Thailand immigration visa's & work permits latest

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
A seminar given by the British Chamber of Commerce 3 days ago in Thailand about the latest changes to Visa's & work permit requirements.


Bangkok International Associates
Visas and work permits - Essentials
Bangkok International Associates
Work permits can be granted for a maximum period of one year. Two year work permits in special cases, eg: - where the applicant is a permanent resident; - the applicant holds a senior position in a long established company; - the employer has BOI privileges; or - the employer operates its business in an IEAT-owned or managed industrial estate. • Visas and work permits are now de-linked (duration does not have to be the same) • If you hold a Residence Permit or retirement visa, you must still obtain a Work Permit if you wish to work or engage in business

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Visas
Bangkok International Associates
In general, a visa is requiredIn general, any foreigner wishing to enter Thailand must obtain a visa in advance from a Thai Embassy or Consulate. There are rules that allow entry upon arrival without visa, application for visa on arrival and visa application in advance.
2016 changes -60 day tourist visas Only available by application in the applicant's home country. Additional documents to be submitted, including proof of income and residence.
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Visas
Bangkok International Associates
Period of visa/period of stayThe period of visa validity is different from the period of stay. The visa validity is the period during which a visa can be used to enter Thailand. Generally, the validity of a visa is three months, but in some cases, visas are issued valid for six months or one year. The validity of a visa is granted by the Embassy or Consulate-General and shown in the visa. The period of stay permitted depends on the type of visa and is granted by an immigration officer upon arrival at the port of entry. Travellers who wish to stay longer than the initial period permitted may apply for an extension of stay at the Immigration Bureau.
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Visas
Bangkok International Associates
Three year Non-Immigrant business visa A foreigner who wishes to visit Thailand for business purposes may apply for a three-year Non-Immigrant "B" visa. This visa may be issued to businessmen for multiple entries and is valid for 3 years. It allows the holder to visit Thailand as often as required as long as the visa remains valid. The holder may stay in Thailand for up to 90 days during each visit. Employment is prohibited. Application may be made to a Thai embassy or consulate in the applicant's country of residence. Thai Honorary Consuls may not issue such a visa. Documents must be submitted with the application as specified. The current visa fee payable is 10,000 Baht.
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Visas
Bangkok International Associates
Non-immigrant visas -for work or business A person wishing to stay in Thailand for more than 60 days should normally apply for a non-immigrant visa, since this type of visa permits an initial stay of 90 days, and further application may be made to extend the stay for up to one, and in some cases, for two years. A nonimmigrant visa may be applied for at a Thai embassy or consulate.
A Non-Immigrant B Visa is the visa category for applicants who wish to enter Thailand to work or to do business.
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Visas
Bangkok International Associates
Categories of Non-Immigrant visa The commonest types of non-immigrant visas are those related to:
1. Foreigners coming to conduct business or for employment, using Category "B", or Investment and business visa Category "IM" or "IB". 2. Dependants of applicants under 1 3. Foreigners who are married to a Thai, or have other specified relationships 4. Foreigners coming for retirement.
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Visas
Bangkok International Associates
Other visa categories There are other categories of visa for those who wish to come to Thailand
For example: to study, to come on a work study tour or observation tour, to participate in projects or seminars, to attend a conference or training course, to study as a foreign Buddhist monk
2016 changes Regarding visas to study Thai language, checks may be made to see that the student is attending classes. Approval may only be granted for three months extendable to one year.
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Visas
Bangkok International Associates
2. to work as a film-producer, journalist or reporter (Category "M") 3. to perform missionary work or other religious activities with the concurrence of the Ministries or government departments concerned (Category "R") 4. to conduct scientific research or training or teaching in a research institute (Category "RS") 5. to undertake skilled work or to work as an expert or specialist (Category "EX")
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Visas
Bangkok International Associates
Permitted period of stay Holders of Non Immigrant B Visas are entitled to stay in Thailand for 90 days. An extension of stay for up to one year, measured from the date of arrival in Thailand, can be applied for.
General matters:A visa can only be granted for a maximum period of 12 months, backdated to the date of entry. Where the application does not meet all the stipulated criteria, it can be reconsidered. If a visa is refused, then the applicant must leave Thailand within seven days of the end of his temporary admission period.
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Visas
