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When considering Thailand as your next travel destination, one of the most important thing to keep in mind is to never overstay the visa you are holding otherwise you will face stiff penalties for violating your allowable length of stay in the Kingdom.

Defining visa overstay

Visa overstay happens when you are still staying in Thailand beyond the date when you are supposed to exit the country. Suppose you are allowed to stay in Thailand on August 20 but you have exceeded your stay in Thailand for a day, August 21, you are already considered as an overstaying alien.

Reasons behind overstaying one’s visa

The reasons behind visa overstays vary from person to person. Some may be intentional while others have simply overlooked the date they are supposed to leave Thailand.

Some chose to overstay their visa because they want to find work or are already working in the Kingdom. Still others would overstay their visa because they simply want to stay longer in Thailand.

Whatever the reason is, overstaying your visa should never be an option for you. If you have the intention to work in the country, you should go through the right process beginning with the appropriate and unexpired visa plus a work permit.

On the other hand, if you do not have the intention to find employment then you should be mindful of your visa’s date of expiry and or extension of stay, the controlling date of your stay in Thailand, which is of course your responsibility.

Consequences of visa overstay

Overstaying one’s visa can lead to a fine, imprisonment or both after which you will be deported back to your home country. Worse, you may even be declared as an undesirable alien something in which may have extensive complications such as your future trips to Thailand and to other international destinations.

In case you have overstayed, it would be beneficial if you would voluntarily submit yourself to Thai immigration to clear your name and avoid the stiff penalties that may be imposed upon you.

See the Thai 90-day Reporting Requirement page.

 

Every foreigner with extended stay in Thailand (holders of thai multiple entry visa, thai retirement visa, and other long-term visas) need to report with the Thai immigration authorities every 90 days.

The filing process is relatively easy but nonetheless very important since the failure to do so would mean a violation of the Thai immigration laws.

The 90-day Reporting Process

In doing a 90 day reporting, the foreigner may be able to do so by:

Also, reporting does not need to be on the 90th day itself. The individual can report 15 days prior the expiration of the 90 days or even 7 days after. The reporting alien must also remember that his first application for an extension of stay is also an equivalent to his notification of him staying in Thailand for 90 days.

Where to file the 90-day reporting?

The individual can choose on which immigration office in Thailand to file his notification.

In Bangkok, he may also choose to file at the Immigration Division 1 Office in Chaengwattana Rd., Laksi, Bangkok.

If he is working with an industry covered by the Immigration Act, Petroleum Act, Board of Investment Act and Industrial Estate Authority Act, he may report at the visa extension unit at Chamchuree Square Building, Phatumwan also in Bangkok.

If he is a national of Laos, Cambodia or Myanmar and is under special labor who is residing in Bangkok then he may also report at the office in Major Hollywood Susawad or the one at Imperial Ladproaw.1

90-day Reporting Through Registered Mail

When choosing to notify the Thai immigration authorities through registered mail, he should submit the following:

These documents must be sent at least 15 days before the date of renewal to ensure that they would arrive at the immigration office on time. Also, the foreigner must keep the receipt of the registered mail as a precaution in case of lost mail.

Important Things to Remember

The foreigner should not equate his notification of the immigration office every 90 days as a visa extension process as these two are completely different things.

See the Thai visa extension page.

If he violated Thai immigration laws by failing to notify the office within the prescribed period, the fine would be 2,000 Baht and 4,000 Baht if he got arrested.

 

If you are living in Africa or have been to any of the listed African countries then Thai immigration requires that you have been vaccinated before you enter Thailand. Thailand has listed the following countries as those who are infected with Yellow Fever. If you have been to one of these countries you need a vaccination certificate.

Note the new card which you will need to send a copy of to the Thai embassy when you apply for a Thai visa. They will check your passport to see if you had entered one of these countries in the past 6 months. If you do not have a Yellow Fever certificate then they will not issue you with the visa. Once issued when you arrive in Thailand they will want to see the card again to ensure that you have been vaccinated. Check with your local hospital in your country about your vaccination and also ask them for your certificate as listed below. This is the new WHO certificate.

Note: If you have not been to any of these countries then you do not require a vaccination certificate to visit Thailand.

