Do You Need Visa to Visit Thailand?

Do You Need Visa to Visit Thailand? Check It Out!

Visa Types

VISA TYPES & CATEGORIES TO APPLY FOR THAILAND

VISA TYPES & CATEGORIES TO APPLY FOR THAILAND

Thailand is a Southeast Asian country known for its countless temples, ancient ruins, canals and floating water markets, sandy tropical beaches, and modern cityscapes. In 2018, Thailand welcomed a record of 38.27 million tourists from around the world, many of which likely were Tourists and entered the country with a Tourist Visa.. 

Types of Visa to Thailand

The Government of Thailand  offers the following types of visas to foreign nationals:

  • Thailand Tourist Visa - is being  issued to visa-required foreigners entering Thailand for tourism or leisure activities. This is a short-term visa, which can be issued for single or multiple entries.
  • Thailand Transit Visa- is being  issued to foreigners who will enter the territory of the Kingdom of Thailand in order to make their way to a third country of destination.
  • Thailand SMART Visa- is being  aimed at highly-skilled foreigners, encouraging them to work or invest in one of Thailand’s ten targeted industries, including medicine, robotics, aviation, agriculture, biotechnology, etc.
  • Thailand Non-Immigrant Visa - is being issued to foreigners entering Thailand for reasons other than tourism or leisure. The Non-Immigrant Visa for Thailand is further categorized depending on the purpose of travel:
    • Thailand Work Visa, is for foreigners who will take up paid employment in Thailand.
    • Thailand Student Visa, is for foreigners who want to pursue their academic studies in a Thai educational institution.
    • Thailand Business Visa is for foreigners who are traveling to Thailand for business-related purposes, such as negotiations, attending a meeting, etc.
    • Thailand Marriage Visa is for foreigners who are married to a Thai citizen.
    • Thailand Retirement Visa, is also known as the “Ten Year Visa” which is issued to foreigners over the age of 50 who want to retire in Thailand and have independent financial means to sustain themselves without working.

General procedure for visa application to Thailand.

Every applicant  who is not exempt visa requirements or eligible to get one on arrival has to apply for a Thai visa from one of the diplomatic missions of Thailand abroad, such as an embassy or consulate or accredited by the mission visa application centers. The application process for a Thai visa is as follows:

  1. Collect the required documents.
  2. Submit the Thai visa application.
  3. Wait for the application to be processed.
  4. Collect the passport and visa.

Collect the required documents for a Thailand visa

The documents the applicants must submit when applying for a Thailand visa depend on the purpose of the travel. However, all applicants must have:

  • Passport, which is valid for at least another six months and has at least two blank pages for the visa and entry stamps.
    • If the applicant is applying for a one-year visa, his/her  passport should be valid for at least another 18 months.
  • A completed/signed Thailand Visa application form. Depending on where and how the applicants are applying,they can download the form through the website of the embassy/consulate or get it at the embassy itself  if they apply in person.
  • Passport-sized picture of self  with the following specifications:
    • Dimensions: 3.5 cm x 4.5 cm*
    • White background
    • Taken within the last six months
    • Applicant must have a neutral facial expression, staring straight ahead
    • Entire face must be fully visible
    • Headgear is only allowed for religious purposes and even then, only if it does not cover the face
    • Glasses are allowed only if they do not cover eyes of the applicant and do not have heavy frames
  • Additional documents depend on the purpose of the travel.

* Note that some  Thai Embassies or Consulates may require the applicant to submit a differently-sized picture.

General information on Processing time.

The processing time for a Thai visa depends on which diplomatic representative office the applicant  applies from. Some promise to have it processed within 2 working days, while others may take longer. However, the applicant should expect to wait for about 5 -10 working days for the Thai visa to be processed, starting from the time that the embassy/consulate receives a complete application. So, the applicant has to make sure to apply in advance of the time he/she intends to travel.

General information of Validity of Thai Visa;

Thailand visas can be valid for the following durations:

  • Thai Transit Visa can be up to three months for a single-entry visa and up to six months for a multiple-entry visa (Note that the applicants  cannot stay in the country for longer than 30 days, on either visa)
  • Thai Tourist Visa can be up to three months for a single-entry visa and up to six months for a multiple-entry visa (Note that the applicants cannot stay in the country for longer than 60 days, on either visa)
  • Thai Non-Immigrant Visa can be up to three months, for single or multiple entries. Multiple-entry visas can also be issued for up to one year. If the applicant is eligible, he/she can obtain a one-year stay permit.

General information on Thailand Visa Fees.

The Thai visa fees can change depending on several factors, one of which is the country the applicant applied  from. However, on an estimate, the applicant  should expect to pay between $30 to $50 for a Tourist Visa, and between $150 to $250 for a Non-Immigrant Visa, depending on the local currency.

Applicants  may have to pay in cash at the time of application or through bank transfer, as per the preferences of the Thai embassy or consulate through which they apply.

Visa On Arrival

Visa On Arrival

Requirements for Thailand Visa On Arrival

If the applicants are  from one of the nationalities which qualify for a Thailand Visa On Arrival, they need the following documents:

  • Passport, which should be valid for at least another 30 days from the date of entry
  • The printout of the Thai Visa On Arrival Application Form
  • A picture of self  pasted on the application form
  • A confirmed return travel ticket, which is dated within the next 15 days
  • Proof of accommodation in Thailand. Applicants  must give a valid address in Thailand which can be confirmed, such as the address of a hotel or apartment.
  • Proof of sufficient financial means for the duration of the stay of the applicants. Applicant will need 10,000 Thai Baht if he/she is traveling alone or 20,000 Thai Baht if the applicant is traveling with a family.

