Cancelling your Thai Visa
What will happen when you cancel your Thai visa and how to deal with it.
Depending on the type of visa you have there may be certain procedures to follow if you wish to cancel your visa permanently and leave Thailand.
Typically, the only type of visa which officially requires cancellation is a NON Immigrant B visa.
If you have a NON Immigrant O visa for marriage or retirement you don’t need to cancel your visa, if you wish to leave Thailand you simply leave before your visa expires.
If you wish to avoid accidental cancellation of your visa make sure that you get a re-entry permit before you leave the country at any time.
What happens to your visa if your employment is terminated?
If your employment is terminated during your stay in Thailand then your employer needs to give you a letter to this effect which you can take to the labour office to cancel your work permit.
You need to do this on the same day that your employment is terminated.
The labour office will give you a receipt for cancelling your work permit which you need to take to your nearest immigration office who will cancel your visa with immediate effect.
They will then issue you with a 7 day permission to stay which is intended for you to tidy up your affairs in order to leave Thailand.
In certain circumstances you may be able to get longer than 7 days, such as transitioning from employment with a BOI company to a non BOI company.
What if I am leaving one job and starting another?
Leaving a job with one company and starting a job with a new employer is usually straightforward. You should follow the same procedure as above and within your 7 day permission to stay period arrange to leave Thailand and visit a neighbouring country to obtain a new visa.
In some situations you may be able to cancel your old visa and obtain a new extension of stay without leaving the country. But this is not often the case as it takes time to prepare the correct documents for your work permit and visa application.
If your new employer has all of your documentation ready then you should be able to get another NON B visa straight away. If the paperwork is not ready or there is going to be a delay in starting your new job then you may need to re enter Thailand on a visa exempt stamp or a tourist visa until it is time to start your new job.
When you leave one job to start another it is important that your tax affairs are in order, you should ask your employer to give you the receipt for payment of income tax for the previous year. This is known as form PND91, this is required for applying for your new work permit and can cause issues if they don’t give it to you.
No matter what the reason is for leaving your job, you should always try to part with your employer on good terms as their co-operation is required for the cancellation of your visa and work permit.
If your visa and work permit are not cancelled in the correct way then you could have problems obtaining a work permit again.
Can I just leave the country without cancelling my visa?
Effectively you could leave Thailand without cancelling your visa and work permit but this is not the correct way to do things and will cause you issues if you intend to work in Thailand again in the future.
Some immigration officers may also not let you leave the country if you have a NON B visa without a re-entry permit. There have been reports of people being asked to show their work permit cancellation receipt before being allowed to leave, especially if their visa is close to expiring. This is to stop people leaving their job and just staying in Thailand until their visa expires.
Whatever your circumstances, make sure that you are well prepared and have a plan to put into action as you will have limited time in which to make new visa arrangements.