Non-Immigrant Visa: Ultimate Guide

Non-Immigrant visa is issued to foreigners who wish to enter Thailand for study, business, investment, retirement and other purposes.

The Thailand government grants four primary categories of visas to foreigners:

  • Thailand Tourist Visa, which is given to visa-required visitors who enter Thailand for tourist or leisure purposes.
  • Thailand Transit Visa, which is provided to foreigners entering the Kingdom of Thailand’s territory on their route to a third country of destination.
  • Thailand Smart Visa, which is aimed at highly educated foreigners to encourage them to work or invest in one of Thailand’s 10 designated sectors.
  • Thailand Non-Immigrant Visa, which is given to foreigners who come to Thailand for purposes other than tourism or leisure.

This article will go through the Thailand Non-Immigrant Visa, covering several categories, the application process, duration, and other relevant information.

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What is a Thailand Non-Immigrant Visa?

A Non-Immigrant visa is required if you want to stay in Thailand for a longer duration, or if you plan on visiting Thailand for a purpose other than tourism or transit. For instant, if you want to study, work, invest or get medical treatment in Thailand and so on, you have to apply for a Thai Non-Immigrant Visa.

More precisely, you must apply for the kind of Thailand Non-Immigrant Visa that is appropriate for your travel purpose.

Who Needs a Thai Non-Immigrant Visa?

Everyone who wishes to visit Thailand for one of the reasons listed on the Thai Non-Immigrant Visa must apply for one.

There are many countries whose nationals are exempt from holding a Thai Visa for tourism purposes. Non-Immigrant Visas are required for everyone, including those who are not citizens:

    1. The exemption is intended for tourist reasons;
    2. In most situations, after entering the country with your Non-Immigrant Visa, you must go to Thailand’s Immigration Department to extend your stay (whether you intend to study, work, or retire, etc). If you are in the country under the visa-exemption rule, you cannot extend your stay.

What Are the Thai Non-Immigrant Visa Types?

The Thai Non-Immigrant Visa is divided into the following types:

    1. Visa Category “F”.
    2. Visa Category “B”.
    3. Visa Category “IM”.
    4. Visa Category “ED”.
    5. Visa Category “M”.
    6. Visa Category “R”.
    7. Visa Category “RS”.
    8. Visa Category “EX”.
    9. Visa Category “O”.
    10. Visa Category “O-A” and “O-X”.
  1. Visa Category “F”
    • The Thai Non-Immigrant Visa Category F is provided to foreigners who have a regular passport and are traveling for official purposes. For example, work with a government agency, embassy or consulate, international organization, or state company in Thailand.
  2. Visa Category “B”
    • The Thailand Non-Immigrant Visa B is granted if you are visiting Thailand for the following reasons:
    • To conduct business (Thai Business Visa).
    • Working for a Thai company or as a teacher in a Thai school (Thai Work Visa).
    • A Thai Work Permit is also required if you want to work in Thailand, you can not get a Thai Work Permit if you don’t have a Non-Immigrant Visa Category B.
  3. Visa Category “IM”
    • If you intend to go to Thailand for investment reasons, you will be granted a Thai Non-Immigrant Visa IM if the Thai Ministries and Government Departments have given their permission.
  4. Visa Category “ED”
    • To study in Thailand, the Non-Immigrant Visa ED is granted.
    • A Thai Non-Immigrant Visa ED is required if you have been admitted to a Thai educational institution and want to further your studies there.
    • See more at Thai Education Visa
    • As a non-immigrant visa ED candidate, you may also apply for a project or seminar, conference or training course participation, etc.
    • See more at: How to Study in Thailand.
  5. Visa Category “M”
    • This type of visa is provided to the media in Thailand. If you want to work in Thailand as a film producer, journalist, or reporter, you may apply for this type of visa.
    • A film production needs prior clearance from the Thailand Film Office, and a journalist or reporter needs consent from the Department of Information of the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs if they want to report on a subject in Thailand.
  6. Visa Category “R”
    • The Thai Non-Immigrant Visa R, often known as the “R-A” visa, is issued for religious purposes.
    • This type of visa is required if you are coming to Thailand to do missionary work or other religious activities that have been approved by the appropriate Thai Ministries of Government Departments.
  7. Visa Category “RS”
    • Thai Non-Immigrant Visa RS is provided to foreigners who want to perform research or teach in a Thai research institute.
  8. Visa Category “EX”
    • Thai Non-Immigrant Visa EX is issued to highly skilled foreigners going to Thailand to work as experts and professionals in certain fields.
  9. Visa Category “O”
    • Thailand issues the Non-Immigrant Visa O for the following reasons:
    • To connect with your Thai spouse (Thai Marriage Visa, Thai Dependent Visa).
    • To travel with a family member who is on business or studies.
    • To work for a government-owned company or social welfare organization (Thai Volunteer Visa).
    • To work in the home of someone who is traveling for diplomatic purposes.
    • To be treated medically.
    • To participate in a legal proceeding as a competitor or a witness.
    • To work as a sports coach, as the Thai government requires.
  10. Visa Category “O-A” and “O-X”
    • Visas for Non-Immigrants, both the “O-A” and “O-X” visas are Thai retirement visas. The distinction between the two is that:
      1. Thai Non-Immigrant Visa O-A is provided to all foreigners above the age of 50. It is renewable and valid for a maximum of 1 year.
      2. Thai Non-Immigrant Visa O-X is provided to selected foreigners over the age of 50. It is valid for five years and can be renewed for another 5 years.
Sample Of Non-Immigrant Visa
Sample of Non-Immigrant Visa