Nationals of the following countries are eligible to receive a Thai Visa On Arrival with a duration of up to 15 days:

  • Bulgaria
  • Bhutan
  • People’s Republic of China
  • Cyprus
  • Ethiopia
  • Fiji
  • Georgia
  • India
  • Kazakhstan
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Nauru
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Taiwan
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu

If the applicants  have an ordinary passport issued by one of the following countries, the can travel to Thailand without a visa for up to 90 days:

  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • South Korea
  • Peru

If the applicants  have an ordinary passport issued by one of the following countries, they can travel to Thailand without a visa for up to 30 days:

  • Andorra
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahrain
  • Belgium
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Kuwait
  • Laos
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macao
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Mauritius
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Russia
  • San Marino
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Vietnam

If the applicants have an ordinary passport issued by one of the following countries, they can travel to Thailand without a visa for up to 14 days:

  • Cambodia
  • Myanmar

Exemptions for up Non-Ordinary Passport Holders

If the applicant have a diplomatic or service passport issued by one of the following countries he/she can travel to Thailand for up to 90 days:

  • Albania
  • Argentina
  • Austria
  • Bangladesh*
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Bhutan
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • El Salvador
  • Estonia*
  • France*
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • India
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Kosovo
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • Netherlands
  • Nepal
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • South Africa
  • Spain*
  • Sri Lanka
  • Switzerland
  • Tajikistan
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • Uruguay

*Applies to holders of Diplomatic passports only.

If the applicant  have a diplomatic or service passport issued by one of the following countries he/she can travel to Thailand for up to 30 days:

  • Brunei
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • China
  • Ecuador
  • Hong Kong
  • Indonesia
  • Kazakhstan
  • Laos
  • Macau
  • Mongolia
  • Myanmar
  • Oman
  • Pakistan*
  • Singapore
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Vietnam

Eligibility for Online visa application.

In late 2018, the Thailand Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the possibility of implementing the Thailand eVisa the following year. In February 2019, Chinese nationals became the first foreign nationals who were  eligible for the Thai eVisa and were  joined by British and French nationals in April. It is expected that in the following three years, nationalities of all foreign countries with which Thailand has diplomatic relations will become eligible to receive a Thailand visa online.

As of now, those who are eligible to submit their Thailand visa applications online still have to go and get their passport stamped at a Thai embassy or consulate, but the Thai government to make the entire process online in the following years.

Applications for Thai eVisas can be submitted here.

Thailand Transit  Visa

Thailand Transit Visa

If the applicant  needs to travel through the territory of Thailand to make his/her way to a another  country, they  may have to apply for a Thailand Transit Visa. However, in addition to foreigners transiting in Thailand, the Thai Transit Visa is also issued to sportspeople and crew members who are traveling for reasons related to their occupation.

Types of Thailand Transit Visas.

  • Category “TS”, is being  issued to foreigners transiting through the territory of Thailand on their way to a third destination.
  • Category “S, is being  issued to foreign sportspeople, entering Thailand to participate in a sport event.
  • Category “C”, is being issued to crew members of a conveyance that’s coming to a port, station or area of Thailand.

Who Needs a Transit Visa for Thailand?

The applicants need to apply for a Thailand Transit Visa if:

  • They have to transit through the territory of Thailand on their way to a third destination; or
  • They are a sportspeople  and are traveling to participate in a sport event; or
  • They are part of a conveyance that’s coming to a port, station or area in Thailand; AND
  • They  are not from one of the countries whose nationals are exempt from holding a Thailand visa for short-term stays.

If the applicant is transiting in a Thailand airport, he/she do not need an airport transit visa if:

  • The connecting flight is in less than 12 hours
  • The flight is booked on the same ticket
  • They do not leave the international airport transit area
  • They have the necessary documents for their final destination

However, according to the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Timatic, this rule does not include Pakistan nationals or foreigners traveling through the following airlines: Angkor Air, Beijing Capital Airlines, Business Air, Cebu Pacific, Eaststar Jet, Golden Myanmar Airlines, Indigo, Jeju Air, Jet Asia Airways, Jetstar, Jetstar Pacific, Jin Air, JuneYao Airlines, Lao Central Airlines, Mandara Airlines, Norwegian Air, Okay Airways, Orient Thai Airlines, Regent Air, Scoot, Shandong Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Siberia Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, South East Asian Airlines, Spice Jet, Thai Smile Airlines, Tianjin Airlines, Trans Aero, Turkmenistan Airlines, T’way Airlines, Ural Airlines and VietJet Air.

Documents required for a Thailand Transit Visa.

  • Valid passport or travel document, with at least validity of another six months’ and two blank visa pages
  • Completed/signed Transit Visa application form, which the applicant  can download from the website of the Tha Embassy/Consulate where they are applying or get it when they get there if applying in person.
  • Two passport-sized pictures, with the following specifications:
    • Dimensions:  3.5 cm x 4.5 cm
    • White background
    • Should be within the last six months
    • Must have a neutral facial expression, staring straight ahead
    • Entire face must be fully visible
    • Headgear is not allowed, except for religious purposes and when it does not cover the face
    • Glasses are allowed only if they do not cover eyes of the applicant and do not have heavy frames
  • Proof of sufficient funds to cover the duration of the travel. The applicant needs 10,000 Thai Baht if traveling alone and 20,000 Thai Baht if he/she is traveling with  a family.
  • Hotel booking

If transiting through Thailand on the way to a third country:

    • Proof of onward ticket,  such as a paid and confirmed travel ticket
    • Visa of the third country, if a visa is required

If traveling to participate in a sports event:

    • An invitation letter stating the participation of the applicant
    • A Confirmation Letter from the organization in home country of the applicant

If traveling as a crew member of a conveyance:

    • A Confirmation Letter from the employer, stating the purpose of entering Thailand
    • Proof of travel routes or permission to park, if applicable

Note: The applicant may be asked to submit additional documents based on the purpose of travel, as per the request of the Embassy or Consulate.

