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Common Visa Types explained.


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In Thailand the period of visa validity is different from the period of stay.

A visa is issued by a Thai Embassy/Consulate and only allows travel to Thailand. A visa comes in the form of a ‘Vignette’ or ‘Apostille’ affixed into your passport.

Visa validity is the period during which a visa can be used to enter Thailand. The validity of a visa is granted with discretion by the Royal Thai Embassy or Royal Thai Consulate-General and is displayed on the visa sticker.
The period of stay is granted by an immigration officer upon arrival at the port of entry and in accordance with the type of visa. The period of stay granted by the immigration officer is displayed on the arrival stamp. Travellers who wish to stay longer than such period may apply for extensions of stay at offices of the Immigration Bureau located in the provinces.
https://www.immigration.go.th/en/?page_id=2771

In basic English terms, if you enter Thailand on the last day of the validity of your visa (enter before date) you will still be granted a permit of stay for 60, 90, or 365 days subject to the type of Visa, even though the visa expires thereafter.

The below visa types availability can vary between Thai Embassies. Check your local Thai Embassy website for availability and requirements.

VE (Visa exempt entry).
Entry without a visa.
Permits a stay of 30 days on entry. 
The permit of stay can be extended one time for a further 30 days, and an additional 60 days for visiting Thai family/spouse.

SETV (Single entry tourist visa).
Issued on the basis of tourism.
Valid to enter Thailand for 3 months from the date of issue.
Permits a stay of 60 days on entry.
The permit of stay can be extended one time for a further 30 days, and an additional 60 days for visiting Thai family/spouse.

METV (Multiple entry tourist visa).
Issued on the basis of tourism.
Valid to enter Thailand for 6 months from the date of issue.
Permits a stay of 60 days on each entry.
Allows multiple entries (using border hops) of 60 days during the validity of the visa.
The permit of stay can be extended one time on each entry for a further 30 days, and an additional 60 days for visiting Thai family/spouse.
To maximise the period of stay, if you make a border hop on, or just before the expiry (enter before date) of the Visa, you will be granted a a further stay of 60 days, which can again be extended one time for a further 30 days and an additional 60 days to visit Thai family/spouse.
You can stay for almost 9 months, or 11 months with an additional 60 day extension for visiting Thai family/spouse from a METV.

Non Immigrant Non O Visa (Single entry).
Can be issued on the basis of retirement (+50) or Thai family/spouse.
Valid to enter Thailand for 3 months from the date of issue.
Permits a stay of 90 days on entry, which can be extended once for a further 60 days for visiting Thai family/spouse.

Non Immigrant Non O multiple entry Visa.
Can be issued on the basis of retirement (+50) or Thai family/spouse.
Valid to enter Thailand for 12 months from the date of issue.
Allows multiple entries of 90 days during the validity of the visa.
The permit of stay can be extended one time on each entry for a further 60 days, for visiting Thai family/spouse during the validity of the visa.
You can stay for almost 15 months from a Non Imm O ME visa based on retirement, with 4 border runs, or almost 17 months based on Thai spouse with only 3 borders runs and 3 x 60 day extension based on Thai family/wife.

Non Immigrant Multi entry Non Imm O-A Visa. (Long stay)
Only issued on the basis of retirement. (+50)
Valid to enter Thailand for 12 months from the date of issue.
Allows multiple entries of 1 year during the validity of the visa.
If you exit and re-enter just before the 'enter before date' of this Visa type you will be granted a further 1 year permission of stay. You will however require a re-entry permit if you intend to leave and re-enter during this 2nd year permission of stay period. This is because when the Visa expires on the 'enter before' date so does the multiple entry allowance, which is only valid for the duration of the Visas validity (1 year).
If used to it's potential, you can stay for almost 2 years with this Visa type.

A mandatory Health Insurance policy requiring 400K inpatient and 40K outpatient cover is required for the Non Imm O-A visa application.
The permission of stay granted is impacted and limited to the expiry date of the Insurance policy, meaning on any entry the permission of stay granted will be limited to the expiry date of the Insurance policy.
You can subscribe to a new 400/40K health insurance policy at the end of your first year of stay and before re-entering Thailand to make use of that 2nd year stay the Non Imm O-A visa can provide, or alternatively consider a 2 year Health Insurance policy so as not to affect the validity of the multiple 1 year entries during the first year.

Please open a new topic if you have any questions about the information in this post.

 

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