How to get a Non Immigrant Business Visa in Thailand

Last updated: December 20th, 2016 | in Working

Thai Business Visa

No matter if you intend to work as an employee or plan to set up your own company in Thailand, the first thing you are required to get is a Non Immigrant Business Visa. Once you have it you need to apply for a work permit. These are the two things you need to legally take up any kind of work in Thailand.

Even if you work online and the earnings your are generating from your website, affiliate, sales or whatever are being transferred to a Non-Thai bank account, you are supposed to obtain a business visa and a work permit. A lot of people say this is a grey area and officials can’t figure it out anyway but if they do (and even if the chances are almost zero percent) you will have a problem as the law clearly states if you are working in Thailand you need to fulfill the requirements.

And even interns in Thailand that don’t receive any salary are supposed to obtain a business visa and work permit – since they are working.

So how to get a Non Immigrant Business Visa?

The first thing that is important to know is that you can’t obtain a Non-Immigrant Business Visa inside Thailand. That’s right you need to apply for it at a Thai Embassy or Consulate outside the kingdom. The application process as such is pretty easy if you bring along all the required documents. The office hours for visa applications in Thai consulates are usually from Monday to Friday from 8am to 12:30pm. Pick up of the visa the following working day (not Saturday or Sunday) sometime in the afternoon, i.e. in Vientiane Laos from 12:30pm to 2:30pm. Make sure to check these times at the website of the relevant consulate that you are planing to submit your application.

There are exceptions where you can transfer you regular Tourist, Education or Retirement Visa to a Business Visa inside Thailand without having to leave the country, this involves an extra fee though and is only possible if the company that sponsors you has a certain size, in terms of registered capital, revenues and paid taxes.

What documents are required for a Non Immigrant Business Visa Application?

The following documents have to be handed to the officer at the visa department of a Thai Embassy or Consulate:

  • Business Visa Application Form, completed and signed
  • Sponsorship Documents from a registered company in Thailand:
    Petition letter from the Thai company to the Thai ambassador, copy of company affidavits, copy of shareholders list, copy of latest annual audit, copy of latest withholding tax, copy of latest payments to social funds, map showing the location of the company and the workplace of the applicant
  • Passport with a remaining validity of at least 6 months
  • 2 passport photos (dimensions: 3 x 4 cm)
  • Application Fee: 2,000 Baht visa fee for 3 month single entry / 5,000 Baht visa fee for 1 year multiple entry

It depends on the consulate if they issue one year visas or only three months business visas. All of Thailand’s neighbor countries (Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar) only issue single-entry 3 month business visas. Same for Singapore and Hongkong.

The closest country to Thailand that issues one year multiple entry Business Visas is Australia and currently only at consulates of the following cities: Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.

Re-Entry Permit

If the Thai consulate only issues you a single entry visa, it is possible to apply for a Re-Entry permit inside Thailand. The application has to be submitted at the immigration office that is designated to your residential area. The following documents are required in order to submit a Re-Entry Permit application (in person or by an agent):

  • Completed and signed Re-Entry Permit Application Form
  • 2 passport sized photo (dimensions: 3.5 x 4.5 cm)
  • Copy of passport pages: Main page, visa page and page that includes the latest entry stamp
  • Application Fee: 1,000 Baht for single entry / 3,800 Baht for multiple entry

Reporting Requirement

If you hold a one year Business Visa you are required to the immigration officer of your residence area every 90 days.

Extension of Non Immigrant Business Visa

It is possible to extend your Business Visa for one year inside Thailand at the immigration office that is designated to your residential area. This time you are required to submit the same documents as for the initial visa application plus your work permit.

About Redcat

Redcat

Redcat lives his dream by living and traveling in Thailand. On Thailand Redcat he shares his experiences and advice to all aspects of (night)life in Thailand. Redcat is also fluent in Thai both spoken and written and is the author of the books Thai Beginner’s Course and Thai Love Course.

2 Responses

  • Billy says:

    I wonder: What are the requirements for a Scandinavian guy to obtain a Non-Immigrant Business Visa to Thailand? I have tried to work this out online, but I butt my head against sooo many different sites with different information..

    My main concern seems to be that I lack sponsorship documents from a local Thai Company.. Is there a way to work myself around this? Are there “companies” that could provide some sort of invitation? Someone who can “guarantee” my stay pro-forma (in exchange for a profit)?

    What other VISA options are there? I am coming to stay. My main concern is getting a VISA that will ensure that I can live in Thailand for a year, while I am looking for work, developing business ideas (export to Europe, online sales etc.). I worry, because I am engaged to a beautiful Thai princess of a good family background, and I do not want to leave, get re-entry problems etc).

    I am a journalist/TV-producer by education, and I will arrive with about 400.000 bath to my name and somewhere between 20-30.000 bath per month in income from renting out my apartment in my home country.. so I should be covered for my basic needs until I start earning money.

    #Funfact: RedCat – I just found myself in one of your recent videos (from HDY – guy on the left 555)! Did you shoot this? Weird coincidence makmak

    #Boringfact: For a more detailed description of my case, please refer to the other post by me under this thread. Anyone that actually bothers to read this and can provide any input, will be my friend forever. KobKhunKrub!

