How to change your visa to a Business visa in Thailand

Thailand is full of business opportunities and whether you’re an entrepreneur looking to start a business, an employee being transferred to a Thai branch, or a freelancer seeking to operate within Thailand, obtaining a business visa is essential. This article will guide you through the steps required to change your current visa to a business visa in Thailand.

Understanding the Thai Business visa

Before diving into the application process, it’s important to understand what a Thai business visa entails. The Thai Non-Immigrant B Visa, commonly known as the business visa, allows foreigners to work or conduct business in Thailand. There are two primary types:

  1. Single-entry visa: Valid for three months.
  2. Multiple-entry visa: Valid for one year, allowing multiple entries and exits.

Make sure to choose wisely when applying to avoid any complications in the future.

Eligibility criteria

If your first question is if it is possible to change your tourist visa to a Business visa, the answer is yes! However, to qualify for a business visa in Thailand, you typically need to meet the following criteria:

Related news
  • Sponsorship by a Thai company: You must have a job offer from a company registered in Thailand.
  • Proof of employment or business activity: This includes a letter from your employer, company registration documents, and proof of financial stability.
  • Valid passport: Your passport should be valid for at least six months beyond the intended stay.

Steps to change your visa to a Business visa

Changing your visa status within Thailand can be complex, but by following these steps, you can streamline the process:

Step 1: Gather the necessary documents

passport and business visa
Photo via pexels (Natasha Chebanoo)

The first step is to gather all the required documents. Here’s a comprehensive list:

  1. Application form: The completed visa application form, which can be downloaded from the Thai Immigration Bureau’s website or obtained at the immigration office.
  2. Passport: Original passport with at least six months’ validity and two blank pages.
  3. Photographs: Recent passport-sized photographs (2 inches x 2 inches).
  4. Letter from employer: A formal letter from your Thai employer detailing your position, salary, and duration of employment.
  5. Company documents:
    • Business registration certificate
    • Business license
    • List of shareholders
    • Company profile
    • Balance sheet
    • VAT registration
  6. Financial statements: Proof of financial stability, such as bank statements.
  7. Work permit: If you are already working in Thailand, include a copy of your work permit.
  8. Proof of accommodation: Address where you will be staying in Thailand.
  9. Previous visa: Copy of your current visa.

Step 2: Submit your application

application and business visa
Photo via pexels (Cytonn Photography)

Once you have all the necessary documents, you need to submit your application to the Thai Immigration Bureau. If you are outside Thailand, you can apply at a Thai embassy or consulate in your current country.

  1. Visit the immigration office: Go to the nearest Thai Immigration Bureau office. It is advisable to arrive early to avoid long queues.
  2. Submit documents: Submit your application form and all supporting documents. Ensure that you have both the originals and copies.
  3. Pay the fee: The visa processing fee varies depending on the type of business visa. Make sure you have the correct amount in cash or the accepted mode of payment.

Step 3: Attend an interview

In some cases, you might be required to attend an interview. This is to verify the legitimacy of your application and to clarify any details. Be prepared to discuss your role in the company and your business activities in Thailand.

Step 4: Wait for approval

The processing time for a business visa can vary. Typically, it takes about 5-10 working days. During this period, the immigration office will verify your documents and conduct any necessary background checks.

Step 5: Receive your Business visa

Once your visa is approved, you will receive a notification to collect your passport with the new business visa. Ensure all details on the visa are correct, including the validity period and type of entry (single or multiple).

passport and business visa
Photo via Unsplash (Global Residence Index)

Step 6: Obtain a work permit

After receiving your business visa, the next crucial step is to apply for a work permit. The work permit application requires additional documents, such as:

  1. Health certificate: A medical certificate issued by a recognised hospital or clinic in Thailand.
  2. Employment contract: A copy of your employment contract with the Thai company.
  3. Photos: Additional passport-sized photographs.

Submit the work permit application to the Department of Employment in Thailand. Processing times can vary, so apply well in advance of your intended start date.

Step 7: Comply with visa conditions

Once you have your business visa and work permit, it is essential to comply with Thai immigration laws:

  1. 90-day reporting: Report your address to the Thai Immigration Bureau every 90 days.
  2. Visa renewal: If you have a one-year multiple-entry visa, ensure you renew it before it expires.
  3. Re-entry permit: If you plan to leave Thailand temporarily, obtain a re-entry permit to avoid visa cancellation.

Changing your visa to a business visa in Thailand involves careful preparation and adherence to Thai immigration procedures. By gathering the necessary documents, submitting a complete application, and following through with the work permit process, you can successfully transition to conducting business in Thailand. Remember to stay informed about the latest immigration regulations to ensure a smooth and compliant stay in this vibrant and dynamic country. You can also apply for a visa through the Thaiger as there are many packages that we offer, whether you need a Business visa, retirement visa, or a work permit.

Visa Information

Bernice Zheng

With an interest in Product Management and Marketing, Bernice's experience consists of being a Growth Marketing Intern at RippleMatch, a Product Management Intern for TUMI, and the Co-Director of Princeton’s Entrepreneurship Club (Tigers In Product). Her passion for photography and videography has also drawn her to develop her marketing and content creation skills.

Related Articles