Thailand Visas & Immigration Laws – Frequently Asked Questions 

Thailand Visas & Immigration Laws – Frequently Asked Questions

This is a guide to those who are intending on traveling to the Kingdom of Thailand and seek advice which clarify certain areas that you will need to know.

Please take a look at the following information and hope this will give you more of an insight.

1) I am planning to visit Thailand for a Holiday for approximately 2 weeks. I currently hold an US passport. Do I require a visa for this?

Answer:  Passport holders from the United States of America and an additional countries are able to travel to the Kingdom of Thailand, just for tourism, you will be allowed to stay in the Kingdom for a period of 30 days only. The answer then would be you do not require a visa.

Please make sure that your current passport is valid for a minimum of 6 month, and ensure you have a return airline ticket and sufficient funds of 10,000 THB per person or 20,000 THB per family. Failure could cause slight inconvenience for you at the airport.

Foreigners who enter Thailand with a TOURIST VISA EXEMPTION SCHEME may re-enter for a duration of stay which does not exceed 90 days within 6 month period from your date of first entry into the Kingdom.

A full list of the countries is found on the MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS website (www.mfa.go.th) please check and see your stated country.

2) I would like to seek employment In Thailand, I am a Malaysian currently living in Kuala Lumpur, please let me know the best way to get the visa?

Answer:  To be able to work in the Kingdom there are 2 elements :-

NON-IMMIGRANT “B” VISA & (2) WORK PERMIT

You will need to have an employer in Thailand, then apply for a NON-IMMIGRANT VISA CATEGORY “B” (Business) please apply at the Royal Thai Embassy in KL with all your supporting documents are letter from your new employer and the business certifications as required by the MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

As soon as you have the visa you will need to then apply for a work permit which is obtainable from the DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT, MINISTRY OF LABOUR.

Your employer can also on your behalf apply the work permit with a TOR THOR 3, a pre- approved visa will be issued first. If this is the way then please obtain the work permit TOR THOR 2 once you arrive in to the Kingdom.

3) Being from Indonesia and working for a company in London, the company needs me to attend training for 6 weeks, do i need to apply for a visa? Where to apply?

Answer:  Firstly you need a NON-IMMIGRANT VISA you will need to apply at the Royal Thai Embassy in London. You will require a recommendation letter from your new company to verify what your intended purpose of travel is, you will also need to prove that you work legally in the UK and that you can re-enter UK without any issues.

4) I am currently on holiday in Koh Samui and I am Italian, arrived into Thailand with a tourist visa and could stay for 30 days. I want to stay longer and would like to know what to do?

Answer:  You would be required to apply for an extension, you can apply at any immigration office in the Kingdom, you may be permitted to extend for an additional 30 days, you need to do so before your stay expires, failing this you will be fined 500 THB for each overstay day whilst being in Thailand.

5) Would anyone have information on visas for minors under the age of 14? Are children charged for any overstay?

Answer:  Generally the rules for overstay for children under the age of 15 is they do not incur any fines and over 18 years old can’t be banned for overstaying.

6) For how long can I extend my 30 day entry visa?

Answer:  For an additional 30 days it is 1,900 THB, for your information what you already have is a 30 days visa exemption, no visa.

7) Planning to get married, what visa do I get with a Thai wife?

Answer:  You have some options, firstly a tourist visa or NON-IMMIGRANT “O” and secondly extend the visa which you arrived into Thailand with. This extension of visa can be done at any Thai Immigration office in Thailand.

8) How do I know if I am black listed here in Thailand?

Answer:  If you have previously committed a serious crime in the Kingdom of Thailand or removed from the Kingdom, your personal information will be stored in the government data base. You will most likely have issues in obtaining a new visa to enter Thailand. You will have to apply for the visa in your own country first and they will be able to determine if you have been placed on the black list.

9) I just obtained a tourist visa from the Thai Consulate-General here in Rio. They had not included the visa expiry date, I did encounter some problems at the airport but was allowed entry to Thailand. I would like to extend my visa to stay in Thailand but the officer at the immigration said they can’t extend unless my visa is fixed, What do i need to do now?

