The generosity of Thailand in granting a foreigner with an appropriate visa should be reciprocated accordingly by avoiding any possibility of violating any immigration laws and rules of the Kingdom, one of which is through visa extensions.
To extend an individual’s Thai visa, he must be holding a nonimmigrant visa and has to extend it within Thailand for marriage, retirement and or for business purposes. Yet, in order for visa extension to be possible, he must be eligible as such basing on the qualifications set on each extension type.
- Marriage Visa (One Year Extension of Stay Based on Marriage)Perhaps the most important qualification is for the individual to be legally married with a Thai national and this can be supported by an authentic Marriage Certificate. Apart from this, he must be in good financial standing by demonstrating through an updated passbook and or official letter from a Thai bank reflecting his deposit of not less than 400,000 Baht deposited not less than 2 months prior to his application for extension. He may be able to prove his financial capacity by obtaining a letter from his embassy attesting his monthly income of not less than 40,000 Baht or he may also be able stress that he is financially capable through a combination of deposits with a Thai bank and annual income that would total 400,000 Baht.
- Retirement Visa (Nonimmigrant “O-A” Retirement Visa)If the primary requirement for an application for extension due to marriage is an actual and valid marriage to a Thai national, with the retirement visa, it is the age of the applicant that counts the most.
Of course, the individual must still comply with other requirements as well but he can only extend his stay in Thailand through a retirement visa if he is 50 years and above otherwise, even if he has satisfied other eligibility requirements, if he has not reach the mandatory age requirement, he will not be considered qualified for a retirement visa.
Financial requirements also apply when extending through a retirement visa and it is substantially higher compared to a marriage visa since the foreign retiree is not allowed to work in the Kingdom. The applicant must have at least 800,000 Baht in deposits at a Thai bank account or a monthly income/pension of 65,000 Baht (sourced from abroad) or a combination of both pension/monthly income and Thai bank deposit that would total 800,000 Baht annually.
- Business Visa (Nonimmigrant “B” Visa)If the individual is looking forward to extend his stay in Thailand for a substantial period of time because he want to establish a business venture in the Kingdom then he has to apply for a visa extension for business purposes.
The One Year Nonimmigrant “B” Visa for business can only be applied, however, when he has obtained the necessary work permit.
And like the retirement visa, when granted with a business visa, the individual must report his place of residence with the immigration office once every 90 days.
By basing on the numerous publications about visa extensions that can be found online, foreigners may think that it is an easy process. In reality, it is not especially when the individual does not know how to speak, read or communicate in Thai since the Kingdom’s government-issued documents are all written in Thai.
The process may be very complicated for the foreigner too and so it is best for him to consider enlisting the help of reputable law firms in the country for proper guidance towards a successful extension of stay in Thailand through an appropriate visa.