Over the last couple of years, Thai immigration rules have been the recurrent content of many news site and different forums in Thailand. Every bit of discussion boiling down to one thing – changes in the Thai immigration rules. Truth is, we cannot expect rules and policies to be the same years after years. And this rings true even before the military took over the Thai government in 2014. As it turned out, we’ve seen a lot of head-scratching, especially among foreigners who periodically travel in and out of Thailand.
Foreigners are notified of changes in Thai visa rules well in advance. The confusion comes over the subject of getting an extension inside Thailand. It is not uncommon for a foreigner to enter Thailand then make a decision to extend his stay for couple more weeks or months. They are then looking for options of what to do without leaving Thailand.
Given the inconsistency of Thai immigration policy, we can understand why many foreigners in Thailand are at a loss. This article aims to shed some light on questions frequently asked by those who call our office.
Clause 2 of Order No. 327/2557 of the Royal Thai Police (June 30, 2014) describes when a foreigner can apply for an extension by paying the fee of THB 1,900 at the immigration office in Thailand.
Nationals from countries who enter Thailand under a 30-day visa exemption can get an extension of another 30 days. This gives them the option to stay inside Thailand for up to 60 days in all without having to leave the country. Holders of Vietnamese and Laotian passports, however, can only get a 7 days extension. Note also that this option is not available to those who are on a visa-on-arrival.
Holders of a Thai tourist visa, on the other hand, can get an extension of 30 days, regardless of their nationality, by paying the extension fee at any immigration offices in Thailand.
A foreigner of any nationality, for as long as he is legally married to a Thai citizen, can be granted for one time an extension of no more than 60 days. This is applicable in the case of a foreigner who entered Thailand on a tourist visa or a 30-day visa exempt stamp.
A foreigner can extend his visa every year and with validity of extension for up to one year under circumstances when he meets the criteria for consideration. This option is offered to those who have recently been granted a non-Immigrant visa and are in the cases under any of the categories below:
Another concern is the subject of filing for a change of visa. This can be tricky since regulations are not the same for all immigration offices. There are also only few circumstances when an application for change of visa can be done without having to leave Thailand. While anyone can take the risk of doing the process on their own, it is advised to seek help from firms who understand the process and ensure that the application is properly prepared and filed.
Eric is an article contributor and a frequent writer of Thai Visa News and Siam Legal US Visa Blog. He talks about immigration services and other immigration-related matters. And other times Eric writes blogs for subject of sudden interest as a way to perk up his knowledge, seeing that this calls for doing researches and reading.
Oct 22, 2015 Comments Off on Online Application for Visa on Arrival in Thailand