Immigration Law Thailand

In Thailand the law concerning immigration is governed by the "Immigration Act, B.E. 2522".
An immigrant means a person who is not of Thai nationality under the nationality Act
The Minister of Interior is the in charge and has control for the executive of this Act and has the power to appoint competent officials and Issue Minister Regulations and fixes the fees and other expense. An Immigration Commission is established in the country to take control of the affairs of immigration. The commission is chaired by the under secretary to the Minister of interiors.
The following documents are required for obtaining a visa from the Thai embassy in different countries worldwide. However, there is special requirement for each visa such as transit visa the letter of invitation for participation in sports
  1. Passport or travel document with validity not less than 6 months
  2. Visa application form completely filled out
  3. One recent photograph of the applicant ( 2 1/2 inches)
  4. Instrument of means of transportation (confirmed plane ticket paid in full)
  5. Evidence of adequate finance
The Thai Government issues the following types of visa for different categories of people
  1. Transit Visa: This type of visa will be issued to applicants who wish to enter the Kingdom for the following purposes:
    1. to travel in transit through the Kingdom in order to proceed to the country of destination or to re-enter his/her own country (category "TS")
    2. to participate in sports activities (sportsmen, sportswomen, etc.)(category "S")
    3. the person in charge or crew of a conveyance coming to a port, station or area in the Kingdom (category "C")

For this type of Visa the Following additional documents are required

  1. Visa of a third country in a passport or travel document
  2. Letter of invitation to participate in sports
  1. Tourist Visa: This type of visa will be issued to applicants who wish to enter the Kingdom for the following purposes. According to the Interior Ministerial Announcements dated 6 February B.E.2538 (1995), 8 December B.E. 2541 (1998) and 1 October B.E. 2545 (2002), passport holders from 38 countries do not require a visa when entering Thailand for tourism purposes if their stay in the Kingdom does not exceed 30 days.
  2. Non-Immigrant Visa: This type of visa is designed for applicants who wish to enter the Kingdom for the following purposes.
    1. to perform official duties
    2. to conduct business/to work
    3. to invest with the concurrence of the Thai Ministries and Government Departments concerned
    4. to invest or perform other activities relating to investment, subject to the provision of the established laws on investment promotion
    5. to study, to come on a work study tour or observation tour, to participate in projects or seminars , to attend a conference or training course, to study as a foreign Buddhist monk
    6. to work as a film-producer, journalist or reporter
    7. to perform missionary work or other religious activities with the concurrence of the Thai Ministries or Government Departments concerned
    8. to conduct scientific research or training or teaching in a research institute
    9. to undertake skilled work or to work as an expert or specialist
    10. other activities (Category "O")
The applicants must submit the following relevant documents depending on the purpose of their visit.
  1. Visa application form completely filled out
  2. Passport or travel document with validity not less than 6 months and its copy
  3. Two 5 x 6 cm full-faced , bareheaded photos taken within the past six months
  4. Birth Certificate
  5. Certificate of Marriage or its equivalents
  6. Transcript/Letter of acceptance from the concerned
  7. schools/universities or institutes
  8. Letter from Thailand's Board of Investment.
  9. Official Note certifying the purpose of travel from the Government Agencies /Embassies and Consulates/International Organizations/State Enterprises in Thailand.
  10. Letter of acceptance from the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (AlienOccupational Control Division, Department of Employment) Letter from a company stating the objective of the visit to Thailand
  11. Document showing correspondence with trading partners in Thailand.
  12. Letter of invitation from companies qualified to employ foreigners.
  13. Employment contract indicating rationale for hiring the applicant as well as his/her salary, position and qualifications (document must be signed by authorized managing director and affixed the seal of the company)
  14. Copy of Work Permit issued by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (only in case the applicant has previously worked in the Kingdom)
  15. Copy of corporate documents; namely 1) list of shareholders 2) business registration and business license 3) company profile 4) details of business operation 5) list of foreign workers stating names, nationalities and positions 6) map indicating the location of the company 7) Balance sheet, statement of Income Tax and BusinessTax of the latest year 8) Alien income tax return and 9) Value-added tax registration, etc.
  16. Copy of educational records of the applicant and letters of recommendation from the prior employers, identifying job description and length of service time.
  17. Document indicating the number of foreign tourists (for tourism business only),or document indicating export transactions issued by banks (for export business only)
  1. Diplomatic Visa: Thai Embassies and Consulates-General may upon official request grant visas to diplomatic or official passport-holders who wish to assume duties at a foreign Diplomatic Mission or Consulate or International Organization in the Kingdom and their family members or who desire to enter the Kingdom on official duty. Supporting documents are Note Verbale and/or documents issued by the foreign Government or international organization, certifying the identity of the person concerned and his/her purposes while visiting the Kingdom.
  2. Official Visa
  3. Immigrant Visa: This type of visa is granted by Thai Embassies and Consulates to aliens who desire to take up permanent residence in the Kingdom, provided that the approval of the Immigration Commission and the Ministry of Interior's consent have been obtained.
  4. Non Quota Immigrant Visa: This type of visa is granted only by the Office of Immigration Bureau in Bangkok to aliens who are domiciled in Thailand having as evidence valid permits to re-enter the Kingdom. Applicants shall submit their applications together with the Certificate of Residence directly to the Immigration Bureau in Bangkok.
The residence permit is allowed by the Immigration Commission subject to the provisions of the Act. There are 2 types of person who apply for residence permit to stay
  1. Quota Immigrant Visa
  2. Non-Quota Immigrant Visa
  1. Application for Residence Permit Form and one of 4 x 6 centimeters full faced photo without wearing hat, taken within the past 6 months.
  2. The applicant's personal History
  3. The applicant's medical certificate from state hospital certifying that he/she is not disabled, unsound mind and free from following diseases viz. Leprosy, Serious period of tuberculosis, Elephantiasis, Narcotic, Alcoholism, Syphilis
  4. Evidence shows that the applicant never has any crime record in abroad (original issued from Embassy or consulate in Thailand or notary public from the country that issued such document).
  5. Copy of passport contains the first entry of the applicant and permission to stay in Thailand till now.
  6. Map of the applicant's residence and working office.
  7. Evidence to verify the advance reason for specific case.
The Immigration Bureau in certain time intervals opens for foreigners to apply for permanent residence. Public announcements will be made at such times. Foreigners, who hold non-immigrant visas and have resided in Thailand on a one-year visa extension basis for three years continuously, may apply for a permanent residence.
If there is approval, the applicant will be notified to pay fees and receive Residence Certificate within 30 days commencing from the date received written letter from the officer.
An alien on a temporary entry permit into the Kingdom of Thailand:
  1. Shall not engage in the occupation or temporary or employment unless authorized by the Director General or competent official deputized by the Director General.
  2. Shall stay at the place as indicated to the competent official.
  3. Shall notify the police official of the local police station where such alien resides, within twenty-four hours from the time of arrival.
  4. If the alien travels to any province and will stay there longer than twenty-four hours, such alien must notify the police official of the police station for that area within forty - eight hours from the time of arrival.
  5. If the alien stays in the Kingdom longer than ninety days, such alien must notify the competent official at the Immigration Division, in writing, concerning his place of stay, as soon as possible upon expiration of ninety days. The alien is required to do so every ninety days. Where there is an Immigration Office, the alien may notify a competent Immigration Official of that office.
    The provision of (3) and (4) shall not apply to any cases under Section 34 by any conditions as prescribed by the Director General.

In making notification under this Section, the alien may make notification in person or send a letter of notification to the competent official, in accordance with the regulations prescribed by the Director General.