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Variety of Thailand Visas Available for Foreigners

Variety of Thailand Visas Available for Foreigners

There are a variety of Thailand visas available that allow foreign nationals to visit, live, or work in Thailand. The chart below provides a general outline of the requirements for the Thai visa.

Unless the foreign national enters on a type of tourist visa waiver, all of the Thai visas require the foreign national to start the process at an overseas Thai consulate. The initial period of validity for a visa is generally one year with an approved stay of 30 days to one year after entry into Thailand. Applications for extensions of the visa varies depending on the type of visa and generally takes about one day.

Type of Visa Initial Visa Application Validity of the Visa Permit to Stay Visa Extension Place of Filing Time Frame Fees
Non-Immigrant “ED” Education Visa Initial 90-day visa must be obtained from a Thai Consulate abroad (home country or nearby
countries)
The visa must be used within 3 months 90 Days after entry into Thailand 1 year for an Accredited University and 90 days for Language School Immigration office where the school is located 1 Day 1,900 baht
Non-Immigrant Visa “B” Employment Initial 90-day visa must be obtained from a Thai Consulate abroad Must enter Thailand within 3 months after the visa was issued 90 Days after entry into Thailand 1 Year Extension if Work Permit is Obtained Submitted at the immigration office where Employer is located 1 Day with 2 Visits to the Immigration Office 1,900 baht
One-year Non-Immigrant Visa “B” Application must be made in Home Country or the Country where the Company or Business is
located
One Year 90 Days after entry into Thailand No extensions; but the 90-day entry visa can be Extended up to 1 year if Work Permit is obtained Submitted at the immigration office where Employer is located 1 Day with 2 Visits to the Immigration Office 1900 baht
Non-Immigrant “O-A” Long Stay Visa Application must be made in Home Country only One Year One Year per Entry One Year extension if the Requirements of the Retirement visa is met Immigration office that has the Jurisdiction of the Province where the Foreigner resides 1 Day 1,900 baht
Non-Immigrant “O” Retirement Visa Application must be made in Home Country or Country of Residence 90 Days 90 Days after entry into Thailand One Year extension if the Requirements of the Retirement visa is met Immigration office that has the Jurisdiction of the Province where the Foreigner resides 1 Day 1,900 baht
Tourist Visa Application made in any overseas Thai Consulate Must enter Thailand within 3 months after the visa was issued 60 Days after entry into Thailand 30 days Extension Any immigration office 1 Day 1900 baht
Non-Immigrant “O” Marriage Visa Application made in any overseas Thai Consulate Must enter Thailand within 3 months after the visa was issued 90 Days after entry into Thailand One Year Extension Immigration office that has the jurisdiction of the province where the foreigner lives or the immigration office where the wife is registered 1 Day with 2 Visits to the Immigration Office 1900 baht

The process of obtaining a Thai visa is simplified in this chart. The process of obtaining a visa can be time consuming and confusing for persons who are not fluent in reading and writing Thai. Errors or missing information can result in long delays or the denial of the visa. It is advised that those who are interested in obtaining a Thai retirement visa to speak to a Thai Visa Specialist. The Thai Visa Specialist of Siam Legal International can assist you.

To apply for a Thai visa, please visit this page.
 

1 thought on “Variety of Thailand Visas Available for Foreigners

  1. Iam an indian national. I wish to to extend my tourist visa category visa for 30 days can it be done. Some say it is only for 7 days for Indians. Please guide me

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When Can I Travel To Thailand?
Thai Visa News

When Can I Travel To Thailand?

When Can I Travel To Thailand?

With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, the worldwide travel industry has been decimated, with almost all countries bringing in additional travel restrictions in a desperate bid to halt the spread of infection. With different countries bringing in different measures and paperwork requirements for both people leaving and arriving in the country, the whole situation has been very confusing for people wanting to travel. Also, many countries have changed their travel restrictions several times so it has been difficult, if not impossible to keep up to date with the new measures. Thailand is no different and was effectively closed to tourism for many months, however, Thailand is now open for tourism so you could come right now, that is, if your country allows you to leave, and you can secure all the necessary documents. In this article we will cover information relating to Thailand travel restrictions that are currently in place.

There's no reason why you can't come now if you can secure a certificate of entry from your local Thai embassy, can obtain the required COVID travel insurance, are willing to have a COVID test, and most crucially, are willing to be quarantined in a hotel for 7, 10 or 15 nights on arrival, all at your own expense at an ASQ hotel in Thailand. For many travelers, it's the quarantine that is putting them off, most people don't want to spend up to two weeks of their precious holiday time confined to a hotel room with nothing to do, not to mention the $1000+ that it costs. Therefore the question that most people are asking is not "when can I travel to Thailand", but "when can I travel to Thailand without having to endure quarantine?".

And at the moment, not even the authorities in Thailand appear to know the answer to this question. However, the government has already approved reduced quarantine of 7-10 days for travelers who have been vaccinated, so it does appear that they are thinking about loosening the restrictions in a bid to try and get their tourism industry going again. There is a campaign called “Open Thailand Safely” which has been petitioning the government to relax the restrictions on the 1st of July to give the economy a boost, as many Thais are struggling without the huge amount of money that tourism used to bring to the country.

