Millions of people are drawn to visit Thailand every year for different reasons. In many occasions, these people have initially travelled to Thailand on a tourist visa and then started looking for options on how to get an extension without having to leave the country. Fortunately to many, this may be a possibility depending on their qualifications.
Travelling to Thailand initially on a tourist visa
Holders of tourist visa may be able to apply for a different visa type in Thailand; thus, giving them the ability to extend their stay for up to one year at a time without the hassle of flying to another country. However, their purpose and reason for wanting to stay must fall within what is permitted by the Thai government and should also meet certain requirements.
Below are two of the most common scenarios when a foreigner is able to do the visa application inside Thailand.
While most of the retirees who flock to Thailand have already begun the visa processing before they even leave their country, still many of them choose to travel on a tourist visa. They are able to apply for a non-immigrant O visa when they meet the following criteria:
- Applicant must be 50 years of age or over.
- Applicant must have a personal deposit of at least THB 800,000 in a local Thai bank. The money must be secured in the account for already two months before he can file for the non-immigrant O visa application.
Marriage with a Thai National
Foreigners whose marriage with their Thai spouse has been successfully registered may also apply for the non-immigrant O visa inside Thailand. The qualifications are pretty much the same as with the visa extension based on retirement.
- Applicant must be legally married to a Thai national.
- Applicant must have a personal deposit of at least THB 400,000 in a local Thai bank. The money must be secured in the account for already two months before he can file for the Non-immigrant O visa application.
If the applicant is getting a monthly pension or income (at least THB 65,000 per month for retirement and THB 40,000 for marriage) the visa application can then be started as soon as an affidavit of income is obtained from his respective embassy. Furthermore, the applicant must have sufficient number of days (minimum of 15 calendar days if staying in Bangkok, while 3 weeks is required in some provinces) left in the validity period of his tourist visa in order to qualify for the application.
Doing the entire processes inside Thailand can be a struggle to many foreigners. Unless they are able to speak the local language, it is advisable to get help, instead, from someone who can communicate with the locals when dealing with different offices.