    • Billy says:

      Long and boring read for people with no better things to do:

      I have fallen in love with a gorgeous HDY girl from a proper family – her dad running a successful business cashing in way more than I myself make in Scandinavia. To his great dismay, I have now quit my job in my country and decided to move to Thailand to start a new life with my much too young fiance and GF of a year (red alert, red alert – yeah I know)

      I am 40, a journalist/TV-producer by education.. I have a long and varied work experience with good references, including TV-production for domestic channels and Viasat, PR-work, teaching in public school, making commercials, translation into English (mostly academic papers) and training tram drivers (wtf?!)..

      Right now I am at the crossroads, about to leave my old life and build a new one in the LOS.
      A princess half my age has cast her magic spell on me, she believes it is fate and I do too – since I did not want her to come to my country without at least a proper Bachelors degree, any social network and little life experience, I thought: What the heck.. I’ll quit my safe 50.000 Euro-a-year work and throw myself to the dogs in Thailand instead..

      So here I am at this very moment in time emptying my apartment of everything I own, to hire it out. I have all my assets tied up in this apartment, and I can rent it out for a net monthly profit of 22.000-30.000 bath per month… but that is really it. I don’t really own a substantial savings account and have only about 400.000 bath to my name – which to a large extent will be used to invest in Photo/Video equipment + a laptop to do editing, post-production and writing: My hope is to use my contacts back in the old country to ship home freelance work every now and then, for a profit – while I set up my own business or find a decent payed position.

      If I had a real business plan I believed in, I could of course liquidate the apartment for a meager net profit of 12 million bath.. but property prices are currently increasing and it would be a ridiculously stupid thing to do at the moment.

      The short term part of my lofty plan is to arrive in Thailand, bring my letters of recommondations and look for any kind of job (legal or grey market) that can earn me 25.000 bath and upwards. That may even include finishing a TEFL course and try getting work as an English teacher down south.. (I lack a full bachelors degree, but my fluency, pronounciation and vocabulary is like native and I have papers proving that I have taught English classes in my home country and translated into English academic papers).

      My longer term ambitions is to become fluent in Thai (both written and spoken), get a webshop/export business going, run a chartered fishing boat for tourists and locals in the Siam bay with my closest Thai friend, run a Gastro-tourism operation, and/or move on to collect a decent paycheck at an international company or offer consulting services on a freelance basis to both local and foreign businesses that need a guy with one foot in the West and one in the East.

      I might add that I clean up quite well – I am not your average semi-drunk, cargopant-boasting falang. After years of exploring this country, I have a good take on the Thai culture of face and GrengJai-ness, my Thai is finally getting somewhere and my problem is not really marketing myself as a trustworthy guy. In addition I have a base of whom I consider to be close Thai friends in BKK.. they manage hotels, a concert scene and a couple of restaurants.. but they are middle class and I cannot really expect them to pull strings for me.

      I have recently realized that I have made my decisions entirely based on a few assumptions that are old and out-dated.. I was under the general assumption that:

      “Hey, I just go on a tourist VISA and make a start: get a job at some school, do VISA-runs and/or get my employer to take care of the required/semi-required paperwork needed to get a legal/semi-legal income in this country… Mai bpen Rai, right?”

      Since I only hang out with Thai people when I go to Thailand, I have been blissfully ignorant about the recent crackdown on VISA-runs and falangs working illegally on a tourist VISA. Although I have thought about settling and making a living in this country for years, I have now obviously left my heart and dick to make hastily decisions for me. Since I am quite cocky, I don’t really worry about my longer term goals – as I am an industrious, clever and hardworking guy. But in my eagerness to be with my chosen one, I have certainly skipped doing proper research around how to make the first step.

      I have all the same a rather naive belief that everything will work out for the best – and since I already have quit my job and will soon need to deal with mortgages on my apartment – I have boldly decided to stick with my game plan.. But now I could really need some words of advice regarding what my options are once I arrive in Thailand.

      I don’t have a vaaaaast savings accout to show the Thai government, but I do have a monthly income of at least 20.000 that will provide for a rather simple life in the beginning.. And I will arrive with some money to finance for example a TEFL course, a Thai drivers license for motorcycle and a 2.hand scooter, a deposit on a condo (if needed).. etc.. I will be able to have additional freelance paychecks (e.g. a feature article with photos will earn me about 40.000 to 80.000, depending on the length and publisher).. so even though it might take some time to get a job as a (teacher, consultant, bar-girl etc) I don’t really worry about surviving from day to day as I come..

      What I mostly worry about is the VISA situation. I really don’t want to risk being banned from re-entry because I am caught working on a tourist visa. I also want to avoid the hassle of making VISA-runs.. the best for me would be obtaining a 1-year business VISA or any kinds of VISA options that is renewable within Thailand.
      Do I need to be invited from a local company? Have a big chunk of money in an account? Can I stay on a Student’s Visa? Are there any unofficial/work-around ways of obtaining the VISA I need?

      Any information will be greatly appreciated.. I pay in beers, future business opportunities, good karma and sex (if you are a gorgeous woman)

      regards
      William


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