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Posts Tagged ‘Royal Thai Consulate Penang’

29th July 2013

Thailand Visa Update

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There have been some recent developments with respect to Thai visas. The following information is for general use only and should not be construed to apply to every unique situation as there are often numerous Thai visa options for those wishing to travel and remain in the Kingdom of Thailand for a prolonged period of time.

Thailand Business Visas

It has recently come to this blogger’s attention that 12 month multiple entry Thai business visas are becoming increasingly difficult to obtain from Royal Thai Embassies and Consulates abroad. For example, the Royal Thai Embassy in Kuala Lumpur recently announced that it will no longer issue 12 month multiple entry business visas to applicants as applicants are now only able to obtain a 90 day Thai Business Visa (officially referred to as the Non-Immigrant “B” Visa) at that post. Applicants are encouraged to first obtain a 90 day Thai business visa and subsequently apply for a Thai work permit and visa extension in the Kingdom of Thailand. However, it would appear that the Royal Thai Consulate in Penang may issue 12 month multiple entry business visas under limited circumstances. It seems that those who have previously obtained a multiple entry Thai business visa and Thai work permit may be eligible to obtain another one year Thai business visa from the Thai Consulate in Penang. Meanwhile it would seem that the other Thai Embassies and Thai Consulates around the world are becoming increasingly hesitant to issue one year multiple entry Thai business visas and in those situations where such visas are issued they are only granted after significant scrutiny by the Consular officers issuing such travel documents.

Thailand Retirement Visas

In some cases, a foreign national may be eligible to obtain a Thai retirement visa. However, Thai Immigration officials are carefully reviewing applications for Thai retirement visas. In fact, this blogger has  learned that issues surrounding the finances of the applicant for a Thai retirement visa are of increasing concern for Thai Immigration officers. In fact, Thai Immigration officers seem to be seeking larger amounts of evidence concerning a retiree’s financial situation compared to past applications.

Thailand O Visas

The O visa in Thailand is technically classified as a miscellaneous visa category. Generally, this visa category is used by foreign nationals with family in Thailand (this is why this category is sometimes referred to as a Thai marriage visa notwithstanding the fact that  it could be used by any family member of a Thai national). As is the case with the Thai retirement visa, the finances of the foreign national seeking an O visa is of central concern to the Thai Immigration authorities especially when the foreign national is seeking a Thai O visa based upon marriage to a Thai. Therefore, those seeking Thai O visas should be prepared to show substantial evidence of ability to financially support oneself, and one’s spouse, while in Thailand.

Thailand Education Visas

The Thai Education visa (categorized by Thai Immigration as the “ED” visa) is more widely used by foreign nationals in Thailand compared to times past. That stated, Immigration officials examine such applications with a great deal of thoroughness. It should be noted that those staying in the Kingdom on an ED visa based upon attendance at a Thai language school may be tested on their Thai language ability by Immigration officers. Therefore, if one has been present in Thailand on an ED visa for a significant period of time, but cannot show a basic understanding of Thai the ED visa could be revoked.

For related information please see: Thailand work permit

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22nd July 2009

Tuesday July 22, 2009 the website Thaivisa.com is reporting that the Royal Thai Consulate in Penang has apparently made a rule restricting issuance of multiple Thai tourist visas. As can be imagined, this is causing something of a stir among expats and long term vacationers in Thailand because the Royal Thai Consulate in Penang has long been a traditionally convenient post for those wishing to extend their stay in Thailand.

In recent years, the Royal Thai Consulate in Penang has tightened their regulations with regard to issuance of the Thai business visa. In many cases, applicants were continuously traveling to Penang, Malaysia in order to obtain visas for extended stays in the Kingdom with the bonus of having the right to petition for a Thailand work permit should it be deemed necessary at a later date.

The Thai Tourist visa is, by definition, not a visa intended for those wishing to engage in employment activities within the Kingdom of Thailand. Instead, it is a visa designed to allow foreign  nationals entry into Thailand for recreational purposes.  There have been cases where the Thai tourist visa was used to remain in Thailand and work illegally. A similar situation occurs in the United States when foreign nationals enter America using a US Tourist Visa and subsequently obtain employment. As the holder of a US Tourist visa does not have work authorization in the United States, this method of immigration is illegal. In both cases, the respective governments feel the need to crackdown on such activity in order to keep up enforcement of administrative and labor regulations.

That being said, in the case of restriction of Thai Tourist Visas one has to wonder if now was the appropriate time to make the rules more stringent. Currently Thai tourism is at one of its lowest ebbs in years. A combination of domestic turbulence, airport closures, and the world economic crisis has left much of the tourist sector in dire financial straits. Although, this author agrees that the Thailand immigration rules must be enforced, it seems an inopportune moment to begin such enforcement.

It should also be noted that this may not be a rule initiated by the Immigration authorities in Thailand. Consulates and Embassies abroad are governed under the jurisdiction of the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs. That being said, Consulates and Embassies are allowed to set their own rules with regard to who they will issue visas to and under what conditions. It would seem that the Consulate in Penang has exercised their discretion in order to clamp down on those abusing the Thai Tourist Visa.

(This is not legal advice, nor should it be used as such. A lawyer-client relationship is not created by reading this posting.)

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