Home Visa/Immigration Requirements Thailand Visa Application and Immigration Requirements – 2019

Thailand Visa Application and Immigration Requirements – 2019

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This Article contains information on the Thailand Visa Application and Immigration Requirements: 2019. Thailand, officially the Kingdom of Thailand, formerly known as Siam, is a country at the center of the Indochinese peninsula in Mainland Southeast Asia. The country experienced rapid economic growth between 1985 and 1996. It ranks third in quality of life among the ten ASEAN countries.

Thailand Visa Application and Immigration Requirements - 2019

Yearly, many people travel to Thailand for numerous reasons either for tourism, business, study, visit or immigration. Depending on the purpose of the trip to Thailand, there are different types of visas that apply to the occasion.

So before applying for a Thai visa, it is necessary to know the Thai visa requirements and which of the visa category that you are eligible for.

REQUIREMENTS NEEDED FOR A THAILAND VISA APPLICATION

A passport is needed when traveling to other nations to show that you are a legal citizen, so why do we need to go the extra mile to obtain a visa?

Visas are different than passports in that they show why it is you are going to another country, as well as how long you plan on staying there.

Visas are usually granted to those who are working or studying abroad for a certain amount of time, however, there are other types of visas, including marriage and retirement visas.

All you have to do is apply for the correct one, which you’ll be able to after reading this post.

ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR THE MOST FREQUENT PURPOSES OF THE THAI VISA APPLICATION

Below are the different types of Thai visa, their requirements and the application process.

The Tourist Visa

Requirements:
  • In order to apply, you will need to have a passport with at least six months of remaining validity.
  • You must also have two passport photos.
  • You must have already purchased your flights, as a copy of your round trip tickets or confirmed itinerary is required.
  • You must also have proof that you have sufficient funds to be traveling in the first place (20,000 Baht per person and 40,000 Baht per family).

There are two types of tourist visa:

1. Tourist (3 months validity/up to 60 days/Single)

This is a single entry visa that gives you up to 60 days straight in Thailand.

2. Tourist (6 months validity/up to 60 days/Multiple Entries)

This is the newer, far better option that gives you a 6-month visa, allowing you to stay for 60 days at a time, but with multiple entries.

Application Process:

Obtaining a tourist visa is the least difficult visa to obtain as there are few requirements.

  • You apply for a tourist visa in your home country from the Thai Embassy or a Thai consulate.
  • After arrival in Thailand, if you need extra time, you can extend a tourist visa twice, each time for an additional 30 days.  There is a 1,900 Baht fee for each extension.
  • The extension of stay, as well as the change of a certain type of visa, is solely at the discretion of the Immigration officer.
  • There are two types of tourist Visa, the single entry a multiple entry. Please note that the requirements below may differ between countries.
  • Also note that single entry tourist visa are easy to obtain from countries neighbouring Thailand such as Laos or Cambodia. It is quite common for people to arrive in Thailand on a 30 day extension standard and then decide they want to stay longer.
  • They then do a visa run over the border to one of the neighbouring countries and visit the Thai embassy there to obtain a tourist visa.
Single Entry Requirements (maximum stay of up to 60 days)
  • A current passport with validity of over 6 months beyond the date of application.
  • Visa application form completely filled out.
  • Two (2) recent photos of the applicant.
Multiple Entry Requirements (maximum stay of up to 60 days each entry):
  • A current passport with validity of over 6 months beyond the date of application.
  • Visa application form completely filled out.
  • Two (2) recent photos of the applicant.
  • Original bank statement of the applicant showing a balance of least £5,000 (for 6 months) or a print out with official stamp of the bank*
  •  A letter from the applicant’s employer in the UK or Ireland, and addressed to the Royal Thai Embassy.
    – If you are self-employed, your self-assessment and a company registration document are required.
  •  A photocopy of the confirmed return air ticket to Thailand.
  •  A photocopy of the confirmed hotel reservation in Thailand.

The Work/Business Visa (Non-Immigrant “B” Visa)

Requirements:
  • This is a bit tricky to stipulate because there is no set business visa, rather a category (B) for which you have to submit documents depending on the business-related reason you require this type of visa.
  • For most work-related type visas you need two passport photos, a medical certificate, a valid passport, a letter of employment, a certificate of degree and proof of funds of 20,000 Baht (per person)
Work Permit:
  • Note that this visa isn’t a work permit. A work permit is obtained separately inside Thailand, and usually by your employer.
  • If you want to work in Thailand, you should apply for an initial 90-Day Non-Immigrant B visa from your home country under the employment category.
  • The work permit application then takes place during the initial 90 days of your visa. Once a valid work permit is obtained, the applicant then applies for the 1-Year Non-Immigrant B visa inside Thailand.
  • Once you have a work permit, 90-day reporting to any Thai Immigration Office is required. You’ll also need a re-entry permit if you wish to travel outside of the country. The good news is that renewal of this visa can be done inside Thailand.
Application Process:
  • As with all types of visa, the B visa must be obtained in your home country (or country other than Thailand). Single-entry and multiple-entry visas are valid for three months initially, though multiple-entry visas are valid for 1 year (leave every 90 days).
  • For single entry, your passport must be valid for 6 months or more, and for multiple entry the passport must be valid for 18 months or more.

The Retirement (OA) Visa

Requirements:

The retirement visa is also referred to as the non-immigrant “O-A,” or the long stay visa.

