Obtain the correct Thai Visa
Please note that if you overstay your visa you can find yourself being detained, fined, deported and banned from returning to Thailand for several years DO NOT OVERSTAY
It’s really important that you obtain the correct Thai visa before entering the country. Fortunately, visitors from most Western countries do not need a Thai visa, if they are arriving by plane, not wishing to stay in the country for more than 30 days and the purpose of their trip is tourism. For anyone who is simply visiting Thailand for a couple of weeks (or up to 30 days) all they require is a passport which is valid for more than 6 months. When you arrive into Thailand, the immigration will stamp your passport and grant you entry to stay in the land of smiles for 30 days. Tourists arriving into Thailand over land can still receive a visa exemption, however, you will only be granted 15 days instead of 30.
If you are not eligible for this 30 day visa exemption then you may be from one of the 19 countries who can apply for a 15 day visa on arrival. This is also a fairly straight forward and easy process.
Those who are planning to stay in Thailand for more than 30 days, will need to apply for a Thai visa in advance. This can be done at a Thai Embassy in either your home country or at a Thai Embassy outside of Thailand. As a tourist, you can apply for a 60 day visa from an Embassy, which can later be extended for an additional 30 days at most Immigration Offices within Thailand. This could potentially give you a total of 90 days, however, entry into the country is not guaranteed by simply gaining a Thai visa. Immigration are still entitled to refuse you on entry, but this is very uncommon if you have the correct visa.
Anyone visiting Thailand with a tourist visa is not permitted to work in the country and will be heavily fined or prosecuted and expelled if caught working illegally. Those wishing to enter the Kingdom for work purposes should apply for the appropriate visa. The same applies to those who marry a Thai person or have children; you must apply for the correct visa in order to stay legally in the country. We strongly suggest you contact your local Thai Embassy for additional information and to double check the latest Thai visa rules and regulations.
If you are thinking about retiring in Thailand this is a fairly easy process if you are over 50 and have sufficient money to show immigration you would normally obtain a 60 day visa and then convert it to a year by year rolling retirement visa in country - note you will however have an obligation to report to immigration every 90 days to prove your address has not changed. To pursue a retirement visa you should get legal advice - we can direct you to a lawyer in Thailand who offers such advice.