Answer:  The best thing to do in this situation is take your passport to the VISA DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF CONSULAR AFFAIRS, MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS located on Chaengwattana Road in Bangkok, if the visa is genuine they will be able to amend and make the necessary corrections for you.

10) I am an Indian citizen and finished my studies in Bangkok, I would like to work in Phuket, Do I require to do anything?

Answer:  You must change your visa status and need to apply for a work permit. You need to consult the Immigration office and the department of employment immediately prior to any employment.

11) I believe that Thailand is a great place to stay after I retire, is there a certain type of visa required for retirees?

Answer:  You are correct, Thailand is wonderful and many people retire here. The visa is called a NON-IMMIGRANT “O-A” (Long stay). For foreigners over the age of 50 or older and would like to stay in the Kingdom of Thailand for a long period of time and will not be working, will have to apply for the visa at the Royal Thai Embassy or Royal Thai Consulate-General in the country where you reside. A holder of  “O-A” visa is allowed to stay in Thailand for 1 year from the first entry date, you will be allowed to apply for an extension of stay afterwards. All the requirements for this application are on the website (www.mfa.go.th).

12) My nationality is Lithuanian and I am planning to travel to Thailand for a week holiday, from what I have been told Lithuanians have to apply for a visa prior to traveling to Thailand, Unfortunately there is no Thai Embassy here. Please let me know what is the best way to apply.

Answer: Basically you have 3 options being a Lithuanian national.

All Lithuanians are allowed to apply for a VISA ON ARRIVAL at any of the designated check points in Thailand, including the international airports.

Please visit the website (www.mfa.go.th) there you can view the countries which are eligible under this scheme.

The VISA ON ARRIVAL would be for a period of 15 days, your passport must be valid for a minimum of 6 months and provide a return dated airline ticket. Adequate finances of 10,000 THB per person.

The Royal Thai Honorary Consulate-General is in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. Here you can apply for your tourist visa.

You may also apply for a tourist visa at the Royal Thai Embassy in Moscow.

13) My wife and I have a concern about a visa. Currently we are in Laos and we plan on retiring to Bangkok soon, we will cross the border and I believe they will give us 2 weeks visa for free, ideally we would like to stay for approximately 5-6 weeks more in Thailand. Can we get a tourist visa for 90 days? Or can we apply outside of Thailand too?

Answer: A 60 day tourist visa outside Thailand at a Thai Embassy, you can apply directly with the Thai Embassy in Laos, they will be able to assist.

14) Are you required to depart from Thailand every 90 days with a MARRIAGE VISA?

Answer: Yes and no is the answer to this, it mainly is influenced on the type of visa you have.
If you have a multiple entry NON IMMIGRANT “O” visa based on a marriage to a Thai citizen, this will enable you to enter on multiple occasions during that year but allowed a stay of 90 day per entry.

If you financially qualify then you can file to extend the type “O” visa where you have to report to the immigration every 90 days. To be able to do this you must show a minimum of 400,000 THB in a Thai bank account or show at least a monthly income of 40,000 THB two months before your extension is due.

15) I am a Belgian student in Brussels and a NGO in Thailand invited me to work as a volunteer for 40 days. I will not be getting paid, do I still need a visa to come there?

Answer: Yes, you need a NON-IMMIGRANT VISA plus a work permit. Your NGO must be registered in Thailand with the authorities, you will also require a letter of recommendation for the visa and work permit application.

16) My wife is leaving Thailand for 7 months, she currently has a Thai and US passport, my friend told us she should use her US passport when leaving but enter Thailand using her Thai passport, so this means she does not Need a visa and also she has no visa in her Thai passport or any form of entry stamp in US passport, I’m a little confused about this situation

Answer:  This is the best way to handle this, Leave the US with a US passport, but show the Thai if they ask her any questions. She should enter Thailand using her Thai passport, when leaving make sure she shows both to the ticket agent and the immigration officer.

17) I am a 62 year old man, I have met a Thai lady who runs her own business, a coffee shop. I want to marry her and come to live in Thailand, I just have a social security cheque and I receive $678 (21000 THB) a month, I have no other assets, is it possible to do what I would like?

