Non-Immigrant “Business” Visa (Non-Immigrant B)
- This type of visa is a good fit for foreigners who want to work in Thailand and obtain a valid work permit. This visa can be applied for in a Thai Embassy or through converting a tourist visa to a Non-Immigransupport the foreign employee's visa application, and the work permit shall be obtained during the initial 90 days. Upon obtaining the work permit, the employee shall apply for 1 year visa extension inside the Kingdom.
- A passport with at least 6 months validity (as for the day of application for visa) is a requirement even if the current visa is intended to be converted.
- An invitation or confirmation letter to clarify the purpose of employment issued by the Thai organization, entity or company (prospective employer).
- Applicable Embassy fees
- Documents provided by the company must be stamped and signed by the Director.
A foreigner wishing to enter Thailand for reasons other than tourism must apply for a Non-Immigrant visa before arrival. The application can be for either a one-year multiple-entry visa with an initial 90-day stay or for a single-entry 90-day visa. There are numerous types of non-immigrant visa categories but the most commonly issued are:
- Business (B-type)
- Marriage (O-type)
- Dependent or Retirement (O-type)
- Education (ED-type)
In addition to these types of non-immigrant visa, there are several other categories, including:
- Type D - a diplomatic visa issued to employees of foreign embassies in Thailand
- Type M - for accredited mass media representatives
- Type EX - for applicants who perform skilled or expert work in a certain fields
- Type IM or IB - visa types for foreign investors under certain government guidelines
- Type F - for a foreigner performing official duties
- Type R - for missionaries
- Type RS - for individuals engaged in scientific research
- Type S - for those participating in sporting events
The non-immigrant visa indicates the period during which the holder can enter Thailand. This does not relate to the length of time the visa holder will be granted as their permission to stay in the country. The permission to stay is indicated by a date stamped in the foreigner’s passport by the Immigration official, showing the date by which they must leave the country.
Marriage or Guardian Visa
This visa is intended for those foreigners who are married to Thai nationals, or whose spouse is employed by a company in Thailand or who has a son or daughter who are either Thai nationals or pursuing education in Thailand. According to Immigration Act B.E.2522, a foreigner married to a Thai national (i.e. a person of Thai nationality already holding permanent resident status and Thai national ID card) is eligible to apply for a marriage visa in Thailand. The first requirement is for the applicant to have entered the country with a non-immigrant visa. The holder of the non-immigrant visa can then apply within 90 days of entering Thailand for a one-year extension to stay based on marriage. There are also financial requirements which must be met. Once the permission to stay has been extended, the visa holder is allowed to stay in the Kingdom for a full year without having to leave the country. The one-year permit to stay is renewable every year.
Requirements And Benefits
A marriage visa in Thailand is applicable not only directly in the case of a Thai spouse, but also in cases where another family member is a Thai national – although this is limited to the biological children, spouses, adopted children, children of the spouse, or parents. To apply for a marriage visa certain requirements that the foreign applicant must meet include:
- The applicant shall be legally married to a Thai citizen.
- The applicant must also be able to show either an income of THB 40,000 or THB 400,000 in a Thai bank account provided that the money has been kept in the account for at least 60 days at the time of application.
- The bank deposit requirement changes to three months on subsequent annual re- applications. To meet the monthly income requirement, income from outside of Thailand can be in the form of a pension, investment income or other sources.
Provided the monthly income is sufficient and can be proven via official documents, the applicant does not need to be employed. It is not required for the foreign wife of a Thai husband to show her monthly income, but when the foreign wife applies for an visa extension to stay in the country based on marriage, the Thai husband must be able to show proof that he has paid income tax in Thailand. A marriage visa provides the holder with a number of benefits which include:
- A full year's permission to stay with possible multiple entries into the country during that period and annual renewals without the requirement of leaving the country.
- Eligible to apply for a work permit
- Able to open a savings account with a Thai bank.
Multiple Entry - Extention Of Stay
Those holding a non-immigrant visa and wishing to travel outside of Thailand during their permitted duration of stay, must obtain either a single or multiple re-entry permit before exiting the country, otherwise the visa they hold will no longer be valid when they try to re-enter Thailand.
At the end of the initial 90-day period granted by the non-immigrant visa, it is possible to apply for an extension of stay from within Thailand, and the rules vary depending on the visa type. The extension of a business visa follows a different set of regulations that are more rigorous. If the Immigration Bureau grants an extension of stay, the visa holder must report to Immigration Office every 90 days to confirm their address. There is a fine for failure to comply with this regulation.
If an extension of stay is not granted, the foreigner may not stay in Thailand permanently and will need to leave the country to apply for another non-immigrant visa at a Thai embassy or consulate in their home country or in another country near Thailand, if they so wish.
This type of visa is suitable for foreigners aged at least 55 years with at least a 3-month old savings in any Thai Bank amounting at THB 800,000. Many visitors to Thailand are so captivated by the country that they decide to return to spend their retirement years in the Kingdom. Thai immigration law makes provisions for foreigners wishing to stay in the country on a long-term basis for retirement by issuing a Retirement Visa to those that qualify. The requirements for an application of such a visa are as follows:
- Any applicant must be at least 50 years old; and
- Hold a non-immigrant visa; and
- Be able to produce a monthly income (pension) statement for at least THB 65,000 OR possess THB 800,000 in the bank that has been kept in the account for at least three months.
Although the process itself is not all that complex, substantial amount of documentation is required, and a number of steps is involved. Legal assistance can ensure that the application process proceeds smoothly. Upon obtaining the visa, the holder of the retirement visa can remain in Thailand for a full year without having to leave the country. The one-year permit to stay is renewable on annual basis.
A retirement visa provides several benefits which include:
- If the original non-immigrant visa was issued with a multiple entry permit, the visa holder can enter the country multiple times during the period of validity of the visa.
- It can be converted into a one-year retirement visa, which can be renewed annually without the holder having to leave the country.
- The holder of a retirement visa is eligible to open a savings account with a Thai bank.