Judging by the volume of visa runs conducted every year, it is obvious that many desire a long-term stay in Thailand. But then again, considering the hassle and inconvenience of visa runs, not to mention, the risk of exposing these visitors to immigration violations, many would want to know whether there are options available for them to have a long-term stay in Thailand. Indeed, there are visa alternatives that would let foreign visitors stay in the country for quite some time and somehow lessen the frequency of conducting visa runs.
Thailand marriage visa
This is also known as the non-immigrant, category “O”, spouses and children of Thais are eligible for this visa. During the application, a 90-day stay is given to its holders. But here is the catch; the marriage visa can be extended to a year. Applications for this visa are lodged at the US embassy or consulate. Candidates must be able to prove that a valid marriage exists between the beneficiary and petitioner. In addition, they must be able to satisfy the financial requirement that amounts to THB 40,000. The latter is of extreme importance mainly because it assures Thailand government that the foreign immigrant shall not be a burden to public funds.
Thailand Retirement visa
The Thailand Non-immigrant category “O-A” visa, or more popularly known as the Thailand retirement visa is perhaps one of the most sought-after travel document from the country. The fact that it is one of the few retirement visas offered across Asia. Retirees and pensioners who are at least 50 years old are eligible for this visa. Usually, its applicants have the option to apply for a non-immigrant category “O” then convert it to “O-A” in order for them to remain in the country for a year. Similar to the marriage visa, it also has a financial requirement, which is THB 800,000.
Foreigners may stay in Thailand based on employment or business-related activities. However, to do this, they need to acquire the business visa. Again, this can be extended for a year. A word of caution, however, most especially to those who are employed in the country, a work permit must be readily secured once the visa has been already issued or approved.
With these three visas, a long-term stay in Thailand is possible. But since immigration policies go through sudden changes, it would be wise to retain the professional service of competent lawyers in applying for these visas.