Answer:  You require to stay in Thailand long term, and you are planning to marry a Thai. You would need to apply for a MARRIAGE VISA. This visa is applicable for people who are legally married to a Thai national. The other criteria is the financial side, 400,000 THB in a Thai bank account, monthly income of 40,000 THB or both.
Foreigners who are 50 and above may also apply the RETIREMENT VISA. The criteria is higher and it requires 800,000 THB in a bank account, monthly income of 65,000 THB or both, these are the general requirements in for the Kingdom of Thailand.

18) I got fined 1,600 THB for not reporting my address of stay. Do all tourists have to do this, if only staying for a few days? Will you get a fine at the airport? 

Answer:  When you are staying at a private address, the landlord or yourself are responsible for this. It seems you did not report using the TM30 FORM (Notification form for House-Master, owners or the possessor of the residence where you are planning to stay).

You will not be fined at the airport, only at immigration office in the area you will be staying.

19) I will be flying in a few day, it will be an internal flight, currently my passport is with the labour department, would it be possible to use the Thai driving license as ID? I am a dual citizen can I use another passport if needed?

Answer: Using either will be fine and acceptable for Domestic flights only.

20) I am in need of some advice. Just a little confused, I am from Morocco and planning to visit Thailand soon with my family. I have a Thai tourist visa from consulate here in Casablanca. It is written on the stamp that my visa is valid for 3 months, does this allow me to stay in Thailand for 3 months?

Answer: No, it does not mean you are able to stay in Thailand for 3 months, this means that you must use the visa within 3 months from the date they issued you the visa. The duration of your stay is granted by the immigration officer on arrival that will be 60 days from your date of entry.

21) I am visiting Thailand with a MULTIPLE -ENTRY BUSINESS VISA. I have now lost my passport, please help?

Answer: Do not panic, the first step is you will need to go to the local police to report the loss of your passport. Secondly you will then need to visit your embassy here in Bangkok for to issue a new passport or temporary travel document. Lastly you will need to take your new passport or travel documentation to the immigration office for them to endorse it.

If there is no embassy of your country in Bangkok please go directly to the Visa & Travel Documents Division, Department of Consular Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Chaengwattana Road in Bangkok, you will need to apply for the EMERGENCY CERTIFICATE, please take it to the immigration then to have it endorsed prior to leaving the Kingdom of Thailand.

You will need to apply for a new visa once you get your new passport before you plan on coming to Thailand again.

22) How to extend my visa whilst in Thailand?

Answer: It all depends on the visa you have, if you have a 2 month tourist visa, you will be able to go to any immigration office and the fee is 1,900 THB you will receive an additional 30 days. The marriage visa if you have one, can be extended for an additional 12 months too.

RETIREMENT VISA OR THAI “O-A” VISA, these visas can also be extend if you meet the financial requirements. The EDUCATIONAL VISA is also extendable, but need to show the evidence that you attend class. If you are in a language school they may require to see your exam results.

23)  I will be visiting Thailand this December and plan on staying just over 30 days, it will be 34 days in total, do I need to apply for a visa?

Answer: That’s great you would be here for the New Year celebrations. Two options for you to stay in Thailand for these days. Apply for a tourist visa at the Thai embassy or consulate closest to your location. You will be allowed to stay for 60 days once they issue you your Tourist visa. The other alternative is to apply for an extension when you are here, you will get an initial 30 days or you could pay the overstay fee of 500 THB per day at the immigration.

24) I arrived into Thailand with a SINGLE ENTRY BUSINESS VISA, I have 90 days stay and can be here until the end of next month. My company have asked me to travel to Hong Kong for a few days and I will come back to Thailand. Do I need to apply to get another visa?

Answer: Prior to leaving Thailand for Hong Kong you will need to apply for a re-entry permit at the Immigration office. You may also apply at the Airport. A re-entry permit will allow you to re-enter into the kingdom without losing the current status of your existing BUSINESS VISA.

25) Would a copy of my latest tax return enable me to get a RETIREMENT VISA?

Answer:  Sorry no, the latest tax return is not sufficient to enable the process of a RETIREMENT VISA here in Thailand. You will need to apply for this visa with the relevant supported documentation and financial criteria.