Thailand Non-Immigrant Visa Requirements:

When applying for a Thai Non-Immigrant Visa, you must provide many supporting papers, including:

    1. Your passport is valid for at least another six months and has at least two blank visa pages. If you’re applying for a one-year visa, your passport should be valid for at least 18 months.
    2. A completed Thailand visa application form. You may be able to download it from the website of the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate or get it there if you apply in person.
    3. A passport-sized photo of yourself that meets the following criteria:
        • Dimensions: 3.5 cm x 4.5 cm
        • White background
        • Taken within the last six months
        • You must have a neutral facial expression, staring straight ahead
        • Your entire face must be fully visible
        • Headgear is only allowed for religious purposes and even then, only if it does not cover the face.
        • Glasses are allowed only if they do not cover your eyes and do not have heavy frames.
    4. Proof of sufficient financial means to cover the duration of your stay. You need 20,000 Thai Baht if you are traveling alone and 40,000 Thai Baht if you are traveling as a family.
    5. Police clearance certificate.
    6. Payment of the Thai Non-Immigrant Visa fee.
    7. Additional documentation may be required depending on the purpose of your visit.

Note: All supporting documents that are not in English must be accompanied by certified English translations and authenticated by an embassy exclusively.

How Can I Apply for a Thailand Non-Immigrant Visa?

A Thai Non-Immigrant Visa must be obtained through a Thai Embassy or Consulate in your home country.

    1. Contact the Thailand Embassy or Consulate where you want to submit your visa application or go to their website. Learn about the opening hours, working days, and whether or not an appointment is required. A list of Thailand’s diplomatic mission offices may be found here.
    2. Collect the necessary paperwork for your Non-Immigrant Visa application.
    3. Submit the documents as well as the visa application. Depending on which Royal Thai Embassy/Consulate you apply in, you can apply:
        • In-person;
        • By mail, in which case you must include a pre-paid and self-addressed envelope.
    4. Wait for the application to be reviewed.
    5. Collect the passport and visa. They will be returned to you if you applied via mail.

Note: In Thailand, you may request to change your Non-Immigrant Visa category at the Thailand Immigration Department in Bangkok if you are currently in the country on another type of visa. This does not apply to holders of a Thai Visa on Arrival.

Applying to Get a Thai Non-Immigrant Visa Extension:

In most cases, Non-Immigrant Visas are valid for a maximum of 90 days. If you want to stay longer, you must get a one-year visa extension from the Bureau of Immigration in Bangkok.

If you want to stay in Thailand for another year after your visa extension expires, you may apply for another one-year extension.

You may be eligible for Thailand Permanent Residency if you have stayed in Thailand for at least three years through Visa Extensions.

Applying to Get a Re-Entry Permit:

Getting a Re-Entry Permit is required when you extend your visa, so that you may leave and re-enter Thailand without your visa being canceled.

If you do not get a Re-Entrance Permit before leaving Thailand, you will have exhausted your single entry and will not be permitted to return until you obtain a new visa.

The Thailand Re-Entry Permit can be issued for a single entry or multiple entries.

Thai Non-Immigrant FAQs:

Can I Get a Thailand Non-Immigrant Visa on Arrival?

No, you can not. The Thailand Visa on Arrival is exclusively provided for tourist reasons and cannot be extended for more than 15 days.

What Should I Do After I Enter Thailand With a Non-Immigrant Visa?

You must submit a 90-Day Report to Thai Immigration officials after entering Thailand using your Non-Immigrant Visa, depending on the reason for which you obtained it.

You must report your current address to your local Thailand Immigration Department office every 90 days, even if it has not changed, as long as you continue to live in Thailand.

The only exception is the Thai SMART Visa, which requires holders to record their stay yearly rather than every 90 days.

What Is the Duration of a Thailand Non-Immigrant Visa?

The duration of a Thailand Non-Immigrant Visa is determined by the type of visa you apply for. They may be issued for the following lengths of time:

  • Single-entry for up to three months;
  • Multiple-entry, for up to three months.

In certain situations, such as for business or retirement, the visa may be given for multiple entries for a period of up to one year.

Even if you have a multiple-entry Thailand visa, you cannot stay in Thailand for more than 90 days each entrance.

How Much Does a Thailand Non-Immigrant Visa Cost?

Thailand’s non-immigrant visa application processing cost varies depending on factors such as the local currency, the visa’s validity period, and where you apply.

However, you can expect to spend about:

    • 2,000 Thai Baht for a single-entry Non-Immigrant Visa with three-month validity.    
    • 5,000 Thai Baht for a multiple-entry Non-Immigrant Visa with one-year validity.

Can I apply for a non-immigrant visa in Thailand?

Foreigners who desire to work, do business, or invest in Thailand must apply for a Non-Immigrant Visa at one of the Royal Thai Embassies or Consulates-General.

If the holder of this type of visa wishes to work in Thailand, he or she must first get a work permit.

What is an O visa in Thailand?

Thailand issues the Non-Immigrant Visa O for the following reasons:

    • To connect with your Thai spouse (Thai Marriage Visa, Thai Dependent Visa).
    • To travel with a family member who is on business or studies.
    • To work for a government-owned company or social welfare organization (Thai Volunteer Visa).
    • To work in the home of someone who is traveling for diplomatic purposes.
    • To be treated medically.
    • To participate in a legal proceeding as a competitor or a witness.
    • To work as a sports coach, as the Thai government requires.

How long can u stay in Thailand without a visa?

They are permitted to stay for a maximum of 30 days if they enter Thailand via an international airport or a land border crossing from a neighboring country.

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