  • You must be at least 50-years-old and have a clean criminal background.
  • Two months prior to the visa, you must have a security deposit of 800,000 Baht in a Thai bank account, or a monthly income or pension of 65,000 Baht; or a total of 800,000 Baht through a combination of a bank deposit and income or pension for the entire year.
  • Every 90 days you must report to the immigration office regarding your current address in Thailand, but this can be done by mail if you do not wish to personally visit the immigration office.
  • An agent can also do this for you through power of attorney.
Application Process:
  • Before applying for a retirement visa in Thailand, you must first apply for a 90-day initial Non-Immigrant visa from the Thai embassy or a consulate in your home country.
  • Once you are on the last 30 days of your current permit to stay, you can file your retirement application. This is actually called an extension of stay based upon retirement.
  • Note that to support your application you must have an updated bank book or passbook and a bank letter stating that the money has been deposited to the account from an overseas source for not less than 2 months.

The Marriage Visa (Based On Having a Non Immigrant O Visa)

Requirements:
  • In order to get the 1-year extension of stay, you need to be married to a Thai national and not have any criminal history.
  • You must also have a monthly income of at least 40,000 Baht, or a Thai bank account with 400,000 Baht for two months.
  • There is some conflicting information from various legal sources on whether you can combine savings and income to meet the 400k financial requirement. However, the official law reads as follows:
  • In the case of marriage to a Thai woman, the alien husband must earn an average annual income of no less than Baht 40,000 per month or must have no less than Baht 400,000 in a bank account in Thailand for the past two months to cover expenses for one year.
  • Every year, this visa is renewable and this process can be done inside Thailand. The requirements to obtain the visa are the same as when you initially got it. You must also report every 90 days to the nearest immigration office with your current address.
  • Remember that if you want to travel outside of Thailand after having obtained your retirement visa, you will need a re-entry permit to do so. If you don’t get one, your visa will be cancelled when you exit the country.
  • You can apply for one at the nearest immigration office or at the international airport before leaving the country. Note that this does not apply to a 1-year multiple entry visa but a visa which was extended in Thailand for the period of 12 months.
Application Process:

Obtaining a Non Immigrant O Visa based on marriage is fairly straight forward. Simply apply at a Thai embassy or consulate inside your home country by providing the following:

  • A copy and translation of your marriage certificate
  • A copy of your wife’s passport or ID card.
  • 3 months bank statements showing a monthly income of more than £1,400

*Requirements may differ slightly between countries.

  • Once you have the Non-Immigrant O Multiple entry visa, you can travel to Thailand and activate the visa upon entry.
  • On the last 30 days of your 90-day permit to stay is when the 1-year extension can take place and, providing you meet the financial requirements, the processing time usually takes about a month.
  • Note that you don’t need to do the 1-year extension if you don’t want to. You could just leave every 90 days.

The Education Visa (1-year Non-Immigrant ED Visa)

Requirements:
  • You can apply for the Ed visa in your home country or from inside Thailand. Most people come in on a tourist visa and then find a school to sign up with. The school then duly sorts out the paperwork with the Ministry of Education.
  • If you are accepted, which you most likely will be, you will then have to leave Thailand and apply for the Non-Immigrant ED visa in any Thai embassy or consulate outside of Thailand. Most people hop over to Laos to do this.
  • People of every nationality can apply for a 1-year Non-Immigrant Education visa. Though nationals of the following countries must apply in their own country: Bangladesh, China, India, Iran, Sri-Lanka and Middle Eastern countries – don’t ask me why!
  • From inside your own country, you’ll need the usual suspects such as passport or travel document with a validity of not less than 6 months, and a recent 4 x 6 cm photograph.
  • In addition, you’ll need a letter of acceptance from the language school you wish to study at, and for those who intend to study in a private institution, you may require an official letter from the Ministry of Education of Thailand or other sub-authorities concerned, which is basically an approval of your enrollment and a copy of your registration certificate.
  • Note that there are slightly different documents required for internships and other more specific areas of study.
Application Process:
  • It’s actually much easier to apply for an education visa inside of Thailand because the language schools are crying out for students, and are therefore willing to do all the legwork required to sign you up.
  • The only hassle is having to go to Laos or any other country in the surrounding region to get your ED visa. But as I’m sure you can tell, this is why the ED visa became such a popular route for the “Oh my God, I don’t want to go home. How can I stay here for longer” type traveller.
  • On arrival back in Thailand you will be permitted to stay for 90 days. Once you have the school paperwork you can extend your stay every 90 days at the Bangkok Immigration Office for the duration of the course (up to a maximum of 3 years). The fee is 1,900 Baht for an extension.
  • Note that if you have a single entry ED visa, when you want to travel abroad, you have to get a re-entry permit to leave and come back in. This can be conveniently done at Suvarnabhumi Airport before you leave.

You can file to pause your visa so that the period of your leave will not be included in the duration of your visa. To get a re-entry permit, you need the following:

  • Passport and a  copy
  • One 4 x 6 cm passport photo
  • 1,000 Baht fee for single entry, and 3,800 Baht for multiple entry

The Thailand Elite Visa

  • The Thailand Elite Visa is a multiple entry visa, valid for five years, and renewable as long as the membership is still valid.
  • With the basic package starting at a cool 500,000 Baht, you will be granted a 1-year stay, with an extension possible at the end of the year.
  • The website doesn’t quite reflect this upmarket offering: the design is poor, the information hard to decipher and the pages slow to load – you would have thought they’d spend some of that money on a decent user experience.
  • That said, if you have the money, this is the easiest way to stay in Thailand long term, with fringe benefits that make you feel important.

 

*Note: When applying at the Thai embassy/consulate in home country, the guardian or parent should accompany their under-age children.

Please consult the Thai Embassy in your country for the updated Thai Visa requirements!

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