Thailand Visas

  • Posted onJune 6th, 2014

Thia VisaIf you’re planning your first trip to Thailand, or simply wanting to stay longer than previous trips, you may well be scratching your head, trying to understand the different types of visas available and the many rules, regulations, and requirements that come along with applying for a visa to Thailand.

There are a number of different visa available to foreigners wishing to enter Thailand. Here is our guide to the most popular:

Thai Entry StampVisa Exemption aka Entry Stamp

The first and most common visa is not really a visa at all, but a visa waiver. If you hold a passport from a country whose residents qualify for visa exemption in Thailand you can enter the country without a visa – instead receiving an Entry Stamp.

When entering by air you will be given an Entry Stamp which will allow you to stay for 30 days in Thailand and if entering by land you will get a 15-day Entry Stamp. You do not need to fill out any visa application, even at immigration, you only need to complete an entry card.

There are 48 countries whose citizens qualify for visa exemption. You can find a list of them here – http://www.thaiembassy.com/thailand/changes-visa-exempt.php

It is also possible to get an extension to an entry stamp (which is 14 days on a 30 day stamp, and 7 days on a 15 day stamp). You can do this at an immigration office in Thailand, but you can only extend it once, after which you will have to leave Thailand. The charge for a visa extension is 1900 Baht.

You have the option to do a visa run (i.e. visit a Thai border crossing point and pass through immigration and then re-enter, or simply fly out of Thailand and fly straight back, even the same day. However, if you do this too many times you may eventually be refused entry. The general rule is to only allow 3 x land entries succession per person.

Thai Tourist VisaTourist Visa

If you’re looking to stay in Thailand for tourism longer than an Entry Stamp will give you, you may want to apply for a Tourist Visa.

You can apply for a Tourist Visa at just about any Thai Embassy around the world, but you cannot get one within Thailand. Most Thai Embassies will offer you different types of Tourist Visa; a single-entry tourist visa, which allows you to make one entry to Thailand (for 60 days), or a double-entry visa which allows you enter Thailand twice (for 60 days – as long as it is within the expiry date of the visa), and a multi or triple-entry visa (which will allow you to enter 3 times). Not all Thai embassies will offer these three options, with some embassies only offering single-entry.

These visas only allow you to entry Thailand as a tourist and do not allow you to work or study in the country. As with an Entry Stamp, a Tourist Visa can be extended at an immigration office, and for a period of 30 days. This can be done for every entry of a double or triple entry visa, effectively meaning each entry of a Tourist Visa can be as long as 90 days. You will also be required to pay a fee of 1900 Baht for each extension.

UK PassportNon-Immigrant Visas

There are several Non-Immigrant visas available, though the most common are Non-Imm B, Non-Imm Ed, and Non-Imm O.

Non-Immigrant B visa

A ‘B’ visa is basically a business visa, allowing you to either work or conduct business in Thailand.

This is not a Work Permit and does have some limitations; however, you will first need to get a B visa in order to apply for a Work Permit.

There are several documents you will need in order to successfully apply for a B visa, the most important one being a letter from your employer or the company you are to be employed by or conduct business with, explaining the purpose of your visit.

Non-Immigrant Ed visa

The ‘Ed’ visa is an Education Visa, allowing you to enter Thailand for the purpose of study. It does not allow you to work.

To make a successful application for this visa you will again need certain paper work, the most important being your registration documents to prove that you are enrolled on a full time course of study in Thailand – which can only be provided from the school you will be attending.

Non-Immigrant O Visa

The “O” basically stands for ‘other’ and this is the kind of visa you’ll want to apply for if you wish to retire in Thailand, or get a one-year spouse visa.

In order to get a retirement visa you’ll need to be 50 years of age or older and be able to prove you have a monthly income of 65.000 Baht or at least 800,000 Baht in savings.

The spouse visa obviously requires you to prove that you are married to a Thai national. You’ll need to provide your original marriage certificate, as well as a copy of your partners ID and a few other pieces of paperwork.

Royal Thai ImmigrationOverstays

What happens if you stay in Thailand beyond your visa or entry stamp expiry? Well, you risk getting put in a immigration detention centre while your deportation is arranged – which will be a traumatic experience and can last up to several weeks, being kept in prison like conditions. Though it’s unlikely you’d get caught it’s not worth the risk.

If you do attempt to leave the country with an expired visa, when you pass through immigration you will receive a fine of 500 Baht for every day you have overstayed (with the maximum fine being 20,000 baht).

You will not actually get in trouble at immigration as long as you pay the fine. The risk is if you are ask to show your passport to a police official anywhere outside of the airport. If they see that your visa has expired you will be arrested and in a bit of trouble,

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