence Fees

There is a Thai government, non-refundable application fee if 7,600 THB for a permanent residency permit. However, the government fee payable is 191,400 THB if permanent residence is granted to the applicant, unless the applicant is a minor under the age of 20- in which casethe fee is 95,700 THB. The government fees may vary from time to time so it is important to ensure and recheck this information again before proceeding.

Please note that professional fees are not included in the amounts mentioned above. Professional Fees can include the following services;

  • Prepare your PR application
  • Escort you to submit application and short interview with immigration officer
  • Prepare you for your full interview in front of the Panel
  • Schedule Thai Lessons to prep you for understanding and answering
  • Schedule Rehearsals 3 to 4 times on how to answers questions asked
  • Escort you to the Interview

PR Time Frame

Getting Permanent Residence Certificate can take a substantial amount of time. In the last 5 years the time frame has been reduced significantly but it still is a concern. Here is what to expect;

  • Submit Application
    2 to 4 Weeks
  • Interview
    3 to 4 months
  • Acceptance
    18 to 20 months

Juslaws & Consult

Juslaws & Consult offer legal services that assist individuals and companies in obtaining their Thai Permanent Resident Visa with a simplified and coordinated approach. You may reach us for inquiries so that we can further assess your required documents, permanent visa or permanent residency applications, permanent resident status, or which visa can fit you best.  Juslaws & Consult have years of experience with all types of visas and immigration issues including permanent residence in Thailand, plus in-depth knowledge of Thailand's immigrations laws and procedures. We provide wide-ranging services to individuals applying for visas and permit-to-stay extensions. Contact Juslaws & Consult for more information.