Vaccination in Thailand

List of countries which are declared Yellow Fever infected Areas

Angola Argentina Benin Bolivia Brazil
Burknan Faso Burundi Cameron Central Africa Chad
Columbia Congo Cote d’Ivoire Ecuador Equatorial Guin
Ethiopia French-Guiana Gabon Gambia Ghana
Guinea Guyana Guinea Bissau Kenya Liberia
Mali Mauritania Niger Nigeria Panama
Peru Paraguay Rwanda Senegal Sao Tome & Principe
Sierra Leone Somalia Sudan Suriname Tanzania
Togo Trinida & Tobago Uganda Venezuela Zaire

 

It is not surprising that a lot of foreigners are eyeing Thailand as one of their priority travel destinations. In 2013 alone, the country welcomed nearly 27 million tourists1 playing testament to Thailand’s growing attractiveness to international travellers.

Some of these visitors went to and stayed in the Kingdom under visa-free period, depending on which country they are from, that range between 15 days to 90 days.

In relation to this, whatever the reason for travel to Thailand, be it for employment, retirement and or business as long as the period of stay is more than what is determined for the country where he is from for a visa-free travel to Thailand, the individual must secure the necessary visa fitting to his purpose.

Types of Thai Nonimmigrant Visas

There are at least five (5) visa categories that Thailand is issuing to qualified applicants:

Thai Marriage Visa

The Thai marriage visa or more appropriately known as the One Year Extension of Stay Based on Marriage allows its holder to stay in Thailand for a year without even needing to exit the country every 90 days. The holder of this visa may also be allowed to work in Thailand provided that he is legally married to a Thai national plus he must be able to meet other prescribed immigration requirements such as:

Thai Retirement Visa

The Thai retirement visa (Nonimmigrant “O-A” Long Stay Visa) allows its holder to stay in Thailand for a year. It is renewable every year although another set of requirements should be complied upon by the applicant (including financial statements). The applicant, if qualified, may be issued with a single entry or multiple entry retirement visa.

The following are the basic requirements for a retirement visa:

Thai Business Visa

The Thai Nonimmigrant "B" Visa is issued to an applicant who has an intention to start a business or apply for a job in the Kingdom thus the said visa further being subcategorized to:

Thai One-Year Multiple Entry Visa

This type of visa allows its holder to, depending on the purpose, have a long term stay in Thailand. It has a validity period of one year basing on the date of its issue and may even be extended up to 3 months.

Nonetheless, this visa requires its holder to exit and then re-enter Thailand every 90 days.

See Law Firm Thai One-Year Multiple Entry Visa page.

Only citizens or permanent residents of the following countries may apply for this visa although citizens of other countries may still apply but under several circumstances:

The requirements for this visa includes:

Thai 90-Day Thai Visa

Issued to foreigners who wants to enter Thailand to study, do business and retire among other reasons, the Thai 90-Day Nonimmigrant Visa has a validity period of 90 days starting on the date of its issue. Note that the Thai 90-day Non-immigrant visa is different from the Thai tourist visa.

When granted with such visa, its holder will have an option to extend it to a One-Year Immigrant Visa.

It is open to citizens of Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, United States and other European countries although citizens of non EU countries can still apply but several circumstances do apply.

In closing

Applicants should seek the advice of reputable immigration firms for proper guidance when it comes to visa application as the information mentioned above are general in nature and the application process may be very confusing to them.

The immigration lawyer can also provide any applicant with a more detailed information about the visa type he is applying for. Also, the said lawyer can brief the applicant with his responsibilities as a Thai Visa holder by the latter in case his application for a particular visa is granted.

 

A visa re-entry permit is needed when a person who has Thailand as his temporary place of residence through an extension of stay but is planning to exit the Kingdom on a short travel abroad. Exiting Thailand without the re-entry permit invalidates his extension of stay which would require him to re-apply for another nonimmigrant visa in order to gain entry to the Kingdom again then proceed with an application for a new extension of stay and so this is something that he must pay close attention to.

The re-entry permit should be obtained prior to the extension of stay-holder’s exit from Thailand at the following venues:

There are two options available for re-entry permit applicants, the single entry and the multiple entry.

The multiple entry is more expensive at 3,800 Baht but it is much more advantageous over the single entry which is at 1,000 Baht especially for those who are not sure if they would exit Thailand only once.

And to apply, the applicant would need to submit the following:

The applicant may choose to apply personally or through an authorized agent of his (with letter of attorney).

The whole application process can even be finished within a day though the applicant must make sure to have all the necessary documents and the exact amount with him.

The applicant may also choose to hire an immigration specialist or law firm in Thailand to help him with the application process like the formulation of the letter of attorney. The lawyer would also come handy if in case the applicant would get confused with other immigration concerns like his extension of stay among other things.

 

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