As a general rule, any foreigner seeking entry into the Kingdom of Thailand for tourism, business, investment, study, medical treatment, mass media, religion, employment and other purposes is required to apply for a visa from a Thai Embassy or Consulate-General. To do so, a foreigner must possess a valid passport or travel document that is recognized by the Royal Thai Government and comply with the conditions set forth in the Immigration Act B.E.2522 (1979) and its related provisions. Issuing of visa and visa exemption will be under the terms and conditions as provided in the Ministerial Regulations.
Tourist Visa Exemption
According to the Interior Ministerial Announcements dated 1 October B.E. 2545 (2002), 20 December B.E. 2545 (2002) ,18 October B.E. 2547 (2004) and 6 May B.E. 2548 (2005) , passport holders from 40 countries and Hong Kong SAR do not require a visa when entering Thailand for tourism purposes if their stay in the Kingdom does not exceed 30 days.
The applicant must possess instrument of means of living expenses 10,000 Baht per person and 20,000 Baht per family accordingly.
Please also be advised that ordinary passport holders of 40 countries and Hong Kong who intend to engage in certain activities are eligible to apply for a visa when entering the Kingdom if their qualifications meet the conditions set forth by the Office of Immigration Bureau. For more information, please contact the Office of Immigration Bureau, Soi Suan Plu, off South Sathorn Road, Bangkok 10120, Tel. (662) 287-3101-10 or at website http://police.go.th
List of 40 countries and one region is as follows:
1. Australia : Commonwealth of Australia
2. Austria : Republic of Austria
3. Belgium : Kingdom of Belgium
4. Brazil : Federative Republic of Brazil
5. Bahrain : State of Bahrain
6. Brunei Darussalam : Negara Brunei Darussalam
8. Denmark : Kingdom of Denmark
9. Finland : Republic of Finland
10. France : French Republic
11. Germany : Federal Republic of Germany
12. Greece : Hellenic Republic
13. Hong Kong : Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
14. Iceland : Republic of Iceland
15. Indonesia : Republic of Indonesia
16. Ireland : Republic of Ireland
17. Israel : State of Israel
18. Italy : Republic of Italy
20. Korea : Republic of Korea
21. Kuwait : State of Kuwait
22. Luxembourg : Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
24. Netherlands : Kingdom of the Netherlands
25. New Zealand
26. Norway : Kingdom of Norway
27. Oman : Sultanate of Oman
28. Peru : Republic of Peru
29. Philippines : Republic of the Philippines
30. Portugal : Republic of Portugal
31. Qatar : State of Qatar
32. Singapore : Republic of Singapore
33. Spain : Kingdom of Spain
34. South Africa : Republic of South Africa
35. Sweden : Kingdom of Sweden
36. Switzerland : Swiss Confederation
37. Turkey : Republic of Turkey
38. United Arab Emirates
39. United Kingdom : United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
40. United States of America
41. Vietnam : Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Foreigners who fall into any of the following categories are prohibited to enter the Kingdom.
(1) Having no genuine and valid passport or document used in lieu of passport; or having a genuine and valid passport or document used in lieu of passport without visaing by the Royal Thai Embassies or Consulates in foreign countries; or from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, except if a visa is not required for certain types of aliens in special instances.
(2) Having no appropriate means of living following entrance into the Kingdom.
(3) Having entered into the Kingdom to take occupation as a laborer, or to take employment by using physical energy without skills or training , or to work in violation of the Alien Work Permit Law.
(4) Being mentally unstable or having any of the diseases as prescribed in the Ministerial Regulations.
(5) Having not yet been vaccinated against smallpox or inoculated or undergone any other medical treatment for protection against disease and having refused to have such vaccinations administered by the Immigration Doctor.
(6) Having been imprisoned by the judgment of the Thai Court; or by a lawful injunction; or by the judgment of the Court of foreign country, except when the penalty is for petty offense or negligence or is provided for as an exception in the Ministerial Regulations.
(7) Having behavior which would indicate possible danger to the Public or likelihood of being nuisance or constituting any violence to the peace or safety of the public or to the security of the public or to the security of the nation, or being under warrant of arrest by competent officials of foreign governments.
(8) Reason to believe that entrance into the Kingdom was for the purpose of being involved in prostitution, the trading of women of children, drug smuggling, or other types of smuggling which are contrary to the public morality.
(9) Having no money or bond as prescribed by the Minister under Section 14 of the Immigration Act B.E. 2522 .
