Integrity Legal

6th May 2009

Thailand O Visa

The Thailand O visa is something of an anomaly because it is truly a “catch-all” visa category. Generally O visas in Thailand are used by spouses of either Thai nationals or spouses of those present in Thailand on some other type of Thai Visa. The O visa confers work authorization insofar as it allows the holder of said visa to petition for a Thai work permit.

Although legally eligible to obtain a work permit, there are sometimes work permit difficulties for the O visa holder. As a practical matter, some Thai immigration officers and Ministry of Labour officials do not like to see work permits issued to those in Thailand on an O visa unless the O visa is based upon an underlying spousal relationship to either a Thai National, Permanent Resident in Thailand, or business visa holder (in the case of the spouse of a business visa holder, the O visa holder may have some difficulty obtaining a work permit).

Thailand Elite Card

The Thailand Elite Card program was a program designed with the idea of improving business tourism in Thailand. The card offered many benefits that would be convenient and useful for the prospective business traveler in Thailand. Most notably, there were some very positive immigration benefits conferred upon businesspeople holding a Thailand Elite Card.

At one time, there was a 3 year multiple entry visa conferred upon foreigners under the Thailand Elite Card program. Under this program applicants paid a one time fee of 1.5 million baht and received a card that entitled them to special benefits throughout Thailand. The program also had a special relationship with Thai Immigration that allowed card holder to obtain 3 year multiple entry non-immigrant B visas.

Recently, with governmental shakeups in Thailand the Elite Card program has been canceled with regard to immigration matters. Therefore, although one could conceivably still obtain the elite card, the immigration benefits of the card are no longer granted and therefore the special three year visa is no longer conferred upon card holders.

At present, it would appear to be quite difficult, if not practically impossible, to obtain a 3 year non-immigrant business visa to Thailand. That being said, one year Thai visas are still available for qualified applicants.

For more information please see:

Thailand Visa

Thailand Business Visa

US Visa Lawyer Thailand

(Note: All information in this post should be used for general purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is created between the reader and author of this post. This post should not be used as a substitute for individualized legal advice from a licensed professional.)

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5 Responses to “Thailand O Visas and the Death of the Thailand Elite Card”

  1. Haakon says:

    The information regarding Thailand Elite is not accurate.
    As a member you are issued with a “Special Entry Visa” which is valid for 5 years at the time. Renewable for life… The visa allows you to stay in the Kingdom for 3 months with an unlimited amount of extensions of 3 months at the time. This is not a Non-Immigrant O or B visa and an addition Work Permit is required for those working in the Kingdom. Which Thailand Elite will also assist you with…
    There has been some turbulence around this membership the last year and there were a few weeks where these visa where not issued due to a formality which required a government approval for continuing… The visas are now being issues as normal…

    Thailand Elite Member.

  2. BusinessVisas says:

    Interesting information about visa business card in Thailand! Visa Business cards are perfect for small businesses, because they represent an easy way of financing, and can also help in cost management!

  3. Colegialas Desnudas Follando says:

    ehh. nice..

  4. DillTheDog says:

    The Thailand Elite visa was 5 years, supposedly renewable for life. Since early 2009 the visa has only been renewable when you get a new passport, and then only to the expiry date of the visa you held before – i.e. they are not extending anyone’s visa. My visa expired so they are giving me 90 day extensions – what benefit is that?! This government endorsed Ponzi scheme is a disgrace, and the people behind it should be heading the same direction as Bernie Madoff. Once the remaining Ponzi funds have been paid out to Thailand Elite directors, and selected “independent” suppliers, the scheme will fold.

  5. Kipu Nerek says:

    Hi, thanks so much for these tips! My blogs usually do bring readers and responses. One thing I do is engage with the readers. Answer questions in responses and make clarifications where needed. I think they appreciate that I take the time to talk to them.

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