Thai Visas commonly available to foreigners visiting or moving to Thailand.
Foreigners in Thailand can access several types of Visas which are fully determined from the foreigner’s qualifications and their purpose of visit or stay in Thailand. This is in accordance to the Immigration Rules and Regulations of Thailand. Here are 5 Visas that foreigners can apply for in Thailand.
Visa exemption (Not to be confused with “Visa on Arrival”)
Also known as the “30-Day Stamp” or “visa exempt”, this type of “Visa” allows foreigners to stay in the country for 30 days. Even though it is referred as a Visa, it is just an exemption plan that allows visitors to stay in the country without necessarily having Visas through the Thai Embassy or Consulate before they depart for Thailand from their countries of origin. Foreigners can get this Visa at most air, sea and land entry points in the country.
Single Entry Tourist Visa (TR)
Just as the name suggest, the Tourist Visa is meant for foreigners who visit Thailand for leisure purposes only (tourists). Unlike the 30-Days Visa, this Visa should be obtained before arriving in Thailand from the Thai Embassy. It generally takes of 2 days to get your tourist visa processed. This visa allows visitors stay in Thailand for a maximum period of 60 days. However, holders can have the visa extended for a further 30 days if they wish to stay longer. This is an easy process that costs 1900b payable at a Thai immigration office. This type of visa also gives the holders the chance apply for other types of Visas that can grant them long-term periods in Thailand.
Multiple Entry Tourist Visa (METV)
This a recent type of visa and replaces the previous double and triple entry tourist visas which are no longer available. The new METV allows travellers to stay for up to 9 months. Each entry is valid for 60 days but your each of your entries can be extended for 30 additional days for 1900 BHT… That’s a total of 3 x (60 + 30) days or 270 days ( but it’s always a less in reality since the visa starts running as soon as you get in from the embassy and is valid for 6 months maximum). More details here:
A border run is still required every 3 months though and the easiest place place to go to is the Burmese border at Mae Sai.
It is not an easy visa to obtain…so prepare yourself:
- You can only apply for this type of visa in your home country
- You need to have 5000 USD or 5000 Euros in your bank account and the money needs to have been there for 6 months.
- The validity of the visa is based on the date when you obtained it at the embassy not the date you enter Thailand
- It can from 2 to 10 days to get an METV, so don’t wait for the last minute to apply for it.
- It’s is quite expensive (As a reference, in May 2016, It costed respectively 200 USD or 150 Euros.)
There is plenty of things to learn in Thailand stating with the Thai language itself which is a popular way to live in Thailand and learn for up to a year. We have a page on this website where you will find more information about the Thai ED visa service.
The Retirement Visa is meant for those wishing to live in Thailand after their retirement. It was introduced because Thailand steadily continued to receive foreigners who wished to spend their retirement in Thailand as it is has top tourist destination. To have this Visa processed, you need to apply for it at the Thai Embassy in your country. You can also apply for it at any Thai Immigration Office in Thailand as long as you already have the Tourist Visa. It is very important to note that holders of the Retirement Visa are not allowed to engage in any income generating activity while in Thailand.
Marriage Visa (Non-Immigrant O)
The Marriage Visa is available to any foreigner legally married to a bona fide Thai Citizen. To get this Visa, one of the top considerations is the foreigner’s financial status. One has to prove that they are financially stable and are able to fund their stay in Thailand. This Visa is also available at the Thai Embassy in the foreigner’s home country or at the Thai Immigration Offices in Thailand. Holders of Marriage Visa are allowed to apply for Work Permits as long as they are hired by Thai Companies.
Business Visa (Non-Immigrant B)
The Business Visa is meant for foreigners who have been hired in Thailand by Thai Companies or who have businesses they own in Thailand. Applications for Business Visas can be made at the Thai Embassies once applicants submit the required documents. It can also be applied at thin the Thai Immigration Offices in Thailand as long as the foreigner also has a Work Permit.