(10) Being a person prohibited by the Minister under Section 16 of the Immigration Act B.E. 2522.
(11) Being deported by either the Government of Thailand that of or other foreign countries; or the right of stay in the Kingdom or in foreign countries having been revoked; or having been sent out of the Kingdom by competent officials at the expense of the Government of Thailand unless the Minister shall consider exemption on an individual special case basis.
The examination and diagnosis of disease of a physical or mental nature, including protective operations as against disease, shall be conducted by the Immigration Doctor.
Information on location and contact number of the Thai Embassy and Consulate-General abroad could be obtained from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Department of Consular Affairs, Visas and Travel Documents Division, 123 Chaengwattana Road, Bangkok 10210, Tel. (662) 981-7171 ext. 3201-2, 3204-5 or direct line 575-1062-4, Fax. (662) 575-1066 , E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE ISSUANCE OF
NON-IMMIGRANT “B” VISA
I. Visa Issuance
1.1 Foreigners who wish to work/conduct business or undertake investment activities in Thailand must apply for a Non-Immigrant Visa at the Royal Thai Embassies or Consulates abroad. (Information on location and contact numbers of the Thai Embassies and Consulates-General can be obtained through website http.www.mfa.go.th). Various categories of non-immigrant visa are currently provided to meet the need and qualification of individual business people. These include business visa (category B), business approved visa (category B-A) and investment and business visa (category IB). Visa fee is 500 Baht for single entry with three-month validity and 1,000 Baht for multiple entries with one-year validity.
1.2 Passport holders of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Palestinian State, Sudan, Algeria, Libya, Yemen, Nepal, Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Egypt have to apply for visa at the Thai Embassy or Consulate General where they have their permanent residence.
II. Categories of Visa
2.1 Non-Immigrant visa (category B Business) can be obtained from all Thai Embassies and Consulates provided that the following relevant documents are submitted.
Foreigners who wish to work in Thailand
– Visa application Form completely filled out
– Applicant’s passport with validity not less than six months and its copy
– Two 4×6 cm. full-faced, bareheaded photos taken within the past six months
– Letter of acceptance from the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (Alien Occupational Control Division, Department of Employment, Mit-Maitree Road, Dindaeng, Bangkok 10400 Tel 662-245-2745 / 245-3209 / 617-6578 / 617-6584 Fax. 662-6176576, 245-2593)
[ For those foreigners who wish to work in Thailand, their employer in Thailand should submit Form WP3 (Application for applying a work permit on behalf of alien) together with other related documents such as a certificate issued by the Department of Commercial Registration, documentary evidence of educational qualifications, etc. at the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare.]
– Official marriage and birth certificate (In case of the applicant’s family members)
– Evidence of adequate finance (20,000 Baht per person and 40,000 Baht per family)
– Copy of Work Permit issued by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (only in case the applicant has previously worked in the Kingdom).
1. An alien who receive a non-immigrant visa can work in Thailand after having received a work permit. Any violation thereof shall make the employee liable for imprisonment not exceeding three months, to pay a fine not exceeding five-thousand Baht, or both penalties.
2. An alien who performs work that is prescribed by the Royal Decree B.E. 2522 (1979) which prohibits alien employment in certain occupations and professions is liable to be imprisoned not exceeding five years, will be fined from 2,000 to 10,000 Baht, or both penalties.)
Foreigners who wish to conduct business in Thailand
– Visa application Form completely filled out
– Applicant’s passport with validity not less than 6 months and its copy
– Two 4×6 cm. full-faced, bareheaded photos taken within the past 6 months
– Letter from the applicant’s company stating the objective of the visit to Thailand, his/her salary,etc.
– Document showing correspondence with trading partners in Thailand.
– Financial evidence in case that the applicant is doing his/her own business
– Evidence of adequate finance (20,000 Baht per person and 40,000 Baht per family)
– Letter of invitation from company in Thailand together with copy of corporate documents comprising of 1) list of shareholders 2) business registration and business license 3) company profile 4) details of business operation 5) list of foreign workers stating names, nationalities and positions 6) map indicating the location of the company 7) Balance sheet, statement of Income Tax and Business Tax (Por Ngor Dor 50 and Por Ngor Dor 30) of the latest year 8) Alien income tax return (Por Ngor Dor 91) and 9) Value-added tax registration (Por Ngor Dor 20) , etc.
(Copies of company documents must be signed by Board of Directors or authorized managing director and affixed the seal of the company.)
