Obtaining as business visa can be very difficult as the Thai government has cut back on the amount of visas they issue. Obtaining one in Asia is near impossible. Speak to us to arrange a visa for you. Whether you want to work in Thailand or take advantage of investment opportunities there, you have to first apply for a non-immigrant visa. There are several different kinds of business visas for which foreigners wanting to work in Thailand can apply.
For example, there is the Non-Immigrant B (Business) Visa, the Non-Immigrant B-A Visa which means “Business Approved,” and the Non-Immigrant IB Visa, which is an “Investment and Business” visa. The cost of applying for a visa also varies, generally depending on the length of your stay – a single entry three-month visa usually costs 1,000 baht; a multiple entry one-year visa is normally around 5,000 baht; and a multiple entry three-year visa generally runs for 10,000 baht. Depending on clearance, type of visa, and length of stay, the time frame for getting a visa approved can run anywhere from two days to two weeks, and sometimes months. In order to decide which visa is right for you, it is first important to understand the processes and purposes of each.
A Non-Immigrant B Visa can be applied for at all Thailand Embassies and Consulates. When you have this type of visa, you are allowed to stay in the country for up to ninety days, at which point you will need to apply for an extension at the Office of the Immigration Bureau.
In order to receive this type of visa, the following things are required:
- your application for a visa, completely and correctly filled out;
- your valid passport and a copy;
- various photos (two will generally suffice; they must by at least 4x6cm and must be full-faced);
- your acceptance letter from the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare;
- an official letter, given to you by the Embassies and Consulates, vouching for the purpose of your traveling;
- your birth certificate;
- your marriage license, if applicable;
- copy of your work permit, if applicable;
- a letter from the company for which you will be working;
- authorized contract from your employer;
- copies of your educational transcripts;
- records that your employer has submitted the appropriate forms.
Immigrants who are setting up their own business in Thailand have some additional requirements; they have to show the aforementioned documents, as well as the following:
- proof of correspondence with whoever you will be working with in Thailand;
- financial proof of business as well as proof that you have finances adequate to start your own business;
- authorized letter from company, inviting you to work there, proof of salary, and objectives;
- Copies of various documents – shareholders, business registration and license, company profile, business details, list of all foreign workers, map showing the business’s location, balance sheet, copies/proof of appropriate tax returns.
As well, there are several required documents which apply solely to specific types of businesses and companies. You should apply for a Non-Immigrant B-A Visa at the Embassies or Consulates; however, it will be approved by the Office of Immigration Bureau, which is located in Bangkok. This kind of visa is valid for one year, beginning at the date of your arrival in Thailand.
A Non-Immigrant IB Visa applies to foreign staff members who will be working on investment projects which have been promoted by the Board of Investment in Thailand. Recipients of this visa are required to benefit Thailand in the following ways in order to be approved:
- produce, intended to be exported;
- an increase in employment in Thailand;
- the work must use raw materials;
- the business must be located in provincial areas;
- the business must encourage technology transfers to nationals in Thailand;
- the business must not compete with or try to destroy pre-existing businesses in Thailand.
In addition, if you wish to apply and be approved for this type of visa, there are several required documents, such as your visa application, filled out completely and correctly; your valid passport and its copy; two full-faced pictures, not more than six months old; a certifiable letter from the Board of Investment in Thailand.
In the case of all three business visas, applicants – or whoever in their company has applied for them – have to go to the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare in order to apply for a work permit. Working in Thailand without a work permit is illegal, and it is punishable by fines and jail time. All of the applicant’s family members have to apply for the Non-Immigrant O Visa.
There are positives and negatives to working in Thailand – sometimes they are the same. For example, right now the economy in Thailand is mending itself, so it is quite enviable, especially as far as the economy in the United States is concerned. However, its past patterns prove that Thailand’s economy can often be quite shaky. Recently the government was overthrown as well, which, while it seems to be beneficial thus far, is always a fear. As well, one never knows what the weather in Thailand will be like. The fear of tsunamis is greater than before, and you must realize if you live and work there that you run the risk of being the victim to the country’s tumultuous and tempestuous weather patterns.
That being said, right now the economy is good. The standard of living is good as well, there is a lot of land up for sale (and if you choose the right area, the property values can ensure that real estate in Thailand will be a fantastic investment). As well, there are a number of jobs open to foreigners and immigrants. English teachers are always welcome, as are people in the engineering field, computer and IT specialists, specialists in general, such as doctors and lawyers, and, as the economy continues to grow, there is a market for bankers as well. In addition to that, many foreigners begin their own businesses there. There are immigrants with successful restaurants, various kinds of entertainers, and people who own their own stores. The exporting of goods and services is also a hugely popular occupation right now.