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Posts Tagged ‘Business Visa Thailand’

4th April 2020

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the Thai government has halted all incoming flights from overseas to Thailand. To quote directly from a recent article in Thai PBS World:

“[T]he prime minister wants to see stringent measures imposed on overseas arrivals for the period between April 2-15.  The Foreign Ministry has been tasked to find out ways to implement the directive from the prime minister.”

Further, in another article from The Nation, the following was noted:

“Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha has told the Foreign Ministry to issue a new directive prohibiting new arrivals.”For the immediately foreseeable future, it appears that it will not be possible for anyone to enter Thailand by air.

Clearly, the Thai government has deemed the COVID-19 issues of a seriousness that it warrants across the board restriction of incoming flights. That stated, there appears to be a end date for these restrictions on the horizon. In a further article from the Bangkok Post:

“All passenger flights have been banned from landing in the country to curb the outbreak of the new coronavirus, the aviation agency said on Friday. The ban came into effect on Saturday morning and will run until the end of Monday, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand said in an order published late on Friday.”

Whether the government decides to extend this restriction on in-bound flights due to Coronavirus concerns remains to be seen. However, it seems logical to infer that if the restriction is lifted and in-bound flights are allowed to come to Thailand, the previously enacted restrictions on foreigners traveling to Thailand is likely to remain in effect over the medium term. To quote directly from the aforementioned Civil Aviation authority of Thailand:

With reference to the declaration of state of emergency in Thailand on 25 March 2020, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand hereby issues travel advisory to passengers planning to enter Thailand as follows:

1. Passengers or persons shall be permitted to enter, Transit or Transfer Thailand through international airport only if they fall under one of the following categories:

(a) Being in the situation or a person exempted by the Prime Minister or Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, under certain conditions and prescribed time period

(b) Carriers of necessary cargoes, but required prompt exit after the mission is completed

(c) Pilot-in-command, and crew members of the flight entering Thailand with clear schedule to depart

(d) Persons on diplomatic or consular mission, or under International Organizations, representatives of the government performing their duties in Thailand or other persons or international agencies that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs gives permission, and their families. In this case, certificate of entry to the Kingdom issued by Ministry of Foreign Affairs is required.

(e) Non-Thai nationals with work permit or who have been granted permission from Thai government agencies to work in Thailand (Smart Visa only)

(f) Thai nationals with certificate of entry to the Kingdom issued by Royal Thai Embassy or Royal Thai Consulate in their country of residence certifying that they are Thais returning to Thailand, and a Fit to Fly Health Certificate.
2. The persons in (d) (e) and (f) must have Fit to Fly Health Certificate issued no more than 72 hours before traveling.
3. Passengers or persons permitted to enter Thailand shall strictly comply with disease prevention measures imposed by the government.
4. The immigration officers have the power to deny the entry of Non-Thai nationals who have been tested positive for COVID- 19, or under the suspicion of being infected or who refuse to undergo such test.
5. All previous Notifications of CAAT become ineffective.

With limited exception, the vast majority of foreigners are not going to be permitted to enter Thailand in the upcoming weeks. The vast majority of those who are permitted to enter the Kingdom are likely to be Thai Work Permit holders. Bearing that in mind, it is notable that foreign nationals in Thailand maintaining work permit as well as Thai business visa status are likely to find unforeseen issues in renewing their work permits in coming months. This will likely be due to the unintended consequences of all of the lay-offs, furloughs, terminations, and voluntary reductions of work hours for Thai employees working in the Thai business sector.

In order to maintain a Thai work permit and business visa it is required that a Thai company maintain a 4-to-1 ratio of Thai employees to foreign employees. For those foreigners using a Thai marriage visa as a platform for maintaining lawful status in Thailand as well as employment authorization the ratio of Thai employees to foreign employees is 2:1. With this in mind, the small business sector of Thailand is likely to see a significant contraction of its workforce in the second and third quarter of 2020. As Thai employees are furloughed, terminated, or resign (sometimes in order to be eligible for newly created Thai unemployment benefits) it is likely that this will have a direct impact upon the Thai/Foreign employee ratio. If the ratio of Thai to Foreign employees is not maintained within a Thai business organization, then an application for a Thai business visa extension or Thai work permit renewal may prove impossible. Therefore, those businesses, small and large, employing foreigners in Thailand should keep a sharp eye on their labor force if they wish to maintain their foreign employees’ lawful status. This can be an especially acute issue for self-employed foreign nationals in Thailand who are using their Thai limited company as a platform to maintain their status. Those in the precarious position are strongly encouraged to seek the advice and counsel of legal professionals experiences in Thai corporate compliance, accounting, staffing, immigration, and labor issues

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1st December 2009

There are many who dream of retiring in beautiful Thailand with its sunny skies, temperate climate and beautiful beaches. For many, retirement in Thailand is akin to retirement in paradise, but under Thai immigration rules, “retirement,” does not begin until an individual reaches fifty years of age. Recently, this author has been questioned by many regarding the age requirement of the Thai retirement visa. In many western countries “early retirement,” is a common occurrence. In Thailand, this is not so common and the Thai Immigration regulations reflect this cultural difference. Fortunately, there are alternatives to the retirement visa that can be used in a similar manner.