– Document indicating the number of foreign tourists (for tourism business only), or document indicating export transactions issued by banks (for export business only)
– Official marriage and birth certificates (In case of the applicant’s family members)
Consular officers reserve the rights to ask for additional documents as deemed necessary. In the absence of a required document, a letter indicating the unavailability of such document must be provided. The applicant must sign on each page of the copy.
Documents in foreign languages must be translated in Thai. If translated into English, it should be notarized by notary organs or the applicant’s diplomatic/ consular mission. The holders of this type of visa are entitled to stay in Thailand for a maximum period of 90 days. Upon completion of such period, an extension of stay for a period of one year counting from the date of arrival in the Kingdom can be applied for at the Office of the Immigration Bureau.
2.2 Business approved visa (category B-A) may be applied for at the Embassies or Consulates abroad but approval shall be given by the Office of the Immigration Bureau in Bangkok before visa is issued to the qualified applicant. The company in which the applicant will invest or do business with can also apply for this type of visa at the Immigration Bureau. The validity of stay for B-A type visa is valid for a period of one year counting from the date of arrival in the Kingdom.
2.3 Investment and business visa (category IB) is issued to foreign staff working under investment projects promoted by the Board of Investment of Thailand (BOT). The project must benefit the country in the following ways :
– Produce for export
– Increase employment
– Utilize indigenous raw materials
– Locate in provincial areas
– Encourage technology transfer to Thai nationals
– Not compete in such a way as to destroy existing domestic business
III. Additional Information
3.1 After entering the Kingdom, applicants or their assignee must go to the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (Alien Occupational Control Division, Department of Employment) to apply for a work permit and shall pay the income tax accordingly. If the company’s applicant is located in other provinces, the applicant must apply at Labour Development Office in that province.
3.2 Applicant’s family members, namely; spouse, parents and children who are unmarried and under 20 years old, are eligible to apply for Non-Immigrant Visa (category â€œOâ€) and will allow to stay from the period of 90 days up to 1 year.
3.3 Foreigners entering the Kingdom under a Transit Visa (TS) or Tourist Visa (TR) wishing to engage in business activities may apply for a change to Non-Immigrant Visa at the Immigration Bureau Office located at Soi Suan Plu, off South Sathorn Road, Bangkok 10120, Tel (662) 2873101-10 or at website http://www.police.go.th/thaiimb/frconten.htm. The extension of stay as well as the change of certain type of visa is at the discretion of the Immigration officer.
IV. One Stop Service Center for Visas and Work Permits
4.1 One Stop Service Center for Visas and Work Permits was established by the Regulations of the Office of Prime Minister which was promulgated on 30 June 1997 with objective to strengthen the procedure to promote good investment circumstances by providing for the one stop service to avoid delay and inconvenience to the foreigners in applying for stay permission in the Kingdom, re-entry permit and work permit. It has been opened since 1 July 1997 onwards and located on 207 Rachadapisek Road, Krisda Plaza, 3-5th Floors, Dindaeng, Bangkok 10310, Tel 662-693-9333-9 and Fax. 662-693-9340.
4.2 Qualification of applicants for work permit at the One Stop Service Center for Visas and Work Permits are as follows :
4.2.1 The aliens who are executives or experts obtaining privileges according to other laws as follows :
– Investment Promotion Act B.E. 2520 (1977)
– Petroleum Act B.E. 2514 (1971)
– Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand Act B.E. 2522 (1979)
(Remarks : The aliens who work for enterprises outside Bangkok can submit the application to One Stop Service Center for Visa and Work Permit)
4.2.2 The aliens who are general investors ;
– If investing not less than 2 million Baht, will be granted with 1 year approval.
– If investing not less than 10 million Baht, will be granted with two-year approval.
-The applicant must have the location of work or office in Bangkok only.
4.2.3 The aliens who are executives and experts ;
– To work at a company with the registered capital or total assets of not less than 30 millions Baht.
– The alien, who comes to work as the foreign press, shall submit a letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a copy of ID Press Card issued by Department of Public Relations.
– The aliens who are Researchers and Developers on Science and Technology.
– The aliens who are the officials of Branch Office of Overseas Bank, Foreign Banking Office of Overseas Bank, Provincial Foreign Banking Office of Overseas Bank and the Representative Office of Foreign Bank which were certified by the Bank of Thailand.
– The aliens who work for the Branch of the overseas enterprises.
– The aliens who work on the necessary and urgent basis for a period of not longer than 15 day (Tor.Thor. 11) (Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Thailand – For detailed Visa and Travel Documents Information)