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Posts Tagged ‘long term visa Thailand’

15th April 2010

In a recent posting of the website, the issue of Thai tourist was discussed in the context of Thai Immigration. Frequent readers of this blog will remember that until March of this year, Thai Tourism officials, in conjunction with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, had been granting tourist visas to Thailand free of charge. Apparently, this program is to be extended. The following is quoted from

“The Ministry of Tourism and Sports has extended tourism stimulus measures for one year until 31 March 2011 to assist tourism related entrepreneurs who were affected from the demonstration of the United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD). Tourism and Sports Minister Chumpol Silapa-archa announced on Thursday that the ministry has resolved to extend the assistance measures to help tourism related entrepreneurs while road show activities must be organized on a continuous basis to further stimulate tourism. The stimulus measures include the exemption of visa fees for foreign tourists, travel insurance for foreign tourists of not more than 10,000 USD, low interest rate loans, and extension of loan payment periods.”

Hopefully, these measures will provide a benefit to Thailand’s struggling tourism sector which will likely be adversely impacted by the unrest in Bangkok that has occurred over the recent weeks. The report went on:

“The minister added that the number of tourists travelling [sic] into Thailand at airports in general have not decreased, but on the other hand, is more than the number in the same period last year because the figure last year was very low. Mr Chumpol admitted that tour bookings in Bangkok would be affected from the mass rally of the UDD now taking place at Ratchaprasong Intersection. However, those in other areas, especially in the southern islands of Phuket and Samui would not be affected.”

This author would argue that although Tourism has been impacted by recent events in Thailand. There may be another explanation for the seemingly lower tourism figures (or at least the lower numbers of people pursuing Thai Tourist visas). One of the causes could be the fact that more and more tourists in Thailand are “Long Stay” tourists, meaning that they prefer to remain for 3,6, 9, or even 12 months at a time. Many such travelers prefer to come to Thailand using an O visa as such a visa can be granted with a validity as long as one year. Others prefer to use a Thailand business visa. A Thai business visa provides the benefit of creating a foundation for a Thai work permit application should the need for such documentation arise. Although an individual present in the Kingdom on a business visa does not strictly meet the definition of “tourist,” many people come to Thailand using a “B” visa and conduct business meetings in Thailand before pursuing more recreational activities.

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27th April 2009

For the most part issues involving Thailand Business Visas can be broken don into three categories: Thai Visa Extensions, Thai Multiple Entry One Year Visas, and Thai Permanent Residence.

The Thai Multiple Entry One Year Business Visa

A multiple entry business visa is a long term visa that allows the holder the right to remain in Thailand for a period of up to 90 days per entry, but the visas validity is for 1 year. This means that one must make the obligatory “border run” e very 90 days in order to stay in status. A border run is the euphemism used amongst expats in Thailand (and Southeast Asia) when speaking about going to the border with the primary purpose not being to leave the country, but to maintain legal status. An odd “bonus” with regard to the long term visa is the fact that toward the end of the one year visa’s validity one can reenter the country shortly before the visa’s expiration and receive an extra 90 days on the back end.

The Thai Visa Extension

The extension of a Thai visa occurs inside of Thailand. One must file for an extension with Royal Thai Immigration. In order to obtain a visa extension based upon a Business Visa, one must show that the employer has at least four Thai employees for every foreign employee. Also, the visa extension applicant must have a Thai work permit. The business must also produce evidence showing a history of corporate income tax and VAT payment in order to obtain a visa extension for a foreign employee. Finally, should the extension be granted, the foreign visa holder must obtain a reentry permit in order to leave the country and remain in status upon the same visa. (The reentry permit is something akin to reentry permits for US Visas).

Thai Permanent Residence

Thai permanent residence is a difficult and time consuming status to obtain. In order to apply for permanent residence, one must have been resident in the Kingdom for three consecutive years on visa extensions (multiple entry visas will not suffice as one goes out of status at each border run).  There are also salary requirements as well as a minimum Thai language proficiency requirement. Once permanent residence is granted the permanent resident will still need to obtain a Thai work permit should he or she decide to obtain employment. The positive aspect of permanent residence is the fact that permanent resident’s visa does not “sunset,” and can only be specifically revoked.

Note:  Nothing in this post should be construed or inferred as creating an attorney client relationship nor should be used instead of legal advice from a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction.

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