The world is big, and so are the opportunities provided by it. It is more and more frequent that members of families move abroad and stay there for living. But who am I telling this, right? If you are reading this article, then you are probably looking for more information on how to get a visa for Thailand for family reunion purposes. It is a must-know, and now you need to know more about the visa policy of Thailand, as well as the possibilities that will give you to travel back home to your loved ones with less hassle. You are in the right place! Doing research is one of the first steps for understanding how to make bureaucracy work for you, and this is why I will help you to understand some of the basic information. You will hear a bit of everything - general facts to understand the system, as well as some practical information. For instance, how long does it take to family reunion visa approval and family reunion visa fees? And hopefully, after reading all these, you will have at least a basic understanding of the most important Thailand visa requirements. But let’s start from the beginning.
What is a Thai Family Reunion visa?
In general, the visa policy of Thailand is not very complicated. The visa categories are Tourist, Non-Immigrant, Transit, SMART, and finally, Permanent Resident visas. Each of those might include some sub-categories, and this is where a Family Reunion visa comes in place. It is a non-immigrant visa type and is sometimes referred to as the dependent, or Category "O" visa. As with other non-immigrant visas, it is possible to obtain a short and long-term visa and choose between single or multiple entry options. This implies that if you are willing to get a Thai Family Reunion visa, then you can get the one that will be valid for a period of 90 days or one year. And with the latter one, you might also choose to apply for the right to re-enter the country multiple times. If you have applied for the shorter version, then extensions are possible.
Who is eligible for getting a visa for Thailand for family reunion purposes?
The policy generally states some groups of potential applicants for this type of visa. Taking into consideration the name of it, the profile of travelers is quite obvious - to obtain a Family Reunion visa, a person's travel purpose should be to stay with family in Thailand. Simple as that. But what does it mean exactly? Some examples might be:
- A person who used to have Thai nationality and wishes to visit Thai relatives or to return to live in Thailand;
- A person married to a Thai national and wants to join their spouse in Thailand;
- A person who provides or receives support is a Thai national (e.g. parents, spouse, a child under patronage, etc.).
If your relation to a Thai national is not that obvious, then you might check with the authorities, like the embassy, if you qualify for receiving this type of visa and other additional information.
What are non-immigrant (Dependent) Thailand visa requirements?
Besides having some relation to a national or an alien in Thailand, you should be able to provide a bunch of documents to be able to qualify for this visa. The particular set of formalities depends on your nationality and the reasons why you wish to obtain it, but there are a few consistencies in the requirement list that will be the same for all applicants. As always - to find out what is asked of you specifically, contact the embassy or consult a trustworthy (official) source online. Here is a list of basic requirements for a Thailand visa application.
- A filled visa application form for Thailand. It can be filled by hand or on the computer and printed;
- a passport that is valid at least 6 months beyond the intended departure from Thailand;
- two recent photos with a particular set of parameters (frontal, with white background, 4x6 size, etc.)
- copy of ID card;
- if your country of residence and citizenship are different - a copy of your residence permit or visa;
- photocopies of previous visas and the main page of your passport;
- travel itinerary (flight reservations and intended accommodation place, etc.)
- proof of occupation - a letter from the employer or the sponsor, including corresponding documents (this differs in the case of minors);
- proof of financial means to prove your sufficiency - bank statements, employment contract, or other means. Alternatively, in the case of sponsorship, these same documents to prove the financial sufficiency of your sponsor;
- documents that reflect your purpose of the visit - invitation letter from Thai spouse, copy of Thai ID card/passport/residence permit, copy of Thai house registration, copy of marriage certificate, certificate about the birth of children, etc.;
- medical insurance that covers all the expenses during the whole duration of the stay in Thailand;
- for minors under 20 years, additional documents are required - a notarized copy of the birth certificate, the original letter of notarized consent for foreign travel separately from parents, etc.
Having all the required documents ready at the moment of application will speed up the process and save some unnecessary misunderstandings.
How to get a visa for Thailand?
Irrespective of the visa type you are looking for, getting a visa for Thailand has the same standard procedures and options to choose from. Generally, one would opt for one of two possibilities - applying in person in a diplomatic mission/embassy or applying online. If this option is available for applicants of your nationality, then nowadays most people would be advised to do the latter one due to health safety precautions, as well as convenience. Nonetheless, the appropriate way to start this process would be to contact the closest embassy or check the relevant application procedures on their website.
Just to give you an impression about the general flow of the process, I will tell you a bit about the steps. Either way - if you apply online or in person, the first would be understanding the necessary information and documents for the application. You got an impression about that in the previous question. After submitting your application form, the authorities will take a while to evaluate the documents and in some cases might invite you for an interview. These interviews are usually held to specify information and confirm its legitimacy. For example, routine questions are asked to make sure that you don't pose inconsistencies (which would make them suspicious). After all, in case the process is done and you fit their profile for applicants, you will receive a visa and will be able to travel to Thailand on decided terms.
If you already have a visa and wish to apply for a Thailand Family Reunion visa extension then you should find the respective institution in Thailand and submit the necessary documents on the spot (it is not possible to apply for it abroad). The extension of stay, as well as change of certain types of visas, are solely at the discretion of the Immigration officer.
What are Thailand family reunion visa fees?
How much is Thailand visa depends on your nationality, the exact type of visa you want to obtain, and also the place where you submit your visa application form for Thailand. The fees usually span from 65 USD to 250 USD. It is paid during the Thailand visa application process and is non-refundable.
How long does it take to family reunion visa approval?
The standard processing time following the submission of Thailand visa application will be around 5-20 business days. Please keep in mind that each case is rather individual. As I said initially, doing your research is the first step to getting anything you want in life. In this case, you will speed up the process if you have all the info and have all documents prepared just the way they want. And get them ready before you have filled and handed in the visa application form for Thailand to receive the confirmation as soon as possible.
Well, let’s wrap this up. Now you know that the conditions for the Thailand Family Reunion visa can simply be explained exactly like that. You need a family that you can reunite with to be eligible for this type of visa, and everything else in this process relates to this notion. May it be a spouse, a parent, or another relative that you wish to visit or move back to - this visa is intended to give you legal permission to do just that.
With that said, I hope that this article has advanced your understanding of your potential options, and you are at least a step closer to your priceless goal. Because it is quite obvious how much is Thailand visa is worth. It is a matter of family, and there is nothing more precious than that, am I right? This is why I wish you the best of luck in arranging all the necessary formalities with no delays and enjoy the heartwarming presence of your loved ones as soon as possible!