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Thailand Business Visas: Information Regarding Requirements

Transcript of the above video:

This video will briefly discuss Thai business visas, specifically Thai business visas. There will also be a bit of an overview of how the Thai Immigration process works and the Thai immigration apparatus.

Pretty much the most commonly utilized visa for those staying in Thailand for a relatively long period of time and by “relatively long period of time” I mean 90 day. The most commonly used visa for this type of person is going to be a business visa. There are other types of visas with respect to tourism and exemption stamps; I am not going to go into those at all in this overview. There are also Thai marriage visas which are called the “O” visa, Thai education visas, the ED category, the OA sub category, that’s the retirement visa for those wishing to retire in Thailand; I am not going to mention those specifically in this video. This is just talking about the business visa. Those coming here to work in Thailand, routinely what you see, or what I see on routine basis is those types of people are going to be getting a business visa. To be clear, a business visa is not work authorized. In certain instances, under US Immigration Law, Business visas are work authorized, or certain types of business visas are work authorized. Most notably the H1 (b) or the L-1 visa, that visa comes with work authorization attached to it. In Thailand, under the system that the Thais have devised, work authorization is a separate matter from business visa status. Business visa status is specifically an Immigration categorization and is a different thing from labour authorization. There is another video on our channel here that discusses Thai work permits. Those interested in Thai work permits, I strongly recommend that you go over to that video and have a look at that information because Thai work permits are an entirely different matter. A couple of things I wanted to discuss regarding Thai business visas specifically are the types of business visas. So what I mean to say is there are really 2 types that I look at when I am at work here in Bangkok with respect to clients that are really going to be operable over a long period of time and by “long period of time” I mean in increments of a year. There is the multiple entry Thai business visa, the 1-year multiple entry Thai business visa and then there is what is called the “Visa extension in B status”. 

So let me give you an example of what the difference is between these two. Someone with a multiple entry Thai business visa will be issued that document from an embassy or consulate, Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate which is under the jurisdiction of the Foreign Ministry of Thailand. They are going to obtain that document abroad so they are going to obtain that from a jurisdiction like say the Thai Embassy in London, or the Thai Embassy in New York, Thai Consulate in New York. That’s not going to be obtained within Thailand, Okay? That type of visa you are going to get that abroad. It’s issued for one year, it’s called a multi entry because you are allowed to come and go but most importantly, every time one enters the Kingdom of Thailand in multiple entry status, multi entry B status, they are only allowed to enter the country for 90 days at a time. The visa itself is issued with a 1 year validity but the status one gains when being stamped in by Immigration at say Suvarnabhumi Airport is only going to be for 90 days; the difference between this and the extension I will explain in a moment, just one more thing about multi entries.  There is sort of a little bonus to the multi entry visa because toward the end of the visa’s validity, one could say come back in to the country, theoretically, as is with all immigration matters, visas are always subject to the scrutiny of the Immigration Officers making an adjudication as to one’s ability to enter the country so notwithstanding the fact that one has a visa, it is not a foregone conclusion that one is going to be admitted to the country the visa has been issued for. Setting that aside, on a one year multi entry visa, a person could have been using it to basically be in Thailand or spend a large part of a year in Thailand but if they go out a day or 2 days, whatever, as long as they come back in before that visa’s expiration, they are going to be given a 90 day stamp upon being stamped back in to the Kingdom of Thailand. So in a way, this visa can be utilized for more than a year, if used properly.  A side note regarding multi entry visas. These have been fairly popular especially amongst those who don’t spend all of their given year in the Kingdom.

Here recently, at least I have noticed, that adjudication of such visas has become, the scrutiny of such adjudications has become a lot tighter and the result is that there is fewer of those visas being issued. It’s still possible to get one but just understand that there was a time when it was a bit more lax policy regarding issuance of those documents here, recently more and more it appears that posts abroad, Royal Thai Embassies and Consulates abroad are more apt to issue a 90 day business visa and then require that that individual getting that 90 day business visa, obtain work authorization in Thailand and then get an extension. That brings me to the issue of extensions of a Thai Business Visa. So once someone is issued an initial business visa from abroad, they come to Thailand, they are going to work for themselves or they work for a company and they get a work permit, okay? Work permits are on another video on this channel.  I’d recommend that you check that out yourself but assuming a work permit is issued let’s look to the fact that what happens after that work permit is issued. After a work permit is issued, an individual can then request the Royal Thai Immigration Police here in Thailand to have their business visa status extended. Generally speaking, such status is extended in 1-year increments so one can have their business visa status extended from the 90 day visa initially issued or theoretically from a multi entry visa initially issued, to a 1-year extension.  A couple of thing to note about a 1-year extension. 1-year visa extensions are subject to fairly intense scrutiny, at least at the time of this video, by Royal Thai Immigration Police. A great deal will be looked at with respect to that individual’s work authorization, their activities they are undertaking, the activities of the company and the tax history and the Social Security of the various Thai employees being paid in with respect to that Company. What I mean to say is all of that is going to be looked at by Immigration. Another thing to think about with respect to an extension. If a Thai business visa extension is issued, the visa extension itself is simply that; it’s an extension. If one leaves the country with that extension, and does not obtain what is called a Thai re-entry permit, a re-entry permit, from Immigration either at say Chaeng Wattana or a Royal Thai Immigration Office in another province, or get a re-entry permit at an airport before leaving Thailand, if one leaves Thailand with just an extension and does not obtain a re-entry permit, that visa dies at the point at which that person exits the Kingdom. That is a very big issue for those who have been issued an extension because the process of getting an extension can be rather intense and failure to get re-entry permit essentially kills that individual’s status. That can be a problem that most people do not want to have. A quick overview to what we just discussed.

There are 2 types of long term business visas for Thailand. A multi entry business visa is issued with a 1-year validity. That requires that an individual leave the country every 90 days and every time that individual on that visa enters the country, they will be stamped in for a 90-day period or there’s the visa extension and the visa extension and the visa extension is issued generally in 1-year increments after a person has been work authorized in the Kingdom of Thailand. One other quick thing to bring up with respect to business visa extensions. Even though one has obtained the business visa extension, every 90 days following the initial extension of the visa, one has to check in with the Immigration Office with jurisdiction over that individual to give an update to Immigration Officers as to the address where that individual is residing.