Processing time of Transit visa to Thailand:

The processing time for a Thailand Transit Visa depends on the Thai Embassy or Consulate in which you apply. It can take anywhere between 2 – 10 working days, but it may be even longer. So, it is advisable to apply for a Thai visa at least a couple of weeks before you intend to travel.

Duration of a Thailand Transit Visa:

A Thailand Transit Visa can be issued for the following durations:

  • As a single-entry visa with a duration of up to 30 days
  • As a multiple-entry visa valid for sixty days and with a maximum allowed stay of up to 30 days per entry (two, three, or four entries)

Transit Visa Fee

The fee for a Thai Transit Visa is 800 Thai Baht per entry, which is about USD 26. The method for paying the visa fee changes depending on which representative office you’re applying in. You may be asked to pay in cash or through a bank transfer.

The exact fee may also change based on the local currency.

Thailand Short-term Visa

You can apply for short-term visas for realizing your temporary travel to Azerbaijan. Reasons to apply for this type of visa can be tourism, visiting family or friends, business trip, short-term education, exchange programs, short-term work, and many other non-permanent nuances. You can check all the required documents for each type of visa applications, visa fees, processing time and where to apply for visa below.

Thailand Tourist Visa

Foreigners who want to enter Thailand for sightseeing, vacation, or other leisure activities may have to get a Thailand Tourist Visa, depending on their nationality. Thai Tourist Visas are only for short-term purposes which do not require the holder to engage in employment or other remunerated activities of any kind.

If you’re thinking of visiting Thailand, there’s a  lot to see there, starting from the ancient ruins and countless elaborate temples, to the charming water markets, modern cityscapes, and sandy white beaches.

Types of Thailand Tourist Visas

There are three types of Thailand Tourist Visas:

  • Single-entry visa, which is valid for three months. After you leave the country, you cannot re-enter, even if you haven’t exhausted the entire number of days.
  • Multiple-entry visa, which is valid for six months, and allows the holder to leave and re-enter the country multiple times for the duration the visa is issued.
  • Thai Visa On Arrival, which is only issued to citizens of certain countries for a non-extendable period of 15 days.

Documents required for a Thai Tourist Visa application.

  • A passport, which is valid for at least another six months and has at least two blank visa pages
  • Photocopy of the personal information page of your passport,
  • A completed and signed Thailand Visa Application Form
  • A confirmed return travel ticket, proving you intend to leave the country after your visa ends
  • Two recent passport-size pictures, with the following specifications:
    • Dimensions:  3.5 cm x 4.5 cm
    • White background
    • Taken within the last six months
    • You must have a neutral facial expression, staring straight ahead
    • Your entire face must be fully visible
    • Headgear is only allowed for religious purposes and only when it does not cover the face
    • Glasses are allowed only if they do not cover your eyes and do not have heavy frames
  • Proof of sufficient financial funds to cover the duration of your stay, such as in the form of bank statements from the last six months
  • Proof of accommodation in Thailand (hotel booking, a letter of invitation from a friend, etc).
  • Proof of payment of the Thai Visa fee.
  • If you are visiting family/friends in Thailand: Proof of relationship
  • Letter of Invitation
  • If you’re applying for a multiple-entry visa:
    • Proof of employment, such as a letter from your employer if you are employed; a self-assessment and/or your company’s registration document if you are self-employed; letter from your school if you are a student.
    • Documents attesting to your need for a multiple-entry visa

Note:

The Thai Embassy or Consulate in which you apply can ask for any additional documents as they see fit. The documents also change depending on the purpose of your travel.

The documents which are not in English have to be translated and legalized.

Processing time of Thailand Tourist visa.

The application processing time for a Thai Tourist Visa depends on the specific Embassy or Consulate through which you apply. You should count on between 5-10 working days from the time they receive your completed application, although some diplomatic missions claim to issue visas in as little as 2 working days.

However, because there is no pre-determined amount of time, you should apply at least a couple of weeks in advance of the time you intend to travel. If you are applying by mail, also take into account the time it will take for your document to be mailed to the embassy and back to you.

Thailand Tourist Visa Fee.

The Thailand Visa fee changes depending on the country from which you are applying and the local currency. However, as an estimate, the Thai Tourist Visa cost ranges at about $30 to $50 for single-entry visas and about $150 – $250 for multiple-entry visas.

Additionally, you may have to pay in cash at the time of application or through bank transfer, as per the preferences of the Thai embassy or consulate through which you apply.

Thailand Smart Visa

Eligibility for a Thailand SMART Visa.

You are eligible for a Thailand SMART Visa if you are a highly-skilled worker, investor, executive or a startup entrepreneur who wants to work and/or invest in one of the following industries:

  • Next-Generation Automotive
  • Smart Electronics
  • Affluent, Medical and Wellness Tourism
  • Agriculture and Biotechnology
  • Food for the Future
  • Automation and Robotics
  • Aviation and Logistics
  • Biofuels and Biochemicals
  • Digital
  • Medical Hub
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Human Resource Development in Science and Technology
  • Environmental Management and Renewable Energy

Additionally, you must also fulfill the specific requirements of each type of SMART Visa, as detailed below.

Types of Thailand SMART Visas.