Bangkok International Associates
B Visa for employment criteria:The criteria for a visa or visa extension for employment are as follows:
(a) the applicant holds a non-immigrant visa
(b) the applicant earns an approved amount of income
(c) the business must have paid up capital of not less than 2 million Baht
(d) the business must produce audited accounts for at least two years, to prove that it is active and in continuous operation
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Visas
Bangkok International Associates
B Visa for employment criteria:
(e) the business needs to employ a foreigner (f) the business must employ four Thais for every foreigner that it employs (g) the following businesses are exempt from (c) (d) and (e) above, and the ratio under (f) is one Thai for every foreign employee: (i) Representative Office (ii) International Headquarters (iii) Regional Office (iv) Branch of a foreign company
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Visas
Bangkok International Associates
Minimum wage benchmarksThere are minimum wage benchmarks that an employed visa renewal applicant will be expected to observe. These are 25,000-50,000 Baht per month, depending on the country of nationality.
Increased punishment for overstaying (March 2016) Visa overstayers will continue to be liable to a daily fine of 500 Baht, subject to a maximum fine of 20,000 Baht.
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Visas
Bangkok International Associates
With effect from 20 March 2016, the period of immigration blacklisting for visa overstayers (the period during which the offender will not be permitted to re-enter Thailand) as follows: Where the entrant reports voluntarily to the authorities: (a) Where the overstay period is from 90 days to one year, the entrant will be banned from re-entering Thailand for one year, commencing from the departure date.
(b) Where the overstay period exceeds one year but is less than three years, the entrant will be banned from re-entering Thailand for three years, commencing from the departure date. 13
Visas
Bangkok International Associates
(c) Where the overstay period exceeds three years but is less than five years, the entrant will be banned from re-entering Thailand for five years, commencing from the departure date.
(d) Where the overstay period exceeds five years, the entrant will be banned from re-entering Thailand for ten years, commencing from the departure date.
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Visas
Bangkok International Associates
Where the entrant is arrested and prosecuted:
(a) Where the overstay period is less than one year, the entrant will be banned from re-entering Thailand for five years, commencing from the departure date.
(b) Where the overstay period is more than one year, the entrant will be banned from re-entering Thailand for ten years, commencing from the departure date.
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Visas
Bangkok International Associates
Discouragement of visa runs In 2016, measures came into force to discourage visa runs:
• Foreigners entering Thailand via border posts in Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia will only be granted 15 days right of stay (30 days in the past) unless they have secured a visa in advance. Extensions of seven days only
• Only exception is Malaysian citizens entering from Malaysia, who may be granted 30 days visa on arrival
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Work permits
Bangkok International Associates
General In general, all foreigners wishing to work in Thailand must obtain a work permit that is valid for the work that they want to engage in. Holders of retirement visas and residence permits Holders of retirement visas and residence permits who desire to work, must still obtain a work permit. What is "work"? The Foreign Employment Act defines "work" as the exertion of mental or physical effort, whether paid or unpaid.
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Work permits
Bangkok International Associates
2015 changes Under 2015 changes, the following activities are no longer considered as "work" and a work permit need not be applied for:
1. Attending a meeting or seminar 2. Attending an exhibition or trade fair 3. Visiting a business or engaging in business negotiations 4. Attending special or academic lectures 5. Attending technical training or seminars 6. Purchase of goods at a trade fair 7. Attending a meeting of directors of his/her own company
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Work permits
Bangkok International Associates
Occupations prohibited to foreignersA regulation issued under the 1978 Foreign Employment Act set out a list of 39 occupations that are prohibited to foreigners. The prohibited occupations that may impact on activities in holiday destinations are:
6. Shop assistant 8. Supervising, auditing or giving service in accountancy excluding occasional internal auditing 28. Brokerage or agency, excluding brokerage or agency in international trade
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Work permits
Bangkok International Associates
29. Engineering work in civil engineering concerning design and calculation, organization, research, planning, testing, construction supervision or advice, excluding specialized work 30. Architectural work concerning design, drawing of plans, estimating, construction supervision or advice 34. Tour guide or conducting sightseeing tours 35. Street vending 38. Office or secretarial work 39. Legal or litigation services
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Work permits
Bangkok International Associates
