Advice for Thailand visa requirements or extending your Thai Visa
Thailand has something for almost everyone. Stunning beaches surrounded by breathtaking cliffs, beautiful islands, world class food, the list goes on and on. It’s not surprising then that Thailand is a popular destination for digital nomads and expats to live on a semi-permanent basis, especially seeing that Thailand makes it relatively easy for long term travelers to extend their stay and/or change their visa. We have written up this guide to give an overview of getting a visa in Thailand or outside the country, what visa options are available, the ways that you can extend or change your visa, and what happens if you overstay.
When writing this guide, we’ve come across a lot of incorrect or out of date information provided from websites which and law firms who have not updated their content in several years. If you find something here which is incorrect or out of date, please do let us know in the comments at the bottom of this article.
Do I need a visa to visit Thailand?
If you plan to stay in Thailand for under 30 days, and you are a citizen of an eligible country, then you are visa exempt for up to 30 days. This means you can enter Thailand without a visa when you arrive. Nationals from Korea, Brazil, Peru, Argentina, and Chile are visa exempt for up to 90 days.
There are a few requirements, though:
- If requested, you must be able to provide proof of onward travel within your visa period. This doesn’t have to be an onward flight, usually, onward bus travel to another neighboring country in South East Asia such as Cambodia or Laos will be sufficient. It is rare to be asked to provide proof of onward travel in Thailand, but it is something to be aware of.
- You must have 20,000 baht (just over $600USD) to be able to support yourself in Thailand.
A full list of requirements can he found here.
What if I’m staying in Thailand for longer than 30 days?
Fortunately, there are several options available to you if you plan to extend your stay in Thailand. Thailand welcomes long-term travelers (as long as they abide by Thai immigration laws), which is a large contributor as to why Thailand has become such a popular destination for long term travelers and digital nomads.
What options do I have to extend my 30 day Thai visa?
Thailand 60 day visa extension
You can apply for this visa either in Thailand at the airport or at immigration department in Bangkok, it cannot be applied for outside of Thailand. The 60 day visa is considered a tourist visa, so work or employment is not allowed. The visa is valid for 3 months for single entry visas, and 6 months for the multiple entry visa from the date of application,
How much does the 60 day Thai visa extension cost?
The cost for this visa is only 1000 Baht, for either the 60 and 90 day visa extensions. You must be able to show that you have enough money to support yourself on your trip; 20,000 Baht per person or 40,000 Baht per family.
What if I want to stay in Thailand longer than 90 days?
If you want to stay in Thailand longer than 90 days, you can either fly back and fly back in (you can also do this by land to Laos or Cambodia), or you can apply for a different type of visa at the office of Immigration. A list of visa types can be found here.
What visa do I need to work in Thailand?
It’s no secret that digital nomads flock to Chang Mai to work online, and I think its safe to say that many of them do not have the correct Thai working permit to do so. The same is true for backpackers working in bars on the islands, and many other situations. Whilst personally, I have never heard of anyone getting caught for this, if you are planning to work in Thailand, it’s better to have the correct visa or permit.
To legally work in Thailand, you will need a non-immigrant visa. There are several different categories of non-immigrant visa based on the type of work you are carrying out. For instance, to conduct business, attend a conference, or to seek work you need a non-immigrant category B visa (more info). If you are a filmmaker or journalist, you need a non-immigrant category M visa, the list goes on. As there are several different non-immigrant visa categories, and this will vary for different countries, the best thing is to go to find your local Thai Embassy, head to the consular services > visa information.
How do I apply for a non-immigrant work visa?
For most countries, the non-immigrant visa can be applied for either in Thailand or at a Thai Embassy outside the country. If you are a national of one of the 30 day visa exempt countries (see above), then you can enter on this visa, and apply for your non-immigrant work visa at the embassy in Thailand.
How much does the non-immigrant work visa cost for Thailand?
The cost of the work visa in Thailand varies based on your country of residence, whether you require or multiple entry, and what work subcategory visa you are applying for. Again, the best thing to do is to find your consulate and head to the appropriate visa information here. Generally, the cost is 2,000 Baht for a single entry visa which is valid for 3 months, and 5,000 Baht for multiple entry visa which is valid for 1 year.
Can I extend a work visa in Thailand?
Yes, you can apply for a further 90 day extension.
What are the visa requirements for non-immigrant work visas in Thailand?
If you already know which sub category you require, then you can find a full list of visa requirements, for all subcategory work visas here.
What happens if I overstay my visa in Thailand?
It should go without saying, but overstaying your Thai visa is not recommended as a way to extend your stay in Thailand…
I’m only overstaying by X number of days, is it cheaper to overstay my Thai visa and just pay the fine when I leave?
This is one of the most common questions, and the answer largely depends on what immigration official you get when you try to leave the country. Some travelers get away with only having to pay the fine per day (more on this below). However, in some cases, Thai immigration officials can make you pay the cost of the visa extension plus the fines.
Depending on the length that you’ve overstayed your Thai visa, you might have trouble entering Thailand in the future if you overstay, and in extreme cases it can affect your entry visas to other countries as well if you get deported or receive a ban preventing you from entering Thailand again.
What is the fine for overstaying your visa in Thailand?
The cost for overstaying is 500 baht (around $15USD) per day. The maximum 20,000 baht (around $600USD) if you overstay your visa for 40+ days. As mentioned above, you may also have to pay the cost of the visa on top of this, so it’s really not worth it.
Can you go to jail for overstaying your visa in Thailand?
If you overstay your visa for 200+ days, you could face jail time.
What should I do if I overstay my visa in Thailand?
If you overstay your visa in Thailand, whether it is by a genuine mistake or whether you have overstayed on purpose, the best thing you can do is get in touch with the Thailand immigration department. Generally speaking, the immigration officers will be much more understanding if you are actively trying to rectify your visa situation. If you just try to leave the country they may not look on your case favorably.
In many cases, at the discretion of the immigration officer and depending on how long you have overstayed, you may be able to still extend your visa and remain in Thailand.