The Thailand SMART Visa is categorized into the following types:

  • SMART Visa “T”, for foreign Talents
  • SMART Visa “I”, for foreign Investors
  • SMART Visa “E”, for foreign Executives
  • SMART Visa “S”, for foreign technology-based startup Entrepreneurs
  • SMART Visa “O”, for the family members (dependents spouse and children) of one of the main SMART Visa holders above

SMART Visa “T”

To qualify for a Thailand SMART Visa T, you have to fulfill the following requirements:

  • You must be a highly-skilled professional in one of the targeted industries
  • You must be skilled in science and technology which is related to one of the targeted industries
  • You must have a monthly income of at least 100,000 Thai Baht
    • If you will work for a startup or you are a retired expert who has endorsements from a relevant agency, the monthly income should be at least 50,000 Thai Baht
  • You must have a work/service contract with a validity of at least 1 year

SMART Visa “I”

To qualify for a Thailand SMART Visa I, you have to fulfill the following requirements:

  • You must directly invest at least 20 million Thai Baht in a technology-based business in one of the targeted industries in Thailand, individually or through a venture capital company.
  • Invest at least 5 million Thai Baht in a startup or an incubation/accelerator program in Thailand endorsed by the relevant agencies.
  • The business you invest in has to be technology-based in manufacturing or delivering services in one of the targeted industries

SMART Visa “E”

To qualify for a Thailand SMART Visa E, you have to fulfill the following requirements:

  • You must have a senior management position such as a Chairman or a Managing Director in a technology-based company in one of the targeted industries.
  • You must have a monthly income of at least 200,000 Thai Baht.
  • You must have at least a Bachelor’s degree and at least 10 years of work experience in one of the relevant fields.
  • You must have a work/service contract with a validity of at least 1 year

SMART Visa “S”

To qualify for a Thailand SMART Visa S, you have to fulfill the following requirements:

  • You must have established a startup company in Thailand in one of the targeted industries
  • You must hold at least 25% of the company’s registered capital or be in the position of a director in the company
  • You must have a deposit of at least 600,000 Thai Baht or its equivalent in a bank account in Thailand or in your country of residence, which you have held for at least 3 months.
  • You must have health insurance covering the duration of your stay in Thailand

SMART Visa “O”

To qualify for a Thailand SMART Visa O, you have to be the spouse and/or the dependent legitimate child (biological or adopted) of the main SMART Visa holder.

Benefits of the SMART Visa

If you qualify for a Thailand SMART Visa, you can enjoy benefits which are greater than those of other types of Thai visas, such as:

  • Your visa can be issued for up to fours years, provided that that’s the duration of your work or service contract
  • You do not need to apply for a Thai Work Permit to work in one of the eligible companies.
  • You do not have to report your stay to Immigration every 90 days. Instead, you have to report your stay every year.
  • You do not have to apply for a Thai Re-Entry Permit.
  • Your spouse and children over 18 are allowed to work in Thailand without having to get a work permit, provided that the job is not on the list of occupations and professions prohibited to foreigners.

SMART Visa Requirements

When you apply for a SMART Visa, you need the following supporting documents:

  • The printout of the SMART Visa application form, as per the specific type of visa you are applying for.
  • Your passport.
  • Proof of a clean criminal record. Police Certificate issued by the police authorities in your country of nationality. The certificate has to be certified by a Notary Public.
  • If you are in Thailand, also include a Police Certificate issued by the police authorities in Thailand.
  • Health Certificate. It must be issued in the past three months showing you are not infected with one of the prohibited diseases (Leprosy, Tuberculosis, Elephantiasis, Addiction (Drug/Alcoholism), or Third Phase Syphilis). The certificate has to be certified by a Notary Public.
  • Copies of any academic qualifications, certificates, or endorsements you have that are related to your area of expertise (not required for SMART Visa O).
  • Copies of any publications, research projects, intellectual property and awards you may have (not required for SMART Visa O).
  • Proof of previous employment, such as a letter from your previous employer (not required for SMART Visa O).
  • If someone else is submitting the application on your behalf: include the power of attorney.

Additional documents required for SMART Visa T

  • Your employment or service contract, showing a minimum duration of one year as well as the details of your employment, including the position and salary.
  • The hiring company’s annual report

Additional documents required for SMART Visa I

  • The company’s list of shareholders, which is not older than three months, or alternatively, another document which shows the ownership of the shares and company value
  • The company’s annual report, brochures, catalogs, and the latest annual financial statement of the corporate (if applicable)

Documents required for SMART Visa E

  • Your employment or service contract, showing a minimum duration of one year as well as the details of your employment, including the position and salary.
  • The corporate’s organization chart
  • The company’s annual report, brochures, catalogs, and the latest annual financial statement of the corporate (if applicable)
  • The company’s list of shareholders, which is not older than 3 months

Additional documents required for SMART Visa S

  • An overview of your business plan (Pitch Deck)
  • The company’s list of shareholders and/or a transfer slip, which is not older than 3 months
  • The company’s annual report, brochures, catalogs, and the latest annual financial statement of the corporate (if applicable)
  • Proof of acceptance into the incubation or accelerator program.
  • Proof of participation in startup promotion activities
  • Proof you have a deposit of at least 600,000 Thai Baht or its equivalent in a bank account in Thailand or in your country of residence, which you have held for at least 3 months.
    • If you have dependent family members with you, the deposit should be an additional 180,000 Thai Baht per person.
  • Proof of health insurance covering the duration of your stay in Thailand

Additional documents required for SMART Visa O

  • Passport copy of the main SMART Visa holder
  • Proof of family relationship
  • If you will work in Thailand: Your employment or service contract, showing a minimum duration of one year as well as the details of your employment, including the position and salary.
  • If you are accompanying a  Smart Visa “S” holder:
    • Proof of health insurance covering the duration of your stay in Thailand
    • Proof of the deposit of at least 600,000 Thai Baht with an additional 180,000 Thai Baht per dependent person.

Processing time of Thailand SMART Visa.

The application processing time for a Thailand SMART Visa is as follows:

  • Processing time for the initial online applications: 3 working days
  • Processing time for the endorsement of your qualifications: 30 working days
  • Processing time for the SMART visa application at an overseas mission/OSS/EEC: Depends on the specific office in which you apply. Anywhere between 2-10 working days.

Thailand SMART Visa fee.

The processing fee for a Thai SMART Visa application is 10,000 Thai Baht per year. However, the exact amount can change depending on the local currency of the country in which you apply.

Thailand Business Visa

Foreign nationals who will travel to Thailand to conduct business, such as attend meetings, negotiate deals, etc, but will not be paid by a Thai company for their services need a Thailand Business Visa.

