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Visas

Thailand - Visas


Whether you are traveling to Thailand to get married, tour, study, or work, you are required to obtain a visa from a Thai embassy or consulate to be allowed entry into the country. There are various factors that determine whether you must have a visa to enter Thailand including the reason for your trip, your country of origin, and your intended length of stay in the country. Many countries have Visa Exemption Agreements with Thailand. These exemptions permit eligible citizens of other countries to go to Thailand for 30 days without a visa.

Visitors who arrive in the country using international airports are given 30-day entry stamp and those arriving through land border checkpoints get 15 days’ permit. Once the 15 days are over, some tourists do a “visa run” to entry points on the Cambodian boundary to get a fresh re-entry stamp, which allows them to stay in Thailand for an extra 15 days. Consequently, the Thai Government has come up with a law stating that foreigners who visit the country through land border checkpoints will be prevented from entering Thailand through the same channel.

Types of Visa in Thailand

You can apply for various types of visas in Thailand including transit visas, tourist visas, non-immigrant visas, diplomatic visas, official visas and courtesy visas. When applying for a visa, you must have an official passport from your country. The passport should also have enough blank spaces for visa stamps and must be valid for at least six months from the time of application.

Entry types

When applying for a visa, it is important to determine whether you are going to leave and re-enter Thailand during your visit. There are three entry alternatives for a non-immigrant Visa:

Single Entry (all visa types)
This visa option is applicable for 90 days from the date of issue. It allows you a single visit in the country for 3 months after which you will be obliged to leave. If you wish to continue staying in Thailand, you will have to apply for a visa again outside Thailand. You can also extend a single visa entry for 30 days without going out of the country by requesting an extension in any Immigration Office in the country.

Multiple Entries (O, B and ED visa)
In Thailand, visas for work, studies, family unifications, and retirement are valid for a year from the date of issue. These visas permit you to visit Thailand for up to 90 days. Multiple Entry Visas save you the hassle of applying for a new visa after every three months.

Three Year Multiple Entry (B visa only)
This visa type is valid for 3 years. It permits you to enter the country as many times as you want, but each stay should not exceed 90 days.

Photo policy in Thailand

The Visa application formalities in Thailand require many passport photos. When taking a passport photo for your visa application, it is important not to wear anything including sunglasses, caps, or other accessories that may change the appearance of your face. In addition, you should look straight at the camera. Moreover, do not smile when taking the photos.

Tourist and Transit Visas

These visas are given to persons who wish to enter the country for tourism-related reasons. In Thailand, a tourist visa is valid for 3 to 6 months and it can have either one or several entries. Each entry will require you to pay visa fees. Tourists are allowed a maximum of 30-60 days’ stay in Thailand from the date of arrival.

You are required to provide various documents when applying for a tourist visa, including a passport or travel document with validity of at least 6 months from the date of application, a fully filled in visa application form, proof of return air ticket paid in full, recent (4 x 6 cm) passport photos and proof of sufficient funds to finance your stay in the country (10,000 Baht per person and 20,000 Baht per family). Failure to fill out your application form may result in denial of visa and your fee will not be refunded.

The embassy may also request additional documents or ask for an interview before approving your visa. It is important to know that there is no opportunity to correct any faulty information on your visa at the Thai border. Therefore, it is important to ensure that you have all the required documents when applying for a visa. It is also important to know that tourist visa holders are not allowed to work in Thailand.

Transit Visa

This is issued to people who wish to travel to Thailand when heading to another country. The visa is valid for 3 months and involves the payment of a non-refundable visa application fee. Transit visa holders are not permitted to work. Citizens of certain countries are required to apply for this visa at the Thai embassy in their original countries.

Non-immigrant visas

This visa allows you to enter Thailand to work, study, retire, or join your family. Non-immigrant visas have different categories depending on the reason for your stay. The most common types include:

• B visa to work in Thailand or to conduct business
• F visa to enter Thailand for official duties
• ED visa to study in Thailand
• IM and IB visa to visit Thailand to explore investment opportunities
• Visa to stay with family (i.e. for spouses and children of foreign workers), to retire or to receive medical treatment in Thailand
• EX visa for skilled workers employed by companies in Thailand

Visa categories for special cases are also available:

• R visa – visa for missionary work or other religious activities
• M visa for film producers, journalists, or reporters
• RS visa for scientific research, training, or teaching in a research institute

Visa Registration in Thailand

Expats in Thailand are required to inform the immigration bureau of their current addresses every 90 days. Expats are also required to register their visas by filling in a visa registration form. Failure to register your visa before the expiry period may result in visa revocation and fines of up to 5,000 Baht.

Student Visas

You are required to provide certain documents when applying for a Thai student Visa including:

• Fully completed visa application form
• Letter of Admission from a school or university in Thailand
• Passport or travel document with a minimum validity of 18 months
• Evidence of adequate finance to support your stay in Thailand
• One (4 x 6 cm) passport photo of the applicant taken within the past six months


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