At the moment, however, the government seems to be taking a cautious approach to reopening the country with other online sources suggesting that the 1st of October would be a more likely date that travelers will be allowed in without quarantine. Realistically, however, nobody knows, as it only takes a small spike in cases and governments around the world panic and lockdown their countries again.

In short, if you have been vaccinated, a 7 day quarantine period is now possible, or even to participate in the new “area quarantine” scheme which has been mentioned several times, yet is not currently in operation. If, like most people, you don’t want to be quarantined at all, then unfortunately it’s looking like you will have a wait of many months yet, especially seeing as a new wave of infection is being seen in many countries.

When Thailand eventually does re-open fully to international tourism, it looks like the government will take a phased approach, and it seems that they are planning to open up Phuket first, initially with reduced quarantine and hopefully progressing towards no quarantine if everything goes well. The "Phuket Sandbox" idea is purported to start on 1st of July and should allow vaccinated travelers to visit the island without having to undergo any kind of quarantine at all, however they will not be allowed to leave Phuket for the first seven days. Also, it’s very likely that this date will be set back if any new waves of infection hit the country.

As a final note, you should plan ahead for your Thai Visa for your trip. Many foreigners are now opting for the hassle free Thailand Elite visa. While others apply for a retirement visa or business visa for Thailand. The most common Thailand visa application is the Tourist Visa. Please remember to plan in advance for your visa and travel documents that are necessary to enter Thailand during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 Insurance in Thailand
Thai Immigration, Thai Visa News

COVID-19 Insurance for Travelling to Thailand

If you are planning to travel to Thailand, you will be needing an insurance policy that meets the official requirements for Certificate of Entry (COE) in Thailand. The Thai government made it compulsory to all foreign travelers who wish to enter the kingdom to have a travel insurance policy that covers the treatment of COVID-19.

The Office of Insurance Commission (OIC) published two Registrar Orders last March 17, 2020 that insurance policies relating to health, travel, accident, and life should cover risks relating to COVID-19 unless the policyholder has become infected with the virus prior purchasing the policy or during the waiting period.

COVID-19 Insurance for Foreigners

The Office of Insurance Commission in Thailand has endorsed a medical insurance policy for foreigners which has been approved by the Thai government. This policy contains two parts:

  1. If the traveler is tested positive for COVID-19, then all the medical expenses at the hospital will be paid by the insurance company. The cost of treatment to be covered by the insurance company is almost 100,000 USD or 3.2 million baht.
  2. If the traveler died due to COVID-19, the insurance company would bear all the expenses of burial and repatriation, with a maximum coverage of approximately 3.2 million baht or 100,000 USD.

The Insurance Policies with coverage of COVID-19

The following insurance policies should cover risks relating to COVID-19:

  • health insurance;
  • life insurance;
  • accidental insurance; and
  • travel insurance;

These insurance policies can be purchased online. You need to submit the requirements specified by the insurance company, including the date of coverage. Make sure to purchase your insurance policies on duly approved insurance companies by the Thai government.

Travel Insurance in Thailand

The Cost of COVID-19 Insurance in Thailand

The cost of the insurance of COVID-19 will vary for age difference and the period you remain in Thailand. The price of the COVID-19 insurance ranges from 2,600 baht to 100,000 baht.

The procedure for buying medical insurance for Thailand

For getting a visa and certificate of entry to Thailand, you need to find medical insurance policies that cover COVID-19. It makes it easy for you to get the most appropriate one. There are two ways to find the insurance policy of COVID-19 for Thailand.

  • You can contact an insurance broker of the insurance company
  • You can check online for instant purchase of insurance policy

A point to remember is that you should check all the coverage policies of the COVID-19 to take the least expensive policy that covers all the requirements. You can purchase this online through your credit cards. Several insurance providers offer COVID-19 insurance policies online. And you can check for a company that is on the top for acceptance of a visa. You can get the certificate instantly and then print it to apply for visa processing.

AXA Insurance offers a unique package of insurance named "Sawasdee Thailand." Thousands of foreigners use AXA for the certificate of COVID-19 insurance in order to successfully obtain a visa and COE for Thailand. It includes the following features that cover all the prerequisites of the Thailand insurance commission:

  • It includes the treatment of COVID-19 not more than 100,000 USD.
  • You can choose the period that you require or for how long you will stay in Thailand. For example: it can be 30, 60, 90, or 1 year.
  • It begins with the clearance at the immigration passport control at the airport in Thailand.
  • There is a quarantine of 14 days in the coverage.
  • A certificate is provided

Why require COVID-19 insurance?

The cost of treating the coronavirus disease is very expensive due to the limited availability of the medicines used for the treatment. Having known that, the Thai government has made the extra step in ensuring their foreign guests peace of mind during their stay in the Kingdom by requiring them to have the COVID19 insurance. In an unlikely event that the foreign guests get infected by the virus, they won't have to pay out of their pocket the medical expenses at the hospitals in Thailand.

