How to get a Non B visa in Thailand
A Non Immigrant B visa is the official visa which you need to work in Thailand.
Most embassies will now only issue a single entry non immigrant visa, meaning that after 90 days you either need to leave the country and obtain a new visa or extend your visa at an immigration office in Thailand.
If you are extremely lucky and live in a country where the Thai Embassy will issue a multi entry NON B visa then you will have a longer period of time in which to arrange your visa extension.
There are effectively three options for obtaining a NON Immigrant B visa,
All three options have various advantages and disadvantages, if you already have your Thai company setup or you are planning to work for an employer who will be handling all of the paperwork on your behalf then it could be easier to apply for the visa in your home country.
In order to do this your employer will need to send you certain documents which include but are not limited to:
Any company who is employing you in Thailand should be able to provide these documents easily, if not it may be a warning sign about the job so make sure that they are willing/able to provide the documents before committing to anything.
If you enter Thailand on a visa exempt stamp or tourist visa, the same documents are required to travel to a neighbouring country to get your visa.
Some people don’t like to travel to a neighbouring country as the usual way of doing this is on a visa run minibus trip and you need to stay in that country for at least three days away from your home in Thailand.
However, if you don’t mind doing this then it is a viable option for you to get your visa.
The third option is to convert a visa exempt stamp or tourist visa to a NON B visa within Thailand, however to do this you need to have at least 20 days remaining on your current permission to stay.
If you intend to convert your current visa to a NON B visa within Thailand then you should consider seeking professional advice to make sure that you can get it done within the time frames permitted.
Once you have your NON B visa it is usually valid for 90 days and you cannot leave Thailand during this time or you will invalidate the visa.
Once you have your work permit you will need to apply at your local Thai immigration office for a 1 year extension of your visa. If you have only been granted a six month work permit which can be the case for new or smaller companies then you will only be able to get a visa extension up until the time when your work permit expires. You would then renew your work permit and apply to extend your visa again.
The documentation required to extend a NON B visa is extensive, if you are working for an employer they should prepare all of these documents for you and accompany you to the immigration office usually.
If you have your own Thai company then you will need to supply copies of your company registration, shareholders list, previous year’s balance sheet, income tax payments, social security payments and much more. You would be advised to seek professional advice in the matter of extending your visa.
At the initial application interview you will submit your application form with the fee of 1900 baht and have your photo taken. You will then be given a one month ‘under consideration’ stamp. During that time your application will be considered and immigration officers may visit your office to see you working there, interview your staff and take a picture of you together with your four Thai staff. There must be a ratio of four Thai staff to every foreigner who is employed by a Thai company.
When your one month consideration period is over, you should return to the immigration visa where you will receive a 12 month extension stamp.
It is very important to note that if you leave the country, your extension of stay will become null and void so you need to purchase a re-entry permit from Immigration.
Re-entry permits are currently priced at 1000 baht for a single entry and 3,800 baht for multiple re-entries.
The last thing you should need to remember when you have your 1 year visa extension is to report your address to immigration every 90 days. This is a simple procedure and some immigration offices have even started using a barcode which they simply scan so you don’t even need to complete a form.