Necessity for holding a Non-Immigrant B visa In order to apply for a work permit, a foreigner must enter Thailand holding a class B Non Immigrant visa. This is the only visa which may be used to support a work permit application.
Application in advance for a work permitA company wishing to employ a foreigner in its business in Thailand may submit an application in advance on behalf of the foreigner to the Ministry of Labour. The permit, if granted, will be issued only after the entry into Thailand of the applicant.
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Work permits
Bangkok International Associates
Specific criteria for approval of a work permitThe following matters will be taken into account when deciding to issue a work permit or not:
1. Political, religious, economic and social stability in Thailand.
2. The availability of Thais to perform the work.
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Work permits
Bangkok International Associates
The benefit to Thailand including:
(a) remittance of substantial amounts of foreign currency into Thailand for investment and expenses;
(b) creation of employment for a substantial number of Thais; and
(c) potential enhancement of the country's economic development and opportunity for state-of-the-art knowledge and skills to be transferred to Thais.
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Work permits
Bangkok International Associates
4. Development of skills for Thais through transfer of knowledge, skills and technology to Thais resulting from the foreigner's employment in Thailand.
5. Humanitarian reasons.
If the considerations listed above are favorable, then a work permit may be issued to the applicant based on criteria that differ, depending on the industry in which the applicant intends to work.
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Work permits
Bangkok International Associates
Renewal and validity of permitsWork permits can be issued valid for one year, or in some cases two years, and application must be made to extend them for a further period prior to expiry.
A work permit for two years may be issued in special cases e.g.:
- where the applicant is a permanent resident; - the applicant holds a senior position in a long established company; - the employer has BOI privileges; or - the employer operates its business in an IEAT-owned or managed industrial estate.
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Work permits
Bangkok International Associates
Duty not to engage in unauthorised work or change locality or place of work without prior permissionA holder of a permit may not engage in work other than that which is specified in the permit, or change the locality or place of work, unless prior permission is obtained from the Ministry of Labour.
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15 day work permit exemption
Bangkok International Associates
15 day work permit exemption for "urgent and essential work"It is possible for a foreigner who has entered Thailand with a valid visa (or without a visa, where he is a citizen of a country whose nationals do not need a visa in advance to enter Thailand,)to apply for a short term exemption from the work permit regulations for a period of 15 days only, to perform "urgent and essential work." Applications are submitted to the Ministry of Labour. Provided that adequate reasons are given and all supporting documents are in order, it can be granted on the same day. Applications should be submitted promptly after entry into Thailand, otherwise they may be refused on the grounds that the work is not "urgent."
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15 day work permit exemption
Bangkok International Associates
2014 changes During 2014, the Ministry of Labour issued internal regulations aimed at dealing with perceived abuse of the 15 day exemption. These include: (a) it will not be possible to issue "back-to-back" 15 day exemptions
(b) A period of two months would be required between the expiry of one exemption period, and an application for a further exemption
(c) Only two exemptions will be granted, per person, per year
The reason for this is that the MOL believes that some foreigners have been using the procedure as an alternative to submitting an application for a 12 month work permit, which must be accompanied by far more documentation and will attract much closer official scrutiny.
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Work permits
Bangkok International Associates
Termination of employmentWhere employment terminates, as a matter of law, both the work permit and the supporting visa terminate. Neither the foreigner nor the employer is obligated to report termination to the Ministry of Labour, but the employer will probably wish to do so, to "free-up" the vacancy in the company if it is desired to employ another foreigner.
The foreigner must report to the Immigration Bureau immediately and apply for either a short term visa (which in practice may be granted for a period of up to seven days) in order to facilitate his exit from Thailand, or apply for a visa extension, e.g., where he has another job, or for another category of visa e.g. if he/she wishes to remain in Thailand as a retiree, or as a student. Failure to report incurs a fine of 500 Baht a day, the person concerned being treated as a visa overstayer.
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Work permits
Bangkok International Associates
Appeals against work permit refusalWhere a work permit application is refused, not renewed or permission to change the work or place of work is refused, the applicant has a right of appeal. Such appeal must be submitted in writing within 30 days from the date of knowledge of the refusal. In the case of an appeal against refusal to renew a permit, the appellant may continue to work pending the appeal decision.
