Visas & Immigration

Tourist Visas

Passport holders from 42 countries are not required to obtain a visa to enter Thailand for tourism purposes and will be permitted to stay in the Kingdom for a period of not exceeding 30 days. Visitors entering the Kingdom at land border immigration checkpoints will be allowed to stay for only 15 days.

The closest immigration office to Koh Chang is in Laem Ngop about 5km from the ferry points to the island. It is located in the centre of Laem Ngop; go 50 metres down the last right turn before the sea on the main road heading from Trat. The location is marked on the Koh Chang Map. They can deal with visa extensions and other queries here. If you have a 30 Day Visa for Thailand you can extend this for up to 10 days. You can also get a one month extension on a two month visa. These extensions cost 1,900 Baht each. Phone 039-597-261/265.

Other Visa Types

A lot of people fall in love with this part of Thailand. So much so that they often want to stay longer than their 30-days-on-arrival holiday allowance. Some just want to extend their holiday whilst others would like to spend part of every year here and still others are interested in re-locating permanently to go into business or just to retire and relax. The laws surrounding immigration to Thailand are complicated and ever-changing and can seem daunting to the uninitiated. What follows is a short summary of some of the means by which people can enjoy a longer stay in the Land of Smiles.

Marriage or Other Visa – “O”

This visa, classified as a Non-Resident “O”, entitles the bearer to stay in the Kingdom for up to twelve months. Generally in addition to marriage papers the bearer must show either savings of 400,000 Baht or evidence of a monthly income of 40,000 Baht. This is required when extending this from three months to a full year within Thailand. However with this visa the paperwork required varies widely from consulate to consulate. It is actually relatively simple to get this visa from certain consulates. The one in Hull, England is a prime example although in recent times the amount of supporting paperwork that you are required to give them has increased. It is possible to obtain this visa as a one year multi-entry visa from outside Thailand, then to make a ‘border run’ every three months and stay for the full year without ever needing to visit an immigration office within Thailand.

Retirement Visa

When you reach the age of fifty you are entitled to apply for a retirement visa. This allows you to stay in the country for twelve months. The principle requirement for this type of visa is a Thai bank account with 800,000 Baht in it. At the end of the allowed entry period the visa can be renewed from within the country, as long as the money is still in the bank.

Working Visa – “B”

The Non-Resident “B” Visa entitles the bearer to stay in the country for a period of twelve months. As with the retirement and marriage visas this must firstly be obtained as a three month visa from outside the country which can then be extended on arrival in Thailand. The paperwork required is extensive and can vary widely from one consulate to another but is likely to include a letter from the employing company together with company papers and accounts, work references etc. Note that this visa does not, in itself, allow the bearer to work, it simply gives the holder the entitlement to apply for a work permit.

Note that the above information is current at the time of writing but immigration laws and their interpretation change all the time so it would be wise to check on the latest situation. If you are outside Thailand then you can enquire at your local Thai Consulate or Embassy. Within the country you could call immigration, we suggest you use the central Bangkok Office in Suan Pu on 02-287-3101/10 . Alternatively an excellent online source of the latest information about immigration and visas is www.thaivisa.com. This is the kingdom’s most popular expatriate website and carries a wealth of information on this and all kinds of other topics relating to the Kingdom.

summary of thai visa categories

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summary of thai visa categories

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