26) My partner will be traveling back to Thailand soon for 6 months, she has a Thai AND US passport. Our friends have told her to use the US passport when she leaves the US and to arrive into Thailand using her Thai passport, so does she does not need a visa to stay, she does not have a US visa in her Thai passport or entry stamp in the US passport, I am just a little confused will this be ok for the authorities?

Answer: Best way around this is leave the States with the US passport, she can show her Thai passport if they ask why no visa, arrive into Thailand with her Thai passport, when she leaves show both passports at Immigration.

27) Taiwanese citizens who want to stay in Thailand for 1 year, what visa should we apply for?

Answer:  A One year visa will only be available for people who are employed with a valid work permit, foreigners on retirement or married to a Thai national, foreigners also working in an institution are given a 90 day ED VISA or a 1 year ED VISA.

Education Visa (ED) have become strict, to extend more than 1 year you will have to supply the correct documentation form the University and if its and prove you can speak basic Thai if on a Thai Language course.

28) Is there a minimum validity requirement on my passport? I will be applying for an extension.

Answer: The policy changed in Thailand and now they will only grant an extension of your passport, if your passport is not valid for a year, you must renew before you apply the extension.

29) My flight back home is on 25th June, my visa is valid until 18th June. Will I have to extend or will I be liable to pay fine at the airport on departure? What is the cost also?

Answer: The over stay charge is 500 THB per day. If you have a tourist visa you have the option to extend once with additional 30 days the cost of this is 1,900 THB. This is done at the local Immigration office. Do not overstay, if you happen to get checked during overstay there is a possibility they will arrest you, fine you and in extreme cases be deported.

30) Being an Australian businessman, I travel, I will be going to Thailand regularly for business. Would there be any form of facility for frequent travelers?

Answer: The best option is to apply for a 1 year or 3 year MULTIPLE ENTRY BUSINESS VISA, this will enable you to travel into the Kingdom of Thailand as often as you like. You would have a maximum period of stay no more than 90 days for each of your visits.

Additional information regarding visas are located here www.mfa.go.th alternatively you can check with the issuing embassy in your area to ensure your application is swift.

Just some extra information, Thailand and Australia are both APEC, meaning business ties and allowing entry into other APEC economies such as Brunei, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore,Vietnam.

31) I just recently arrived in Bangkok by car, from Cambodia, on August 31. I would like to stay until October 5. Could i visit the immigration in Bangkok and possibly get an extension on the 15 day visa on arrival?

Answer: Sorry, visa on arrival can only be extended to a maximum of 7 days at the Thai immigration office, if you are planning to stay for 1 month longer you will have to do the border run twice, on each entry back into Thailand you will receive 15 days or you could also exit Thailand by land and then once you re-enter into Thailand you will receive 30 days in your passport.

32) I need some advice as I feel confused, i got a NON IMMIGRANT visa from my country of residence, would I need exit the country every 3 months? My friend did not exit, I am not sure what to do now?

Answer: Your NON IMMIGRANT visa would require a 90 day visa run. If you have already extended your NON IMMIGRANT visa to a longer one, EXTENDED RETIREMENT VISA, EXTENDED MARRIAGE VISA, the 90 day visa run is not needed. In Thailand you always have to do a 90 day report, basically reporting your address to the Thai Immigration, when your visa has been extended to the twelve months, hopefully this make it more clear for you.

33) I will be planning to go on vacation to Thailand during the month of April this year and spend some time sightseeing. A question would be if it is possible to apply for a tourist visa with just a one way airline ticket?

Answer: No, it is not possible to apply or be allowed entry into Thailand with just a one way airline ticket. Your embassy will refuse the application for the visa. You always have to have proof of your return to your home country. When you apply for a tourist visa you need to show them your schedule and paid return ticket which has to show departure and arrival dates.

34) Is it possible for a US citizen to enter into the Kingdom of Thailand with a 30 day exemption , extend the exemption another 30 days then depart and repeat the process?

Answer: You can be granted two 30 day visa exempt entries by land in a calendar year, there is no limit on how many you receive by arrival by air. The best advice we can give you is receive a SINGLE ENTRY TOURIST VISA from a Thai consulate in another country close by to Thailand.

