If you are thinking of living or working in Thailand for the long-term, there are several options available to you. This article will help you sort through them by assessing their benefits, requirements and costs. It also provides a handy table to help you compare them.
1. Multiple Entry Tourist Visa (METV)
The METV is the most popular option for long-staying foreigners in Thailand. The METV allows you to enter and exit the country as often as you want within a 6-month period from the date your visa is approved. A 60-day permit of stay is stamped in your passport each time you enter the country.
2. Work Visa (WV)
A WV is a visa that allows you to legally work in Thailand for up to 3 years. The requirement to apply for a work visa is that you have at least 1 year of prior employment and have filed tax returns for at least 2 consecutive years. Applicants must also meet other requirements including health checks, an interview with immigration officials, and proof of sufficient funds for your stay.
3. Education Visa (E)
The E visa is a good option for those who want to live in Thailand and learn the language, take cooking classes, or take Muay Thai training. You can qualify for this type of visa by enrolling in a recognized educational institution that offers Thailand tour packages.
4. Retirement Visa (Non-Immigrant O)
If you are married to a Thai citizen and care about price and minimum immigration obligations, a Marriage visa is a solid choice. This visa is officially called a Non-Immigrant O Visa for Dependents, but it is more commonly known as a “Retirement” or “Marriage” visa. Depending on your nationality and the laws of your home country, you may have to fulfill additional criteria, such as a criminal record check or the presence of certain diseases (leprosy, tuberculosis, elephantiasis, drug addiction, and third stage syphilis).
5. Business Visa (B)
If you are wealthy and can meet specific requirements, the B visa is an excellent choice for you. It is a long-term residency visa intended to attract high net worth individuals who can contribute to the national economy. Unlike other visa types, you are not required to have an employment contract or invest a specific amount of money in order to qualify for the B visa. However, you will be required to file taxes in the country of your residence and provide evidence of financial assets, including a letter from your bank or brokerage firm stating your net worth. The B visa also requires an interview and a medical examination. You will need to submit a letter from your doctor explaining your medical history and any illnesses you have. Having copies of all these documents to present at Passport Control will speed up your process. Moreover, it will make you look organized and prepared. It is also a good idea to print them out and keep them in a safe place. Thailand long stay visa