Although certain countries have a visa exemption for Thailand, the exemption is usually for tourism purposes only. So, if you are from a visa-exempt country, you should check with a Thai Embassy or Consulate whether you need a Business Visa if you won’t actually be working.

Additionally, if you travel to Thailand for business frequently, you can get a one-year visa, which allows multiple entries for up to 90 days each time you enter.

Note: If you want to work, however, you also need a Thai Work Permit, which you cannot apply for if you don’t have a “B” Category Non-Immigrant Visa, so keep that in mind.

Types of Thailand Business Visas

The Thai government issues two types of Business Visas:

  • Single-entry Thai Business Visa, which allows you to enter Thailand once and stay for up to 90 days.
  • Multiple-entry Thai Business Visa, which is valid for one year and allows you to enter multiple times, and stay in Thailand up to 90 days per entry.

What Documents Do I Need for a Thailand Business Visa Application?

The documents which support your Thai Business Visa application are:

  • Your passport. Which is valid for at least another six months and has at least two blank visa pages.
  • A completed and signed Thailand Business Visa application form. You may be able to download it from the website of the embassy/consulate or get it there if you apply in person.
  • Passport-sized picture of yourself, with the following specifications:
    • Dimensions: 3.5 cm x 4.5 cm
    • White background
    • Taken within the last six months
    • You must have a neutral facial expression, staring straight ahead
    • Your entire face must be fully visible
    • Headgear is only allowed for religious purposes and even then, only if it does not cover the face
    • Glasses are allowed only if they do not cover your eyes and do not have heavy frames
  • Proof of sufficient financial means to cover the duration of your stay. You need 20,000 Thai Baht if you are traveling alone and 40,000 Thai Baht if you are traveling as a family.
  • A letter from your employer. Which states your position, how long you have been employed, your salary, and the reason you’re visiting Thailand.
  • A Letter of Invitation from the company in Thailand.
  • Relevant documents that show your correspondence with your business partners in Thailand.
  • Documents related to the inviting company in Thailand. Which are signed by the Company’s Board of Directors, authorized managing director and hold the seal of the company.
    • Their business license and business registration
    • The list of company stockholders
    • The company profile
    • The details of the business operation
    • The company’s balance sheets, Income Tax and Business Tax statements for the past year
    • The company’s location shown on a map

Note:

You may be asked to provide any additional documents as the representative office sees fit.

All the documents you submit have to be translated to Thai or English and notarized.

Processing time of Thailand Business Visa Application?

The processing time for a Thailand Business Visa depends on the specific representative office through which you apply. However, you should give it about 5 – 10 business days, although some offices process visas in as little as two days.

Thailand Business Visa Fee

The cost of a Thai Business Visa depends on the type of visa you receive. As such:

  • Single-entry Thailand Business Visa fee is 2,000 Thai Baht (about USD 65)
  • Multiple-entry Thailand Business Visa fee is 5,000 Thai Baht (about USD 164)

The fees could change slightly from one country to the next, based on the local currency. Additionally, the method for visa fee payment can also change, because some offices will only accept cash, while others may require you to pay through bank transfer.

Thailand Work Visa

If you’re thinking of working in Thailand, you will need a Thailand Work Permit. However, before that, you also have to obtain a Thailand Work Visa in order to enter the country and be able to apply for the permit in the first place.

Additionally, you must also get an extension of the right to stay in Thailand, if you want to live there long-term. As such, the process of working in Thailand is as follows:

  • Apply for a Thai Work Visa in your country from an Embassy or Consulate
  • Apply for a Thai Work Permit at the Department of Employment in Thailand
  • Get an Extension of Stay Permit at the Thai Immigration Bureau

Who Needs a Thailand Work Visa?

Everyone who is not a Thai citizen and wants to work in Thailand has to get a Thai Work Visa from their home country. You must be in possession of a Thai Non-Immigrant Visa in order to apply for a Work Permit and Extension of Stay, so even those who are exempt from Thai Tourist Visas have to get a Work Visa.

Thailand Work Visa Requirements

When you submit an application for a Thailand Work visa, you need the following documents:

  • Your passport, which is valid for at least another six months and has at least two blank visa pages. If you’re applying for a one-year visa, your passport should be valid for at least another 18 months.
  • A completed and signed Thailand Work Visa application form. You may be able to download it from the website of the embassy/consulate or get it there if you apply in person.
  • Passport-sized picture of yourself, with the following specifications:
    • Dimensions: 3.5 cm x 4.5 cm
    • White background
    • Taken within the last six months
    • You must have a neutral facial expression, staring straight ahead
    • Your entire face must be fully visible
    • Headgear is only allowed for religious purposes and even then, only if it does not cover the face
    • Glasses are allowed only if they do not cover your eyes and do not have heavy frames
  • Proof of sufficient financial means to cover the duration of your stay. You need 20,000 Thai Baht if you are traveling alone and 40,000 Thai Baht if you are traveling as a family.
  • Police clearance certificate
  • A Letter of Approval issued by the Thailand Ministry of Labour. Your employer in Thailand has to submit an approval request at the Office of Foreign Workers Administration in the Department of Employment of the Thai Ministry of Labour.
  • If you will work as a school teacher at a pre-university level:
    • Letter of acceptance from the educational institution
    • A Letter of Approval issued by a relevant Thai government agency, such as the Office of the Private Education Commission or the Office of the Basic Education Commission.
    • The school’s license or business registration along with the list of stockholders and the school’s profile
    • Your CV

If your Thailand Work Visa is approved, you have to enter the country within the time stated on your visa, otherwise, it will expire.

Note: If you are in Thailand already using a Tourist Visa, you may also be able to change its category into a Non-Immigrant Visa “B” Category from the Immigration Department Offices in Thailand. However, this is not always a sure option.

