Obtaining a Thai Visa
It’s really important that you check whether you require a Thai visa, or not, before entering the country. Visitors from most Western countries do not require a Thai visa for a short stay and are instead eligible for a free 30 day visa exemption. This is normally more than adequate for those wishing to visit Thailand for up to 30 days. The receive a visa exemption stamp when you arrive by plane, simply ensure that your passport 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, the rules do change from time to time so best to check before you travel because you may 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 which takes place when you arrive into the country.
60 Day Tourist Visa
Those who know that they will be staying in Thailand for more than 30 days, should apply for a Thai visa in advance. This can be done at a Thai Embassy in your home country, or at an 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 in Thailand. However, entry into the country is not guaranteed by simply obtaining a 60 day Tourist Thai Visa. Immigration are still entitled to refuse you at the border, but this is very uncommon.
Anyone visiting Thailand with a tourist visa is not permitted to work in the country. If caught working illegally you will be heavily fined or prosecuted and expelled. 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 further advice. Additional information can be sort from them and you can also double check the latest Thai visa rules and regulations because they frequently change.
If you overstay your Thai visa you can find yourself being detained, fined and deported from the country. You may also be banned from returning to Thailand for several years. DO NOT OVERSTAY YOUR THAI VISA.
Retiring in Thailand
Applying for a Retirement Visa is reasonably easy process too. To apply for a Retirement Visa you must be aged 50 years or over and have sufficient money in your bank to show immigration. The normal process is to obtain a 60 day visa and then convert it to a retirement visa. The visa then rolls over year by year once you’re in the country. Note that you will have an obligation to report to immigration every 90 days. This is to prove that your address in Thailand has not changed. To pursue a retirement visa you should first sort legal advice to find out more. We can direct you to a lawyer in Thailand who offers such advice.