Thailand & Phuket Visa Guide

Below you can read an in-depth article on gaining a Thailand or Phuket tourist, long stay or education Visa upon arrival, or from any Thai Embassy around the world.  

Tourist Visa Exemption

The Thai government allows nationals from 41 countries and 1 special administrative region to stay in Thailand for tourism purpose for up to 30 days without an entry visa.

List of 41 countries are as follows:

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bahrain, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, USA, Vietnam.

Longer-stay visas are available, for a fee, from Thai embassies and consulates around the world: specify what kind of visa you want. Normally long staying guest take a non-immigrant visa. This visa is valid 90 days but after two months of arriving to Thailand/Phuket you MUST then go to the immigration office to get the extra month

There’s two options here. The 1st option is to go to the Thai Embassy in your Country, or any Country around the world, before you arrive to Phuket. The second option, and this is basically the same rutein, is to obtain a 3 month visa while you are already here and after your one month tourist visa is about to expire.

For example. For people who live or want to stay longer while they are already on Phuket the majorly go to Kuala Lumpur to get a 3 month visa. The process is simple. Simply fly to KL on a Sunday, Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday and the following morning get to the Thai Embassy before 8.30am due to many people will be getting there around 9am and there will be a Que. Then once at the Embassy and it opens go into the office to pick up a non-immigrant/90 day visa form. I think you can also find these online and be able to download/print it off but check the Thai Embassies website in question before you travel.  Then (Very important) remember to take the queue ticket number. Once the form is filled in, and dependant where you are in the queue, it’s a simple case of waiting for your number to come up, hand your passport, your 2 passport photo’s, the form and the visa payment to the officer and job done. All you have to do then is wait until the follow day and pick your passport (With visa) from 1pm onwards.

If you have a tourist visa you can, once in Thailand, apply for a 7 day extension. If you plan to leave Thailand temporarily during your stay and you have a single entry visa, extension of stay or permanent residence, you must get a re-entry visa, available from the Immigration Department in Phuket City. These rules are subject to change so check current regulations prior to departure.

Phuket Education And Study Visa’s

Foreign (non-Thai) nationals who register for our course of 200 lessons and pay the full tuition become eligible for a non-immigrant visa.

IMPORTANT NOTE: In order to remain eligible for an Visa, students must miss no more than 10 lessons in a given year. Upon entering Thailand for the first time with an Visa, all Visa holders are to contact the school as soon as possible.

With your visa

– You will not have to leave Thailand to make visa runs for the duration of the visa’s validity. – You will enjoy studying the Thai language and culture over 200 lessons per year.

Your Non-immigrant visa

On arrival you will be permitted to stay for 90 days. With the paperwork provided by our school you will be able to extend your stay every 180 days (approximately) at the Phuket Immigration Office for the duration of the course – there will be no need for visa runs. At present, extensions cost only 1,900 Baht each, so this is much cheaper and more convenient than doing visa runs. You can enjoy studying Thai in a relaxed atmosphere, and at the same time not worry about making any visa runs.

Class and Study Time

200 lessons (every lesson is 60 minutes long). This meets the Thai Ministry of Education requirement for issuing Non-Immigrant Visa documents.

Non-Immigrant visa procedure and waiting times

In order to begin the process, first we will need to send a request to the Thai ministry of education for a letter of acceptance, stating that they will allow you to take a course with our school. This normally takes about 1 month, depending on the number of applications being processed by the ministry. After this letter has been issued you can take it, along with other necessary documents to one of the Thai embassies or consulates outside Thailand.

Most nationalities have a choice of going to Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia, Singapore, or any other Thai embassy. However, citizens of some nationalities such as India, China, Pakistan and most Middle Eastern nations are required to apply for the visa in their home country.

With the Non-Immigrant visa in your passport, you will need to come back to our language school on Phuket, and we will prepare all documents for a second letter from the Ministry of Education certifying your enrollment. This letter allows you to make 9 month extensions at the local immigration office (Phuket) for the duration of the course. Visa runs will NOT be required for the entire duration of the Non-Immigrant visa, saving you time and money. Furthermore, after your first year of study is complete, you may continue extending your visa at 9 month intervals for up to 5 years, as long as you continue to study with us.

Who is eligible to study Phuket Language School and receive a Non-Immigrant visa?

Neither the School nor the Thai Ministry of Education make any distinction between students of different nationalities. All nationalities are treated equally and all are welcome to study Thai and learn about Thai culture.

Which Nationalities have to apply for the Visa in their home country?

There are however some restrictions from immigration, which require citizens of the following nations to apply for the visa at a Thai embassy or consulate in their home country: India, China, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Iran, and other Middle Eastern countries.

Visa Age Restrictions

Students aged between 12 and 99 years qualify for a 1 year Non-Immigrant visa. Students below 12 years of age are also welcome to study at Kathu Phuket Language School, but unfortunately we are not able to obtain a Non-Immigrant visa for them.

