Thailand Visas: Issues and Information

  • Well it's that time of the year again, the high season is getting ready to start and lots of readers currently within their cubicles overseas are thinking about their time soon to be spent among the beautiful as well as tropical beaches that Thailand is renowned for.

    Unfortunately, like Shangri-La, every year more obstacles seem to be placed in the road of those needing to come back on the Kingdom. Most notable among these obstacles will be the plethora of competing visa regulations being promulgated through the ordinance drafting machine that's Thai Immigration. To add confusion to complexity, many of the regional Consulates and Embassies are running tourist campany things as outlined by their own rules in the same way to the way an area chieftain runs his very own fiefdom.

    The rules get more complicated, but the game continues. Hopefully this can provide some insight for those looking to remain in the Kingdom for some time (or short) period of time.

    Thailand Visa Exemption Stamps

    First and foremost priority of temporary travelers could be the issue of Thailand visa exemptions. The visa exemption stamp is the 30 day stamp directed at most tourists going to the Airport. Currently Thai Immigration is giving one month exemption stamps on the airport to anyone holding a passport coming from a country around the exemption list (US, UK, CA, most EU, AU, NZ, etc). Technically, these stamps are meant to given an infinite number of times, provided the entrant is usually coming through the airport. That being said, I have heard reports that this is not the case and over about 3 entrances are certain to get your passport heavily scrutinized (they could always turn you away at the same time).

    At present, entrants seeking visa exemption stamps at land borders are now being accorded a mere 15 events of lawful status. This is important to notice because local immigration requires no less than 21 times of status to process a visa extension or conversion. Therefore, the immigration officers have effectively barred long lasting status to people entering Thailand using a land border without having a proper visa. If one needs to remain in the Kingdom long lasting, then this is not an efficient method.

    Thailand Tourist Visas: Free If You Can Get One

    After the less than spectacular tourist numbers recently, the Thai government announced a fee waiver for all those Tourist visas sought abroad. This resulted in something of your backlash from Consulates overseas because workload increased and also the resources decreased. However, the plan seems to have had some results as there has supposedly been an increase in tourist campany ( visa applications (possibly due on the fact that visa exemptions are harder to find).

    Even though first-time tourist visa applications are increasingly being reluctantly approved, later applications for a similar category are increasingly being critically reviewed. The Royal Thai Consulate in Penang, the on-again off-again visa run destination for most farangs in Thailand has produced the policy that they will not issue multiple tourist visas. This appears to be the prevailing attitude during the entire region, with a few exceptions. As a consequence, those desperate to remain for a longer period than a few months might be smart to seek out a non-immigrant visa rather than using exemptions or tourist visas.

    The Rise from the Non-Immigrant Visa

    It appears that non-immigrant visa applications are around the rise. Although tourist visas technically these are known as non-immigrant, because of these purposes we have been talking about B visas, O visas, and retirement visas. O visas will almost always be popular with those remaining in Thailand lasting as they allow for 90 days per entry. Should one acquire a 1 year multiple entry visa, this could be utilized four times for a time period of stay amounting to ninety days per entry. The Business visa is also popular for the people who could possibly be looking at making the trip more full-time by attempting to gain employment and applying for any work permit. Acquiring a Thai business visa could be a difficult task, particularly if one does not have company sponsorship, but it can be a highly flexible tourist campany visa from legal standpoint. Finally the retirement visa: perfect for all those over 50 who is able to prove financial resources to cover their living expenses. The only major issue with this one will be the fact that employment is prohibited, in general it really is much easier to acquire than various other categories. Those with an eye toward acquiring employment should consider the Thai business visa.

    In my opinion, the non-immigrant visa categories can become more popular because border run is slowly phased out, however this time pick up we could be talking about how no such visas get issued anymore. Long term status in Thailand can be hard to find in Asia, so act accordingly if you are still last your corner in the world because: prior planning prevents police detention.Article Source: Hart, the writer of this piece, is a Member with the American Immigration Lawyers Association. He currently acts as Managing Director of Integrity Legal (Thailand) Co. Ltd, a Thai Limited Amity Treaty Company. Contact the organization at 1-877-231-7533, +66 (0)2-266-3698, or email them at See additional information at Thai visa.
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