35) At the moment I have student visa, I need to leave Thailand for a two months. Once I return will I still have my student visa or will it revert to a tourist visa, someone said I may have to process the student visa again.

Answer: To return back to the EDUCATION VISA you first need to get it extended 90 days, then a SINGLE RE ENTRY PERMIT costing 1000 THB. So when you return in 2 months you will get your passport stamped for the expiration date you got after the extension was given.

The Immigration may also question you on arrival back into Thailand why you left for 2 months whilst being on an EDUCATION VISA.

36) My 1st year NON IMMIGRANT VISA  “O-A” is ending soon, I do not want to do a border crossing, but if possible just go to my local immigration office, to get a year extension. In my passport I have TM6 & 90 day reporting document. Do I require a bank book to show I have funds, Rental contract is that also needed to be shown TM30? 

Answer: What you will need to do is go to your bank and ask them for a letter and update your bank book on the day you are applying for the extension. Ask your local immigration office for a list of requirements, different offices do tend to do things differently, there is normally not a standard guide.

37) My best friend will be visiting Thailand as a tourist and she asked if they require proof of return for the immigration? They used to want a printed our ticket to show proof when you leave, but some of my friends say otherwise?

Answer: The airline you travel with will not allow you to travel if you do not have a return date booked. They will be liable if the country you are visiting refuses entry.

38) Is a VISA ON ARRIVAL different if by Land or Air?

Answer: If you go to Thailand by air you will receive a 30 day TOURIST VISA.  A 30 day stamp under visa exemption shall be expired as soon as you exit, if you re-enter by land you will receive only 15 days. By air you will get 30 days.

These countries can however arrive by land or Air and receive 30 days, UK, USA, CANADA, GERMANY, FRANCE, ITALY and JAPAN.

39) I am 53 years old and would like to change my ED VISA to RETIREMENT VISA, I have 800,000 THB in my account.

Answer: Do you still work at the school where you receive your 90 day extensions? If you are then you are not changing because you are not on a visa, you are on an extension, you are changing the reason for your extension.

You will need to visit the immigration and simply cancel your extension based on education, you need all the documents from your school, then you must apply for a new year extension based on being over 50 years old, submit the correct docs, the 800,000 THB must be in your bank for 60 days before applying, ensure you update the bank book on the day and a letter from your bank.

40) I would like to enquire how visa exemption works for a UK citizen, who wants to visit and maybe extend the stay?

Answer: UK is one of the countries where visa exempt is applicable. A 30 day extension is issued at your local immigration office. You have to fill out the form, requirements will be passport photo and evidence to where you are staying, a copy of TM30. This form must be submitted to the Thai immigration as soon as you have arrived. A 30 day extension will cost you 1,900 THB

41) I have been given a job opportunity in Thailand and would like some advice. The new company in Thailand said I need a NON B VISA and a work permit. The cost will be 12,500 THB. They have informed me also that a scanned copy of my passport and 2 passport photos for immigration. Do I need to leave Thailand in order to process the paper work?

Answer: The cost for a NON B VISA is considerably more than 12,500 THB the cost is 20,000 THB. The work permit is an additional 3,900 THB. Once you have your NON B VISA you will also have to pay for a 1 year visa extension and re-entry permit.

Applying for this will take a little time and your new company will supply you all the documentation that is needed to process the Visa and work permit as smoothly as possible.

42) This is bothering me and need your assistance, I have already two 30 day visa stamps by entering by land and one 30 day stamp from the immigration, I need now to do a further extension which will be beyond my last visa end date. How to do? Would the Thai immigration give me an additional 30 days, I do not want to be flying in and out if that possible.

Answer: You went twice correct on a land crossing and was given a 30 day visa exempt, this is not a visa, you then extended the 1st one with 30 days. You are now in the Kingdom of Thailand and your 2nd visa exempt entry. You are allowed to extend each visa exempt one with 30 days. There are no restrictions on how many times you enter by air, the limitation is only on crossing the borders by land and is allowed only twice. The 30 days extension will cost you 1,900 THB.

43) I have a 2nd UK passport, can i transfer my stamps to that one if needed?

