Integrity Legal

11th May 2009

Some Visas in Thailand do not confer resident status which can be beneficial for a number of reasons. Thai education visas and Thai tourist visas do not confer resident status and as a result accrual of time spent in Thailand on either of these visas will not count towards the necessary time requirements for Thai permanent residence.

Currently, Thailand is issuing visa exemptions (the right to remain in Thailand without a proper visa) for 30 days at an airport and for 15 days at a land border. However, Thai tourist visas are currently free to applicants at certain Embassies.

Thai “O” Visas or Other Visas, are issued to those who are either a family member of a Thai national, permanent resident, or visa holder, based upon a filial relationship to the visa holder. Currently, it is possible to obtain O visas for Non-Thai children, but for those children under a certain age, it is not possible to overstay in Thailand. This situation is similar in US Immigration where non-Citizen children cannot accrual unlawful presence in the United States. A child may be overstaying a visa, but the child cannot accrue time as a person present in the USA unlawfully.

At one time, Thai work permits were used as a basis for granting business visa extensions in Thailand. Before that time, a business visa extension could be obtained without obtaining a work permit, but this situation was considered unacceptable because it left many non-Thais in Thailand on business visas, some of whom were working, but without a work permit. For a period of time, the work permit was the foundation of the business visa extension application. Recently, the Thai work permit was “untied” from the business visa extension and as a result it is easier to obtain a work permit, but seemingly more difficult to obtain a Thai visa extension.

Many people forget that a Thai multiple entry visa is good until its expiration date and the visa holder will be granted a stay of 90 days upon entry. This leads to the situation where the non-Thai presents his visa to Thai Immigration one day before the visa’s expiration, but is granted entry into Thailand for nearly 90 days past the visa’s expiration.

(Please note: this post is not a substitute for personal legal advice from a licensed attorney. No lawyer-client relationship is created between author and reader.)


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