How to Stay in Thailand Long Term – Viewing Visas
Your intention is to live in Thailand for the medium or long term. To achieve this you will need to apply for the right type of visa. So, how does one go about this?
Unfortunately, buying a property in Thailand does not give you any privileges to obtain visa. The main visa categories are:
Tourist visa can be obtained in Thai Consular at your home country before travelling to Thailand and can be issued for the period of up to 90 days (and to 180 days in particular cases). If you wish to live in Thailand long term then the Tourist Visa is not the route to take. A 30 or 60 day Tourist Visa to Thailand can either be multiple or single entry and can be extended for up to another 30 days by going out of Thailand and returning. But for any periods beyond 90 days you need to look at another visa category.
Non-immigrant visas offer long stay options (either 90 days or one year) in different categories. This is most likely the type of visa you will need to consider. The types of non-immigrant visa are Business, Education, Marriage, Retirement.
Business Visa (non-B)
This visa is specially designed for people who want to do business or work in Thailand. It is also known as Non-Immigrant Business Visa. With this visa type you can apply for a work permit. Non-B visa has to be renewed every year.
Marriage Visa (non-O)
This type of Visa is for foreign nationals who are legally married to a Thai foreign national. This visa will allow you to stay in Thailand for a period of one year, and it can be renew.ed annually from within Thailand, as long as you continue to remain married and meet all the criteria for the visa.
Retirement Visa (non-O long stay or non-OA long stay)
If you plan to retire to Thailand then you will need to be 50 years old or above. A Thai retirement visa will allow you to stay in Thailand for a period of 1 year, and it can be renewed annually. There are no limitations on the number of times you can renew a Thai retirement visa as long as you continue to meet all the visa requirements, which among other things include a minimum bank balance or guaranteed monthly income demonstrated over several prior months and health insurance meeting minimum requirements. This visa can be applied for as a single or multiple entry visa.
Education Visa (non-ED)
A Thai Education Visa is officially known as a Non-Immigrant ED Visa. This visa is for any foreign national who intends to stay in Thailand for the purpose of attending a recognized full-time educational course. To be considered a full time education course, students must attend classes for at least 100 hours per every 90-day of their visa. This visa has a duration of one year.
Relative(s) or Guardian(s) may apply for Non-O follow visa if family member(s) are obtaining one of the above Non-Immigrant Visas. It is often a case when family is relocating to Thailand and kid(s) are attending international schools.
Thailand Elite Visa
If you are looking for easy and comfortable visa solution then this high end long term tourist/residence visa is for you. You can stay from five to 20 years without having to worry about your visa conditions and paperwork. It is a visa type that has become popular by governments around the world to attract high end globally mobile residents and with this visa the Thai Government aims to attract affluent visitors, businessmen, investors, and expats intending to stay in Thailand long-term. The Thailand Elite visa comes with various privileges, including access to airport pick-up services, privilege passport lanes, airport lounges, visa assistance, golf club memberships, and discounts on various services in Thailand.
There is one off fee of THB500,000 to THB2,000,000 plus in some cases annual fees depending on the duration and the level of visa service you choose. 90 day reporting for continuous stays are still required and this visa does not allow the holder to apply for a work permit.
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Information provided in this article is meant as a general introduction and guide only. Topics discussed are based on the situation at the time of publication. As visa laws and regulations often change Sunway Samui strongly recommends to check the Thai Immigration office website, with a Royal Thai Embassy consular visa service or a reputable law firm and/or accounting firm for up-to-date, personalized and professional advice."