Thailand Work Visa Fee

The fee for a Thailand Work Visa is as follows:

  • Single-entry Thailand Work Visa fee is 2,000 Thai Baht (about USD 65)
  • Multiple-entry Thailand Work Visa fee is 5,000 Thai Baht (about USD 164)

The fees can change slightly from one country to the next, based on the local currency, as can the method of payment. Some offices will only accept cash, while others may require you to pay through bank transfer.

Thailand Long-term Visa

Thailand Work Permit Visa

Basics.

The Thailand Work Permit allows the holder to work in Thailand legally.

In order to be eligible to obtain a Thai Work Permit, you have to work for a company which fulfills conditions set by the Ministry of Labour, such as:

  • The company has a registered capital of at least 2,000,000 Thai Baht.
  • The company has paid income tax to the Revenue Department in the past 3 years of at least 5,000,000 Thai Baht.
  • The company is an export business that has has a foreign remittance of at least 3,000,000 Thai Baht in the past year
  • The company employs at least 50 Thai nationals.

Additionally, there is a limit regarding the number of foreigners a company can employ, in line with the company’s capital. E.g. Companies can hire one foreign worker per every 2,000,000 Thai Baht of registered capital or one foreign worker per 50 Thai nationals.

The Thai Work Permit is tied to a specific occupation and employer. If you want to change your employer of the address of your office has changed, then you have to notify the Ministry of Labour and make the necessary revisions.

Thailand Work Permit Requirements

When submitting an application for a Thailand Work Permit, both you and your employer must have several supporting documents, such as:

  • Your passport, and copies of all the pages in your passport
  • Your Thai Work Visa
  • Your academic degrees and certificates
  • Your Letter of Employment / Work Contract which states your salary, position, and work responsibilities
  • Any relevant certificates and licenses
  • Your CV/Resume
  • Three pictures of you with  5 x 6 cm dimensions
  • Proof of accommodation in Thailand
  • A Health Certificate
  • If you are married to a Thai citizen: Marriage Certificate
    • The company’s Company Certificate
    • A list of the company’s Stakeholders
    • VAT Certificate
    • The company’s Withholding Tax
    • Any additional documents that the Ministry of Labour staff handling your application requests.

Note:

The documents you submit from your home country have to be legalized before submission as well as translated into Thai.

The documents which your employer submits have to be stamped with the company seal on every page as well as signed by the company’s Managing Directors.

Thai Work Permit fee.

The fee for a Thai Work Permit changes depending on the duration of the permit:

  • Thai Work Permit for up to three months: 750 Thai Baht
  • Thai Work Permit between three to six months: 1,500 Thai Baht
  • Thai Work Permit longer between six to 12 months: 3,000 Thai Baht

Duration of a Thai Work Permit.

A Thai Work Permit is issued for a maximum duration of 1 year. If your work contract is for a period of less than one year, your work permit will also be issued for that duration.

Thailand Student Visa

If you are a foreigner who has been accepted into a Thai educational institution, you have to get a Thai Student Visa to be allowed to pursue your studies as an international student.

You have to get the visa before you are allowed to begin your studies.

This article will detail the Thai Student Visa requirements, application process, and other relevant information.

Thailand Student Visa basics

The Thailand Student Visa is a Non-Immigrant Thai Visa. Non-Immigrant Visas are issued to foreigners traveling to Thailand for reasons other than tourism and are categorized based on the purpose of travel. The Thailand Student Visa is a Non-Immigrant Visa Category “ED”.

In order to qualify for a Thai Student Visa, you have to:

  • Be enrolled in a Thai educational institution
  • Take at least three courses (sometimes the requirement is four courses, so you have to check with your school)
  • Have at least 15 hours of classes per week

Note: The exact requirements for a Thai Student Visa are subject to change, so make sure to check in with your school before you apply.

Thailand Student Visa Requirements

When you apply for a Thai Student Visa, you need several documents to support your application. The Thailand Student Visa requirements are:

  • Your passport, which is valid for at least another six months and has at least two blank visa pages. If you’re applying for a one-year visa, your passport should be valid for at least another 18 months.
  • Photocopy of your passport
  • A completed and signed Thailand Student Visa application form. You may be able to download it from the website of the Embassy or Consulate or get it there if you apply in person.
  • A Letter of Admission from your school in Thailand, addressed to the Thai Embassy or Consulate in which you will apply.
  • If the school is a private institute: Approval from the Ministry of Education
  • The Thai School or Institution’s registration documents (if applicable)
  • If you will undergo an internship in Thailand: A letter of confirmation from the school in which you are enrolled.
  • Passport-sized pictures of yourself, with the following specifications:
    • Dimensions: 4 cm x 6 cm
    • White background
    • Taken within the last six months
    • You must have a neutral facial expression, staring straight ahead
    • Your entire face must be fully visible
    • Headgear is only allowed for religious purposes and even then, only if it does not cover the face
    • Glasses are allowed only if they do not cover your eyes and do not have heavy frames
  • Proof of sufficient financial means to cover the duration of your stay. You need 20,000 Thai Baht if you are traveling alone and 40,000 Thai Baht if you are traveling as a family.
  • Police clearance certificate issued by the authorities in your country, which proves you do not have a criminal background. This is necessary only if you will take a course which is at least 1 year.
  • Payment of the Thai Student Visa fee.

Note:

This is not an exhaustive list of Thai Student Visa requirements. The Thai diplomatic mission office in which you will apply may ask for any additional documents that they see fit.

Several of the documents you submit may have to be legalized before they can be used by a Thai Embassy.

The documents you submit have to be in either Thai or English (as the Embassy or Consulate informs you), so if they are not already, you have to translate them by an authorized translator.

Processing time of Thailand Student Visa.

The processing time for a Thailand Student Visa depends on the Embassy or Consulate through which you apply. You should give it about 5 – 10 business days, although some offices claim to process your visa in as little as two days.

Validity of Thai Student Visa.

