Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘Thailand Long Stay Visa’

13th January 2010

Thailand visa issues seem to be one of the most popular topics discussed on this blog. This may be due to the fact that many people who travel to the Kingdom of Thailand find that they would prefer to remain for a long period of time. Unfortunately, obtaining a Thai long term visa seems to be getting more and more difficult as visa regulations become increasingly complex and cumbersome. That being said, there is one rule that can have a major impact upon one’s chances of obtaining a Thai visa. This rule deals with foreign passport validity.

In many cases, Thai Consular Officers working at Consulates and Embassies overseas are hesitant to provide long term visas to Thailand if the applicant’s underlying passport is not valid for the entire duration of the visa. This being said, there is a bright line rule at most Consulates: the applicant must have at least 6 months of validity left on their passport in order for any visa to be issued. However, as a practical matter Consular Officers have a great deal of discretion regarding visa issuance and short term passport validity is frowned upon. This negative attitude could translate into a Thai visa application’s denial if the officer is uncomfortable issuing a visa to the applicant based upon the totality of the circumstances.

For those interested in obtaining a Thailand visa it is wise to have a passport that is valid for at least one year. Further, some posts prefer machine readable passports as they provide an extra level of security and act as a means of preventing visa fraud because it is more difficult to forge a machine readable travel document.

As with US Consulates and Embassies, each Thai Consulate or Thai Embassy has a slightly unique procedure for processing visa applications and as a result the above information should be checked against the post policies and guidelines at the time of application. As a general rule, a Thai visa applicant would be wise to present a well-founded application along with a machine readable passport valid for more than six months, but preferably more than one year.

For Americans seeking a new passport in Thailand please contact the American Citizen Services Section of the US Embassy Bangkok as this office is primarily responsible for passport issuance to those resident in Thailand. For those living in Northern Thailand the US Consulate Chiang Mai can also assist with passport procurement for American Citizens.

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23rd May 2009

There are many immigration options for those wishing to stay in Thailand on either a full time or part time basis. The Immigration option most familiar to short term travelers is the Thai visa exemption which allows a non-Thai national entry into the country without obtaining a visa. Many people who enter Thailand on a visa exemption believe they are actually on a visa. In reality, they have been granted lawful presence in Thailand without a visa.

Map to Thailand Immigration Bureau

Thai Education Visas

An Education visa in Thailand is very useful as a long term visa option particularly in light of the proliferation of affordable Thai schools that offer assistance in applying for a Thai ED visa. The major downside to the ED visa is the fact that there is no automatic right to work inherent to the visa. Also, the ED visa does not accrue time necessary to obtain Thai Permanent Residence.

Thailand Retirement Visa

A Thailand retirement visa is very useful for those who fit the criteria set forth under Thailand Immigration Law. One of the major criterion for obtainment of a Thai retirement visa is that the applicant be at least 50 years old at the time of application. Another requirement is that the applicant meet the minimum financial threshholds determined by the Thai Immigration Bureau’s internal regulations. A positive aspect of the Thai retirement visa is the fact that one holding such a visa does not need to go on “border runs,” every 90 days. However, a person present in Thailand on a retirement visa will not be able to secure a Thailand work permit.

Thailand Business Visas

As discussed in previous posts, a Thai Business visa is a very flexible option for those wishing to remain in Thailand in order to work, invest, or conduct business negotiations. The visa itself does not confer a right to work, a Thai work permit is still a necessity, but a work permit is usually easy to obtain where the visa holder has secured legitimate employment or has registered a Thai company.

Thailand Other Visas

The Thai “O” Visa, the “O” stands for other, is a designation for a visa that does not really fit into any of the aforementioned categories. The “O” visa is used for Thailand Family Immigration especially where a foreign spouse of a Thai national wishes to reside in Thailand. For those present in Thailand on an “O” visa, there may be some difficulty securing a work permit if the visa is not based upon filial realtionship to a Thai.

Thanks for Reading,

For information on US Immigration from Thailand please see:

multiple entry visa

Fiance Visa Thailand

Marriage Visa Thailand

US Embassy Bangkok

(No content written in this post should be used instead of consulting an attorney. No attorney-client relationship is created between the writer and any readers of this post).

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