There are several different visas that can be applied for at the Thai embassy in your home country when travelling to Thailand and many depend on your reason for entering the country. For example, there are visas for those who wish to retire there and different visas which are required for those who want to work.
There are both single entry and double entry tourist visas available. On this visa a person is not permitted to work or even visit on business. The single entry will allow a maximum stay of up to 60 days but an extension can be obtained by applying at the nearest Immigration Office. Extensions are at the discretion of the Immigration officer and can be refused. They are normally granted for a minimum of 7 days but a maximum of 30 days, although an extension for this long is now rare. The double entry visa allows you to leave the country and return for a second period of 60 days, then an extension may be granted for this.
In order to apply for a non-immigrant visa you should ensure that there is plenty of time left to run on your passport. Each embassy will ask for different things but it is a good idea to have a passport that has at least 18 months left on it. You should submit all the required documentation along with a 4 x 6 cm photo. Different embassies ask for different documentation but you may be asked for copies of your birth certificate, marriage certificate if applicable, references from employers, bank references or qualification documentation. There are several different types of the non-immigrant visa so it is important to be sure that you are applying for the right one.
This is a business visa and is the one that is for those who are visiting the country on business or who want to work in the country. In this instance you will also need a work permit which you can apply for when you have arrived in Thailand. Those who are on business will need a letter from the employer which confirms the nature of the business. Some embassy officials may decide to be particularly thorough and demand a number of other documents to support the application for the visa such as details from the company in Thailand that you will be dealing with. If you have been offered a job in Thailand then it is usually enough for that company to write a letter to the embassy to confirm that you have the offer of a job. If you are looking for work then you may be asked to put it in writing that this is the case. In this case there is no guarantee of a visa being issued.
This is the visa for those who are going to study in Thailand at one of the language schools or at a university. The school will need to give you a letter to confirm that you have a place on the course and they will also be asked to provide other documentation to support the application. The school must be certified and officially recognized and it is the paperwork confirming this that they will provide. This visa is not given to those who do not have a confirmed offer of a place on a course or who are planning on studying at a school that is not recognized. These visas are generally multiple entry, which means that you need to leave the country every three months and return again.
This is the visa that you would apply for if you want to retire to Thailand or if you are married to a Thai national. If you are applying on the basis of your marriage then you will need to supply the marriage certificate as well as your spouse’s ID cards and papers. Some embassies will only issue this if you have been married in Thailand and may even expect you to supply photos from the wedding ceremony. If you are retiring then you need to be at least 50 years of age in order to apply for this visa. You should also have a minimum income of either 65,000 THB or a balance of 800,000 THB in the bank. Some embassies may expect you to have this in a Thai bank while others are happy for you to have this in a bank in your home country. It is also in the regulations that you should have a medical certificate to show you are in good health although it seems that fewer embassies are asking for this now.
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