How can I apply for the visa if I’m already in Thailand?

If you are already in Thailand on a different visa, you can apply to any school or training center in person. However, we advise you to apply at least 1 month before your current visa expires in order to allow sufficient time to get everything processed by the Ministry of Education. If you wish to apply in person, please come see us at the Kathu Phuket Language School. Bring along your passport, 18 passport photos (3cm x 4cm) and tuition fee.

Thailand Retirement Visa

A retirement visa is issued to applicants aged 50 years or above wishing to take take up residence in Thailand for at least one year. As the name suggests, a retirement visa (“O-A” Long Stay) does not entitle the holder to engage in any form of work.

1) Qualifications

A foreign national whose age is 50 years or above (on the date of submitting the application). Not being prohibited from entering Thailand under the Immigration Act B.E.2522(A.D.1979). Having no criminal record against the security of Thailand and the country of his/her nationality, or the country of his/her residence.

Must be a national or a resident of the country where his/her application is submitted. Not having prohibitive diseases (Leprosy, Tuberculosis, Drug Addiction, Elephantiasis and Third step of Syphilis) as indicated in the Ministerial Regulation No.14 (B.E. 2535). Not seeking to work in Thailand.

2) Required documentsA passport valid for at least 18 months. Three copies of visa application form (TM.7) completely filled out. Three passport-sized photos of the applicant taken within the past six months. A personal Data Form.

A copy of bank statement showing a deposit at the amount equal to not less than 800,000 Baht or an income certificate (an original copy) with a monthly income of not less than 65,000 Baht, or a deposit account plus a monthy income totalling not less than 800,000 Baht.

In the case of the bank statement, a letter of guarantee from the bank (an original copy) is to be shown as well. Verification stating that the applicant has no criminal record issued from the country of his/her nationality or residence (the verification shall be valid for not more than three months and should be notorized by notary organs or the applicant’s diplomatic/consular mission).

A medical certificate issued from the country where the application is submitted, showing no prohibitive diseases as indicated in the Ministerial Regulation No.14 (B.E. 2535), which shall be valid for not more than three months and should be notorized by notary organs or the applicant’s diplomatic/consular mission. In the case that the applicant wishes to have his/her spouse stay together in the Kingdom but the spouse is not qualified for a Non-Immigrant O-A Visa, their marriage certificate shall also be produced as evidence and should be notarized by notary organs or the applicant’s diplomatic/consular mission. (The spouse will be considered for temporary stay under category O).

3) Application procedureApplicants can submit their applications both at the Thai embassy/consular missions where they have their permanent residence or at the Office of the Immigration Bureau in Thailand.Section 1, Sub-Division 1, Immigration 1, Immigration Bureau, Soi Suan Plu, South Sathorn Road, Sathorn District, Bangkok 10120 Tel: (662) 287-4948 or 287 3101-10 ext. 2236Please be advised that the following applicants are eligible to apply for this type of visa in the country:Applicants undergoing Health Rehabilitation Programs in hospitals or Health Centres. These organizations will apply on behalf of the individual applicant.

Applicants who are spouses/parents/children of applicants above.

Applicants to whom the agencies or organizations approved by the Office of the Immigration Bureau have applied for a visa on their behalf. The applicants must have the qualifications stated above.

The Consular missions will be notified to issue visa to the individual applicant when the Office of Immigration Bureau has given approval.

4) Fees

5,000 Baht for multiple entries

5) Note: Foreigners must report to an Immigration Office in their area of residence every 90 days. If there is no immigration office they can report to the local police station.

In order to report by mail, you should:

Send the completed Report Form (Tor Mor 47) together with a copy of the passport pages showing the applicant’s photo, personal details, and the latest arrival visa stamp together with a self-addressed envelope with affixed postage stamp. This must be sent 7 days before the due date, by recorded mail to the Immigration Bureau: 507 Soi Suan Plu, South Sathorn Road, Sathorn District, Bangkok 10120. In the case of conducting any following reports, the Reply Form for the previous report should be enclosed as well.

5) Extension of Stay

At the end of the one-year stay, foreigners who wish to extend his/her stay shall submit a request for the extended period to the Immigration Bureau with documented evidence of money transfer, or a deposit account in Thailand, or an income certificate, of an amount not less than 800,000 Baht, or an income certificate plus a deposit account at the total amount not less than 800,000 Baht a year. Extensions for one year at a time will be granted as long as they meet the requirements as stated earlier and is at the discretion of the Immigration officer. If their spouses wish to extend their stay as well, the marriage certificate must also be produced.

Final note: This visa guide has not been altered for over 5 years so some details could have changed. For this reason please contact your local Thai Embassy for all updated details. Thank you.

Back to: HomeFlightsHotelsPhuket Guide