Since I just talked with a friend who asked me about different Visa types and what you have to consider when coming here (she wants her boyfriend to come) I thought I’ll give it a try and assemble a list of what I know so far and what happened to me during my visa runs.
First let’s get the visa terminology straight:
Visa Run is the term widely used for the trip / journey you have to take in order to extend or renew your visa for Thailand. Depending on the type of your visa you have to leave Thailand sooner or later to receive a new visa when entering again. That action is commonly called ‘Visa Run‘.
Well the name says it all. Dubious travel agencies offer so called ‘visa service’ where they either put you in a mini van and carry you to the border and assist with filling out the application form (which is in english) and charge your for that or they offer to take care of it all which means you give them a lot of money and your passport and then simply hope for the best. Bottom line: Don’t trust them. Don’t be a coward. Do it yourself!
Visa on arrival
Visa on arrival is the name of the ‘most easy’ visa you can obtain when entering Thailand. You don’t need to worry about anything, you will simply get the visa when arriving at the Thai border. Hence the name Visa on Arrival.
So let’s check some of the common Visa types in Thailand. And sorry but since it doesn’t apply to me I don’t know much about marriage or partnership visas. I’ll try to gather the relevant information from trustworthy sources though.
Tourist Visa on arrival via land – 14 days
The name says it all. If you arrive in Thailand via land (train, car, bus) and you need a Visa on arrival you will get a visa that is valid for 14 days.
Tourist Visa on arrival via air – 30 days
Same like above with one difference. If you enter Thailand via plane you will get a Visa on Arrival that is valid for 30 days.
Tourist Visa – 60 Days
If you apply for a tourist Visa before entering Thailand or at an immigration office within Thailand you might be eligible for a 60 days tourist visa. Please check your local office / embassy if that is the case.
Download: Tourist Visa Application Form
Non Immigrant Working Visa – Type B
That’s one of the more common working visas here. If you have a valid work permit and contract from your employer you can apply for this Visa. It usually is valid for one year but still needs you to leave Thailand every 90 days.
But but but….’what happens if I overstay my visa‘ you might ask now.
Well you’ll have to pay for that the next time your passport get’s checked (i.e. when you’re leaving Thailand again). Common rates are 500 THB for every day you overstay your visa up to a maximum amount of 20,000 THB. Why there is a maximum? I have no idea but it kinda saved me once when I didn’t know I had to leave Thailand every 90 days even though I had a one year visa.
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