Visas and Immigration Laws in Thailand for Farang (Forigners)
Visa Categories for forigners in Thailand
All persons, other than those in transit and citizens of certain countries, are required to obtain a visa in order to enter Thailand. Foreign nationals who intend to remain in Thailand to work or conduct business must comply with visa requirements in addition to obtaining a work permit.
The Immigration Act of 1979 as amended in 1980 establishes the following visa categories:
Nationals of most countries will, without applying for a visa from a Thai embassy or consulate in advance, be given a 30 day-visa, except for those who are eligible for 90 day-visas. Nationals of some countries who are entitled to the 30 day-visa may be requested by the immigration officials to produce an onward ticket to establish that they will leave the Kingdom within 30 days.
Tourist visas are initially valid for 60 days and are renewable at the discretion of the Immigration Department. Renewals are normally granted for periods of up to 30 days at a time.
Aliens who have obtained a transit visa from a Thai embassy or consulate will be granted a 30-day stay in the Kingdom. Extensions of stay are normally granted for periods of 7-10 days.
Note: Transit, visitor transit and tourist visa holders are not authorized to work in Thailand.
This category includes, inter alia, former residents who have lost their resident status but who have reapplied to resume their residency and who have been able to demonstrate a convincing reason to support the granting of this type of visa.
Members of the diplomatic or consular corps, aliens coming to perform their duties in Thailand with the approval of the Thai government, aliens performing their duties in Thailand under an agreement between the Thai government and a foreign government, heads of international organizations or agencies operating in Thailand, and dependents of all the aforementioned persons, including private servants of members of the diplomatic corps, are exempted by the Act from the normal visa requirements.
Aliens seeking a prolonged stay, or those coming to work in Thailand, should obtain non-immigrant visas for all family members prior to entering the Kingdom. There are several categories of Non-Immigrant visas which include, among others, business visa category (B); dependent visa category (O); investment subject to the provision of the laws on investment promotion (BOI IB); diplomatic and consular visa category (D); performance of duties with the mass media (M); performance of skilled or expert work (EX); investment (with concurrence of ministries and departments concerned)-(capital investment IM); study or observation (ED).
Advantages of a Non-Immigrant visa include:
Thailand's Board Of Investment (BOI) provides the above information. For more detailed information see the BOI's website at http://www.boi.go.th/ .
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