A decade ago there seemed to be various ways to stay in Thailand long-term. There was a bit of wriggle room in the interpretation of the guidelines and there was always ‘ways and means’ of securing a visa (nudge nudge, wink, wink). But the screws are being tightened on expats, retirees and long-stayers who are finding their options to keep living in the Land of Smiles diminishing fast, either through changed regulations or a more rigorous enforcement of the existing rules.
ThaiVisa has penned an article today about new application guidelines for British citizens for Immigrant Type O visas and some of the real-life implications the changes may bring…
Following the announcement earlier this month that visa applicants in the UK and Ireland now have to apply online, the Royal Thai Embassy in London has updated its website regarding the requirements for Single Entry Tourist Visas and other Non-Immigrant Visas.
Aside from applications now having to be made online, among the most notable changes are that Non-Immigrant Type O (multiple entry) are no longer issued by the Royal Thai Embassy in London.
Online reaction has been swift and unhappy…
• Tourist visa rules keep tightening, mostly due to a minority of individuals who keep trying to abuse every loophole and crack in the system to stay long-term for purposes other than tourism. A few bad apples f * cking it up for everyone else – Moe666/ThaiVisa
• It’s getting harder and harder for those who want to stay long time in Thailand – Nev/ThaiVisa
• The doors are closing rapidly. That’s why I’ve transferred my assets back to my US bank account. My Non O expires in October. Time to bounce to friendlier shores – RichMac/Facebook
Non O (Multi Entry) visas are valid for one year but the holder of the visa is required to leave Thailand every 90 days.
The Non O (Multi Entry) visas offered convenience to some foreigners, particularly those who are married to a Thai but who perhaps work overseas and then return to Thailand multiple times per year.
For example, the Non O (Multi Entry) visas are a popular choice among offshore workers who work on rotation and are going in and out of Thailand several times per year.
Others simply preferred not having to deal with immigration in Thailand and would obtain the Non O (Multi Entry) from the Thai Embassy in London when they returned to the UK say for an annual holiday.
Non O (Single Entry) are still issued by the Royal Thai Embassy in London, but that only grants a stay of 90 days.
ThaiVisa reports that the requirements for Non-Immigrant Type O (single entry only) from Thai Embassy in London are as follows:
- For dependent child (age below 20 years): A copy of birth certificate, a copy each of employment letter, passport and visa of the parent who is going to work in Thailand, and a copy of registration of the company or organisation where the parent will work
- For accompanying spouse : A copy of marriage certificate, a copy each of employment letter, passport and visa of the leading spouse, and a copy of registration of the company or organisation where the spouse will work
- For accompanying a Thai spouse : A copy of marriage certificate, a copy of Thai passport/a copy of Thai ID of spouse, and (3 months bank statement showing monthly income of more than £1,500.)
- For accompanying a Thai child : A copy of Thai birth certificate, a copy of the Thai child’s passport/Thai ID, a copy of marriage certificate to a Thai spouse or divorce paper/child custody paper (in case of divorce), and (3 months bank statement showing monthly income of more than £1,500.)
- For working at an NGO/volunteer work : An official recommendation letter or employment letter from NGO or organisation which undertakes volunteer work in Thailand, registration document of NGO or volunteer organisation
- For pensioner (aged 50 or over) : A copy of pension statement if the applicant is a pensioner, or a copy of 1-month bank statement showing your income from pension, or 3-month bank statement of at least £10,000
Offshore workers who used to obtain a Non O (Multi Entry) from the Thai Embassy in London could also instead now enter Thailand on tourist visas or visa exempt entries but once a person has a history of back to back tourist visas or several visa exempt entries in their passport, it is increasingly likely they will come under scrutiny of an immigration official when trying to enter Thailand at an airport or land border crossing.
ThaiVisa says it’s also worth noting that Non O (Multi Entry) based upon marriage are still available nearby Thai Embassies and Consulates.
To read the rest of this article click HERE.
More info can be found on the Royal Thai Embassy London website HERE.
To check on information about tourist visas from the UK Embassy check HERE.
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