A Thailand Student Visa is valid for a maximum of 90 days for a single entry or multiple entries. Even though your course of study is most likely at least one year, you’ll still get a 90-day visa. However, before your visa is up, you can apply to extend it at the Thailand Immigration Department for a fee of 1,900 Thai Baht. You have to extend it every 90 days before the expiry of the existing visa.

Student Visa Fee.

The fee for a Thailand Student Visa is 2,000 Thai Baht (appx. US$ 65 / € 60). However, the fee can change slightly depending on the local currency, as well as the Embassy / Consulate in which you apply.

Additionally, the method of paying for the Thailand Student Visa fee also changes depending n where you apply. Some Embassies or Consulates may require the fee is paid in cash, while others can ask you to pay it through bank order.

Thailand Marriage Visa

If you are a foreign national who is married to a Thai citizen and want to join your spouse there, you will need what is often referred to as a Thailand Marriage Visa.

You will also need this type of visa if you are accompanying your spouse who will work or study in Thailand under his/her own Thailand Student Visa or Work Visa.

Basics of the Marriage Visa for Thailand

A Thailand Marriage Visa is the commonly-used term for a Non-immigrant O Visa which is extended on the basis of marriage to a Thai national.

What this means is that, first, you have to apply for a Non-Immigrant “O” Visa for Thailand from a Thai Embassy or Consulate abroad. At this point, you will receive a 90-day visa, which you can use to travel to Thailand. Then, after you enter Thailand with the Thai Marriage Visa, you can apply to extend it to one year at the Thailand Immigration Department.

However, it is not only the spouses of Thai citizens who can apply for a Non-Immigrant O Visa.

Eligibility for a Marriage Visa in Thailand?

Other than spouses of Thai citizens, the following categories of travelers should also apply for a Thailand Non-Immigrant O Visa:

  • Dependents (spouse and children under 20) of foreigners who are working or studying full-time in Thailand
  • Volunteers who work for an NGO
  • Foreigners over the age of 50 who want to retire in Thailand:
    • One-year retirement visa “O-A”
    • Five-year retirement visa “O-X”
  • Foreigners who want to receive medical treatment in Thailand

What differs the Marriage Visa from the others is that once you get to Thailand, you have to extend your Non-Immigrant O Visa on the basis of marriage to a Thai citizen.

Thailand Marriage Visa Requirements

The documents that you have to submit when you apply for a Thailand Marriage Visa at the Thai Embassy/Consulate in your country are:

  • Your passport, which is valid for at least another six months and has at least two blank visa pages. If you’re applying for a one-year visa, your passport should be valid for at least another 18 months.
  • Photocopy of your passport
  • A completed and signed Thailand Non-Immigrant O Visa application form. You may be able to download it from the website of the embassy/consulate or get it there if you apply in person.
  • Passport-sized pictures of yourself, with the following specifications:
    • White background
    • Taken within the last six months
    • You must have a neutral facial expression, staring straight ahead
    • Your entire face must be fully visible
    • Headgear is only allowed for religious purposes and even then, only if it does not cover the face
    • Glasses are allowed only if they do not cover your eyes and do not have heavy frames
    • Number of pictures depends on the specific Consulate or Embassy (in most cases, four should be enough)
  • Copy of the Marriage Certificate (legalized/notarized and signed by the spouse)
  • Copy of your Thai spouse’s passport and Identity Card (signed by the spouse)
  • Proof of your Thai spouse’s financial status. They must submit bank statements showing at least 400,000 Thai Baht in total or a monthly income of 40,000 Thai Baht
  • Payment for the visa processing fee

The documents you need when you extend your Marriage Visa in Thailand include:

  • Your passport and a copy of your passport;
  • Your marriage certificate
  • Bank statements from your spouse’s account showing at least 400,000 Thai Baht in total or a monthly income of 40,000 Thai Baht
  • A map showing your address of residence in Thailand
  • Your spouse’s house registration papers (Tabian Baan)
  • Pictures showing you and your spouse together (including pictures inside your house and outside showing the house/apartment number)
  • Copy of your Thai spouse’s passport and Identity Card

Note:

The Immigration authorities reserve the right to request any additional documents as they see fit.

The documents you submit have to be either in Thai or English. If they are not, you must translate them by an authorized translator and submit both versions.

Several of the documents you submit have to be legalized by the relevant Embassy/consulate ot notarized before you submit them.

Thai Marriage Visa Fee.

The cost of a Thailand Marriage Visa changes depending on which embassy or consulate you are applying in due to changes in local currency. However, you should expect to pay the following amounts (in approximate):

  • Fee for a single-entry visa: 2,000 Thai Baht
  • Fee for a multiple-entry visa: 5,000 Thai Baht

In addition to the change in currency, different representative offices also have their own requirements when it comes to the method of paying for the visa. You may be asked to pay in cash or through a bank transfer.

Processing time of  Thailand Marriage Visa.

The processing time for a Thailand Retirement Visa depends on the specific representative office through which you apply. In most cases, the processing time is about 5 – 10 business days, although some offices process visas in as little as two days.

Validity of a Thailand Marriage Visa.

A Thailand Marriage Visa is issued for a maximum duration of 90 days, for single or multiple entries. If you have a single-entry visa, you can only enter the country once within those 90 days. If you have a multiple-entry visa, you can enter multiple times within the duration of the visa.

However, after you enter Thailand, if you intend to stay for more than 90 days, you should apply for an extension of stay from the Thailand Department of Immigration before your visa expires.

Thailand Retirement Visa

Foreigners who are over the age of 50 and want to retire to Thailand are eligible to apply for a Thai Retirement Visa. Even though it is the more commonly-used term, the official term for a Thailand “Retirement Visa” is a Category “O” of the Non-Immigrant Visas for Thailand.

