When you go into a country as a foreigner, you will need a visa in order for you to be let into the nation. That visa is a document that details the reasons why you’re going into the country in the first place, and what limitations the local government has set upon you in terms of certain actions.
Thailand is no different as a country. It still requires a visa upon entry, and the type of visa issued will depend upon the intention or reason for the visit. Let’s take a look at the five reasons why people apply for a visa in Thailand.
To Tour the Country
Generally, tourists don’t need to apply for a visa if they are staying only for a few days or a couple of weeks in the Kingdom. If you’re in the Kingdom for Thailand family holidays that last at most a week, you only need to provide return tickets and ensure that your passport has six months validity remaining upon arrival in Thailand.
If you’re staying longer, however, you will need to secure a tourist visa that lets you stay in the country for 60 days at most. You can obtain an additional 30 days by exiting the country when your 60-day limit is done, and returning afterwards. Tourist visas can either be single-entry or multiple-entry.
To Look for Work or Deal in Business
Because the country is very friendly towards foreign investors, these businessmen may call upon people from their homes to come and work with them. The only way that you can do that in Thailand legally is to apply for a work permit.
The work permit has a prerequisite – you will need to be a holder of a non-immigrant visa, with either 90-day or one year validity, before you can apply for one. The non-immigrant visa also lets you open a bank account in the local currency, which you will definitely need for your employment.
Businessmen interested in investing in Phuket’s property market, for instance, should also obtain a non-immigrant business visa. It would help greatly if they’re planning to spend more than 30 days looking over their options, and to deal in local currency, for which they’d need a local bank account.
Thailand requires students who wish to come over and take courses in one of Thailand’s international schools to apply for an ED visa, or the Student Visa.
The ED visa allows foreign students to take their desired course and finish it within 90 days, if possible. If the course requires more than 90 days, students will have to apply for the Student Visa extension. The visa, once approved, automatically grants another 90 days to the student and also allows two more extensions of 90 days each as well.
This is very popular among people who, for example, will want to come to Thailand to learn the local martial arts.
To Get Married
Love knows no bounds, they say, and it is not uncommon that foreign expats find love and settle down with a local Thai.
To save themselves the need to do a visa run every 60 or 90 days, foreigners who have married a local Thai can simply convert their non-immigrant visa into a marriage visa. This will extend their visa for one year, so they don’t have to frequently exit the country and be away from their spouse in order to satisfy visa requirements.
Thailand’s beauty and warm culture can no doubt entice aging expatriates to decide on spending the rest of their lives in Thailand. If you’re 50 years old and above with a non-immigrant visa, you only need to apply for a retirement visa in Thailand to do so. Just like the Marriage Visa, holders can stay up to year at any time in Thailand without having to do visa runs every 90 days.
Whatever the reason you are apply for a visa to enter Thailand, it’s best if you apply for membership in the Thailand Elite program.
Why sign up for Thailand Elite? Not only does it give you a five-year validity on your immigrant visa upon signing up, it also allows you to stay for a year without having to do visa runs. It’s the ideal visa to have if you just want to spend a year in Thailand, and then suddenly decide within the year to find work, to study, to get married, or to retire.