Is the COVID-19 insurance policy Expensive?

The cost of getting a COVID-19 insurance is just a pinch compared to the hospital bill of a non-insured COVID-19 patient. It is an additional expense to travellers, however, with the ongoing pandemic, it is too risky not to have one. You can obtain a 30 day policy that starts at about 4,000 THB. But the most significant reason that determines the price is the risk of the virus in the country from where you are applying for a visa. The costs differ from the government to private hospitals, so it can be expensive and it depends on your budget.

Get your COVID-19 travel insurance here:

Immigration in Thailand
Thai Immigration

Consequences for Overstaying in Thailand

As envisioned by many people since last year, an announcement has been posted by the Thai Immigration last month regarding the new overstay rules in Thailand. The advisory, as ordered by the Ministry of Interior, will take effect on March 20, 2016. The warning of overstay is viewed by many as a stricter approach to addressing the issue of the foregoing subject as offenders will now be subject to being blacklisted and banned from entering Thailand for 1 to 10 years depending on the period of overstay.

New Overstay Rules

Generally speaking, the adjudication for people who have voluntarily submitted themselves to the authorities regarding their overstay will be less serious as compared to those who will be caught and arrested. Below are the details of classes of entry disqualifications resulting from overstaying in Thailand.

  • In the case of foreigners surrendering to the authorities
    • Foreigners who overstay for more than 90 days beyond the permitted date will be banned from re-entering for 1 year, beginning from date of departure from Thailand.
    • Foreigners who overstay for more than 1 year beyond the permitted date will be banned from re-entering for 3 years, beginning from date of departure from Thailand.
    • Foreigners who overstay for more than 3 years beyond the permitted date will be banned from re-entering for 5 years, beginning from date of departure from Thailand.
    • Foreigners who overstay for more than 5 years beyond the permitted date will be banned from re-entering for 10 years, beginning from date of departure from Thailand.
  • In the case of foreigners being arrested and prosecuted by the authorities
    • Foreigners who are caught overstaying for less than 1 year beyond the permitted date will be banned from re-entering for 5 years, beginning from date of departure from Thailand.
    • Foreigners who are caught overstaying for more than 1 year beyond the permitted date will be banned from re-entering for 10 years, beginning from date of departure from Thailand.

When travelling to Thailand, it is always important to be mindful of the last day of permitted stay. If you have already overstayed for whatever reason, it is highly advised to sort things out and leave Thailand before the order’s enforced date. One can do this by surrendering to the authorities at any Immigration Checkpoint in Thailand and paying the overstay fine of 500 baht per day but not exceeding 20,000 baht.

If you need Thai visa application assistance, please contact Siam Legal.

 

Retire in Thailand
Visa Options

O-A Thai Retirement Visa

Thailand is routinely on the lists for the best places to retire. Thailand is a lush, warm weather country with beautiful beaches and green mountains. Its locals are foreign friendly and has a large expat population. In parts of Thailand, it is not difficult to locate foreign cuisine, foreign books, and entertainment.

The primary reason for Thailand’s appeal is that the cost of living is much lower than in the United States or any other Western country including Australia. Everything from rent, food, medical care, to the internet is 20% to 50% of the costs of most Western Countries. Thailand is also one of the top countries for medical tourism with modern luxurious private hospitals and multiple international airports.

Another benefit of retiring in Thailand is the relatively low financial requirements to obtain a long stay retirement visa in Thailand. It is possible to obtain a retirement visa in Thailand by depositing about $25,000 in a Thai bank or having a pension or retirement income of about $2000 per month. A combination of money in a bank and a pension is also allowed.

What are the requirements to obtain a long term retirement visa in Thailand?
  1. Applicant must be 50 years of age or above at the time the application is submitted
  2. Must not be previously prohibited from entering Thailand
  3. Must not have a criminal record in Thailand or in the country of their nationality or country of current residence.
  4. Must not have an prohibitive diseases or addictions as outlined by the Thai regulations
  5. Evidence that the applicant meets the financial requirements of the visa
  6. Must have a nationality or permanent residence in the country where the application is submitted.

Upon successful submission, the applicant will receive a non-immigrant “O-A” visa that is good for one year. It is important to state that those who are in Thailand under a retirement visa are not allowed to work in Thailand.

Foreigners on a long term retirement visa in Thailand have to report to the local immigration officer every 90 days. The reporting can be done in person or by mail. An online reporting system is currently being developed. The retirement visa has to be extended every year with continued evidence that the retiree has maintained the visa’s financial requirements and has not violated the terms of their stay. After three years on a retirement visa, the retiree can apply for Thai Permanent Residence status and no long is required to extend their visas.

This is a general description of the O-A Thai Retirement Visa. The process of obtaining a visa can be time consuming and confusing for persons who are not fluent in reading and writing Thai. Errors or missing information can result in long delays or the denial of the visa. It is advised that those who are interested in obtaining a Thai retirement visa to speak to a Thai Visa Specialist.

See also Siam Legal's retirement visa page here.