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Thailand Visas: Most Frequently Asked Questions

Find out more about the different types of visa available in Thailand and get the answers to the most frequently asked questions!

What is a Spouse Visa?

A spouse visa also referred to as a spousal visa or non-Immigrant Visa O is the visa for you if you have a Thai partner or family in Thailand. This is for applicants who are visiting Thailand with a spouse or family member who is working, studying or living in Thailand. The visa is valid for 90 days and can be extended for up to a year at the Office of the Immigration Bureau. This visa allows holders to work in Thailand as long as their employer can procure a work permit for them.

Key Points:

  • Foreign travellers come to Thailand for a number of reasons, some visits necessitate a Thai visa while others do not.
  • Visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand’s website for more visa information.
  • The type of visa you need is determined by the purpose of your visit to Thailand.

What is a Non-Immigrant Visa F?

Non-Immigrant Visa F also known as Courtesy Visa or Official Duty Visa is a type of visa is for those who will be performing official duties in Thailand such as serving as an officer on a diplomatic mission as well as Laissez-Passer Passport holders. Ordinary passport holders who have been invited to a meeting by the Royal Thai Government and ordinary passport holders who have been awarded a scholarship by the Thailand International Development Cooperation Agency. It’s best to check the website of the Royal Thai Embassy in your country for this visa as conditions differ depending on nationality.

A national government or an official foreign treaty body such as the United Nations issues the Laissez-Passer Passport.

Non-immigrant Visa R (Religious Visa) what is it for?

Ministers, priests, and missionaries who wish to enter Thailand to do missionary or religious work recognized by Thai Ministries or Government Departments must apply for this visa.

1. Non-immigrant visa R – holders of this form of visa are initially given a period of stay in the Kingdom of not more than 90 days unless the Office of Immigration Bureau instructs otherwise.

2. Non-immigrants visa R-A – holders of this form of visa are initially given a period of stay in the Kingdom of no more than one year unless the Office of Immigration Bureau directs otherwise.

Each visa form and nationality requires a different set of documents.

Is it necessary to obtain a visa to conduct scientific research in Thailand?

The Scientific Research Visa is intended for those who are engaged in scientific research, studying, or teaching in a research institute. Applicants who wish to remain in the Kingdom for more than 90 days must apply either at a Thai consular mission abroad or at the Bangkok Office of Immigration Bureau. Unless the Office of Immigration Bureau instructs otherwise.

Holders of this type of visa are allowed to stay in the Kingdom for a maximum of 90 days at a time. Certain eligible persons can obtain an additional one-year stay permit starting on the date of entry into the Kingdom, according to the Office of the Immigration Bureau’s regulations on extension of stay. The officer in charge of immigration will decide whether or not to extend your stay.

It’s important to note that obtaining a visa in Thailand entails a lengthy process with a lot of paperwork. And regulations are updated on a regular basis.

Will I need a visa if I volunteer in Thailand?

If you are coming to Thailand to do volunteer work, there is a visa which is known as a Volunteer Visa. This type of visa is for applicants volunteering for hospitals, trust or schools may be an example of this. This is open to foreign nationals who choose to volunteer with an NGO or other voluntary organization in Thailand and must apply for a working certificate from the Thai Labor Department as well as a Non-Immigrant O visa from the Thai Embassy or Consulate in their home country.

After arrival in Thailand, applicants will be issued a visa for up to 90 days after which they will apply for a work permit and extend their visa. They must then apply for a Work Permit from the Thai Labor Department in the provinces where the NGO or charitable organisation is based.

Do I need a visa if I work for a media company and want to film in Thailand?

Apply for a single-entry Media Visa if you work in the media which includes print, internet, and television. It protects international news photographers, filmmakers and media correspondents working for printed newspapers and magazines, TV, radio or online agencies and is usually referred to as a journalism visa.

It only refers to those who work for international news organisations. If you work as a journalist for a Thai media group, you can apply for a Non-Immigrant Visa B. The MFA Media Online Service website is where you can apply for a one-year Media Visa and get accredited and even journalists on short-term assignments should apply for a Non-Immigrant B visa.