B. Non-Immigrant Visa
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:
- Entitlement of the holder to apply for a multiple re-entry visa to Thailand from the Immigration Division in Bangkok
- Subject to the regulations of the Immigration Authorities, entitlement of the holder to apply for permanent residence in Thailand
- Eligibility for issuance of a Work Permit to the holder
- Eligibility for temporary visa renewal while processing issuance of a long- term annual visa.
Aliens are advised to strictly adhere to the rules governing each visa category. They should report any changes of address or status to local police within 24 hours.
In addition, foreigners residing in Thailand for more than 90 consecutive days are required to register their address with the Immigration Bureau every 90 days. This requirement applies to all foreigners, including holders of work permits and long-term visas. Failure to do so can result in substantial penalties.
Transit, Visitor Transit, Tourist and Non-Immigrant Visas are issued only for the following purposes and duration:
- Diplomats or consular missions (duration as necessary)
- Official missions (duration as necessary)
- Tourism (90 days)
- Sports (30 days)
- Business purposes (one year)
- An investment which has received authorization from the appropriate government authorities (two years)
- Investment or other business in connection with investment under the Investment Promotion Act (as determined by the Board of Investment)
- Transit (30 days)
- The controller or crew of a conveyance entering a port or other locality in the Kingdom (30 days)
- Work as a skilled laborer or specialist (one year).
In response to feedback from investors, the Board of Investment coordinated the establishment of a One-Stop Service center for Visas and Work Permits, Through joint cooperation with the Immigration Bureau and the Ministry of labor, the center can process applications or renewals of visas and work permits within three hours, upon receipt of proper and complete documentation.
In addition, the center handles other transactions, including the issuance of multiple reentry stamps, changes in class of visa (to non-immigrant from tourist or transit), and payment of fines.
Foreigners may also apply for permanent residence permits for Thailand under certain conditions, such as investment in a business, or a condominium. Application can either be made to the Board of Investment or the Immigration Department.
The One-Stop Service Center is located at 207 Rachadapisek Road, 3rd Floor, Bangkok, and they may be reached by phone at (66) (2) 693-9333-9.
Work permits, which are valid for the period of the visa, have to be renewed every year. When an individual applies for a renewal of visa, he or she has to show that taxes for the previous year have been paid.