If there is one question that is most frequently asked on forums all over the Internet, it has to be regarding the kind of visa one would need to come and enjoy Thailand, either as a tourist, to work here or simply to retire and enjoy life. We hope that the explanations below will help clarify the processes and types of visa you should seek for before traveling to Thailand.
Currently, the Kingdom of Thailand has a bilateral agreement with 52 countries that allows the bearer of said nationality to visit Thailand without requesting a for a visa to be issued upfront and for a period of 30 days. Those countries are:
United Arab Emirates
If you are holding a passport from a country listed above and do not plan to stay in Thailand for more than 30 days, then you save yourself a trip to the nearest embassy!
Tourist Visa (TR)
The Tourist Visa is used for people who wish to explore Thailand for a period of more than 30 days or for those who cannot participate in the visa exemption program. The Tourist Visa will grant you 60 days in the country that you can extend for an additional 30 days at the Immigration Center close to you.
The cost for the Tourist Visa is THB 1,000 but may slightly vary depending on the country you are applying from. The cost for the 30 days extension is THB 1,900.-
If you plan to visit Thailand for an extended period of time, there is also the possibility to do a Multiple-Entry Tourist Visas in advance, so you do not have to go to the embassy every three months. Please note that being granted a visa does not necessarily mean that you are granted access to the country; the officers at the border have the last word and may refuse the entry if they find something suspicious.
Business Visa (non-B)
This visa is a must for anyone willing to work in Thailand, whether you expect to be remunerated or not (volunteer work). Anyone caught up working without this type of visa will be heavily fined and may be blacklisted from visiting Thailand again.
There are tons of documents to prepare for the obtention of this visa; fortunately, most of the documents will come from the company willing to hire you, so there is very little to do except presenting yourself to the embassy. The Single-Entry (30) non-B visa costs THB 2,000 while the Multiple-Entry one can be gotten for THB 5,000. Depending on the financial status of the company, it is then possible to extend this visa to a One-Year Visa.
Student Visa (non-ED)
The student visa allows the bearer to stay up to a year, renewable, at the condition that you learn Thai language in a recognized institution. There are plenty of schools that offers packages for expatriates who wish to learn the language; package usually starts at approximately THB 20,000 per year, including the visa fee.Beware though as you will be tested by Immigration Officers for your language improvement; no improvement can result in
Beware though as you will be tested by Immigration Officers for your language improvement; no improvement can result in the denial of your next ED visa extension.
Other Visas (non-O)
There are several types of Non-O visas, the most famous ones being the Marriage Visa and the Retirement Visa. Both of these visas are valid for one year and can be extended indefinitely as far as you follow the requirements for each of them year after year.