Answer: No, you are not allowed to transfer stamps to another passport. You will not be allowed to get extensions if you have 2 passports also. If you switched stamps you would need to use a new passport entirely.

44) I am hearing rumors that it is no longer possible to get a One Year Non B visa from Penang unless you are shareholder/ director, are there any alternatives? Can we get one in Kuala Lumpur, Laos, Cambodia etc?

Answer: It is True. All Consulates/ Embassies close by only provide the 3 months Single Entry Non B visa. If your employer can meet the requirements, you can apply for a 1 year Extension of Stay.

45) Is the procedure changed for getting the M Visa? My Husband works for a radio station in France, but they don’t give work contracts to any of their foreign correspondents.

Answer: A lot of journalists lost their ability to hold an M visa extension after the Coup. I believe journalist could get their extensions at One Stop Service Center at Cham Churi Square

46) Today (4th May), I went to the Immigration in Chaeng Wattana and they told me that I have to pay 14,000 THB overstay fee or be arrested. My visa was valid from 05 February 2018 until 04 May 2018. What is there to be confused about?

Answer: DON’T CONFUSE the “Valid Until” date with EXPIRY date of your entry stamp! In the visa it states “Valid from” and “Valid Until”, this is the period in which you can use the Visa and it is NOT the EXIPIRY DATE of the Visa. You normally get two months from the date of entry, so unless you extended it, it expired early April. ALWAYS CHECK YOUR EXIT STAMP IN YOUR PASSPORT!

47) What happens if you refuse to pay the Overstay fee? Do you go to prison or get deported?

Answer: If you refuse to pay the overstay fine you are arrested and held at the IDC (Immigration Detention Center). You will see a judge who will waive the overstay fine and charge you around 5000 THB and you will be brought back to the IDC. You’ll have to buy your own flight ticket back to your country, they take you to the airport, stamp you out and blacklist you for 5 years (Overstay up to 1 year) and 10 years (Overstay longer than 1 year).

48) Difference Between “Marriage Visa” and “Yearly extension of stay based on Marriage”

Answer: A Marriage Visa is in reality a Non-Immigrant Type O Visa (Meaning Other). Non-O visas are issued for a variety of things (Marriage to Thai, Raising children, Retirement (Over 50 years old), Married to a Foreigner who legally works here, Volunteers etc.
If you are married to a Thai, you can stay in Thailand Two ways:
1) Get 1 year multiple entry Non-Immigrant Type O visa based on Marriage to a Thai. Every 90-days you go to the border and Stamp out of Thailand, Stamp In & Out of another country and then Stamp back into Thailand. A person on this visa NEVER does a 90-days report at the immigration office, because you can’t stay in Thailand longer than 90-days at a time.

2) The 2nd Option is to get a 90-day Single Entry Non-Immigrant Type O visa (From Thai Consulate or Immigration Office) and then apply for a Yearly extension of stay based on Marriage to a Thai at the Immigration Office. 2 Months prior to your application you will need to have 400,000 THB in your Thai Bank Account (Financial Requirements). You also could use a notarized letter from your consulate stating that you get 40,000 THB a month income from Abroad. Then Submit all the required documents, photos etc and the application goes under consideration for 30-Days.

If you are planning to leave the country during the year, after you get your extension of stay, you would need to buy a Re-Entry permit.

A person on this extension have to do a 90-days report if they stay in the country 90-days

49) I am holding a Multiple Re-entry Tourist Visa. My first entry will expire in 1 week. Can I get it stamped at Immigration Chaeng Wattana or do I have to make a visa run?

Answer: You can get it stamped at the Immigration Chaeng Wattana in person, as they will make a digital photo. Every entry can be extended once with 30 days for 1900 THB or you can do a Border bounce (Stamp out of Thailand, Stamp in & out of another country, stamp right back into Thailand) to get another 60 days stamp.

50) Where can I get a Criminal Record Check?

Answer: You can apply for it at the Police Clearance Service Center. There will be a 100 THB Fee and normally takes up from 2 weeks to 1 month.
Hereby the website: http://www.pcscenter.sb.police.go.th/eng/
Or you could go to the Royal Thai Police Headquarters close to Siam BTS.