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Entering On Visa Exemption vs. Tourist Visa & Converting To Work Visa


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Hi all,

 

I am hoping to enter Thailand around April time on a visa exemption / tourist visa. Once there, I would possibly look to find work and convert to a work visa.

 

1. What are the pros and cons of entering on a visa exemption vs. tourist visa?

 

Pros: From what I can see, visa exemption takes away the hassle of going to the embassy, filling in the paperwork and saves me a small bit of money that I would pay for the visa.

Cons: I get 45 days + possible 30 day extension = 75 days vs. 60 days + possible 30 day extension = 90 days on a tourist visa, so less time to find work.

 

Is there something else that I am overlooking?

 

2. Am I currently able to convert a visa exemption to a work visa if I find and secure a job after arriving in Thailand?

 

3. Same question as above but for the 60 day tourist visa?

 

Please correct me if I got something wrong above and many thanks in advance!

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1. As you wrote the only real difference between the two is applying for a tourist visa and the extra 15 days of total stay from it. One advantage of the tourist visa might be when you your employer applies for your work permit prior to changing to a non-b visa at immigration.

2/3. Yes 

A work visa does not exist. You need a work permit, a 90 day non-b visa entry and then a extension of stay based upon working.

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Many thanks for the reply!

 

11 hours ago, ubonjoe said:

1. As you wrote the only real difference between the two is applying for a tourist visa and the extra 15 days of total stay from it. One advantage of the tourist visa might be when you your employer applies for your work permit prior to changing to a non-b visa at immigration.

2/3. Yes 

A work visa does not exist. You need a work permit, a 90 day non-b visa entry and then a extension of stay based upon working.

 

1. With regards to the tourist visa possibly being advantageous with regards to the work permit, could you expand a little please? You mean it might just be easier in terms of the paperwork?

 

2. Do I understand correctly that the application for the Non-B visa must be submitted at least 15 days before the expiry of the tourist visa / visa exemption?

 

3. Would the 15 day rule also apply if I am on a 60 day COVID extension (assuming they still exist months down the line)? i.e. You need to apply for Non-B at least 15 days before your 60 day COVID extension ends.

 

4. How does the "extension of stay based upon working" work in reality? Assuming I secure a 90 day Non-B and a work permit, I should then immediately apply for an extension of stay which I understand lasts for 1 year based upon the date of first entry into Thailand?

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12 hours ago, Somchair said:

1. With regards to the tourist visa possibly being advantageous with regards to the work permit, could you expand a little please? You mean it might just be easier in terms of the paperwork?

The difference depends upon the DOE office where the work permit is applied for. Some might not want to accept the application with a visa exempt entry.

 

12 hours ago, Somchair said:

2. Do I understand correctly that the application for the Non-B visa must be submitted at least 15 days before the expiry of the tourist visa / visa exemption?

Yes

See: https://bangkokimmigration.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/01-edit_NON-B.pdf

 

12 hours ago, Somchair said:

3. Would the 15 day rule also apply if I am on a 60 day COVID extension (assuming they still exist months down the line)? i.e. You need to apply for Non-B at least 15 days before your 60 day COVID extension ends.

No

12 hours ago, Somchair said:

4. How does the "extension of stay based upon working" work in reality? Assuming I secure a 90 day Non-B and a work permit, I should then immediately apply for an extension of stay which I understand lasts for 1 year based upon the date of first entry into Thailand?

It can be applied for during the last 30 days of the 90 day entry from the non-b visa. It will be valid for one year from the day the 90 days for the non-b visa ends.

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18 hours ago, ubonjoe said:
On 1/24/2021 at 1:32 PM, Somchair said:

3. Would the 15 day rule also apply if I am on a 60 day COVID extension (assuming they still exist months down the line)? i.e. You need to apply for Non-B at least 15 days before your 60 day COVID extension ends.

No

 

How would it work in this case then? Are you saying that once your tourist visa expires and you're successfully on a 60 day COVID extension then it's not possible to convert to a Non-B visa?

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4 hours ago, Somchair said:

How would it work in this case then? Are you saying that once your tourist visa expires and you're successfully on a 60 day COVID extension then it's not possible to convert to a Non-B visa?

You can still apply for the non-b visa up to the last 15 days of the 60 day covid 19 extension of your entry from a tourist visa entry (not your visas expiration date).

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Has anyone actually extended a 45 day exemption ? I keep reading it's not possible, even on Thai Embassy sites....Is there any documentation stating it IS possible, or someone who has done it?

 

I'm tempted to come on a 45, so long as it's extendible, rather than wait 2 more weeks for a Visa.

 

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