Friday, 3 October 2014

Visiting Thailand: What Visas are Available?

Most foreigners on a visit to ShaSa Resort in Thailand need not have a pre-approved visa if they intend to stay for less than 30 days. This visa waiver is extended to holders of passports of a Western country or other countries which Thailand extends such a privilege. A 30-day entry stamp is issued to these visitors if they arrive by air, while a 15-day entry stamp goes to those entering Thailand at any of its border points.
These visa waivers can only be used four times to prevent potential abuse. Once a waiver lapses, the visitor need to apply at the Immigration Office for an extension or a visa which costs 1,900 baht.
Choices for tourists
Thailand issues several visas. These are generally classified as tourist and non-immigrant visas. There are two types of tourist visas—single entry and double entry. These are extended to visitors whose singular purpose is for tourism and not business or employment.
A single entry visa is good for 60 days which can be extended by 7 days up to 30 days, depending on the immigration officer. Length of stay for the double entry visa is also 60 days, but its holder can cross any of the Thai border points and promptly reenter the country for another 60-day allowed stay.
For businessmen, students, retirees
There are several types of non-immigrant visas which Thailand issues. For visitors on a business trip, the country issues the non-immigrant “B” visa. Foreigners who work in Thailand also need this visa to legitimize their local employment. Documentation from the company employers is typically among the requirements for this type of visa.
Students who wish to pursue education in Thailand will need to apply for a non-immigrant ed visa. An application for this type of visa will require proof from the school they are enrolling in. Holders of this visa are typically required to enter and reenter the country every three months, again as a safeguard against illegal residency.
Much longer stays are accorded to holders of the non-immigrant O visa which are extended to foreigners eying retirement in Thailand or to those who marry a Thai national. For the latter, one basic requirement is an original copy of the marriage certificate. The retirees, on the other hand, should be at least 50 years old and can show proof of at least 65,000 baht monthly income or an 80,000 bank balance.
photo credit: origami_potato via photopin cc

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