Permit must be available for inspectionThe holder of a work permit must keep it on his person or at the place of work during working hours, in order that it may be readily shown to an official.
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Retirement visas
Bangkok International Associates
General
A retirement visa can be applied for by a person aged 50 years or more. Holders will be permitted to stay in Thailand for one year and may not work while staying in Thailand (if they wish to work they must apply for a Non Immigrant B visa, see above). Applicants must show income of not less than 65,000 Baht per month or not less than 800,000 Baht deposited in a bank in Thailand for at least three months, or annual income plus bank account deposit of not less than 800,000 Baht. These thresholds are halved, if the applicant is legally married to a Thai spouse. Where such a visa is granted, it will be valid for 12 months, and may be extended annually, provided the applicant complies with the same requirements. More liberal rules apply to retirees who entered Thailand before 21 October 1998.
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Retirement visas
Bangkok International Associates
Requirements to obtain a retirement visa An applicant for a retirement visa:
- must be aged 50 years or more on the date of submitting the application. - must not be prohibited from entering Thailand under the Immigration Act (1979). - has no criminal record in Thailand and the country of his/her nationality or residence. - has nationality or residence in the country where his application is submitted. - must supply a medical certificate to prove he does not have prohibited diseases, as indicated in regulations - (2016 changes) Proof of residence may be required in the form of a tapien baan, chanot or lease agreement A holder of a retirement visa is not allowed to work in Thailand. If he/she wishes to work, application must be made for a Non Immigrant visa, and also for a work permit.
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Retirement visas
Bangkok International Associates
Spouse of retiree Where the applicant wishes to have his/her spouse to stay in Thailand, but the spouse is not qualified for an OA visa, their marriage certificate must be produced as evidence and should be notarized by a notary or the applicant's diplomatic/consular mission (the spouse will be considered for a Category 0 visa).
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90 day reporting
Bangkok International Associates
90 day reporting
All foreigners, other than those holding residence permits, must report and confirm their current address to the immigration authorities every 90 days, regardless of whether it has changed. Such reporting may be done in person, or by another with consent.
The application may be submitted by post provided it includes all necessary documents. The application may be submitted not earlier than 15 days before the 90 days expires, or not later than seven days after that.
Online reporting is permitted, subject to conditions.
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Additional Information form
Bangkok International Associates
Additional information form (effective April 2016) With effect from April 2016, foreigners who make their 90 day reporting, or renew their visas or retirement visas, will be required to complete and submit an additional form to the Immigration Bureau. This requires disclosure of information such as who may be contacted in the case of an emergency, and also details of: - all social media used - all vehicles used (including motorcycles) - places frequented (including clubs, restaurants, shops, hospitals or other places) - details of bank accounts held At present, it is believed that this requirement is only being applied at the Immigration Bureau office at Chamchuri Square in Bangkok, and not on the nationwide basis.
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Future reform
Bangkok International Associates
Future reform The British Chamber of Commerce Thailand, and other foreign chambers, have submitted proposals for reform to visa and work permit procedure periodically, including the following:
- Visas and work permits to be granted initially for one year, then extendable by application every five years
- No work permit required for: unpaid work, English/foreign language teaching, those aged over a certain age in priority occupations eg English/foreign language teaching, IT services/IT training
- Reduction of the paperwork involved in visa/work permit renewal/avoidance of "double policing" approach
- Work permits to be valid throughout Thailand, not geographically limited.
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Future reform
Bangkok International Associates
- Descriptions of permitted duties in work permits to be drafted widely, or alternatively, to be valid for any occupation not prohibited by law.
- The 4:1 Thai/foreign employment ratio not to apply to certain priority businesses, e.g. English/foreign language teaching, IT services and training, etc.
- 90 day reporting to be changed, so that reporting is only required within 14 days of a change of address actually occurring
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Future reform
Bangkok International Associates
- Regarding applications for residence permits, the basic principles to be proven residence for a period of years, income tax payment, good character, Thai language ability.
- Similar approach to nationality applications, made after a certain period of years of residence.
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KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
This clarifies the visa run confusion & why Mae Sai is now a ghost town:

Discouragement of visa runs In 2016, measures came into force to discourage visa runs:
• Foreigners entering Thailand via border posts in Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia will only be granted 15 days right of stay (30 days in the past) unless they have secured a visa in advance. Extensions of seven days only
• Only exception is Malaysian citizens entering from Malaysia, who may be granted 30 days visa on arrival
 

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
Point number 3

Three year Non-Immigrant business visa A foreigner who wishes to visit Thailand for business purposes may apply for a three-year Non-Immigrant "B" visa. This visa may be issued to businessmen for multiple entries and is valid for 3 years. It allows the holder to visit Thailand as often as required as long as the visa remains valid. The holder may stay in Thailand for up to 90 days during each visit. Employment is prohibited. Application may be made to a Thai embassy or consulate in the applicant's country of residence. Thai Honorary Consuls may not issue such a visa. Documents must be submitted with the application as specified. The current visa fee payable is 10,000 Baht.


First line

Visas may only be granted for a maximum period of one year

http://www.mfa.go.th/main/en/services/4908/15386-Three-year-Non-Immigrant-Visa-"B"-(for-B.html

Kind of makes me not want to keep listening to them.
 

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
ast edited by KTMphil; 26 Jun 2016 at 16:16. Reason: 1 year visa removed from 1st line as misleading

Point number 3

Three year Non-Immigrant business visa A foreigner who wishes to visit Thailand for business purposes may apply for a three-year Non-Immigrant "B" visa. This visa may be issued to businessmen for multiple entries and is valid for 3 years. It allows the holder to visit Thailand as often as required as long as the visa remains valid. The holder may stay in Thailand for up to 90 days during each visit. Employment is prohibited. Application may be made to a Thai embassy or consulate in the applicant's country of residence. Thai Honorary Consuls may not issue such a visa. Documents must be submitted with the application as specified. The current visa fee payable is 10,000 Baht.

 

blackwolf

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2014
Bikes
Honda Sonic 125cc, 4 wheels, about to buy a 250cc dirt bike
"2016 changes -60 day tourist visas Only available by application in the applicant’s home country. Additional documents to be submitted, including proof of income and residence."

First time I have read about this proposal. It will cause a lot of heartache for a lot of semi-expats and even travelers traveling to multiple countries in the region, if really enforced.

I have not read anything on Thaivisa about it either.

All I know is that the new 6-month multi-entry tourist visas can only be issued in your home country with income/bank statements and other documents required, but the single entry ones are still being issued to non-residents though there are exceptions depending on your nationality.

Most western/richer Asian states (such as Singapore/Hong Kong and Japan) can apply for single entry 60-day visas in most countries (with certain conditions) while citizens of poorer countries in SEA, the Indian sub-continent, parts of the middle East and Africa can only apply in their home country. Most of us would have no problems applying for Thai tourist visas in Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore, for example.

Although it won't apply to me, if this changes, that would really suck for a lot of people.
 
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