Going to Thailand? Going to stay more than 30 days, work or retire in Thailand? Make sure you know the rules.
Visa on Arrival
US Citizens carrying a diplomatic, official or tourist passport and in possession of an onward or return airline ticket do not require a visa to enter Thailand. Upon entry, Thai immigration officials will place an immigration stamp in the passport permitting a 30-day stay in Thailand. This airport permit may be extended for an additional 10 days with the permission of the Thai Immigration Bureau.
If an individual wishes to remain in country for more than 30 days, he/she may wish to obtain a tourist visa at the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate in the United States, prior to arriving in Thailand. The tourist visa is valid for 60 days. After arrival in Thailand, a tourist visa may be extended only twice. On the first occasion, immigration officials may extend the visa for an additional 30 days. There is a 1,900 Baht fee for each extension. Interested Americans should contact the Thai Immigration Bureau located at 507 Soi Suan Plu, South Sathon Road in Bangkok. The phone number is (66) (2) 287-3111. Thai immigration offices are also located in most major tourist cities around the country.
American citizens who wish to remain in Thailand for longer than 90 days during any six-month period will be required to obtain a valid Thai visa from a Thai Embassy or Consulate that is authorized to issue visas. The U.S. Embassy advises all American citizens who wish to obtain a Thai visa to contact the Thai Immigration Bureau for exact visa requirements and regulations. Persons who do not comply with the new visa regulations risk being denied reentry to Thailand at the border.
All foreigners interested in obtaining a work visa must first obtain a work permit. In order to receive a work permit, a company, foreign government, or organization in Thailand must file an application on the behalf of the work visa applicant. Once obtained, the work visa is valid for one year.
Retirement visas are available to foreigners 50 years of age or older. These visas are valid for only one year and according to Thai immigration, applicants must meet the following qualifications:
• Applicant must be a foreigner residing in Thailand;
• Applicant must not be working in Thailand;
• Applicant must be able to provide proof of a pension or other regular income from a source outside of Thailand;
• Applicant’s pension must be no less than the equivalent of 65,000 Baht per month;
• It is also recommended that applicants have a local Thai bank account with a minimum amount of 800,000 Baht. (Applicants will need to show that they have 800,000 Baht in savings each year when they renew their visa.)
• Any applicant with a Thai spouse must show 800,000 Baht in bank deposits and a 65,000 Baht monthly income to prove that he/she can provide adequate support.