Types of Thailand Retirement Visas

The Thai government issues two types of retirement visas for foreign nationals:

  • The One-Year Thailand Retirement Visa (“O-A”), which is issued to foreigners aged 50+ of all countries and is valid for 1 year with the option to renew annually.
  • The Ten-Year Thailand Retirement Visa (“O-X”), which is only issued to foreigners aged 50+ from certain countries for 5 years’ duration. It is renewable once more for a maximum of 10 years.

In either case, a Retirement Visa for Thailand does not allow the holder to work.

This article will detail the process and requirements for obtaining a Thailand Retirement Visa for those who want to retire in the “Land of Smiles”.

Eligibility for a Thailand Retirement Visa O-A

To be eligible for a Thailand Retirement Visa, you must fulfill the following criteria:

  • You must be at least 50 years of age on the day you submit your application
  • You must fulfill the financial requirements:
    • A security deposit of 800,000 Thai Baht in a bank account in Thailand for 2 months before the visa application
    • A monthly income of 65,000 Thai Baht
    • A combination of the security deposit and annual income of 800,000 Thai Baht
  • You must not have a criminal record in any country
  • You must get Thai health insurance for the duration of stay with annual coverage of at least 40,000 Thai Baht for outpatient treatment and at least 400,000 Thai Baht for inpatient treatment. Health insurance has to be with one of the approved companies from the Thai General Insurance Association.
  • You must not have any of the following diseases: Leprosy, Tuberculosis, Elephantiasis, Addiction (Drug/Alcoholism), or Third Phase Syphilis

Eligibility for a Thailand Retirement Visa O-X

To be eligible for a 10-Year Thailand Retirement Visa, you must adhere to the following requirements:

  • You must be at least 50 years of age on the day you submit your application
  • You must be from one of the following countries:
    • Australia
    • Canada
    • Denmark
    • Finland
    • France
    • Germany
    • Italy
    • Japan
    • United Kingdom
    • Netherland
    • Norway
    • Sweden
    • Switzerland
    • United States
  • You must fulfill the financial requirements:
    • A security deposit of at least 3 million Thai Baht in a bank account in Thailand
    • An annual income of at least 1.2 million Thai Baht
  • You must get Thai health insurance for the duration of stay with annual coverage of at least 40,000 Thai Baht for outpatient treatment and at least 400,000 Thai Baht for inpatient treatment. Health insurance has to be with one of the approved companies from the Thai General Insurance Association.
  • You must not have any of the following diseases: Leprosy, Tuberculosis, Elephantiasis, Addiction (Drug/Alcoholism), or Third Phase Syphilis
  • You have to report to the Immigration Officers in Thailand every year to ensure you continue to meet the necessary requirements

Requirements for a Thailand Retirement Visa Application.

When you apply for a Thailand Retirement Visa, you need several documents to support your application. This includes:

  • Your passport, which is valid for at least six more months and has at least one blank vis page. If you’re applying for a one-year visa, your passport should be valid for at least another 18 months.
  • Completed and signed Visa Application Form, which can be downloaded from the Embassy or Consulate’s website or you can pick it up when you submit your application in person.
  • Additional Retirement Visa Application Form (completed and signed)
  • Passport-sized picture of yourself, with the following specifications:
    • White background
    • Taken within the last six months
    • You must have a neutral facial expression, staring straight ahead
    • Your entire face must be fully visible
    • Headgear is only allowed for religious purposes and even then, only if it does not cover the face
    • Glasses are allowed only if they do not cover your eyes and do not have heavy frames
  • Proof you meet the financial requirements as detailed above, through one of the following (as is applicable):
    • Bank Statements and Letter of Guarantee showing the deposit in the Thai Bank which is no less than detailed above on “Eligibility…”
    • Bank statements showing an annual income of no less than what is detailed above on “Eligibility…”
    • *Bank Statements have to be certified by a Notary Public.
  • Police Certificate issued by the police authorities in your country, showing you do not have a criminal record. The certificate has to be certified by a Notary Public.
  • Health Certificate issued in the past three months showing you are not infected with one of the prohibited diseases (Leprosy, Tuberculosis, Elephantiasis, Addiction (Drug/Alcoholism), or Third Phase Syphilis). The certificate has to be certified by a Notary Public.
  • Proof of health insurance with annual coverage of at least 40,000 Thai Baht for outpatient treatment and at least 400,000 Thai Baht for inpatient treatment as detailed by the Thai General Insurance Association.
  • Thailand Retirement Visa processing fee

The visa-issuing staff in the Embassy or Consulate you are applying in can ask you to submit any additional documents as they see fit.

EMBASSY INFORMATION AND LOCATION

FAQ

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What Is the Difference Between a Business Visa and Work Visa for Thailand?

Technically, a Thailand Business Visa and a Work Visa are the same thing: they are both a “B” Category Non-Immigrant Visa. However, a B Non-immigrant Visa on its own does not authorize you to actually work. Foreigners who want to work in Thailand and be paid have to apply for a Work Permit.

The terms Business Visa and Work Visa are not the official terms used by the Thai government – they are the terms which expats and travelers use.

So, to sum up, the difference between the two is:

  • A Thailand Business Visa is a “B” Category Non-Immigrant Visa which allows you to go to Thailand for business-related purposes for which you won’t be paid by a Thai company.
  • A Thailand Work Visa is also a “B” Category Non-Immigrant Visa. With just the visa, you cannot work. To work and be paid by a Thai employer, you need a Thai Work Permit. Once you have the work permit, you will live in Thailand in what is referred to as a “Work Visa”.
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Can I Work in Thailand With a Student Visa?

No, a Student Visa does not allow you to work. No one can work in Thailand unless they have a Work Permit, and it appears as though the Thai authorities are not forthcoming for approving Work Permits to Student Visa holders.

However, a lot of international students do engage in some type of work once they get to Thailand, even if it is not technically “paid employment” in order to finance their stay.

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What is the Duration of a Thai SMART Visa?

The Thailand SMART Visa can be issued for a minimum duration of one year and a maximum of four years.

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