Many people in their late forties go into retirement or semi-retirement in Thailand. The benefit of a retirement visa from the standpoint of some is the fact that this visa does not require regular “border runs” or “visa runs.” This is mostly due to the fact that Thai retirement visas are similar to Thai visa extensions. When one is granted a visa extension in Thailand, the person is allowed to remain in the Kingdom for the uninterrupted period noted in their passport. Therefore, if one is granted a 1 year extension, then that individual may remain in Thailand for an entire year without leaving. The visa holder must check in with Royal Thai Immigration once every 90 days, but otherwise there are no further requirements.

For those under 50 wishing to remain in Thailand, obtaining a visa extension can be very difficult. For the Business visa holder, one must have a valid work permit as well as a sponsoring company in order to be granted a visa extension. An O visa holder must have a bona fide reason for extending the underlying visa. In many cases, showing kinship with a Thai national is enough to get a Thai visa extension. However, this does not guarantee extension application approval. As extensions can be difficult, many look to the retirement visa as a way of remaining in the Kingdom. However, there are no exceptions to the age requirement and therefore pursuing such a visa would be futile for someone under 50.

In many ways, a Thai business visa is a superior travel document as it is more flexible than the retirement visa because it does not “pigeon hole” the visa holder into only one activity. There is no prohibition on Business visa recipient’s remaining in the Kingdom unemployed. Instead, the visa holder need simply maintain lawful status and avoid becoming a ward of the state. If these requirements are met, then the business visa holder can remain in the Kingdom long term.

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21st July 2009

There are certain misunderstood aspects of the Thailand Business Visa that may need to be cleared up in order to properly understand how Thai Immigration views those non-Thai nationals in possession of a Thailand B visa.

First, a Thai business visa should not be inferred to impart the right to work in Thailand. Those holding Thai B Visas (Business), must still obtain a Thai work permit before they will be allowed to enjoy employment rights. Even then, Thai law, which in this respect is similar to United States Immigration law, restricts work authorization to a specified geographic location, namely the official address of the employer. That being said, it may be possible to get a second employer stamped into one’s Thai work permit and thereby allow employment with multiple organizations by officially authorizing such employment.

One very difficult concept for many to grasp is the idea that a visa does not confer the “right” to enter the country. This causes some confusion particularly with regard to United States Immigration. A USA visa simply gives the bearer the right to seek permission to enter the United States of America.

The Kingdom of Thailand views visas and travel documents in a similar light. In fact, it may be possible to be turned away at a port of entry in Thailand even where the prospective entrant has what is otherwise considered to be a valid visa. This issue became of acute concern nearly 5 years ago when operators began springing up throughout Thailand who offered to send one’s passport out of the Kingdom and have it sent back in with a new valid visa issued from an Embassy or Consulate abroad. In this situation, even though the visas were issued legally, the Thailand Immigration authorities at the port of entry began not only turning prospective entrants away, but also nullifying visas issued to someone who was in Thailand when the visa was issued at a diplomatic post abroad.

Another common mistake regarding Thai Business visas involves the definition of “multiple entry.” Specifically, does a one year multiple entry Thai visa imply that the bearer may remain in Thailand uninterrupted without being forced to leave? Put simply: No. A Multiple entry visa holder must leave at least every 90 days in order to remain in legal immigration status in the Kingdom.  That being said, the multiple entry visa is commonly confused with the Thai visa extension. The extension allows the bearer to remain in Thailand for up to one year without being compelled to depart every 90 days.  The downside of the extension is the fact that one needs to obtain a reentry permit in order to leave the country. The multiple entry visa allows the person holding it to leave the Kingdom and return on the same visa so long as it remains valid. Hence the name, “multiple entry.”

For further information, Please see the US-Thai Treaty of Amity as certain Immigration rights are created under this bilateral agreement.

(This is not legal advice. For such advice contact an attorney. No lawyer-client relationship should be assumed to exist between author and reader.)

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